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6 Tips for Measuring Time and Attendance

One of the most frustrating aspects of payroll can be measuring the time and attendance of employees. Here are a few tips for making it easier.

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One of the most frustrating aspects of payroll can be measuring the time and attendance of employees. Here are a few tips for making it easier:

  • Timesheet rounding – if you are still using paper timesheets (and many are), rounding can make the calculation easier. The DOL does allow for this as long as it’s Timesheet Neutral. That is, it can’t favor the employer more than the employee. So use a fair method, for example the fifteen-minute rule. Seven minutes or less are rounded down to the last quarter-hour. Eight minutes and more are rounded up to the next quarter-hour. Watch out, however, for employees who stand by the clock and wait for 5:08 to punch out. It happens!
  • Eliminate Paper – More and more companies are moving to electronic timekeepers. Requiring employees to clock in and out on a computer or App aids efficiency in calculating payroll. Many of these processes integrate directly with payroll providers as well as accounting software
  • PTO Banks – This is helpful to both employees and employers. If all Paid Time Off is lumped into the same bucket, there is no need for employers to track events individually. Employees can use PTO for sickness (which may be limited if a Sick Policy is in place), vacation, or the need to perform personal chores.
  • Attendance Incentives – Bonuses just for showing up? Yes. Particularly in service industries, a minimal investment in an attendance bonus can increase attendance, which enhances efficiency.
  • Wellness Programs – again, a minimal investment can help employees live healthier, which reduces time off. This benefits both the company and the people.
  • Keep it Simple – as in all things, the simpler, the better. Employees will appreciate it, and the payroll processors will be delighted!

You don’t have to let keeping track of employees frustrate you. There are many apps and other resources available to help. Most offer a free trial which is a painless way to find out if the program is a good fit for you.


Susan Pruskin is a Top 100 QuickBooks ProAdvisor with advanced certification in both desktop QuickBooks and QuickBooks Online. She hates calculating time cards and loves Apps that eliminate that chore! She can be reached at


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