Time and Attendance vs. Time Tracking: What’s the Difference?

“Time and Attendance” and “Time Tracking” are terms that are often used interchangeably to describe systems that help employees and organizations track employee time at work. However, there are unique distinctions between these two types of time keeping that are important to understand if you are an organization searching for the right time solution.  

Time and Attendance Systems 

Time and Attendance systems are used to measure employees’ time on the job; monitoring employee attendance for accurate payroll hour calculations. Time and Attendance systems typically include a clock-in and clock-out system (whether a physical terminal or on a mobile app), and a way to request and track time-off. 

Time and Attendance solutions are great for the many types of organizations that only need to track the hours its employees are on the job for (e.g., many hourly paid positions), and that do not need to make a distinction between what tasks the employee spends their time on during their shifts.  

  • E.g., A fast-food restaurant that only needs to track when an employee clocks-in and clocks-out from work to calculate their payroll hours.  

Time and Attendance Software should also track breaks, overtime, time-off taken, and other data necessary for accurate payroll calculations. Time and Attendance data is typically brought into a payroll system or the payroll module of a financial ERP, using either a file export/import, or a direct integration if available.  

The main purpose of these systems is to make sure employees are getting to work and leaving as scheduled and to make sure they are being paid accurately for the work they do.  

Time Tracking Software 

Time Tracking software is used to track the amount of time spent on specific tasks or projects; often by organizations that engage in project-based work.  

These organizations may have salaried employees that don’t need to track their time for the purposes of payroll, but measuring the time spent on specific jobs, tasks, projects, phases, etc., help these organizations understand how much time their projects take and the associated labor costs.   

  • E.g., A construction company that needs to measure the time spent on the different components of a specific construction project to understand the labor costs involved with each aspect of the project. 

Time Tracking software will be able to measure time spent on specific jobs, tasks, projects, phases, etc., often utilizing digital timesheets to capture this information, or a mobile clock-in clock-out interface that allows users to log time for different assigned job/tasks. 

Time Tracking data is generally used for more than just payroll calculations and may be brought into job and labor costing modules of a financial ERP.  

How InStaff can help you find the right time solution 

Whether your organization needs an updated Time and Attendance or Time Tracking solution or both, InStaff can help. 

InStaff’s Time Tracking module can be set up as both: 

  • A Time and Attendance system featuring a virtual punch clock terminal that can be set up on a central tablet or device on-site, or via mobile clock-in and out, with custom break/OT handling logic and rules 
    • Pair with our Time-Off Requests module that allows employees to make time-off requests and track time-off balances for a complete Time and Attendance system 
  • A Time Tracking solution with digital timesheets and custom fields (or mobile clock-in and out) to capture time data for projects, job, task, phase information and more, providing time tracking insight into every necessary aspect of the work your organization does.  

Questions about InStaff’s Time Tracking and Time and Attendance solutions? Reach out to our friendly and knowledgeable team today using the form below. 

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