How to Track Employee Time Without Hindering Performance

How to Track Employee Time Without Hindering Performance

Tracking Employees Time While Increasing Performance

 

Keeping an accurate record of your employee’s time working is imperative to a successful business. A current and efficient time tracker should be used in order for your payroll records to be consistent and correct. One of the most important considerations is that your time tracker works for 100% of your employees. Try and stay away from accounting package deals that do not focus on the time tracking feature. Use a system for time tracking that works for all facets of your accounting and payroll system.

 

What Most Companies do

What Most Companies do…

Most companies that identify their current time tracking system isn’t working find they have been using a manual one. Though it is wonderful to imagine that all employees will be honest in their account of time, it is unfortunately not the case. While trying to put a stop to this behavior some companies may enforce extreme measures that end up not working. Geo-fencing and GPS are two forms of time tracking that will slow up systems and drain smartphone batteries causing other problems.

What a Company Needs to do…

Businesses need to find a way to make employees feel trusted and respected for the time they give to their jobs. Finding a time tracking solution that is fast and holds them accountable for their time is imperative to a working process. The employee should be rewarded when all processes of time tracking are done correctly. Let your employees understand why you are implementing these systems. For some companies it is part of the accountant/bookkeepers function to figure in project costs, and tracking project costs into final budgets. The right time tracking feature will allow this.

 

Empowering Managers

Empowering Managers…

A company needs to give managers the ability to make decisions and to know what’s happening when they themselves are out of the office. With so many people working from home, or on the road, companies need managers to feel as though communication is working at 100%. The idea of knowing where your employees are working at any given time is one that will benefit both managers and employees. Recognizing your employees for following these time tracking features is important. Companies should absolutely reward employees for using their time tracking honestly and consistently. This will cause a ripple effect of other employees following suit.

Tracking with a GPS…

GPS tracking is a great way for companies to see what kind of time is being spent on jobs or with prospective clients. Time tracking the start to the end of a job can help determine if employees are spending too much or too little time on a job. If a job was set up for one hour, and the employee tracks 20 minutes, there is a chance that something important was missed or forgotten. In a lot of cases employees may feel they are being watched. Companies and their management should look at this as a way to offer further training. Some employees may require more training to work longer with a client. This should be looked at as a training opportunity.

Using Smart Apps…

Applications on smart phones allow for companies to track employees or crews of employees on job sites. Employees would be able to clock in and out and take breaks by doing simple clicks on their phones. They would also be able to send paid time off requests saving time and paperwork for managers and employees. For employers that do not offer smartphones there are time tracking apps that allow for tweets, texts and dial in options of time tracking. Whatever the option is these are all great options for keeping a complete record of hours.

 

The Bottom Line

The Bottom Line When it Comes to Tracking Employees…

Knowing where your employees are at any given time of the day is an excellent resource for companies. If a company is in need of an employee anytime during their working day they should be able to contact them. If a customer has a need, a manager can see who is closest and reach them for quick customer care. There is nothing more important than being able to tell your customers they will be taken care of that day. There is nothing more empowering for an employee than being greeted by a happy customer. With the world as unsettled as it is these days you will also have the ability to see where employees are during any kind of crisis.

 

 

Credit for this small business article goes to Neches FCU, Port Neches, TX.
Neches FCU is a Texas Credit Union with a stellar team of professionals ready to service its 45,000 and growing member base.
When their doors open at any service outlet, the mission of “Ultimate Member Satisfaction” becomes the sole objective of every employee. They are respected for a personal, fast-paced work environment, where clients are known by their name.

Unpaid Interns and the Fair Labor Standards Act

Unpaid Interns and the Fair Labor Standards Act

Many high school and college aged students have been willing to work as an intern, often times without pay, in exchange for adding the work experience to their resume. They also use the opportunity to gain useful experience to enhance their skills that can be transferred to their ideal job.

 

Fair Labor Standards Act

Many employers, eager to jump at the chance to receive free labor, usually are insensitive to the labor laws. Most feel that it is fair gain since many of the interns to possess the level of talent and skills that would warrant a salary. Some however do offer stipends to interns for their labor.

Unpaid Interns According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)…

There are various regulations surrounding this issue that employers should be aware of. For example, according to FLSA, interns are considered employees that should receive minimum wage and overtime at best, based on their laws and failure to do so, results in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

One of the largest areas concerning this issue is that most employers do not consider interns employees, with this being the case from the employers point of view, then the employer is not in violation of any such law as they simply do not apply.

 

Important Criteria

Based on a fact-specific six-part test that the Department of Labor uses to decipher whether or not an intern is an employee, employers should adhere to such facts to determine if interns are exempt from FLSA’s requirements. They include the following:

1. The internship is similar to training that would be received an educational environment.
2. The experience of the internship benefits the intern.
3. The intern works under the close supervision of the current staff and does not replace any of the current staff members.
4. The employer does not receive an immediate advantage from the intern’s activities.
5. No job is promised to the intern automatically upon the conclusion of the internship program.
6. Both the intern and the employer have an understanding whereby the intern is not entitled to a salary in exchange for their internship.

 

According to the FLSA, many internship programs do not meet of the criteria described above, which is why many interns are in fact considered employees. Hence the DOL’s strict enforcement of such laws.

