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Calculating Time Cards: Rules, Tips, and Considerations

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In today’s modern workplace it may come as a surprise that some employers choose to manually calculate time cards. Most HR and payroll professionals utilize an online payroll platform to process hours’ worked, but in the off-chance that they’re calculating time and attendance manually, there are a few rules they need to follow for legal compliance. We’ll outline the most important rules to follow when calculating time cards manually and discuss how an automated system saves you countless hours and needless headaches.

Got time and attendance Questions? Our Definitive Guide has all the answers you need

The Four Factors of Calculating Time Cards Manually

There are four important factors to account for when calculating time cards:

1. Converting Time

2. Break Periods

3. Overtime Calculations

4. The Size of the Company

Some of these factors, like overtime calculation, will depend on your state labor laws, but this post breaks down what payroll professionals need to know. While manual time card calculation can be accomplished successfully by following these rules, we do not recommend it for businesses with more than 10 - 15 employees. The propensity for errors increases with the more employees you have, and inaccurate time card calculation leads to inaccurate payrolls. Not to mention organizational and record-keeping issues.  

Keep Accurate and Accessible Records

As mentioned above, it’s important to keep records of physical time cards and your calculations. Detailed time card documents are useful if an employee disputes a paycheck or an overtime calculation. With an organized system in place, you’ll be prepared the next time an employee barks about inaccurate wages.

However, while file cabinets and paper documents work in theory, they’re only as good as the HR professional behind them. Plus, paper time cards get lost and file cabinets are susceptible to fire and water damage. An online time and attendance software digitally stores employee punches, overtime calculations, and is continually backed up on multiple servers. Lost file cabinet keys and misplaced physical time cards can soon be a distant memory.

Keep reading: 6 Things to Consider When Manually Calculating Time Cards

It May Be Time for an Alternative

Calculating time cards manually may save small businesses money, but when you consider the amount of time it takes to add up every hourly line, accurately account for overtime, and properly document hours worked, it’s easy to see where mistakes can be made. As the mistakes mount and your small business grows, it may be time for an alternative.

Does your company use stamps for punching in and out? How often do the punches come through clearly? An automated timekeeping system ensures every punch is recorded digitally, so you can ensure accurate wages. Plus, a single-source timekeeping solution means all hours flow directly into payroll, eliminating multiple entries.

If you’re ready to see how Dominion can eliminate manual time card calculation, request a demo below!



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