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How Do I Record Employee Hours and Overtime?


Question: How Do I Record Employee Hours and Overtime?
Even if you have the latest payroll and accounting software, you must have some way to input employee time into your system. The options range from manual timekeeping on paper to sophisticated computerized software. Find out what to look for and how to evaluate the time keeping options.

Manual Timekeeping Options
You can require employees to fill out a time sheet or time card to record their hours worked, breaks, and time off. The time sheet or time card can be purchased pre-packaged or you can construct your own documents to fit your needs. The time sheet or time card should cover a payroll period and each sheet or card must be signed by the employee and the supervisor.

Time Clocks and Electronic Timekeeping Devices
The next step up in employee time record keeping is a machine that records a swiped card or employee badge. Some employers use these machines in conjunction with manual devices; others use the timekeeping machine to keep all employee time. The newer machines have a memory to capture all employee input, and they can provide the employee with a printout of the time input.

Computer Time Recording Software
The most sophisticated timekeeping devises run directly on a computer, using password input and sometimes a "swipe" card. They offer the advantage of direct connection to most accounting and payroll software, such as QuickBooks.

Selecting the Right Option for Your Business
The employee time keeping option you choose will depend primarily on the number of employees you have. For just a few employees, a manual time sheet or time card is simplest and cheapest. If you have many employees, you may want to avoid the extra step of input and go directly to a time clock or an online time recording system.

Also read Criteria for Selecting an Employee Time Recording System for more information on how to choose a system that will work for your business.

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