3 Questions to Ask Your Potential Provider About Time and Attendance

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Take the time to ensure specific needs are met as you evaluate whether a new system is a good fit for your business.

As you're evaluating different time and payroll vendors for a time-and-attendance software solution, you no doubt ask questions very similar to these:

Time and attendance FAQs

  • How simple is the experience for the end user?
  • How flexible is your system to address our different scenarios for our other employee groups?
  • What time capture options does your system support (e.g. mobile, web, clock, etc.)?
  • How does your system help me with compliance requirements (overtime, ACA, etc.)?
  • How flexible are your reporting options?

These questions are pretty basic. They're also important questions because they act as great tools to help you cull through your options.

Complex challenges require advanced research questions

Managing time and payroll isn't simple because of constantly changing regulations, mobile workers, remote employees, compliance needs, and more. When looking at programs or services to provide accuracy, efficiency and an acceptable ROI, you must dig deep as you research time-and-attendance solutions.

Here are the three advanced research questions you should ask to ensure your needs are met as you evaluate whether a new system is a good fit for your business.

Time and attendance system flexibility

1. How flexible is your system for configuring overtime rules for different employee groups?

Depending on your industry and types of job roles, you'll need to dig deeper into additional overtime-related functions that the time-and-attendance software provides:

  • Do you have commissioned employees? If so, does the software apply their commission against any overtime they earned during the reporting period (usually one month or one quarter prior)?
  • Does your company work on different projects, clients or grants? If so, you may want a product that distributes overtime proportionally across projects worked instead of when a worker meets the 41st hour.
  • Do you offer incentives based on an employee's productivity (including piece rate) or gain sharing? If so, ask how the time-and-attendance software calculates production earnings and incorporates them into the weekly overtime rate.
  • Do you pay on a semi-monthly rate? If so, find out if the system can accommodate your need to base overtime on full work weeks that routinely span different pay periods.
  • Do you employ salaried non-exempt employees? If so, can the time-and-attendance system calculate a "fluctuating" or "coefficient" overtime rate that pays overtime on a blended rate that reduces based upon hours worked?

Ensure the vendor's system works efficiently with the overtime rules used for your different employee groups.

Labor rate accommodation

2. Does the system accommodate calculating different labor rates based on your rules?

Does your company pay your different rates depending on what they do and where they do it? If so, then you need a system that can take the labor grading and the varying rates associated with each and calculate it automatically.

For example, Hannah Smith in Division 123, Department ABC, Job 9999, and Task 444, earns $15.50/hour, but if she worked in Division 456, Department DEF, Job 9999, and Task 444, she'd earn $16.25/hour. Can the vendor's time-and-attendance software accommodate such complexity to determine the rate based on your multiple variables?

Incentive pay automatic calculation

3. How does the system automate your organization's incentive pay?

Incentive pay programs are great ways to encourage employees to work harder, produce more and be more efficient. Yet they can be fraught with complications, not the least of which is the payroll and accounting teams' ability to manage the process accurately.

Many companies still manually manage their incentive programs in spreadsheets or other manual methods. However, some time-and-attendance systems have advanced capabilities to help with this process. Be sure to ask a potential vendor how easy it will be to calculate or integrate your incentive policy information into the system.

Learn more

Whether paying your staff most efficiently, dealing with a mobile workforce, managing complex schedules or handling a range of other details, ADP can help.

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Note: This article was originally published on the IDI Connections blog. In November 2021, ADP, Inc. acquired Integrated Design, Inc. (IDI) after 20+ years of partnership between the organizations. Read the press release here.