Choosing a Time Reporting System – Our Top Tips

<span id="hs_cos_wrapper_name" class="hs_cos_wrapper hs_cos_wrapper_meta_field hs_cos_wrapper_type_text" style="" data-hs-cos-general-type="meta_field" data-hs-cos-type="text" >Choosing a Time Reporting System – Our Top Tips</span>

Have you and your colleagues grown weary of spreadsheets and cluttered Post-it notes? Is it time for a smarter, up-to-date time-reporting solution? Wise decision! However, navigating through various options and providers can be a bit tricky. What’s important to keep in mind, and how do you find the right fit for your specific needs? Here are our nine best tips for those about to choose a time reporting system.

The benefits of a well-functioning time reporting system are undeniable. Imagine always having accurate records for payroll and invoicing, effortlessly identifying time thieves, gaining valuable insights into how your business can become more efficient and profitable, and, last but not least, having happier and more motivated employees who feel in control of their workday. In short, time reporting is a win-win for the business and its employees.

Read more: Why Time Reporting Is a Good Idea – 6 Arguments to Motivate your Employees.

But how do you determine which solution is the best among the myriad of options out there? What features should you expect from a truly outstanding time reporting system, and most importantly, what should you keep in mind when looking for a solution that meets your unique requirements? We're here to guide you!

Time to Choose a Time Reporting System? Here Are the Most Important Considerations.

  1. Have You Done Your Homework Properly?

    We get it. Once you’ve decided to find a new system it's tempting to dive into the internet, compare options, and schedule demos with different providers. However, make sure to start on the right foot and do your homework first!

    Whether you report time manually or already have a digital system and want to upgrade to something better, the first step is to articulate your why. Is the primary goal to make reporting more accessible for your employees? Is there room for improvement in managing vacation, flex time, and absences? Would you like to expedite and enhance the quality of your invoicing? Or minimize manual work for your payroll department?

    Our tip: assemble a team and ensure you have individuals with the proper knowledge and insights on board. You can collaborate to create a specification document that lists, in as much detail as possible, the requirements, expectations, and desires you have for your new time reporting system. This document will then be a valuable aid in evaluating different options and asking potential new system providers the right questions.

  2. Can the System Adapt to Your Needs?

    Standard office hours, shift work, on-call duties, or standby? One collective agreement or several? Simple or complex project structures? No two companies are alike, so it's crucial that the time reporting system can adapt to your specific needs. With a flexible system supporting various industries and reporting methods, you can feel confident that the features can be tailored to match your company's requirements.

    Also, think long term. If your company's structure or processes change over time, you want the chosen solution to keep up with the times, right? Our tip: scrutinize different providers and ensure that the system can quickly adapt to various conditions regarding your company's agreements, regulations, and processes – both today and tomorrow.

  3. How User-Friendly Is It?

    Complicated and cumbersome systems with uninspiring designs? No, thank you! The digital tools at work should be as straightforward and smooth as the apps and online services we use privately. Take a close look at user-friendliness. Visually, does the system make an excellent first impression? Is it perceived as educational and intuitive? And can menus and functions be customized for different types of users, so each sees what they need, neither more nor less? To gain as complete a picture as possible, it's a good idea to ask for demos from potential providers where you can have these questions answered.

  4. Does the Time Reporting Work Well With Your Other Systems?

    How well does the time reporting align with the other components in your system landscape? An essential item on the checklist is to investigate integration possibilities. In the optimal solution, data should flow seamlessly between the time reporting system and your various backend systems without unnecessary manual input (having to enter the same numbers in two different places is neither fun nor efficient).

    For example, a well-functioning integration with your payroll system is essential. Perhaps you also report your time on projects or for client billing? Ensure there's a smooth way to transfer billing data from the time reporting system to the financial system. By addressing all integration-related uncertainties as early as possible, you can avoid unwanted situations where the provider needs to make adjustments afterward – which can quickly become costly.

  5. Ready for a Smoother Day in the Cloud?

    Goodbye to private servers; hello to the cloud! It's becoming increasingly common for providers to offer their time reporting systems as Software as a Service (SaaS), accessible in the cloud and via any web browser. A clever advantage of opting for a cloud-based solution is that you can easily scale the service up and down according to your needs – simultaneously minimizing the hassle of installations, operations, backups, and updates. In other words, it's a hassle-free and budget-friendly choice.

  6. Is There a Mobile App?

    On the bus, at the coffee machine, or on the go between meetings – a smart way to make time reporting a simple and pleasant experience for employees is to keep the threshold as low as possible. Because, we all postpone daunting administrative tasks, don’t we? Our advice: ensure that the chosen system comes with a smart mobile app that lets you do the job in a few clicks – anywhere, anytime.

  7. Data is the New Gold! What Reporting and Analysis Tools Are Available?

    Companies that digitally report time sit on a goldmine of data that can be used to monitor invoicing level and profitability, prioritize tasks among your projects, and, importantly, ensure well-being and healthy workloads among your employees. A crucial item on the checklist for those choosing a time reporting system is, therefore, to take a close look at the reporting and analysis tools offered and how they can help transform your data into valuable insights. Is it easy to keep track of your key metrics in real-time, for instance, in a dashboard? And is there a report generator where you can create custom reports with a few quick clicks?

  8. Time Reporting Separately or as Part of an Integrated Solution?

    The whole is greater than the sum of its parts – a maxim that certainly holds true for payroll and personnel administration. Before switching systems, consider opting for an all-in-one solution that ties together time reporting with scheduling, travel expense reports, payroll management, and HR processes, or if you only want a time reporting system. The clever aspect of the former is that you only need to keep track of one interface and one login. Additionally, you work in a single database, making retrieving the specific information you need straightforward – no file management or convoluted integrations.

    Read more: Top Eight Reasons for Choosing an Overall HR System Solution

  9. A Partner to Grow With?

    Investing in a new time reporting system is also an investment in a (hopefully long-term) partnership with your provider. Therefore, make sure you investigate the conditions for an excellent future collaboration. How accessible is the user support, and what reviews has it received from other customers? How does the provider handle the implementation process? And what can you expect regarding ongoing consultation and training?

    Finally, take a closer look at the supplier's vision and roadmap. Are they proactive and forward-thinking, ensuring the system keeps pace with both new technology and changes in laws and regulations? With a provider demonstrating a commitment to innovation and continuous development, you have the best conditions to work securely and efficiently today and tomorrow.

    A great way to better understand your potential candidates is to ask each provider for references from existing customers. You can then reach out to these customers and have them answer your questions about the program, the provider, and how the collaboration has worked.

Streamline Your Workday With Flex HRM Time

Are you and your colleagues ready to move toward more efficient time reporting? We're here to assist with any questions you may have about our web-based time reporting system, Flex HRM Time – and the other components in our all-in-one solution, Flex HRM. Contact us today, and let's discuss your challenges and our solutions!

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