Guide to clocking in machines – Types of attendance machine compared

Last checked and updated on 5 April 2022

Do you need to buy clocking in machines for your business? If so, which type should you choose?

In this article, we will compare the different types of attendance machines on the market, including biometric clocking in machines, fingerprint clocking in machines and proximity clocking in machines.

We will also discuss the pros and cons of each type, as well as look at the costs and steps to set up.

What is a clocking in machine?

A clocking in machine is a device that employees use to clock in and out of work. This machine records the employee’s time and date of arrival and departure, which can then be used to calculate their hours worked (and therefore help with running payroll).

How do clocking in machines work?

Different types of clocking in machines work in different ways. For example, biometric machines use fingerprint recognition to identify employees, while proximity machines use radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to track employees’ movements.

How do employees clock in?

Employees usually clock in by scanning their ID card or badge, or by typing in their employee number. Some machines also allow employees to clock in via a smartphone app.

Do employees mind having to clock in and out?
Some employees may find having to clock in and out of work annoying, but most see it as a necessary part of their job. It is important to make sure that employees are aware of the clocking in procedure and how it works, so that there are no misunderstandings.

Why should a business use a clocking in machine?

There are several reasons that a business should use a clocking in machine. Firstly, it can help to ensure that employees are paid for the hours they have worked.

It can also be used to monitor employee attendance, and to track staff movements in and out of the workplace.

This can be useful for security purposes, or if you need to keep track of staff movements for legal reasons.

Finally, attendance machines can help to improve productivity by ensuring that employees are not late or early for their shifts.

Clocking in machines for small business – options compared

There are many different types of clocking in machines available on the market, but which one is right for your business?

Biometric clocking in machines (fingerprint or iris)

Biometric clocking in machines use fingerprint or iris scanning technology to identify employees. This is the most secure type of attendance machine, as it is virtually impossible to forge a fingerprint or iris.

They can be used to record the time and date of attendance, as well as the employee’s name or ID number. However, biometric clocking in machines can be expensive, and they can also be difficult to use if your employees have dirty or wet hands.

Pros and cons of biometric clocking in machines:

+ Very secure

+ Can be difficult to use if employees have dirty or wet hands

– Expensive

– Can be difficult to install

Proximity clocking in machines

Proximity machines use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to identify employees. RFID tags are embedded in employee ID cards, and when the employee approaches the proximity clocking in machine, the tag is read and the employee’s details are automatically recognised.

They are the cheapest type of attendance machine, and they are also the easiest to use.

However, proximity machines are not as accurate as biometric and fingerprint clocking in machines, and they can also be less secure. Employees’ ID cards can be copied or stolen, which could allow unauthorised people to access the clocking in machine.

Pros and cons of proximity clocking in machines:

+ Cheap

+ Easy to use

– Not as secure as biometric or fingerprint machines

– Susceptible to fraud

Fob clocking in machines

Fob machines use key fobs to identify employees. They are not as secure as other types of attendance machines, but they are easy to use and relatively cheap.

Pros and cons of fob clocking in machines:

+ Easy to use

+ Relatively cheap

– Not as secure as other types of attendance machines

Swipe card clocking in machines

Swipe card machines use magnetic strips to identify employees. They are not as secure as other types of attendance machines, but they are easy to use and relatively cheap.

Pros and cons of swipe card clocking in machines:

+ Easy to use

– Not as secure as other types of attendance machines

Webcam clocking in machines

Finally, webcam machines use facial recognition software to identify employees. This is the most high-tech type of attendance machine, but it can also be the most expensive.

Pros and cons of webcam clocking in machines:

+ Highly secure

– Expensive

– Can be difficult to install

Which type of clocking in machine is right for your business?

It depends on the needs of your business and the security requirements of your employees. If you need a highly secure attendance machine, then biometric or fingerprint clocking in machines are the best option. If you are looking for a cheap and easy-to-use attendance machine, then proximity clocking in machines are the best option.

Whatever type of clocking in machine you choose, make sure that it is easy to use and fits the needs of your business.

