Some companies handle overtime tracking as just another part of their timesheet management. This can mean using physical timecards that employees use to punch in and out, an Excel spreadsheet, or a time tracking template.
But these manual methods of tracking employee overtime can lead to several problems, including:
- Human error: Manual overtime tracking is prone to miscalculations and data entry mistakes, resulting in inaccurate overtime calculations, leading to overpaying or underpaying your employees.
- Loss of time: Manually tracking overtime is time-consuming, especially as your team grows or if you’re managing a team where a lot of overtime is given.
- Compliance issues: Overtime laws and regulations can be complex and vary by location and industry. You can face serious fines or legal ramifications if you’re not compliant with these laws.
- Overtime abuse: Without automated systems, it can be more challenging to identify and address potential overtime abuse by employees or managers.
The best solution is to use an overtime tracking app. Overtime tracking apps and software can automate the time tracking process for your entire team (including overtime tracking).
In this post, we look at Buddy Punch — an overtime tracker that lets you and your team track employee hours, alerts you if employees are getting close to hitting overtime, helps you stay compliant with laws and regulations, and makes running payroll easy.
To learn more about using Buddy Punch’s overtime tracker, you can:
Or keep reading for a more detailed breakdown of Buddy Punch’s overtime tracking features. But first, let’s cover some basic things to consider when looking for overtime tracking.
Overtime Tracking (Things to Consider)
Before choosing an overtime tracker, you want to make sure you know what key features you need. Some overtime trackers may not offer all you need, and others may have features you don’t need (so you’ll be wasting money on them).
Here are two common questions to answer as you start looking for the best overtime tracking method for you.
Can Free Overtime Trackers Work for You?
Free overtime trackers can be appealing for some businesses or individuals (such as independent contractors who keep track of their own time worked). However, before trying to go the free route, here are some things to consider.
You can usually do two types of free overtime tracking:
- You can use manual methods (spreadsheets, paper forms, etc.). This is free in that you’re not paying for any software. But the money you’re saving may not be worth it if you factor in the cost of manually tracking overtime. This includes the time it takes you to do it and also any potential costs associated with overtime disputes, inaccurate time tracking, and unapproved overtime.
- You can find a free overtime tracking app. There are online apps that let you track time for free, some of which will let you track overtime. Though make sure you look at what you’re not getting in the free plan. There may be a limit on how much time can be tracked and other key features.
In general, here are the two main drawbacks of free overtime trackers:
- First, they may not do all that you need. Free overtime trackers often don’t have advanced features (such as tools to ensure your team is clocking in and out accurately), a paid time off tracking feature, a scheduling feature, and payroll features.
- Second, free apps may not have the best customer support. Overtime tracking is directly related to employees and their pay, and when it comes to employee pay, you can’t have big unresolved issues. If something is wrong with your tracking app, or you have a question about overtime regulations, you need quick and helpful advice.
Before choosing a free overtime tracker, look at the features it offers. Do those features cover all the aspects you need? Most free overtime trackers also offer a paid plan. Look at that plaid plan to see what features you’re not getting in the free plan. Then, read reviews on third-party sites like Capterra and G2 about the free overtime tracker.
What Are Examples of Different Overtime Calculations?
Often we think of overtime as one simple thing — where an employee works over their allotted schedule, usually 40 hours. But that isn’t the case. Overtime calculations can vary based on local labor laws. For example, one state might require employees to be paid time and a half, while another state might require double time.
Investing in a quality time-tracking solution may be a more reliable and cost-effective choice if you’re looking to manage overtime effectively and avoid potential legal issues.
Why is it Important to Track Overtime?
You and your company need to track overtime accurately for two key reasons.
The first and most obvious one is employee payroll compliance and employee pay. Employees who work overtime are paid a different rate than normal. This overtime rate needs to be paid accurately during payroll. Otherwise, you’re not fulfilling your duties as an employer.
Similarly, you will overpay your employee if you track overtime incorrectly, such as recording overtime that didn’t happen. Both underpaying and overpaying are a hassle for you and your employees. You can avoid this issue with overtime tracking by using an app/software that tracks it for you.
The second reason is overtime records can give you valuable insights into staffing needs. If you’re consistently paying employees overtime, then that could indicate that you’re not properly staffed.
