Tips for Tracking Employee Time Effectively in Your Business

Tips for Tracking Employee Time Effectively in Your Business

While time tracking essential for the companies, many employees view it as a nuisance and unnecessary snooping. It is important for the business to come up with ideas that will help them track an employee time and get the employees to like the whole process.


Communication is the key

Communication is the key

The reason why the employees do not want to be monitored in what they do is because they do not know that time tracking is important for the realization of the company goals. It is not just telling the employees to get busy for the sake of it but work to assist the company to reach its goals.

Communication is crucial in creating an environment that the workers are at peace with the use of time tracking while working. The situation is similar to bringing two teams from different departments to work together on a project. If neither of the team understands the other and the reason for coming together, it will not work out. However, with the right communication, both teams will work towards achieving the set goals.

The Harvard Business Review once wrote that for the goals to be effective and meaningful in motivating the staff to work, they must be connected to the business ambitions. Moreover, each employee must understand the role he or she plays in the realization of the said ambitions.


Here are examples

Here are examples of what you can tell the employees when explaining the need for time tracking

– We would like our clients to pay for every effort that we use in ensuring that the projects are done right. Thus, we would like to track the time you put in particular projects to bill them correctly.

– We would like to seal loopholes that are affecting our performance. We would also like to enhance efficiency and deal with errors so that we can pay you on time. For that reason, we would like to collect accurate data on the time that you are putting in various projects.

– We would like to weed out projects that are not giving us much value for our efforts. To identify such projects, we would like to know the duration of time you put in every project.

Unfortunately, according to Forbes magazine, most of the employees do not get the right information from the management. The few that do, most of the information is not sufficient in determining the best set of actions.



Collaborate for a common objective

In addition to communication, it is important for the teams to unite in working for a common objective. It is important for all the workers to feel that they are part of the success that the business aims to get from working on the particular project.

Time tracking can be used to find out what tasks take much of the employees time, teams that are good at particular projects and so forth. The data can be used in future for efficient for future subdivision of the work for a similar project.

‘Firms of Endearment’ reports that purpose driven buses got returns of about 1646 percent between 1996 and 2011. Employees that feel that they are part of the team work hard to avoid letting the team down. The objective of time tracking is not to downsize the workforce but to streamline operations to reach the set goals.

Do not be on their necks

After you have ensured that employees are working towards a common objective, it is important to monitor them from a distance. Soon, you will identify employees who are haphazard in entering their time and those who strive to do it correctly.


Monitor them from a distance

Employees detest having someone over the shoulder looking at what they are doing. They feel engaged, and their freedom stifled. However, they would be more relaxed and be working out of the desire to succeed if monitored from a distance.

Watching from a distance also helps workers in holding each other accountable for the realization of success. The power can be shared among the employees with different levels of approval. As put by the, the employees are more likely to take their job as their own if they have a say in what they do.

The data that is collected in time tracking, as any other data is used to enhance efficiency at the workplace. Efficiency helps deal with wastage, hit the deadlines on time, and eventually lead to higher profitability. Higher profitability is also good for the employees.

It is important for employees to know and appreciate the need for time tracking and the benefits that it brings them. Thus, it is worth the time for the management to explain and ensure that every employee understands the importance.

If time tracking is well implemented, you will find the business faster progress in completing the projects, use fewer resources on individual projects, and enhance smooth workflow. Time tracking also deals with busybodies and ensures that everyone is engaged in valuable tasks.



Article provided by NECHES FCU, with locations in Port Neches and Beaumont Texas.
Neches FCU is a Texas credit union with an attentive team of professionals ready to provide services to it’s 45,000+ members.
“Ultimate Member Satisfaction” is the driving force for every employee on staff. They are well-known for a personal service experience, where all clients are known by their name.

FMLA Overnight Decision Is Serious Business

FMLA Overnight Decision Is Serious Business

Overnight Significance

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals dealt employers a strong hand early in May of 2015 when they strengthened the definition of the “serious health condition” clause in the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) by defining “overnight stay.” This court, which has jurisdiction over Pennsylvania and New Jersey, prepared this definition of “overnight stay” while ruling on the appeal of Bonkowski versus Oberg Industries, Inc. The FMLA defines “inpatient care” as an “overnight stay in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical facility” while stating that one indication of a “serious health condition” is an “overnight stay.”


