Monthly Archives: May 2016

Attendance System for Larger Employers

After conducting extensive research and analysis, we recommend TimeClock Plus as the best time and attendance system for larger employers. To understand how we selected our best picks, you can find our methodology and a comprehensive list of time and attendance systems on our best picks page.

Why TimeClock Plus?

TimeClock Plus is available in multiple service plans as a cloud-based or on-premise solution. It includes a multitude of features and works with a variety of time clocks.

TimeClock Plus OnDemand, the cloud-based option, costs between $1 and $3 per employee, per month, while the on-premise solution is a one-time cost of at least several thousand dollars.

Multiple Hosting and Service Plan Options

What makes TimeClock Plus so appealing is the variety it provides in terms of how the system is run and its levels of service.

It’s available as a cloud-based solution, or as an on-premise system that is installed and housed within your business. This was one of the few time and attendance systems we found that offered both options.

Both versions operate in exactly the same way and include all of the same features. The biggest difference, besides the price structure, is that the cloud-based solution requires no installation or maintenance. Additionally, all upgrades and support are included in your monthly fee.

With the on-premise version, you are responsible for fixing any problems that may arise. In addition, you have to handle the installation and don’t have access to any upgrades.

TimeClock Plus also gives businesses several service plans to choose from: express, standard and professional. Each plan differs by cost and the number of features and tools it includes.

Attendance System for Businesses

After conducting extensive research and analysis, we recommend TSheets as the best time and attendance system for businesses with a mobile workforce. To understand how we selected our best picks, you can find our methodology and a comprehensive list of time and attendance systems on our best picks page.

Why TSheets?

TSheets offers numerous ways for employees to clock in and out, tracks remote workers’ location throughout the day and is easy to use.

TSheets costs $5 per employee, plus a $20 monthly base charge for businesses with less than 100 employees, or $100 for businesses with more than 100 workers.

Mobile Tracking

What makes TSheets such an attractive system for businesses with employees who always, or sometimes, work outside the office is the variety of ways they can manage their time and attendance. Of all of the services we examined, TSheets offers mobile employees the most options for clocking in and out. With this system, on-the-go employees can use laptops, mobile apps, telephones, text messages or Twitter to record their time each day.

The TSheets mobile app, which is available for both iPhones and Android devices, allows employees to clock in and out, track the time they work on specific projects, view time sheets and see which of their co-workers are also on the clock. Additionally, it lets employees view their schedules, receive notifications when their schedule changes, and create and submit paid time-off requests.

Employees that use the mobile app can have their location tracked throughout the day. Besides logging exactly where employees are when they clock in and out, the mobile app records their specific location every 10 minutes. With this feature, managers can log into the system to get a clear picture of where their remote workers are spending their time each day. This level of detailed tracking of on-the-go workers wasn’t offered by most of the other services we investigated.

The mobile app also has a special feature for those in charge of managing an entire crew while out in the field. With this tool, supervisors can clock an entire group of workers in and out at one time. What’s nice about this tool is that it works even if the smartphone being used is out of a service area. In those instances, the time sheet data is stored offline. When cell service returns, the supervisor can click the “sync” button to immediately send the time card data for the entire crew back to the office.

In addition to the mobile app, employees can log in and out of TSheets via a mobile website that can be accessed by any smartphone, and by texting, tweeting or dialing-in from any telephone.

A Guide for Businesses

imagesLooking for an online payroll service? Here’s everything you need to know about what an online payroll service is, what it offers and how to choose one. If you already know what you’re looking for, visit our best picks page to see which ones we recommend, as well as a complete list of others that might work for you.

Online Payroll

  • Online payroll services operate in the cloud and allow businesses to manage and run payroll from anywhere.
  • They can be used to pay full-time and part-time employees, as well as contract and freelance workers.
  • Online payroll typically includes a variety of services:
    • Payroll processing: Online payroll services automatically calculate how much employees should be paid each pay period. The systems take into account shift differentials, overtime, holiday pay and taxes, as well as Social Security and benefit deductions. They then make payments to employees by direct deposit or check.
    • File and pay payroll taxes: These services can withhold employee taxes, file quarterly payroll tax reports and pay tax withholdings to the proper state and federal agencies. In addition, they issue employee W-2 and 1099 forms at the end of the year.
    • New hire reporting: Many services report new hires to the government on your behalf.
    • Integration: Online payroll services can integrate with a variety of payroll-related programs businesses are already using, such as accounting software, time and attendance systems and human resources software.
    • Paid-time-off management: Many of these services manage paid time off by keeping track of how many vacation and sick hours employees have earned and how much they’ve used.
    • Employee self-service: Typically, employees are provided access to the system in order to view pay stubs, PTO balances and year-end tax forms.
    • Mobile access: Many systems offer mobile apps or mobile-friendly websites that let businesses manage and run payroll from smartphones or tablets.
    • Payroll reports: Most systems offer detailed wage and labor reports that provide a deeper look at how a business operates.

Pros and cons: The biggest benefit of online payroll services is that all of the work — payroll calculations, payroll tax payments, year-end tax forms, etc. — is completed for you. Payroll can typically be run in just several minutes. This saves you a ton of time and effort. One downside is that using an online payroll service is more expensive than handling payroll on your own. Another potential negative is that you are entrusting the payroll provider you choose to get everything right. If the provider makes a mistake, you may face a rash of angry employees or a fine from the government. Also, if you are in an area with spotty internet service, an online payroll provider will likely not be a fit for you.