Many organizations, small businesses, and churches can easily overlook how employees manage and track their time. These same businesses may also overlook how a better time tracking process can improve their entire operation. Timeclock software is a tool that can help churches eliminate payroll errors, decrease payroll budgets, and save time. 

Here are five reasons why it is important to start tracking employees’ time and how to do it well:

#1 – Keeping Records of Time Cards is the Law

Did you know that it is the law for all organizations, including churches, to properly document hours worked? The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) requires a minimum recording of employee time cards for at least three years for each employee.

This law only applies to non-exempt employees. Non-exempt employees are those who are usually paid hourly and entitled to overtime pay, whereas exempt employees are usually paid salary and are not entitled to overtime payments. Other factors play a role in recognizing the difference between the two types of employees and you can find more information by visiting the official Department of Labor website here.

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) wages and hours lawsuits are on the rise. In fact, it is reported by uwlaw.com that there has been a 77% increase in lawsuits tied to wages and time since 2004. This can result in costly payouts from any organization if the plaintiff wins a lawsuit. If an employee suspects that he or she has been or currently are being shorted hours on their paycheck, then they have the right to file a complaint with the DOL. Once a complaint is filed with the Department of Labor, it is likely for an investigation to be launched.

In addition to failure to comply with the above, the DOL may target an organization for other reasons including:

  • Rapid growth or decline in an industry.
  • Low wage industries may be targeted due to employers taking advantage of low-wage employees.
  • Random businesses and organizations in certain geographic areas of the country.

If you are selected for an investigation, the investigator will typically show up in person, present his or her credentials, and explain how the investigation will proceed. You will be required to provide payroll and time records dating back to three years for each employee. Employees will be privately interviewed, and finally, the investigator will meet with the employer to discuss any violations and repercussions. Fines may also be assessed along with any back wages that are owed. The employer will be required to calculate and pay the employees accordingly.

#2 – Proper Time Tracking Keeps Employees Honest and Accountable

Relationships are built on honesty and it is expected for church employees to hold themselves to a higher standard of integrity, but unfortunately, this does not always happen. I can personally testify how important it is and how we practice honesty among everyone here at our small business. Honesty is a key element between employers and their employees, but it is not always practiced by everyone.

Sometimes employees may cheat on their timesheets just so they can earn a few extra dollars. This can be caused from numerous reasons such as employees actually needing the extra money, employees are simply taking advantage of not having to punch in and out, or maybe they are making an honest mistake when documenting their hours for the week.

#3 – Keep Your Church’s Payroll Budget Where it Should be

Time theft can cause small businesses and organizations up to 7% of their gross yearly payroll according to the American Payroll Association. This can be a deciding factor for churches to have the ability to continue operating or not. Just think about how devastating it would be if a church would have to close its doors to the public because their payroll budget caused them to. This can all be avoided by tracking employees’ time effectively and efficiently. Bookkeepers, accountants, and administrators of the church will be able to fund specific needs more appropriately when their payroll budget is being kept where it should be. This could have a trickle-down effect on other areas within the church whether they need improvements financially or in other ways to grow.

#4 – Tracking Paid Time Off Hours for Employees

Paid time off, also known as PTO, can be difficult to track if it is done manually. Depending on the size of your organization, you could have numerous employees taking time off on the same dates. This can result in a short-handed staff and prevent the church from operating at its fullest potential.

Tracking PTO also allows employees to receive the proper amount of days they are entitled to. It also prevents organizations from giving more paid time off than what was originally agreed upon between the employer and employee.

Do you know how to identify PTO days? Below is a brief list of what many businesses and organizations classify as paid time off days.

  • Vacation
  • Sick
  • Holiday
  • Personal

These days are generally used by the employee as needed or when the appropriate time arises. Most churches will have a time off policy where staff either accrues hours over time or they are given or allotted a specified amount of hours per year.

#5 – Using an Employee Time Clock System to Track Hours Worked

Technology has given organizations and small businesses around the world the option to track employees’ hours worked conveniently and accurately. Modern time tracking systems helps with saving time, decreasing payroll expenses, provide accurately documented time cards in the event of an audit from the Department of Labor, and knowing who is punched in and punched out.

When researching for an online employee time clock system that fits your organization, it is important to look for some features that are listed below.

  • Online (web-based)
  • Phone apps for managers and employees
  • Automatic time card calculation
  • Offers a free trial
  • Automatic overtime calculation
  • PTO (paid time off) requesting, approval and tracking
  • Mobile location controls (geo-fencing, IP & device authorization)
  • Ability to export to your payroll system to eliminate errors
  • Fingerprint (biometric) employee clock in and out
  • Offers discounts for churches and nonprofits

Creating respectful employee relationships and management solutions are important to the well-being of church life. The benefits make it clear that churches need to consider timeclock software as part of their church employee management system.