How Much Does a Time and Attendance System Cost?

Time and Attendance System Cost – Workforce management software, which are commonly referred to as time and attendance system, collect attendance data entered by employees through various methods, including biometric identification, wall-mounted time clocks, hand punch, finger punch, web clocks, telephonic systems, and through registered gadgets such as smartphones and tablets.

Employee time and attendance systems are designed to improve workforce efficiency, reduce labor costs, and improve accuracy by eliminating the need of manual record keeping.  These systems are often couples to powerful software that enhance the company’s analysis and reporting ability, and provides valuable insight into employee performance.

These systems are highly flexible and allow a business to track employees physically entering or leaving the workplace as well as employees working from offsite offices, home, and various other locations. The automated system uses software that keeps track of employees’ work hours and automatically calculates monthly, daily, or hourly wages.

Automated time and attendance system also offer greater flexibility to employees, allowing them to keep track of their annual leaves, work hours, and work schedules.

Can Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Benefit from Automated Time and Attendance System?

Time and attendance systems are extremely affordable, with basic systems costing around $700. Any company having a headcount of 25 or more can benefit from this basic automated system. While, medium to large-sized firms are required to install a more robust and advanced time and attendance system for meeting the HR needs. 

A more advanced time and attendance system can help the company in analyzing its human resource, helping it make the right business decisions.

Time and attendance system are particularly important where a large proportion of workforce is comprised of hourly employees. Company where majority of staff is salaried may not benefit a lot from time and attendance systems.

Components of a Time and Attendance System

A time and attendance system consists of three components:

  • Time Clock – This includes biometric devices such as face recognition devices, fingerprint readers, and HandPunch, or a card reader device. An online program or software can also be used for tracking employees’ attendance and work hours.
  • Time and attendance software – The software collects data, manages it, and generates monthly or daily reports.
  • Support System – This involves regular software updates and technical assistance.

Considerations for Investing in a Time and Attendance System

Just like any other business purchase, investing in a time and attendance system requires a thought process. These systems are very affordable but their accuracy and precision greatly influences your employee’s productivity and satisfaction.

We are listing some factors that should be considered when investing in a time and attendance system.

Type of Time Clock

There are two types of time clock, biometric and non-biometric time clocks. Non-biometric time clocks include card readers and web-based time clocks. These are usually cheaper than biometric time clocks and easier to install and maintain. However, a non-biometric time clock allows ‘buddy punching’, which in turn can result in reduced productivity and employee absenteeism.

Biometric time clocks are more expensive as compared to non-biometric time clocks, but they eliminate the chances of ‘buddy punching’ or ‘ghost workers’. Since every person has a unique fingerprint, no one can punch-in in someone else’s place.

Work Environment

Biometric readers scan fingerprint to identify an employee. If the finger has dirt on it, the fingerprint reader may not identify an employee immediately resulting in late punch-ins. Therefore, non-biometric time clocks are a better option for workplaces where dirt is inevitable such as factories, construction sites, and workshops.

Device Storage Limits

Each time and attendance device has a limit of how much data it can store. For example, card readers by ZK technology can support up to 1,500 employees, HP3000 can support up to 9,600 employees, etc. If your company’s headcount exceeds the device capacity, you may consider getting several devices for proper management of your employee data.

Type of Connection

Time and attendance systems usually utilize two types of connections, serial USB cables and network adapters. Serial USB cables are cheaper as compared to network adapters, but you cannot place the reader more than 50 feet away from the computer due to cable length restrictions. On the other hand, network adapters offer greater flexibility and the reader can be placed anywhere in the facility where the router is located.

Investing in a Time and Attendance System Cost

Cost is always a major consideration of any business purchase. Generally speaking, web-based readers and card readers are less expensive as compared to bio-metric readers. The Time and Attendance System Cost also depends on its storage capacity and the number of employees it can support. The presence of a backup battery may also add a few bucks to the total cost of your employee attendance system.

We can divide the total Time and Attendance System Cost into three parts: cost of the time clock, software cost, and post-sale support cost.

Cost of the Time Clock

We can categorize time clocks into non-biometric and biometric time clocks. The following tables represent the estimated cost of different types of time clocks.

Type of Non-Biometric Time ClockAverage Cost
Computerized time clock$350 to $1,000
Electronic time clock$100 to $680
Mechanical time clock$150 to $350

Manufacturer and Capacity of Biometric Time ClockAverage Cost
WaspTime, up to 50 employees$1,000 to $1,300
Acoprint, up to 50 employees$1,500 to $2,000
WaspTime Pro, up to 100 employees$1,800 to $2,400
Any manufacturer, 100 to 1,000+ employees$10,000 to $100,000

Software Cost

The software cost depends on its value-added features and capacity. Following is an estimation of cost of different types of software:

Software that supports up to 50 employees – $100 to $350
Software that supports 250 or more employees – $1,000 to $1,200
Customized software – $400 to $3,000

Post-Sale Support Cost

Most manufacturers and software providers offer an offset period within which the company can receive technical assistance for free. The offset period may range from a month to a year, depending on the type and cost of time and attendance system purchased.

The cost of technical assistance depends on the provider. Generally speaking, training and support programs for biometric systems usually cost more as compared to non-biometric systems.

This is a general guide about the Time and Attendance System Cost. The exact cost of an employee time and attendance system depends on various factors, which should be carefully considered by a buyer.