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FAQ

Time Clock Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions asked about Time And Attendance, Employee Time Clocks and Bundy Clocks:

What is an employee time clock?

Why does every business need a time clock?

How much money could a time clock save my business?

What should a typical time clock be able to do?

Why choose a computer based time recording system?

Why choose a Proximity Card time clock over a Mag-Stripe Swipe Card time clock?


Why does my business need a fingerprint time clock?


Isn't a fingerprint time clock an invasion of an employee's privacy?

How can an employee time clock be used for fire emergencies?

What are the advantages of Web-Based time and attendance software?



What is an employee time clock?

  An employee time clock is a device that allows employees to 'clock on/off' for work to record their time, as opposed to the employee just writing the time down.  The time clock records the exact time the employee uses the clock.  These clocks, also known as 'Bundy Clocks', 'Time Recorders' or 'Punch Clocks', have been around since the dawn of computing and were invented by Harold Bundy who became a part of IBM.  The employee time clock has developed from manual clocks that punched holes in cards, to electronic dot-matrix printing clocks to the latest in biometric technology utilizing fingerprint and face recognition.

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Why does every business need a time clock?

  Hourly paid staff are paid for the time that they are working.  The actual time starting work and finishing work can be different to the rostered start and finish time.  Generally the rostered start and finish time is what is written on a timesheet by an employee, an employee time clock however records the exact minute that the employee uses the time clock.  This means that an employee time clock system eliminates the employee rounding their start/finish time in their favour.

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How much money could a time clock save my business?

  With an employee time clock system accurately recording the start/finish break/resume times for employees paying employees for work they haven't done is reduced.  

  Take the scenario of a small business with only 10 staff paid hourly.  If employees turned up late and/or left early only one day per week totalling 10mins that totals 100 minutes of paid labour per week that hasn't been worked, if that happens every week that's over 86 hours of paid labour each year for work that hasn't been performed.  If the average employee is paid $20 an hour then that's $1,720 per year the small business has lost, and now add superannuation and workers comp etc.  And that is only a small business and only 10 minutes per week that a business owner wouldn't even know about if employees are hand writing their own timesheets.  Now take the time used by administration to prepare payroll each pay-period.  The payroll person has to collate all the timesheets, manually enter that data or manually calculate all the hours, each day for every employee.  That data then gets manually typed into a payroll system.  This process for a small business of 10 employees a morning per week.  Aside from the labour cost of the admin person doing this each week, x a year....can you see the potential for human error in the calculating and data entry to payroll?  And as you know, you will never hear from an overpaid employee.

  An employee time recording system is crucial for any business with hourly paid employees.

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What should a typical time clock be able to do?

  An employee time clock needs to be able to accurately record the start/stop times for your staff.  How many times do your employee's need to clock on/off?  Start and end of day, for lunch, for morning tea, when they leave the site?  Think about how often they need to use the clock and ensure your time clock system can handle that number of times per day.

  There are useful features that should come as standard on any time clock system:  2 colour printing is useful to quickly highlight any times where an employee has turned up late or left work early.  Automatic column shifting means the time clock will automatically move to print in the correct column on the time card at the specified time of day.  Daylight saving programming is essential for a time clock in any state that follows daylight saving.  An inbuilt bell-relay is essential if you require a bell/siren to sound for start/finish of shift times or meal breaks.

  Features that would be essential in a computer-based time recording system would include:  Network connectivity to your businesses computer network, easy to use software is essential, in-built relay if require for a bell/siren to sound for start/finish of shift times or meal breaks.  When it comes to computer-based systems support for your software is essential, as shifts change, staff using the software change support to keep your system operating properly can mean the difference between payroll going smoothly or late payments to employees.  Time recording systems are specialized systems, not your standard PC type system so ensure you have support and training available to you.  Importing time and attendance data to a payroll system should also be considered if you have a large number of employees as this feature alone could save hours of data entry each week, hours = dollars.

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Why choose a computer based time recording system?

  A computer-based system has the ability to accurately record, calculate and report on your time and attendance data.  Human error is taken out by configuring rules that the software works on to correctly total hours.  Data is then stored electronically in the software and can be securely backed up to a separate location, this means that you can obtain a report about any employee from any time period with a few clicks of a mouse.  It also means that printed time cards do not need to be stored and archived.  Computer based systems also have the ability to integrate with payroll systems, a limitation that traditional time clocks can't achieve.

  Computer-based systems also allow your system to grow with your business.  With internal flash memory so cheap now you will easily find that the cheapest computer-based time clocks can still handle up to 1,000 employees.

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Why choose a Proximity Card time clock over a Mag-Stripe Swipe Card time clock?

  Proximity Card technology allows a contact-less way of verification.  A proximity card simply gets waved passed the device to be verified.  The RFID technology detects the card details and either accepts or rejects the card.

  Mag-stripe card technology relies on contact for verification.  The magnetic stripe on the card needs to pass through a slot and contact with the reader for verification.

  Contact-less verification means that employee's do not need to touch the time clock at all to clock on/off.  This prolongs the life of your time clock system.  Proximity card readers also do not require servicing, mag-stripe readers need servicing to clean the sensors that contact with the mag-stripe card.  Extended use of the mag-stripe card also wears out the magnetic stripe on the card, proximity cards to do not wear out.

  In short, a proximity card system does not need the reader serviced, the cards do not wear out and employees do not need to touch the time clock system.  This means that a proximity clocking system will last longer for your business and cost less in servicing and replacement cards.

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Why does my business need a fingerprint time clock?

  What times are your employee's currently writing on their timesheet as their start and finish times?  Are they writing whole numbers eg. 08:00 or 08:30?  But what time did they really turn up eg 08:06 or 08:33?  Filling in a timesheet at the end of the week for times employees worked at the start of the week is very common in Australia.

