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Time Clock Guide

Why should I use a time clock?

Time clocks are used by a variety of people, businesses and organizations to keep track of employee time. They give you an exact amount of hours worked by employees and help assist with payroll. They also create a legal document that cannot be disputed. Time clocks are easy to use and set up.

Unfortunately businesses cannot rely on a “honor system” style of keeping track, using a pen and a sheet of paper. Businesses risk being cheated out of thousands of dollars in lost time and money if they do not keep accurate track of employee time. Time clocks are legally wise and save you time and money.

Time clocks can be used in the office, in a warehouse and even at on-site locations such as construction. Some higher-end time clocks not only stamp time, but also tally up hours worked and make payroll easy. Time clock software allows employees to clock in and out via a computer. Data can then be exported and imported into payroll software programs.

Some of the newest time clock systems use biometrics (body features such as a hand) to punch in and out of work. Other time clocks use magnetic strip cards, which look like a credit card, to swipe in and out of work. This helps prevent fellow employees from punching in and out on another person’s behalf.

Things to think about before buying a time clock.

  • How many employees work for your company?
    • You will first want to take into consideration how many employees work for your company. You will also want to take into consideration how many employees you may have in years to come. Some time clock systems are only capable of handling up to 50 or 100 employees. If you have more or may have more in the future, you may want to invest in a higher-end time clock system. This could save you a lot of money in the long run and prevent you from having to upgrade time clock systems in the future.
  • How much time is required?
    • Time clocks vary greatly from manual systems to fully automated systems. Some time clocks add time up as you go where others require everything to be added up using a calculator or computer at the end of the month. Digital time clocks and time clock software help add up time and many can even export data to other payroll programs. Manual time clocks are not an issue for small business. If you have a larger business, you may want to consider a more automated system.
  • What kind of security do you need?
    • Most time clocks require a key to be accessed. This keeps dishonest employees from tampering with the time. If you want another level of security, you may want to consider digital time clocks. Because digital time clocks are paperless, employees are unable to manipulate a time card and require the employee to be present to punch in and out.
  • Where should you put the time clock?
    • Location often depends on the type of time clock you will be using. Many time clocks make a little noise when the print the date/time. In cases like this, I would make sure the time clock is at least 20 to 30 feet away from people who are working in an office environment. This isn’t due to safety reasons, but simply because the noise can be annoying to some people.

What are the different styles of time clocks?

  • Time Clock Software
    • Time clock software brings time attendance to your computer. Time clock software makes it easy and simple to keep track of employee time for payroll purposes. Employees log in and out via a computer keyboard or other interface. The logged time can usually be exported to various programs for additional processing. Computers add up time and make time keeping easy.
  • Punch Clocks
    • Punch clocks are one of the most common systems used for keeping track of employee time or validating documents. A time card is placed into the time punch clock where the date, time, month and year are printed. Punch clocks have been in the time clock market for a long time. They use mechanical means, such as wheels and dials, to print.
  • Digital Time Clocks
    • Digital time clocks are one of the most common types of time clocks used today. Digital time clocks use digital technology to print and record data. Digital time clocks are very easy to set up and require little maintenance. Some digital time clocks use a traditional time card, where others use a keypad or magnetic stripe card. Depending on the model, some digital time clocks can export data to a computer for processing. Take a look at our selection and order your digital time clock today!
  • Biometric Time Clocks
    • Biometric time clocks use some of the latest technology available to keep track of employee time. Biometric time clocks, depending on the system, may use a fingerprint or hand to log in and out. Our hand punch clocks use a hand and a number pad to log in and out of work. Biometric technology helps eliminate costly buddy punching and cuts down on lost work due to fraud. Biometric time clocks usually have the ability to export data to a computer for easy processing.
  • Date/Number/Time Stamps
    • Date, number and time stamps are versatile and can be used for a variety of projects and applications. Date and time stamps are commonly used to validate documents such as contracts, letters, reports and other documents/forms. We have a wide variety of stamps that will print text, numbers, time and more depending on the application. Many of our date, number and time stamps can be customized to meet your exact application.


  • Alphanumeric
    • - This is the ability to print both numbers and letters.
  • Backlit Display
    • - Backlit displays on time clocks allow you to still see display in the dark.
  • Battery Backup
    • - A battery backup keeps all your time clock information saved during a power outage.
  • Bi-Weekly Time Cards
    • - These are time cards that store time clock info for up to two weeks.
  • Biometric Time Clock
    • – Biometric time clocks use a biological feature such as a hand to clock in and out of work.
  • Cylinder Lock
    • - A cylinder lock protects setup information on time clocks. This prevents tampering and fraudulent work hours.
  • Date Stamp
    • - Some electronic stamping machines stamp the date. These are typically used to validate and authenticate contracts, letters, reports and other forms.
  • Die Plate
    • - The die plate is what strikes a document, causing it to print. Die plates are used on time stamps. Custom die plates can be custom made for custom printing.
  • Digital Time Clock
    • - Digital time clocks electronically store time clock info. They can be used through a key pad or by using a magnetic strip card.
  • Employee Capacity
    • - Employee capacity is the amount of employees a time clock can handle.
  • Interface
    • - The interface is the part of the time clock that the employee works with to either enter their information or stamp a card.
  • LCD Display
    • - LCD stands for liquid crystal display. Many of the higher-end time clocks use an LCD display.
  • Magnetic Stripe
    • - Some time clocks can read a magnetic strip, allowing an employee to clock in and out. The magnetic strip, like what you have on a credit card, can be encoded with several lines of information.
  • Monthly Time Cards
    • - Monthly time cards are cards that are designed to be used on a monthly basis for monthly payroll.
  • Number Stamp
    • – Some electronic stamping machines stamp numbers. These are typically used to validate and authenticate contracts, letters, reports and other forms.
  • Password Protection
    • - The setup and operation, on some time clocks, can be protected by a password. This password must be entered correctly, in order to set up the clock.
  • Payroll
    • - Payroll is the process of gathering time clock info. and figuring out how many hours an employee has worked. This is important for calculating paychecks.
  • Punch Card
    • - A punch card is a specially designed sheet of paper. This sheet of paper is usually divided into a grid, including the days of the week and when you have punched in or out. You must purchase punch cards to be used in conjunction with a punch time clock.
  • Punch Time Clock
    • - Punch time clocks keep track of time by using a punch card. This punch card is inserted into the time clock and is stamped . These stamped cards are used to keep track of employees numbers.
  • Ribbon
    • - Most punch time clocks use a ribbon to stamp the date and time onto a punch card. These ribbons can be replaced once they wear out.
  • Text Stamp
    • - Some electronic stamping machines stamp text. These are typically used to validate and authenticate contracts, letters, reports and other forms.
  • Time Clock Software
    • - Time clock software is used to keep track of employee hours through a computer. An employee can clock in and out through the computer.
  • Time Stamp
    • - Some electronic stamping machines stamp the time. These are typically used to validate and authenticate contracts, letters, reports and other forms.
  • Weekly Time Cards
    • - Weekly time cards are used to keep track of employee time on a weekly basis. This is generally used for companies that pay their employees on a weekly basis.

Feel free to contact us with any questions you might have.
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