Family and Medical Leave Act

Definition Dilemma

The legal definition of “overnight” apparently is not black and white even for those wearing black robes and holding gavels. This recent ruling on “overnight stay” by this Appeals Court exposes the definition dilemma of judges as they attempt to define common, everyday terms. To most of us, the meaning of “overnight” appears to be straightforward. To experienced cooks the instruction to “cover and refrigerate overnight,” means 6 to 8 hours and for most of us, overnight is the amount of time you spend sleeping. However, none of these common sense definitions made the cut, even though the Farmer’s Almanac was the initial basis of one “overnight” definition.

Meeting Gone Bad

Mr. Bonkowski, an employee of Oberg Industries, Inc., had a history of medical conditions including heart issues and diabetes. In November 2011, as he was meeting with supervisors to discuss an employee matter, he fell ill with a variety of symptoms. Given permission to leave work and head home, he left the premises with the understanding that the meeting would continue the next day. When he failed to show up for work the next day as planned, his employer fired him for abandoning his job. In the FMLA action against Oberg Industries, Inc., Bonsowski alleged that the firing was in retaliation for exercising his rights under the FMLA and for obstruction of those same rights.


serious health condition

Tale of a Few Minutes

When the appeal of Bonkowski versus Oberg Industries, Inc., landed on the desks of the Third Circuit Court, the definition of “overnight stay” as it pertains to a “serious health condition” in FMLA regulations emerged as the question of the day. Plaintiff Bonkowski needed to establish that he had a serious health condition by FMLA standards, and he claimed that the definition of “overnight stay” was fulfilled as he not only spent several hours in the hospital, but had extensive medical tests while admitted or in legal terms, a “totality of circumstances.” However, the facts of the case established that the hospital admitted Bronkowski a few minutes after midnight and discharged him fourteen hours later that same day. Consequently Oberg Industries, Inc. initially prevailed, when the first Court defined “overnight stay” as being from “sunset one day to sunrise the next day”, basing the decision on the above-mentioned Farmer’s Almanac.

Two Swings and One Hit

In the appeal ruling, the Third Circuit Court considered three approaches put forth by the participants. These included the “sunset to sunrise” definition initially put forth by the District Court when ruling in favor of Oberg Industries, Inc., the Plaintiff’s “totality of circumstances” argument and the Oberg Industries’ “calendar day” case. Winning the appeal sweepstakes was Oberg’s “calendar day” argument. Apparently, the “sunset to sunrise” definition appeared too unwieldy and inconsistent for the judges as several factors, including time and location had to be taken into account. In addition, Mr. Bonkowski’s “totality of circumstances,” according to the court, would lead to juries deliberating comparable sets of facts and reaching dissimilar results.

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New Definition

Liberal Calendar Rule

Even though Mr. Bonkowski spent a substantial amount of time in the hospital, the court’s definition of “overnight” ultimately derailed his case. In rejecting the “sunset to sunrise” definition and handing down a “bright-line calendar day” ruling in favor of Oberg Industries, the court made the determination that this particular approach would simplify and deter disputes over the term “overnight” in future actions, and leave less room for varying interpretations. Per the court, it was the “preferable approach as it stayed consistent with FMLA objectives and was actually more liberal than the sunset to sunrise approach in that it did not require the admission of a patient prior to sunset, just prior to midnight.”

Substantial Definition

In a further ruling, the court went on to clarify the notion of “substantial” as it pertains to the whole “overnight stay” situation. In order to avoid situations where a patient might be admitted for a short period, for instance, just prior to midnight and discharged by one or two in the morning, the court added that eight hours would be the minimum amount of time necessary to meet the definition of substantial in this case.


