Using Access Control Time Clock for Time and Attendance Purpose
What is an Access Control device? This is a Biometric Time Clock which identifies employee using a Fingerprint and Hand Geometry or a Non-Biometric Time Clock such as Card Reader (Proximity, Barcode, Magnetic Stripe) or any other method. When employee is identified, clock sends a signal to a controller which opens the door. Most of these clocks have some kind of logging mechanism so that you can check who and when came through the door for security purposes.
If your company is already using Time Clock for Access Control purposes and you would like to use it with a Time and Attendance Application, there are few things to consider.
One issue could be the location of the Time Clock. Usually, you would have a Time Clock hanging on the outside of the door so that employees use it to open the door when they come in; when employee walks out from the office, they would not need to use the Time Clock. For Time and Attendance purposes, employees would also have to use the Time Clock before leaving, which would send a signal to open the door.
In addition, your Time Clock must have the option to be connected to a computer (through Network, Serial Cable or USB Cable) and your Time and Attendance Software has to be compatible with this specific Time Clock in order to download logs from it. For example, HandPunch by Ingersoll Rand, Fingerprint and Proximity Card readers by ZK Technology have an interface allowing users to download logs from these Time Clocks. So before buying new Time and Attendance Software, make sure you inquire whether it is compatible with your Time Clock.
Another issue to consider is that an employee uses the Time Clock for Access Control purposes every time they go through the door, which could be many times per day. For Time and Attendance purposes employee would need to use the clock only once when they start and once when they finish their work day. Some Time Clocks have extra function keys which can be used to identify whether an employee is starting or ending work, or simply walking through the door. For example, if an employee pushes F1 key then this registration will be marked for Time and Attendance purposes; otherwise, it will only open the door. Your Time and Attendance Software will have to be able to identity these registrations and pick only the ones intended for Time and Attendance. Another option is to have your Time and Attendance Software consider only first and last registration and disregard all others. This will not work if employees have to punch out for lunch or if someone had to leave work for few hours and punched out while they are away: these registrations would be lost.