Changing The Time Card Game With A Mobile Option
Payroll is an important part to any business. Employees want to get paid what they have earned in a timely manner and employers only want to pay their employees for work they performed.
Unfortunately, for HVAC contractors like myself there can be a lot of pitfalls to making sure this happens. With the mobile nature of our businesses, people can’t just simply clock in when they arrive in the morning and clock out when they leave. There are too many factors that play into the equation, such as:
- Do they go from home to their first jobsite or do they come into the office and then dispatch to their first jobsite?
- Do they go straight home from the jobsite or do they have to stop back at the office before heading home?
- Are they doing multiple maintenance calls in one day or are they on a full day install?
- Did they have to swing by the distributor to get a part?
These are just a few things that contractors have to consider when it comes to paying their employees. And since we all want to stay on the right side of the law when it comes to paying our guys, we need to make sure we are accurately tracking the time they work.
So, to help my company get everything correct, we started using Exaktime mobile time cards. This investment has helped our service operations by dramatically reducing errors by both the field technicians, and our office administrators.
Our previous procedure relied on manually entering weekly time sheets, work orders, and GPS to verify staff clock in and clock out times. Since the field technicians leave straight from home to get to the jobsite and go directly home from the jobsite, we had to trust the time information that was provided. Accurate time entry was always difficult. For example, technicians filling out timesheets in the morning would guess what time they had started. Times were always rounded up, mostly in their favor. Although, on a few occasions the rounding benefited us. Once the timesheets came in, we had to use out limited office staff to try to compare the data (GPS, work orders, time-sheets, etc.) to be entered for payroll. It was extremely time consuming, but necessary to protect both the employee and us.
However, when we moved to mobile time cards with Exaktime the process became simplified. The system takes a picture of the technician and records the location at the time of punching in, and at the time of punching out. This eliminates “buddy punching,” and also prevents punching in and out from a location other than where they are assigned. There is also a Geofence feature, which ensures that the technicians punch in and out at the locations that are assigned.
All of the data is automatically uploaded in real time. And even if the technician is in an area where there is a weak or no signal, once it is in range again the information will upload the time stamped data.
Detailed reports can be generated daily, and all of the data is imported directly into our accounting software, making it easy for us to process accurate payroll and have back up in case there is ever a dispute over time worked or pay.
The brief information that I have mentioned is only a fraction of what you can do with the program we use. I am very pleased with the results, and I would recommend that if you aren’t using a mobile time card system, that you get started now. By making this switch and investing the time and money into making it work, I have saved time, frustration, and most of all money.
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