Registration pairing complexity in Time and Attendance Software

Many people do not realize how complicated is the algorithm for pairing registrations in a Time and Attendance software.  It seems easy at the first glance.  Employee comes to work and punches in.  At the end of the work day, punches out.  So we take the OUT time, deduct the IN time and we get the total number of hours employee worked that day.  For example, if an employee works a 9 to 5 shift, we calculate 5pm – 9am = 8 hours. Easy …

Now let’s take a look at a more complicated scenario.  Let’s say an employee forgot to punch out on Tuesday.  Now, the Tuesday 9am registration is followed by Wednesday 9am registration.  If we were to do calculation by hand, we would see right away that there is a missing registration at the end of the Tuesday.  But how does your Time and Attendance software know this?  Following a simple algorithm, we should pair Tuesday 9am and Wednesday 9am giving us 24 hours.  Subsequent pairs are going to be shifted as well.

More advanced Time and Attendance systems have a setting specifying that if the difference between the two registrations is a longer than a certain number of hours, then the software will not pair.  For example, if this difference is set for 16 hours, then software would know that 9am to 9am is 24 hours, which is greater than 16 hours and would not pair these registrations together, leaving it up to the user to manually fill in the missing registration.

There are more complicated scenarios.  What if an employee works a split shift, as it is often scheduled in restaurant industry?  An employee can work from 9am to 1pm and then again from 4pm to 9pm.  What if this employee forgets to punch out at 1pm?  Now paring 9am to 4pm is very reasonable, although this is not the case.  Some Time and Attendance applications will offer you a shift schedule. You can define shifts even if they are short and assign them on the same day.  Now the algorithm can use shift information to identify any skipped registrations.  For example, if the first shift ends at 1pm and the second shift starts at 4pm, then it would be possible to determine that 4pm registration belongs to the In registration of a second shift, rather than the Out registration of the first shift.

Every company has its own employee schedule. Some companies only have typical 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. workdays.  Other companies, like hotels or some factories, work 24 hours per day with various shifts.  And some have schedules so complicated, that you need a separate shift for each employee.  Your task is to figure out if the Time and Attendance software you are looking for will meet your unique needs.  Most importantly, your employees will make mistakes and it is up to the software to be able to identify errors and allow the user to easily correct them.

When we designed Midex Time Control, we thought about all possible scenarios.  Our registration pairing algorithm takes into account all sorts of schedules and employees’ errors.  You can optionally use shifts to make an employee schedule, or simply disregard shifts and allow employee to punch in and out at any time.

Try Midex Time Control 30-day free trial today and see for yourself.