Software comes in two varieties. There is perpetual licensing, and there is subscription-based software.
What’s the option?
A one-time purchase gets you a license of ownership. It’s valid for good, and lets you move the software with you using the license key to install it where it’s doable.
However, upgrades, updates, and provider support does not usually come with the package and add costs if needed.
You get the license, support, and service, but you pay regularly, usually monthly, for such privileges.
It’s a subscription economy
Writing for Fortune, Mike Lev-Ram says, “all sorts of unexpected industries have started dabbling in subscription-based business models, offering anything from online software to toothbrushes to genome sequencing for a flat monthly fee.”
Time is money – for employee and employer!
The U.S. Department of Labor has established guidelines that employers must post where employees can easily access them.
Employers are not required to use time-clocks, but they are required to pay for time worked and for time worked overtime. So, you may think, as administrator for a small business, that clocking in and out formally is just a bother.
Yes, you can keep records on a spreadsheet or notepaper, for that matter, but you have to consider the risks. By rounding times off, you may overpay or underpay. Overpayment is money out of your business pocket, but underpayment is illegal.
A larger business might install a mechanical system where the employees insert a card into a clock or write in their own times. And, some systems integrate with Point-of-Sales systems that click the employee in when a code is entered.
So, what’s the option?
There are many options in things like Excel and Google Sheets. Products like Quickbooks manage time for some operations. But, they all depend on cooperation and discipline on the part of employees and managers.
According to the creative team at Clockspot.com, they built their subscription-based timesheet app will free business management with “anywhere time tracking with a nice, clean interface and a huge suite of features that make doing payroll a breeze.”
That freedom lies in several sources. First, the anywhere tracking lets onsite and remote workers to clock in and out at anytime and anywhere they can access the internet.
The second is the accuracy of the reporting with no rounding up or down, no fudging, and no signing off on someone else’s time.
Third, with real-time visibility, managers know who is working and not working, and what their options are in moving talent to fill in.
Fourth is a check on PTO and leaves of absence, so management can plan and control. And, fifth, the data interfaces with Payroll to calculate, compute, and delivery payroll.
Writing for Eat Your Job, Chrissy Scivicque, points out, “Electronic time management tools come in all shapes and sizes, from super simple to massively complex. Most offer various features you can use or not use as you see fit.”
What you have to do.
The best systems are flexible and agile enough to customize in terms of display, color, codes, and more. Licensed products do not have that ability, and they may not be scalable to business growth.
So, it’s leadership’s task to identify real needs in terms of administrative tasks. They need to assess the impact on cooperative and uncooperative employees, in all types of businesses from nonprofits to multicultural affairs public relations to manufacturing.
They should research the potential, the pricing, and the process involved in the products available, and they must communicate the system’s use and value to all.
If you are considering the prudent switch from manual time keeping to electronic, you also want to consider the options presented by subscription-based tools.
Michael F. Carroll
Title: Freelance writer at OutreachMama
Mike Carroll is a freelance contributor to OutreachMama and Youth Noise NJ who helps businesses find their audience online through research, content copy, and white papers. He frequently writes about management, marketing, and sales with customized outreach for digital marketing channels and outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.