As an aside, thanks for reading this employment law article. It was written to inform and protect small businesses from compliance headaches. With employees, you need quality labor law coverage. If you’re operating from Aventura, try these labor posters for full compliance. Their highly respected legal team ensures their employment posters provide total protection for customers.

The DOL does offer some very sound suggestions and advice…

Any employers wishing to structure an internship program in their work place should follow the DOL’s guidelines. This allows interns who are not considered employees to be exempt to the minimum wage and overtime requirements set by the FLSA.

These suggestions are very consistent with the requirements of the six-factor employee test. For example, the DOL recommends that employers structure their intern program to reflect an academic setting and experience for the intern, as opposed to the actual operations and functions that take place at the company.

 

On The Job Training

Bringing education and work together…

DOL believes that this method can be accomplished by working with colleges and universities that govern and oversee such programs as well as provide some form of course credit that can be made available to the interns. The intern programs should give the interns an opportunity to develop experience and transferable skills that can be used at other places of employment in addition to be added to their overall job qualifications. This provides more of an even exchange for the time served during their internship.

Additionally, the role of an intern should never be to replace current full time employees. As a matter of fact, the interns that are not paid should not perform regular job duties, but rather very little or no real form of productive work. This includes functions such as clerical work, filing, assisting customers and so forth all of which are viewed as a form of productive work that would establish a relationship with the employer according to the DOL.

Labor Law Compliance is the bottom line.

It goes without saying that employers should be more mindful of the government laws that surround working with interns so that they can stay in compliance with such laws. Additionally, employers that work closely with colleges and universities are likely to be more informed of certain guidelines that have been set forth by the DOL.

 

Small Businesses Should Not Overlook These 7 Tax Deductions

7 Tax Deductions Small Businesses Can’t Afford to Overlook

 

Small Business Taxes

Small Business Taxes

 

Small Business Tax Information

Every small business has many deductions that can be written off on their taxes. There are some common write offs for items like advertising costs and office supplies. There are several common knowledge write off items available for a small business. There is a difference from a personal deduction versus a business deduction. There are 7 tax deductions for a small business that are not so commonly known. These 7 tax deductions really should not be overlooked.

Deductions for Small Business

 

Deductions for Small Business

Deductions for Small Business

 

1. Retirement plan contributions:

There are contributions to some qualified retirement plans that can be deducted. This may include the 401(k) plan. It may even include the Simplified Employee plan (SEP). There are tax laws that govern the amount that may be contributed annually. This would be the contributions on the employees’ behalf.

2. Health insurance premiums:

Every business may deduct the health insurance costs that go out to employees. There have been tax law changes that may allow a self-employed person to also deduct the amounts that cover a spouse. This will also cover the amount paid to cover the dependents too. This is 100 percent deductible.

 

travel expenses

travel expenses

 

3. Entertainment and travel: A business can deduct many travel expenses. These include:

– Plane fare
– Hotel lodging

These items may be deducted if these are business-related. 50 percent of the costs of the meals and the entertainment can be deducted if clients or customers are the ones who are being entertained by the business. Good record-keeping will be needed. These can only be deducted if meals and entertainment either follow or precede a business related meeting.

4. Qualified production activities:

This is a special tax provision. This section 199 will allow a business to claim a deduction from qualified production. This is equal to 9 percent of its income. This deduction cannot go above 50 percent of the wages that the company pays. This may include the following:
– Architects
– Engineers
– Construction owners
– Miners
– Fisherman
– Farmers

 

Section 179 expenses

Section 179 expenses

 

5. Section 179 expenses:

The 179 section is a tax provision that will allow the business owner to expense the full cost of a business property that is placed in service during the year. There is a specified maximum amount allowed. The congress may be in the process of reinstating it to a higher allowance. This will speed up the rate in recouping the cost of a business property. This would be through depreciation deductions.

6. Vehicle expenses:

If your business leases or owns a vehicle that is used for travel, then a percentage of the following operating costs can be deducted:
– Oil
– Gas
There is a “luxury car rule” that limits the annual depreciation deductions for the business vehicle. There are stern record-keeping requirements that must show that it is used for legitimate business.

 

Home office expenses

Home office expenses

 

7. Home office expenses:

This is a write-off that is for those that qualify. The common ones include some of the household expenses:
– Utility expenses
– A generous depreciation allowance

The office needs to be used as a business facility. It can also be a place in which you meet with clients, patients, and customers. This must be in the normal course of the business.

Small business

These are the 7 tax deductions that a small business just cannot afford to overlook. There are small family-owned businesses along with start-ups that might not even be aware that these tax deductions are available to them. There are other deductions such as new equipment deductions. There is even some bad debt deductions. If you slightly wonder if an item can be deducted then ask a professional because you might find that there are many more deductions that are available to the small business.

It will be vital to keep excellent records. There is even a deduction for any legal and professional fees that may have been paid by the business. Every small business must ensure that they have covered all of the available tax deductions. This list of 7 vital deductions that a business just cannot afford to overlook is just the beginning of deductions that are available to the small business.

Hopefully, this article got you thinking about streamlining your tax business. If you’re not using electronic tax filing, you may want to consider it. When you efile 1099 and W-2 forms, you’ll see results faster. I’ve been using eFile4Biz.com to file 1099 forms online, and spending more of my time generating clients, instead of mailing tax forms. Watch the video below to see if they’re a good fit for your business.

 

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