Harris School Solutions
Harris School Solutions

Why Modern Timekeeping Software is Essential for Schools Today

It doesn’t matter if you are managing and monitoring hours for a team or an entire district, or even simply punching a clock to log your hours — we all know that manual timekeeping can be cumbersome, inaccurate, and downright frustrating.

Over the past several years, districts and charter schools across the country have been evaluating ways to move from traditional timekeeping methods (like punch clocks or Excel spreadsheets) to an automated solution. But determining which software solution can be a daunting task with serious implications.

If you’re weighing the option of utilizing manual timekeeping processes at your organization versus implementing an automated software solution, it’s worth reviewing the limits of traditional timekeeping methods and their four main drawbacks.

  1. Cost – Paper timecards, Excel templates, timeclock machines and their maintenance, back-pay, storing paper time sheets, and reporting -All together can add up to a large sum of money for just the basics. That’s not even taking into account the time and effort of your payroll department. The reality is that even for charter schools and districts, the cost of manual or even “cobbled together” timekeeping methods might cost more than moving to a modern software solution.
  2. Errors & Corrections – It’s no secret that manual timestamp entries are susceptible to time fraud, underreported hours, and illegible handwriting. Add that to the cumbersome task of calculating the hours manually, and you have the potential for errors that can add up quickly.
  3. Tracking & Reporting – Tracking, reporting, and backing up data are another added complexity due to easily misplaced paper trails, manual entry reporting, and manually scanning individual forms to have a digital copy as a backup.
  4. Complexity – Those previous four drawbacks can add up to a complex system with plenty of opportunities for errors and costly mistakes. The more traditional timekeeping system we discussed above may cost you more money, time, and resources than an upgrade to a modern software solution.

When you evaluate the most common drawbacks of traditional timekeeping, it’s worth looking into an automated solution to see if you could be saving time and money. Keep in mind that all timekeeping software is not alike. We’ve listed out the core benefits below to help make your search for a system that fits your needs easier.

Timekeeping Software’s Core Benefits

Timekeeping software gives your organization better control and visibility of your staff’s hours, identifies important trends, and calculates your payroll efficiently and accurately. As you explore different software, you’ll soon realize it isn’t always a “one size fits all” situation. You’ll need to consider the type of organization you’re selecting for, which features make sense for your scheduling and roles, and how it will integrate with your current accounting and ERP software.

For educational organizations like charter schools and districts, several features can assist with running your timekeeping and payroll more efficiently. The goal here is to focus on finding solutions to your current timekeeping solutions’ drawbacks while making sure that the software you choose meets your organization’s specific needs.

Let’s explore some of the timekeeping software features that make timekeeping easier for K-12 schools, districts, and other educational organizations.

Integration with Payroll
Direct integrations between your timekeeping software and your payroll software can solve a lot of headaches. Most of the time and cost savings for adding an automated system is attributed to integrating your timekeeping solution with your payroll system. By providing direct input of timecard data, each employee’s time is automatically tracked, calculated, and flagged for any time discrepancies.

Automated Workflows
Utilizing customized approval routing and automated workflows not only adds standardized processes to the system, but also fully streamlines data acquisition to stay on schedule every pay period. Long gone are the days of deciphering poor handwriting or asking individual employees if 1 is a 7 or 0 is an 8, which can bring payroll and HR to a halt. No more flipping through paper timecards or searching for the correct spreadsheet -simply input the necessary parameters to effortlessly route important approvals and processes.

Accessibility, Flexibility, & Punch Options
Let’s say your first stop is another building or across town from your main base. With flexible clock-in methods and geofencing options, geographic parameters can be set up to allow for clocking in via a mobile device to log your time accurately. Having the flexibility to denote the type of clocking device down to the employee gives K-12 organizations a solution that can meet every department’s needs (including transportation).
This opens the door for personal accountability and to make strategic improvements to your processes.

A big concern can be accountability when it comes to the flexibility of multiple clock-in and out options. Timekeeping has often had accountability and time fraud vulnerabilities. This includes items like “fudging” hours on a timesheet, “buddy punching” the timecard for a late friend, and even “double punching” with overlapping hours or breaks. With the right timekeeping software, you can expect safeguards to mitigate multiple time fraud scenarios. Accurate reporting, automations to flag suspicious data, geo-fenced punch-in locations, and assigning approved time clocks all work to help you streamline accountability and eliminate time fraud vulnerabilities.

Reporting & Metrics
Being able to rely on accurate reporting and real-time metrics lets you better allocate resources, react to staffing needs, and discover potential areas for optimization.. With an integrated timekeeping solution, you should focus on a system that has automated reporting that can be run and reviewed with just a few clicks. Also, filtering and custom field options will let you further drill down on important data and trends.

Lighten the Load on HR
We live in a technology-driven era where harnessing tech is essential for solving tedious problems and streamlining business processes. HR & Payroll have a lot to gain by streamlining tasks and eliminating repetitive manual actions. Checking and double-checking calculations, accounting for errors, tracking hours, making approvals, pulling files, and creating reports — a lot of these time-consuming tasks can be eliminated using the correct timekeeping software. Just think of the peace-of-mind that an automated system provides knowing that data is accurate, employees are paid what they are owed, and no financial repercussions are playing out due to manual clerical errors.

Timekeeping continues to be a hot topic among K-12 organizations. If you’re looking for an integrated timekeeping solution with the flexibility to match your processes and built specifically with K-12 organizations in mind, check out our timekeeping solution by clicking the button below and requesting a live in-person demo or quote.