Take all steps needed for accurate time records

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in Small Business Tax Deduction Strategies

Q. About a year ago, our company replaced manual time clocks and punch cards with a computerized system, so each employee would punch in and out on the computer. The information is downloaded directly to the payroll department. Despite numerous reminders, from stickers to manager meetings, we still have a chronic problem of employees failing to clock in or out of work. Any suggestions? —M.M., Minnesota

A. As you are aware, accurate time records are key for ensuring a proper payroll and for compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act and various state laws.

Here are some suggestions to encourage workers to use the computerized system: Place the computer terminals at the entrance and exits that employees use, and station an employee or supervisor there for a few days to reinforce to employees the need for accurate time records. Develop a pop-up screen to remind passing employees of their obligation to clock in and out. Finally, revisit the software's user interface and find out if there's a way to make it easier or quicker to use.

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