Time & Attendance Articles

Managing Labor Costs With Employee Time Clock Software

In a tough economy many business owners are asking themselves a common question: How can I better manage my labor costs? It's pretty obvious to see how employee time clock software simplifies payroll and provides employee accountability. A less obvious benefit is how time clock software brings simplicity and accuracy to the management of labor costs. The following questions will help you evaluate your labor cost management needs:

  • Do you need easy access to reports that monitor labor costs for each business activity?
  • Do you need to accurately track all employee time spent on each job?
  • Do you need to track changes in job labor costs from job to job, or for designated time periods?


Perhaps you're involved with job costing in your business. Your process probably goes something like this:

  1. Prepare detailed estimates and quotations for prospective customers.
  2. Track labor, materials, purchases and resource usage against awarded contracts.
  3. Evaluate contract estimates to actual job costs to determine profitability for the job.
  4. Revise and update estimating metrics based on actual job costs.

Lather, rinse, repeat! Of course the dirty little secret of job costing is that it assumes you have the ability to accurately track the usage of each resource. While tracking materials and purchases related to a job or activity is pretty straight forward, manually allocating actual labor hours and costs on a per job basis can be a tedious and inexact science. Whether you're tracking labor costs to manage your business expenditures or using a formal job costing process, employee time clock software makes tracking actual labor costs as easy as pressing a button.

Here's how it works: When an employee clocks in they select their first activity for the day. These activities represent the various jobs, projects, tasks, or customers that you need to track time for. Your employees can quickly switch from one activity to the next throughout the day. At the end of the shift, the employee clocks out completing the final task. The key to tracking labor time accurately is to record in real-time when employees change activities. This is what makes a networked time clock solution so valuable. Since employee time clock software is easy to install and configure, it can be affordably deployed on any Microsoft Windows or Apple Macintosh computer at your business. This ensures real-time task tracking is nearly effortless for your employees. Using employee time clock software with job tracking provides you with an accurate employee time card as well as instant reports on the total hours worked on any or all jobs.

Most time clock programs can also calculate employee gross wages in order to provide you with labor hours and dollar costs for any activity, project, job, location, or department. Find a time and attendance solution with a powerful SQL database and versatile Report Writer so you can quickly create, save, view and print your labor cost reports in the way that makes the most sense to your business.