Blog: Do I need Rostering or Time and Attendance Software?

Do I need Rostering or Time and Attendance Software.

The short answer is you may need one, the other or both depending on what you are trying to achieve.

In the employee time management industry to which Rostering and Time and Attendance belong there are some terms used to describe the various processes involved. Understanding these is crucial to the process.

The hours that employees work is called shifts. Shifts have a start and a finish time and certain rules which apply depending on the span of hours and the quantity or hours worked. The rules and the remuneration received by employees is generally set out in an agreement or award.

Time and Attendance is the process of interpreting the hours worked against the award and calculating the employee’s payroll hours in various different time categories such as ordinary time, overtime and perhaps penalties and allowances. Generally speaking there is no pay rate attached as this is the domain of Payroll Software.

Time and Attendance Software is most often used in organisations where the employees work under a complicated award system including multiple overtime categories. The inefficiencies come from the automation of the process of collecting and interpreting employee clocking times against their specific award and importing the results into payroll software.

Award interpretation software can include rostering but in this instance rostering is more about accommodating employees working varies shifts which attract different hourly rates or shift allowances.

Good time and attendance software can deal with the most complex award rules without the need to manage exceptions. Manufacturing and health care are the most common applications for dedicated time and attendance applications.

Rostering, is the process of allocating employees to specific shifts in order to fill the manpower requirements of that shift. It is essentially a planning tool to ensure that staffing levels are correct but it is often accompanied by a costing element to assist managers in budgeting. Hospitality is the most common industry requiring Rostering and often the awards are not complex requiring only fundamental award interpretation. Often employees work under a flat rate agreement so you may find that excellent Rostering software has very limited award interpretation or at least inflexible award interpretation.

When looking for the right solution for your business you should ask yourself what is causing you the biggest headache. Is it accurately calculating employee payroll hours and keying them into your payroll software or is it creating, costing and publishing employee rosters?

If it’s the former then you should start looking at Time & Attendance Software. If it’s the latter then Rostering Software is more appropriate and if it’s both then your task is a little more difficult – a solution providing the best of both words and that can be a challenge.

If your company is in the grey area of employee time management it can be worthwhile engaging a Time & Attendance Consultant to assist you through the process of defining your requirements and finding the most appropriate software solution.

A Time & Attendance Consultant will take much of the hard work away from you and your staff in sourcing the correct solution and is likely to save you more than the cost of their services. The same applies if your staff have little project management experience or a simply too busy to invest time in investigating the available options.

You can contact the Time and Attendance Consultant at www.timeandattendanceconsultant.com.au for a no obligation telephone consultancy session.