Jim Courtwood
Author of the Time & Attendance Consultant's Guide Series

Understanding time and attendance and how it applies to your business is an important part of the purchase process. Now you can become an expert in time and attendance using the Time & Attendance Consultant's Guide, available at no cost on our website. This guide ( the first in a series of three) was provided as training material for The Association of Payroll Specialists - Australia's premier payroll training organisation. Below is an excerpt from the guide

This guide is designed for all companies about to embark on the purchase of a new time clock or time and attendance system. This guide includes information and instructions to assist end users source and evaluate the available time clocks, product suppliers and manage the implementation process to its practical completion.

The Introductory Guide will also provide information that will enable you to determine whether your specific application requires the addition of award interpretation software. The guide assumes no prior knowledge of time and attendance hardware or software.

We have included a glossary of time and attendance terms and a number of ancillary resources outside of the main body of the guide. These are included to provide more detailed information on which many of the recommended purchasing and implementation strategies in the guide were based.

This guide includes the following sections:-

1. Deciding if you would benefit from buying an employee time clock
2. Selecting an appropriate time clock
3. Deciding whether you need additional software for your time clock
4. Sourcing a time clock supplier
5. Evaluating potential time clock suppliers
6. Negotiating on price and services
7. Placing the order
8. Installation and implementation
9. Testing your new time clock
10. Going Live
11. Reviewing the project.

1. Deciding if you would benefit from buying an employee time clock.

These are the possible reasons why you may be considering buying a time clock.

 i) Statutory requirements. Almost without exception your company will be required by law to keep records of the attendance times of the employees. Aside from the requirement to keep wages records for employees it may be an occupational health and safety requirement to keep daily records of employee attendance for procedures such as fire evacuation. Local regulations may impose very harsh penalties for employers who do not have a system in place for identifying which employees (and visitors) are on their premises.

ii) Manual time sheets are being falsified. Employees may arrive for work late and depart early and still complete the time sheets with the nominal start and finish times. This is often referred to as “Time Theft”. Time theft can also occur by employee “Buddy Punching” for their co-workers who may be late on the day or leave earlier than their nominal finish time. This can be a significant cost to employers either by a direct loss in productivity of overpayment of wages and salaries.

iii) Manual timesheets are labor intensive to complete or process. Timesheets take time to complete and time to process. Moving to an electronic time clock greatly reduces the time required for an employee to complete the time sheet and, depending on the system used, can dramatically reduce the payroll preparation time. iv) Modernising your business. Many companies prefer to use more modern processes within their business and enjoy the benefit of system improvement.

v) Environmental or Resources issues. Electronic alternatives to manual time sheets use considerably less resources. Your company may have an environmental policy which includes a waste reduction strategy.

vi) Image. You company may want to present a more professional image to visitor, clients or employees and the use of modern office equipment and information technologies are part of this image. These are all valid reasons to employ a more efficient method of recording employee times. If you believe that your business could benefit from exercising some control in these areas then you will almost certainly benefit from the purchase of a time clock or a time and attendance system particularly if you use this guide to manage the purchase and implementation process.

The complete Time & Attendance Consultant's Introductory Guide is available on our website using this link.

Jim Courtwood

Time & Attendance Consultant


1300 553 254