Track Employees’ Time for Job Costing and Billing Purposes


There is an old adage that rings more true today than ever before: “Time is money.” As the cost of labor keeps rising, so does the amount of competition in the market place. This increase in competition has been forcing companies to become more efficient. To help companies deal with these challenges, businesses turn to HR management tools like a fingerprint timeclock. A fingerprint timeclock provides the utmost accuracy when it comes to tracking employee attendance and work hours. As any business owner knows – if you can’t track it, you can’t manage it, so tracking attendance is extremely important. Below are a few examples and reasons why.

Service Businesses: In today’s service industry, many businesses have billable hours where employees must keep track of their specific time worked for specific customers. This allows businesses to accurately bill their clients. Examples include law firms, consultants, accountants and many other services where the time spent by an employee is a direct cost to the company, which in turn bills the client for time spent on their account. Accurately tracking employee work hours for this type of job costing is imperative and helps minimize potential concerns over invoice charges.

Manufacturing Businesses: The cost of a manufactured product consists of the material used, the labor expended and overhead, among other things. To help contain costs, companies should be constantly aware of the price they invest into these aspects. To do this properly, real-time reporting is critical. Another element of manufacturing businesses is that some do volume products or mass production, while others manufacture one-off products for customers. For both instances, knowing the amount of time taken to produce a product is an important component of the overall cost.

There are three key reasons why employee time and attendance should be tracked:

  •     Time and attendance for the purposes of payroll
  •     Direct billing of time to a client
  •     Costing products

While there are a numerous ways to track employee’s time, some methods are more sophisticated than others and each method, of course, has its pros and cons. For example, paper timesheets might suffice for some businesses whereas a fingerprint timeclock may be the best solution in other cases. Let’s take a deeper look into a few of the most common types of time tracking options:

Paper timesheets: This is the simplest and most basic way of logging an employee’s time. The employee simply writes his or her time of arrival and departure on a timesheet that is eventually turned in to a payroll clerk who the keys the information into their payroll system. This system assumes that employees are honest and the time they mark is accurate and true. There is no equipment needed; however, due to the additional manual labor requirements, there are extra labor costs incurred by the clerk entering the data.

Punch cards: At the beginning of a pay period (usually weekly), a new time card with an employee’s name on it is prepared. The employee uses this time card to punch in and out of a mechanical ‘punch time clock’. At the end of each pay period, the cards are collected and the work hour data is entered manually entered into a payroll system.

Biometric time clocks: These time recorders require a specific physical characteristic of an employee to mark his or her attendance. Biometric time clocks include ones that use fingerprints, palm prints, facial recognition and even iris scanning. The information is fed directly into time tracking software system that crunches and tallies all the work hour data and stores it in the cloud. This also allows instant access by anyone needing the data, including payroll clerks who can export work hours into their payroll software program with the click of a mouse.