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Evolution of time and attendance system

Tue, May. 30, 2017 Posted: 01:31 AM


The time attendance software had its origins in the age-old physical attendance registers.

Physical attendance registers
An employee has to mark the in and out time on a register and put sign his/her signature next to his name and employee number. And the records will be maintained.

At the end of the payroll month, the payroll personnel will look into the register and calculate the leave and attendance for each employee.

Arrival of time or punch cards
Then, arrived time cards. When the first employee time clock was invented in the late 1800s during the time of the Industrial Revolution, its purpose was to record the time an employee entered and left the factory. This mechanical employee time clock would stamp day and time information on a thick paper card, hence the name 'time card'.

This first time card gave the factory owner an actual record of the hours worked by each employee. This protected the business owner by making sure employees worked the number of hours they claimed, and protected employees by making it much more difficult for employers to cheat them out of their wages.

Advent of commercial time clock software
When commercial time clock software first made its appearance in the 1990s, businesses started moving away from mechanical and electrical time clocks that were subject to failure (also, they were expensive to replace or repair). Time clock software allowed business owners to enjoy the benefits of reduced payroll processing costs by making it quick and easy to go directly from time clock to paycheck with increased efficiency while eliminating buddy punching.

Entry of biometric devices
After that the biometric system gained foothold in most offices and institutions, all thanks to an increased need for transparency and accountability, flexible work culture, and a mobile workforce.

As computers have become more sophisticated, so have time and attendance systems. Absence management is far easier to monitor when vacation, sick days, and holidays can be automatically tracked and accrued. Complex overtime rules are easier to manage and unauthorized overtime easier to control. Modern attendance system software takes advantage of today's sophisticated networking protocols to link attendance hardware systems and authentication servers so that employees can be monitored in real-time while maintaining the time data in a secure and centralized location. Integration with online payroll systems saves time and eliminates data entry errors. The benefits of modern time and attendance systems are virtually endless.

Modern automated time attendance software simply require employees to touch or swipe to identify themselves and record their working hours as they enter or leave the work area. Originally, this consisted of using a RFID electronic tag or a barcode badge but these have been replaced by biometrics (vein reader, hand geometry, fingerprint, or facial recognition), and touch screen devices. Modern biometric systems offer additional benefits over traditional manual systems, which include:

Faster processing of employees’ attendance as it can be recorded with just one touch or a quick scan
Fraud prevention by eliminating duplicate and fake registration
Saves time as attendance can either be integrated directly with your payroll system or it can produce a report that can be downloaded or printed
Improves punctuality and reduces long breaks and absenteeism

GPS-enabled attendance tracking
The latest advancement in attendance system software is GPS-enabled attendance tracking system, which facilitates an employee to mark attendance from his/her smartphone app when entering/leaving predefined location coordinates.

The trajectory of the evolution of employee attendance software gives us a hope that soon there will be a future in which attendance marking will be further simplified.

Emelie Hyde