Time and attendance

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Time and attendance systems (TNA) are used to track and monitor when employees start and stop work. A time and attendance system enables an employer to monitor their employees working hours and late arrivals, early departures, time taken on breaks and absenteeism.[1] It also helps to control labor costs by reducing over-payments, which are often caused by paying employees for time that are not working, and eliminates transcription error, interpretation error and intentional error. TNA systems can also be used to ensure compliance with labor regulations regarding proof of attendance.

Manual systems[edit]

Traditionally manual systems were used that rely on paper cards which have times stamped onto them using a time stamping machine. Such machines were used for over a century but have since been phased out and replaced with cheaper automated systems which eliminate the need for payroll staff to manually input employee hours.

Automated systems[edit]

Modern automated time and attendance systems 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 Originally this consisted of using a RFID electronic tag or a barcode badge but these have been replaced by biometrics (vein reader, hand geometry, fingerprint, or facial recognition), and touch screens devices.

Application based systems[edit]

The latest technology allows the use of app (Application software) based Geo-fence capabilities.[2] Allowing an employee to clock in & out only when they are within an Internet geolocation. Facial recognition systems are also available with these app based software technologies, eliminating the need of Fingerprint scanners.

TNA features [3][edit]

Time Management[edit]

One of the main functions of the software, time management features track employee presence. Time trackers monitor how much time is spent at work, working overtime and the time spent on specific projects. Time management functions as a productivity measure as well as a tool assisting in financial decisions. When a business is able to track time automatically through software, compensation can be easily calculated.

  • Time Tracker
  • Project Time Tracking
  • Overtime Tracking
  • Rounding Rules and Exceptions
  • GPS Tracking

Attendance Management[edit]

Attendance management features handle standard tools used for attendance tracking, such as clocking in and out. This automates the process of employee time tracking. Meanwhile, attendance is automatically tracked and recorded. Some vendors offer a biometric time clock, which takes personalized attendance into the future. Biometrics require identification in the form of a fingerprint, eye pattern or voice in order to clock in and out and access other features. By requiring this information, employers can make sure each employee can only access the items they have permissions for. Biometrics also help avoid people clocking in for late or absent coworkers.

  • Clock In/Out
  • Biometrics
  • Attendance Tracking

Absence and Leave Management[edit]

Absence and leave management features give employees the tools to manage their own time off requests, including the tracking of planned absences due to appointments, vacations and holidays. Employees can view leave information, like calendars, and request time off through the system. The software tracks leave and monitors benefits. For example, employees can apply PTO or vacation days to their time off, ensuring proper compensation and compliance with company procedures.

  • Time Off Requests
  • PTO Requests
  • Dashboard
  • Leave Application
  • Online Leave Management
  • Vacation Tracking
  • Leave Tracking
  • Holidays Calendar

Employee Management[edit]

Ease of use is facilitated through employee management features. Databases compile employee information in one place while mobile and self-service capabilities promote accessibility. The goal of these features is to make time and attendance information easily visible to all members of an organization.

  • Employee Database
  • Mobile Access
  • Self-Service
  • Employee Roster
  • Notes


Scheduling through time and attendance software streamlines the process of schedule creation with collaborative features. For employers, the software automates scheduling, taking shift preferences and other parameters into account. For employees, the software serves as a centralized location to view schedules, make requests and be notified of any changes.

  • Schedule Creation
  • Staff Schedules
  • Employee Groups
  • Schedule Alerts

Employee Communication[edit]

A comprehensive time and attendance system supplies features that assist in keeping employees informed and in contact with coworkers and management. These features may include something as simple as built-in instant messaging and alerts or more advanced communication functions.

Document Management[edit]

Document management functions make it easy to share information and communicate across departments. Users can set up notifications to alert team members of any important information associated with time or attendance. This category of features also includes working with data related to time and attendance to offer insight into current practices. Managers can define employee positions within the system and the permissions that accompany those roles. Clearly defined permissions serve as a security measure for files.

  • Import/Export Data
  • Data Sharing
  • Workflow Alerts
  • Roles and Rights


Time and attendance systems can integrate with other human resource solutions such as human capital management, accounting and payroll software as well as non-HR tools like enterprise resource planning software. All HR data is available in a single system, providing a comprehensive, all-in-one place for employee management functions.

Business Intelligence and Reporting[edit]

The inclusion of embedded business intelligence in time and attendance solutions provides a platform for the evaluation of company performance in relation to time. These tools can compile data on employee attendance, analyze the findings and create a report. Reports present data insights in a visually informative medium and can be shared throughout an organization. The analysis offered by business intelligence features aids in future decision making and changes made to attendance policies.

T&A software[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. "How time and attendance technology can benefit your small business clients". Accounting Today. 2017-06-21. Retrieved 2017-07-05.
  2. "Effortless Time Tracking Software in Your Pocket".
  3. "Top Requirements". SelectHub.