Payroll is a crucial part of every business as most businesses have employees, and those employees need to be paid. It is one of those things you just cannot afford to get wrong. The last thing you want is to be overpaying employees and incurring losses. On the other hand, you do not want to underpay your employees, as this can lead to lawsuits. The payroll processing has to be precise and accurate.
Every payroll system is different. Some payroll systems will only accept certain time formats or particular time intervals. Others may be very flexible. Hence it is a good idea to learn how to convert payroll time entries in various forms.
How to calculate the time entries
There are several different ways to calculate time entries. At the core of every time entry is a start date. Then that time entry may have an end date, or it may have a duration. So you could have a time entry that starts at 9:05 am and ends at 10:20 am, or you could have that same time entry system that begins at 9:05 am and has a duration of 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Sometime entries may be tied to a specific job or a particular task. Many businesses are moving away from the analog time entry capture to a digital time card. A growing trend in the digital time card space is through the use of a timesheet app.
Many digital timesheet apps will take the burden of doing the timesheet math off your plate. However, if you are still using old-school time cards, you will most likely have to do your math. Most likely, you will need to use a time conversion chart to make sure that your time entries are being translated accurately to your payroll system.
The two most common ways of converting time are between decimal hours and standard time. Decimal hours have a dot between numbers such as 2.50, whereas the standard time format has a colon such as 2:50 am.
However, it is essential to know that 2.50 and 2:50 am are two different time entries. Here 2.50 is 2 hours 30 minutes. This is derived by taking the number after the decimal, dividing it by 100 and then multiplying it by 60 minutes. By using this formula, we can turn the .50 to 30 minutes.
Utilizing a time conversion chart can save you some time and errors with payroll and time entries.
There isn’t a one size fits all with time tracking. Many systems present recorded time entries differently. The most important thing is that you are doing your payroll math right, so you are not overpaying or underpaying employees.
Converting between decimal hours and regular hours can be a chore; hence it is smart to invest in a timesheet software to save you from time, errors, or even worse, lawsuits.
Ideal ways to handle time conversion
The ideal way to handle time conversion and payroll errors is to use a digital timesheet software. Once such software is Timeero. Timeero will help you deal with your time conversion issues and payroll management. You can import timesheets into Timeero and export them to other accounting software such as QuickBooks or payroll services such as ADP, Gusto etc.
Many businesses still use paper timesheets or spreadsheets to track hours. What happens then is that the payroll administrator or whoever manages timesheets has to spend time chasing time cards, doing the time conversions and then entering those into a payroll system. With a software system like Timeero, your employees get a time card app they can install on their smartphones or tablets.
Using the time card app, your employees can clock in and clock out right in the mobile app. Once their timesheets are captured in the mobile app, those timesheets can be accessed by the person responsible for managing timesheets. This person could be the owner of the business, office manager, person responsible for HR or anyone given privileges to view and manage time cards.
Using a timesheet software you can generate several reports and in different formats that can make processing payroll easier. Some of the supported formats are CSV format and PDF format.
Some payroll systems support importing timesheets or payroll data via CSV format. This is popularly known as Flat File Integration. A flat file integration is typically a CSV file that is designed to match the specific import format for the system you are trying to import to. As an example, in order to import into a system like Paychex, you will have to use the Paychex flat file import to import the existing data into Paychex. Failure to follow the flat file format will lead to a failed import.
Another way to handle a time card conversion is to use Application Programming Interface (API) provided by your payroll or accounting system. An API allows different systems to talk to each other. If your payroll or accounting system and your time tracking software have APIs, then chances are that they can talk to each other, making it seamless and easy to upload time entries and reducing the errors involved.
Is manual time conversion necessary
Time conversion in payroll is very important. It can be very difficult to get it right however by using software and appropriate technology, you can eliminate the pain points and errors involved in doing payroll. In fact you can eliminate the need to do manual time conversion.
The decision to continue using a time conversion chart is ultimately yours. However one should weigh in the costs involved in using a manual approach. We think digitizing your time entries will not just save you hours but will also save you money and errors. Paper timesheets may be cheap but lawsuits and errors are very expensive.
Many businesses are moving away from paper and spreadsheets and are embracing electronic timekeeping systems. You should consider your options carefully and decide if continuing with the manual time entries and time conversions is worth it for you. You should also consider your local laws to see if sticking with a manual timesheet and time conversion is right for you or not.