  But what time did your employee's really turn up?  And was it really them that signed on or did they get their 'buddy' to sign them on?  Time theft is a huge problem for Australian companies.  Add our nationally relaxed attitude together with our high labour costs and you've got a recipe for extra expense that a company hasn't budgeted for, not just their hourly wage being paid for time they aren't there but also superannuation, workers comp, loadings etc.

  A fingerprint time clock system ensures that that employee was at that clock when the time says they were.  No need for a foreman or supervisor to be there early to make sure everyone was there on time, you will KNOW they were there on time by using a fingerprint time clock.

  Fingerprint time clocks also protect both employers and employees.  Employers are protected by knowing they are only paying for staff's actual work time.  Employees are protected by proof that the were at work at that time.  How does this benefit employee's?  There can never be a pay dispute over hours worked as the employee is guaranteed that their hours are fingerprint recorded and electronically stored.  Protection works both ways.

  So who doesn't like fingerprint time clocks?  In our business experience there are two types of people.  First, those who think that somehow their 'privacy' is being invaded by using a fingerprint clock.  This issue is quickly resolved once everyone understands how the system works and how an employee's 'identity' is secure.  Technical data can be provided on this issue.  Secondly, staff who have been fudging time will always have a problem with a fingerprint system.  They know they have to turn up to work on time and leave when they should, they also know they can't ask their mate to sign them on.  Good, honest workers who turn up on time, take their breaks on time and leave on time never have a problem as they know it will not affect their pay negatively in any way.

  In short, a fingerprint time clock system protects both employers and employees.  It also eliminates time theft.

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Isn't a fingerprint time clock an invasion of an employee's privacy?

  One of the first concerns of an employee when a fingerprint time clock is installed is "isn't this an invasion of my privacy?".  This is a valid concern when we consider identity fraud and the fact that fingerprints can be used to track an individual for legal reasons.

  There are a few things to think about with this concern.  What personal data is being stored, how is that data stored and can that data be used elsewhere?

  Firstly, what personal data is being stored?  The first idea most have is that a replica or image of their fingerprint is being stored as an image in the time clock.  With the brands that Aussie Time Clocks recommend this is not the case.  The fingerprint is 'looked at' by the fingerprint sensor, then certain points of that fingerprint are extrapolated to form a unique pattern from the fingerprint, not the fingerprint itself.  So an employee can have confidence that their fingerprint is not being taken and not being stored anywhere, their fingerprint is being used to obtain other data with which to recognize that employee.

  Secondly, the point data from the fingerprint is then stored on the fingerprint time clock and usually time and attendance software database.  The storage of fingerprint time clocks is usually locked by an administrator fingerprint and/or password and the time and attendance software is also password protected.

  Thirdly, the point data obtained by the fingerprint time clock can not be used elsewhere at all, even by another brand time clock.  This is because the fingerprint points that are stored are converted into binary code and then encrypted by a secure algorithm produced by the biometric manufacturer.  The encryption is a one-way algorithm and cannot be reversed.  Technical data on the encryption typed etc can be obtained by the time clock manufacture if further information is required.

  Yes, a device that would store an image of someone's fingerprint could be considered an invasion of privacy.  The simple truth of most fingerprint employee time clocks on the market is that they are specifically designed for this to not be an issue, yet provide a unique and secure way to identify employees to sign on/off for work.

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How can an employee time clock be used for fire emergencies?

  Fire emergency procedures are crucial to any business.  What to do in an emergency, where to go in an emergency are important things for every employee to know.
 

  But what is your company’s procedure on how to account for all staff that were on-site?  Manual paper sign-in sheets?  Bundy clock cards?

uAttend employee time clocks make managing your staff’s time and attendance simple and smart.

  With the ‘Who’s In’ tab on the
uAttend web-based software, you can simply see who is currently on-site from any PC with an internet connection or a smart-phone.  In an emergency situation, the safety of employees and human life is the most important thing.  The ability to know exactly who was on-site at that crucial moment is invaluable information.  The life of employee’s still inside the building or the life of emergency workers could depend on that information.

  With the uAttend employee management system the crucial information required in an emergency is available instantly from a device as simple as a mobile phone.

Make the uAttend employee management system a part of your company’s emergency procedure.

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What are the advantages of Web-Based time and attendance software?

  Time and attendance software has typically been Windows-based for the last few decades.  Whether it's a single PC installation or a server/client PC type installation, most time and attendance systems have come with a flat Windows program.  This means that, unless you remote desktop into your PC, you are limited to accessing your time and attendance data at that PC or location.

  The Internet has changed how we work, and more businesses are understanding how web-based or cloud solutions can improve productivity.  What are some of the key advantages that Web-Based time and attendance systems, such as uAttend, offer?:
- No software to install on any PC:  This means no software needs to be managed locally, no hassles when your PC's are upgraded and no software installation discs or licenses to manage.
- Access from any device on the Internet:  Being web-based means you can access your software from any PC, smart phone, tablet etc that has an internet connection.  You can access your software from your work PC, home PC, tablet or iPhone, you are not restricted to managing your employees work hours from a work PC.
- Multiple user access: Chances are that more than a few people require access to your time and attendance software.  Managers, supervisors, HR and payroll may at times need to view or report on this data.  Web-based time and attendance software allows multiple users access at the same time.  Employees can even be given access to view their personal timesheets using their unique login.

  With any Web-Based software you purchase, be it a word processor, accounting software or time and attendance software, there are fees involved.  The software provider needs to host the software for you, guarantee uptime, roll-out updates etc.  Web-based software is typically charged using a monthly access fee to cover these expenses.

  Windows time and attendance software still has it's place in today's market.  But the advantages of web-based software are easily identifiable.