How to Choose the Best School Payroll Time Clock for Compliance and State Reporting

Binders labeled "Employees" and "Salaries" on cluttered desk.

With all the modern technology available in the digital age, there really isn’t any need to struggle with accurate state reporting of your school’s Payroll information.

Automation of tasks, integration across software systems, and other advancements are quickly rendering the old, unreliable, manual methods of compiling reports obsolete.

If you’re currently having a difficult time complying with your state’s Payroll laws or compiling Payroll reports that adhere to your state’s guidelines, then it may be time to reconsider your process, starting from the very source of your data: your payroll time clock system.

Here are our recommendations for what to look for in a school payroll time clock system to ensure compliance and improve state reporting:

Built-In Compliance to State-Specific Laws

One of the easiest ways to ensure compliance and create accurate reports of Payroll information for your state is to use a time clock system that features built-in functionality for your specific state’s labor laws.

For example, California has a Meal Break law which dictates that employees get a half-hour break when working more than five hours, and a ten-minute break for every four-hour period worked.

Such intricacies could create serious trouble, not only for anyone trying to work with the data manually, but also for the employees who may get confused about how exactly to properly clock in and out for these short time periods — assuming they even remember to do so, which can be difficult during a busy day.

A good time clock system, though, will include built-in functionality — like automatic calculations or convenient buttons — for exactly these sort of state-specific laws.

Really, though, this says more about the software company behind the time clock system than it says about the time clock system  itself. A good time clock software company will work with you to understand the unique payroll regulations you face and will work to develop the software to better meet your needs.

Overtime Analysis

Overtime can be one of the toughest challenges for Payroll administrators and Financial departments. Many schools have highly complex pay structures to begin with, and overtime structures can add to the complexity. If your school has this type of nuanced structure, then controlling overtime for your budget, making sure employees clock their time appropriately, and reporting on it all can seem impossible.

Good time clock systems, however, will include features specifically built to handle complex overtime pay structures with regard both to how your employees report it to you and also how you report it to your state. Advanced time clock systems will even offer a way for you to easily analyze the overtime you’re paying so that you can better control each employee’s overtime and, therefore, control your overtime costs for your budget.

Payroll (and Other) Integration

This may seem obvious: your time clock system should integrate directly into your Payroll department’s ERP software. After all, the main reason you track employee time and attendance is to ensure proper payment.

But for some reason, many schools still rely on manually transferring time and attendance data over to the Payroll department’s accounting software, either by re-entering the data or, at best, remembering to make multiple clicks each pay period and then double checking to make sure all the information made the leap from one software to the next.

With this many steps involved, it’s a wonder accurate data ever reaches its destination.

To shore up your Payroll Accounting, make sure any time clock system you’re considering will integrate with your Financial Accounting software. This way, the time and attendance information will be housed exactly where you need it in order to compile accurate state reports (and do any other Payroll activities like paychecks, etc.).

Start your search with a school payroll time clock system that does all these things and more:
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Attendance On Demand