How to choose a time and attendance system

Do you remember the old fashioned ‘clock in and out’ punch cards? Wizz forward to the 21st century.

Time and attendance systems are basically a more advanced and sophisticated version of these. We live in an era when businesses are operating across different time zones, employees are working all kinds of shift patterns and remote working is commonplace. This is making it increasingly difficult for employers to have insight into employee attendance.

Time and attendance systems are used by all sizes of organisations to ensure accuracy of employee’s pay, compliance with working time regulations and increase productivity. If you are just in the process of looking for a time and attendance system, you may not know where to start. Daunting? We know. But if you are considering a time and attendance system for your business, these are some points to consider.

Expectations of the system

The first thing you need to think about is your expectations of the time and attendance system. What changes do you need to make to ensure your business runs more effectively? For example:

  • Are your employee’s constantly querying their pay?
  • Are holidays taking longer than they should to be approved?
  • Do you need to boost your productivity?
  • How long are managers approving or planning their team’s working hours?

These are all points to consider before you implement any time and management systems. The solution should be used to make your business more efficient and meet with your expectations.

Employee working patterns

Complex shift patterns, required skills per shift, varying pay rates based on jobs? Sounds like a logistical and practical headache. If the working patterns in your organisation are varied and you have different payment categories, for example overtime rates, night shift working etc., you will probably want to choose a time and attendance system you can customise yourself. Otherwise, you may need to keep returning to your supplier to make changes. Your employee working patterns and payment categories should be a key consideration when choosing a system.

Clocking in options

Collecting employee attendance records can done in many different forms, so which one’s right? If all your employees are in desk-based roles, you may only be concerned about web-based clocking, but if you have employees who are working remotely, you are probably more interested in mobile clocking. Clocking in options vary from:

  • Biometric terminals
  • Web-based employee portal
  • Mobile app
  • RFID badges or keyfobs

The time and attendance system you choose should be able to accommodate the needs of your employees, with clocking options which are convenient for their working arrangements.


If you have remote workers based across the globe, a cloud-based system may be the most suitable option or hybrid (combination of cloud based and on-premise.) However, if all your employees are based on site, the on-premise may be the only platform you need. . Think about the platform that suits your business best and choose a system which accommodates for this. Don’t forget to speak to your IT department, they will be able to let you know about IT policies and existing computing resources.


The cost of the system and your budget for the time and attendance system will also be a consideration. You will find that on-premise platforms will have a higher upfront fee than a cloud-based platform. If you are looking for different clocking options from your time and attendance solution, i.e. both web-based and mobile, you’ll find that the costs will be higher than a singular clocking option. Although your budget will obviously be one of the main concerns, it is important to make sure the system you choose is right for your organisation and fits with improvements you want to make in your business.


Most organisations will have visions to grow in the future, so your time and attendance should have the capability to increase with your business aspirations. The scalability of your system is an important consideration as what you have now, should be fit for purpose in the future too.

Time and attendance systems are an important investment for any organisation, so finding one that suits your organisation is essential. If you’d like to find our more about choosing the right time and attendance solution, why not download our brochure? You’ll find lots of expert help to you make the best choice to suit your business objectives.