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How to Implement Online Time Tracking Software at Your Company, the Right Way

Recent studies say that 38% of US employees still use paper timesheets. When using this method, timesheets are often submitted late, time padding and buddy punching errors increase, and miscalculations rise. The IRS reports that nearly ⅓ of employers spend $850 yearly on payroll mistakes. Therefore, in order to save costs associated with payroll, many employers are advised to use cloud-based/online time tracking software. 

If you’re using paper timesheets or punch cards, it’s not difficult to make the switch to online time tracking! We’ll show you how easy it is to find a solution for your needs and how to successfully introduce this to your team.

Why Switch to Online Time Tracking?

If you don’t have an efficient way to track time, payroll and billing can be a time-consuming hassle. However, when employees track time using a cloud-based/online system, information is available in real-time, which makes reporting fast and easy. People who use online time tracking methods can easily view attendance, time off requests and balances, project progress, and more. When this information is readily available, it’s rare that one asks “What happened here?”. And, with improved transparency, you will have increased profitability and managerial oversight.

Here are some more benefits of efficient online time tracking:

  • Reduced time padding errors
  • Decreased time spent on reporting
  • Improved accuracy
  • Controlled costs
  • Heightened transparency
  • Improved compliance

Ultimately, online time tracking systems help make payroll and billing a lot easier. Use this return on investment (ROI) calculator to see how much you can save with online time tracking.

Here are the steps to implementing new time tracking software at your organization:

Change can be difficult for some, so if you want to find and implement a new time tracking solution, you’ll want to follow these steps in order to be successful.

1. Tell Your Manager that You Need a New Time Tracking Method

Sometimes managers and business owners aren’t aware that current time tracking methods aren’t working well. Many salaried employees don’t track their time on a daily basis, so they aren’t familiar with the time-tracking process and difficulties. Also, unless the owner is tracking their time like all the other employees, it’s likely that they don’t know how this works either. That being said, they may be unaware that the system is difficult to use, faulty, and unreliable.

In order to get the “go-ahead” to find another time tracking solution, you must bring these issues to their attention. You may also want to review finances (if you have permission to do so) so that they can see the true damage the current time tracking method is causing. This will hopefully incentivize them to find new solutions to save costs.

2. Create a List of Your Needs

Once you have approval, you can start thinking about the company’s time tracking needs. Here are some things to consider:

  • Do you need attendance tracking?
  • Are employees going to track projects and tasks?
  • Will employees need to track time off?
  • Do you need accrual tracking?
  • Will you need overtime tracking?
  • How will you want to track employee location (GPS, IP address)?
  • Do you need to track expenses?

Create a list of your needs so you can search for a system with a purpose (and not accidentally end up with a time tracking system that does way more than what you need).

Along with this, ensure that you understand your state’s employment laws. You will need to find a time tracking system that is compliant with your state’s overtime, privacy, and other payroll laws. Consult with a human resources expert or with your state local labor board for advice.

3. Get a Demonstration (Or a Few)

There’s a plethora of time tracking software out there, and many of them provide free demonstrations. Before dedicating your company to an online solution, it’s wise to get a demonstration first. This way an expert can walk you through the software and you can figure out whether the software will suit all of your time tracking needs.

Luckily, with the list of needs that you created in step #2, you will be able to decipher whether certain solutions will suit your necessities swiftly.

4. Start a Trial and Test

Most solutions offer a free trial so you can practice using the software. Timesheets.com, for example, offers a 15-day free trial for prospective users with 100% full access to the account. When starting to test, it’s recommended that you find a few “star players” on your team to test the software as well. This will give employees a chance to use the software on their own so they can also give feedback regarding whether they like it.

When testing, you may want to consider using the software like you normally would. Enter in paid time off accruals, clock in and out, and set up overtime correctly. At the end of your trial (or pay period) create a report to see what the payroll or billing process is like. Hopefully, it works smoothly.

5. Sign Up!

Once you find a time tracking solution that works for your needs, sign up! Be aware that all systems work differently regarding payments. Some systems have base fees, while others do not. Some systems also have contracts, so please watch out for that if you’re not looking for a commitment.

*Before you sign up, it’s wise to double-check with your human resources expert or state labor board to ensure that your new time tracking system is compliant.

6. Tell the Employees What’s Going On

People aren’t keen to change, however, if this time tracking system is way better than the one you used previously, employees may be ecstatic to use this new software. Here are some tools to help you have this conversation with your team:

  • Describe the benefits this will have on the company and employees.
  • Tell the team why you’ve decided to use this tool.
  • They may feel that this is a breach of privacy. Explain how this will improve accuracy with reporting.

7. Train Employees

If you hadn’t already added all employees to your account during your trial period, you may want to add them immediately so everyone can start tracking. Once they are in the account, they should have access to track their time, expenses, etc. Hopefully, your time tracking solution offers training for employees so they can learn how the system works. Timesheets.com offers free employee training so that you never have to worry about becoming an expert. Once employees are trained, they can track their time with ease.

It usually takes a few days/weeks for employees to get used to a new time tracking method. Once they’re tracking confidently, reporting for payroll and billing will be a breeze.

Do you need to track time and expenses for payroll and billing? Try Timesheets.com for free today!

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