5 Reasons to use a Time Clock System instead of Time Cards

By ClockShark | Read time: 3 minutes

1. Time clocks ease the administrative burdens and costs associated with processing payroll. Modern time clock systems record detailed time records for each employee that can be easily downloaded by the payroll administrator and incorporated into payroll. This eliminates the need to collect timecards from tens or even hundreds of employees each period. Using timecards also requires that the times be manually keyed in by a payroll administrator which is time consuming, costly and prone to errors. Errors created during this hand entry process can have unseen costs in terms of overpayments, underpayments and time spent resolving employee complaints. Unseen costs can also arise when employees become frustrated that they are not consistently paid correctly, and either quit or suffer from decreased morale and performance.
time sheet2. Time clocks are more accurate than timecards. Using a timecard, employees often record hours after the shift or sometimes at the end of the pay period. This forces the employee to record times from memory using estimation. Estimation is not accurate and is usually in the favor of the employee. This is good for employees, but bad for employers. Companies that use breaks can have a particularly hard time with getting accurate timecards since employees often do not accurately record break start and stop times on a timecard.
3. Modern time clocks offer security features that help eliminate “buddy punching”. Whereas timecards offer virtually no security features or assurances to an employer, modern time clocks offer biometric security features to help eliminate the possibility that employees can clock in for one another. These biometric features often use a photo, facial recognition or fingerprint recognition to positively identify the person making the time entry. Buddy punching has been estimated in some recent studies ( to cost employers as much as 5% of their total payroll costs. So, eliminating this concern with a biometric time clock can be a major cost savings.

time clock4. Modern time clock systems can assist with adherence to break and schedule policies. Since schedules and rules for break duration and timing can be programmed into many modern time clock systems, managers can be alerted to employees who do not take scheduled breaks, take breaks longer than allotted, arrive late to work, arrive early to work or work unscheduled overtime. Often this information is available in real time, so that issues can be addressed as they occur, not after the end of the pay period.
5. Modern time clock systems can make it easier for employees to clock in and out across multiple locations or mobile jobs. Businesses with multiple locations or employees that either are 100% mobile or may start the day in the office, but finish the day on the road can benefit greatly from a time clock system with a mobile solution. Many modern time clock systems feature a “call in” telephone punch feature or smartphone app that allows employees to clock in from anywhere. The times collected from the field are uploaded to the web-based part of the system, making times available almost instantly to managers and payroll administrators. Businesses with multiple locations can benefit also since time clocks can be installed at each location that also upload and can be accessed from a central (or multiple) processing locations.

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