What All Tax Preparers Should Know About the Affordable Care Act

What Every Tax Practitioner Must Know About the Affordable Care Act

2014 was the first year that it was required for all taxpayers to report their healthcare coverage on their personal tax return. This is due to The Affordable Care Act which is bringing up challenges, particularly for tax practitioners. Tax practitioners are people who give advice or complete a tax return on behalf of someone who will pay the practitioner in return. Tax practitioners now have to determine whether their clients actually have health insurance that qualifies or if an exemption from the mandate is permitted. They also must calculate any penalties and determine if the coverage is eligible for premium tax credit.

Learn about the ACA
Learn about the ACA



The Affordable Care Act requires all taxpayers to do at least one of the following three things.

– The taxpayer must have healthcare coverage that qualifies for each month of the year.
– The taxpayer must have an exemption from said requirement to have healthcare coverage.
– The taxpayer must make an individual share the responsibility payment upon filing for a federal income tax return.

In most cases, this new requirement is very simple. A taxpayer just has to check the box on the Form 1040 that states that everyone that is marked on the front of the tax return had healthcare coverage that qualified for the whole year. If a taxpayer has more than one of the above instances, their tax practitioner has to carefully pay attention to make sure that taxpayer’s situation is being handled in the proper manner.

Qualifying Healthcare Coverage
Qualifying Healthcare Coverage


How to Determine Qualifying Healthcare Coverage

The first thing that a tax practitioner should do in terms of The Affordable Care Act is figure out whether the taxpayer had the minimum qualifications for healthcare coverage every month of the year. This will usually include healthcare coverage that is from one’s employer health plan, Medicaid, Medicare, TRICARE, CHIP, or any other qualifying individual coverage plan. All of these healthcare insurance policies must more than the minimum benefits like vision and dental.

If a taxpayer has qualifying healthcare coverage under an individual insurance policy that was purchased through a state insurance marketplace, they may be eligible for a premium tax credit. They must receive a Form 1095-A which is a Health Insurance Marketplace Statement to report their healthcare coverage. It is very important for a tax practitioner to keep a copy of this form for a taxpayer who is in this type of situation. If the taxpayer has healthcare coverage through a different source, the tax practitioner should again keep all of the documentation that shows that everyone that is listed on the tax return had qualifying healthcare coverage for the entire year. For 2014, the IRS allowed that the taxpayer can simply state that they had healthcare coverage but even so, tax practitioners should be completely thorough.


Individual Shared Responsibility Penalty

Even for one month out of the 12 months in a year, if a taxpayer did not have qualifying healthcare coverage or if they were not eligible for an exemption, it is required of them to make individual shared responsibility payments along with their tax return. It is considered having qualifying healthcare coverage for the whole month as long as the taxpayer is enrolled and able to receive benefits under a qualifying insurance plan for one day out of said month.

ACA Exemption
ACA Exemption

A taxpayer may be eligible for an exemption from having qualifying health insurance for one of the following reasons.

– The taxpayer must pay a minimum amount for their annual premium which is over 8% of their household income.
– The gap in their healthcare coverage is less than three months in a row.
– Other personal reasons including a hard situation that prevented them from enrolling in healthcare coverage all together or if the taxpayer is part of a group that exempts them completely from the requirement.

Tax practitioners should understand that a taxpayer can only be exempt from the requirement due to hard situations if the state marketplace allows it. These hard situations can include homelessness, domestic violence, eviction, bankruptcy, significant debt from medical expenses, and more factors that can be discussed with the state marketplace. If the taxpayer was qualified for an exemption for any reason that was not granted by the state marketplace, the tax practitioner should be very careful and document all of the information.

If a taxpayer is exempt from the healthcare coverage requirement, they do not have to make a shared responsibility payment with their 2014 federal income tax return. If there was even a single month out of 12 months in a year that the taxpayer did not qualify for health insurance exemption, they will either need to meet all requirements for qualifying healthcare coverage or make the shared responsibility payment along with their 2014 federal income tax return.

The ACA is a complicated topic to cover when it comes to tax prep. Your tax practice’s focus needs to be on serving your clients to the best of your ability, sustained growth and time efficiency. Like most preparers, you probably waste time sending out tax forms. This is the 2nd tax season I’ll be using to file 1099 online for my clients. Two years ago, I just became fed up and decided to efile 1099 forms instead. It was the best decision I ever made in business with these guys. Their video is shown below for your convenience.


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