Cost of clocking in attendance machines

Prices for clocking in machines vary, but they typically cost between £100 and £500.

If you are looking for a cheap and easy-to-use attendance machine, then proximity clocking in machines are the best option. They typically cost between £100 and £200.

If you are looking for a more secure attendance machine, then biometric or fingerprint clocking in machines are the best option. They typically cost between £200 and £500.

What are the cheapest clocking in machines?

The cheapest clocking in machines are proximity clocking in machines. They typically cost between £100 and £200.

How to set up a clocking in system, detailed step-by-step guide

If you are looking for a detailed step-by-step guide on how to set up a clocking in system, then please see our guide below. This guide will show you how to install and use clocking in machines in your business.

  1. The first step is to decide which type of clocking in machine you want to use. There are several types of clocking in machines: biometric machines, fingerprint machines, fob or swipe card machines, and proximity machines.
  2. Once you have decided which type of machine you want to use, you need to decide which features you want the machine to have. For example, does the machine need to be able to print out time cards? Or does it need to have a clock display? Consider integration with your payroll software too.
  3. Once you have decided on the features of the machine, you need to decide on the price. Make sure that you shop around and compare prices before you buy a clocking in machine.
  4. The next step is to install the machine. Most clocking in machines are easy to install, but it is important to read the instructions carefully. If you are having problems installing the machine, then contact the manufacturer for support.
  5. Once the machine is installed, you need to start using it. Make sure that you familiarise yourself with the features of the machine before you start using it.
  6. If you are tracking employee hours manually, then make sure that you keep a record of the hours worked by each employee. This will help you to calculate the pay for each employee accurately.
  7. If you are tracking employee hours automatically, then make sure that the data from the clocking in machine is imported into your payroll software. This will save you time and hassle in manually entering the data.

How to use clocking in machines to calculate payroll

Once you have installed a clocking in machine, you need to set up your payroll software to calculate the hours worked by each employee. This varies depending on the software that you use, but most payroll software can be easily configured to work with clocking in machines.

If you are using an electronic attendance system, then make sure that your payroll software can import the data from the attendance system. This will save you time and hassle in manually entering the hours worked by each employee.

Which payroll software is compatible with clocking in machines?

Most payroll software (including Sage) is compatible with clocking in machines. However, some software is more compatible than others. Make sure that you check the compatibility of your payroll software before you buy a clocking in machine.

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between a biometric and a fingerprint clocking in machine?

A biometric clocking in machine uses facial recognition or thumbprint scanning to identify employees. A fingerprint clocking in machine uses fingerprints to identify employees.

What is the difference between a proximity and a swipe card clocking in machine?

A proximity clocking in machine uses a card or tag that is close to the machine to identify employees. A swipe card clocking in machine uses a card that is swiped through a reader on the machine to identify employees.

What happens if an employee loses their card?

If an employee loses their card, they will need to contact the manufacturer for a replacement card.

What happens if an employee forgets their PIN?

If an employee forgets their PIN, they will need to contact the manufacturer for a reset code.

How do I configure my payroll software to work with clocking in machines?

This varies depending on the software that you use, but most payroll software can be easily configured to work with clocking in machines. If you are using an electronic attendance system, then make sure that your payroll software can import the data from the attendance system.

Can I track employee hours manually if I am using a clocking in machine?

Yes, you can track employee hours manually if you are using a clocking in machine. You will need to keep a record of the hours worked by each employee. This will help you to calculate the pay for each employee accurately.

Can I track employee hours automatically if I am using a clocking in machine?

Yes, you can track employee hours automatically if you are using a clocking in machine. The data from the clocking in machine will be imported into your payroll software, which will save you time and hassle in manually entering the data.

What should I do if I have any problems with my clocking in machine?

If you have any problems with your clocking in machine, you should contact the manufacturer for help. They will be able to help you to resolve the problem.

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Important – The information provided in our articles is intended to be for general purpose use only, and not advice for you or your business. We strive to publish accurate information, but encourage you to fact-check and seek expert guidance. We recommend that you always speak to a qualified professional to get advice about how to operate your business under your specific requirements and circumstances.