When you review your team’s overtime, look for trends. Do peaks in overtime happen throughout the year or around key sales days or projects? This can help you prepare and get your staffing up to par, so you can cut down on overtime which is more expensive for your business.
Next, we look at how you can track overtime easily and accurately with Buddy Punch.
Buddy Punch: Best Overtime Tracker for Teams
Buddy Punch is an overtime tracker and comprehensive time tracking software and mobile app that is compatible with computers, tablets, and smartphones. It works on both iOS and Android devices.
Whether you’re running a construction project, a restaurant, or a marketing agency, Buddy Punch seamlessly tracks when and where your employees work through our customizable time clock features.
First, let’s start with overtime tracking before diving into Buddy Punch’s other time management features.
Automatic Overtime Tracking
Buddy Punch is an easy-to-use time tracker that tracks the total overtime hours in real time. It works because your team will track all time entries with Buddy Punch.
They do this by clocking in and out on the Buddy Punch app for work. This way, when they work overtime, Buddy Punch automatically calculates how much pay your employees are due based on over a dozen overtime types.
Additionally, Buddy Punch lets you export overtime reports of multiple employees based on pay periods for accurate recordkeeping.
It’s easy to see an employee’s regular, overtime, and total hours.
Automatic Workweek and Overtime Calculations
You can set up automatic workweeks and overtime in Buddy Punch. Over a dozen overtime calculations are included, such as:
- Holiday overtime
- Time and a half
- Double overtime
In addition, you can create custom overtime rules as needed.
Select Overtime Type
Once you’ve assigned an overtime type to an employee, their overtime will be automatically tracked in real-time and calculated based on the rules you’ve set — no need to redo the calculations every pay period.
This is perfect because you may have employees in different states under different overtime laws or employees working under different contracts. For example, more senior employees may fall under an older contract that new employees aren’t a part of. You can customize the overtime type by the employee, and you don’t need to worry about making a mistake.
Sometimes, overtime is given out to an employee based on a specific project, timeline, or sales period.
But other times, overtime can happen by accident due to scheduling errors. For example, if someone on your team had to stay late on Monday to cover for a co-worker who had to call out sick. Now that employee, who was already scheduled for their full 40 hours, is on track to get overtime.
Buddy Punch lets you set up overtime alerts: notifications that an employee is nearing their weekly quota of hours.
Buddy Punch’s overtime tracking features work so well because you can also create your team’s schedule and have them track their time with Buddy Punch.
Let’s look at both below.
How to Easily Create a Schedule with Buddy Punch
Accurate overtime tracking starts with knowing when your employees are working. Buddy Punch makes scheduling easy with our drag-and-drop functionality. Here’s how it works:
1. First, add a new shift to the schedule.
2. Once added, you can drag and drop the shift anywhere on the schedule.
3. You can choose whether the shift repeats or is recurring, adding common shifts for employees on your team.
4. Once the shift has been added to the schedule, it will be in draft mode. Click the “Publish” button in the top right-hand corner to publish.
You’ll then be able to send the schedule to:
- All employees
- Employees with changes only (i.e., edits or deletions)
- Employees in the current view
- Employees with shifts in the current view
Once you’ve selected it, you can publish via email, push notification, or both.
How to Guarantee Accurate Time Tracking
Accurately following employee hours is crucial to overtime tracking and ensuring you’re paying your team the right amount. Here’s a look at how Buddy Punch makes that happen.
IP Address Locking
You can restrict where your employees clock in based on one (or more) IP addresses. This feature is great when creating dedicated kiosks or ensuring that a team member has connected to the company WiFi before clocking in for work. In addition, this can be an excellent feature for remote teams to ensure they’re connected to their home WiFi.
With Geofencing, you can create a virtual boundary around any office or work location where employees must clock in. For example, you can set a radius of 500ft around your office. If employees are outside this area, they won’t be able to clock in.
Like IP address locking, this prevents employees from clocking in for work if they’re not at the job site. However, geofencing doesn’t require employees to be connected to a specific WiFi network. This makes it a great option if you don’t have a designated IP address associated with your job site.
Photos on Punch
Photos on Punch uses facial recognition and requires employees to take a picture when they clock in or out. This can eliminate the threat of buddy punching (when someone punches in for another co-worker when they’re not there). You can review the photos to ensure the right people are clocking in and out for their shifts.
Buddy Punch offers a GPS feature for employee monitoring that lets you record their locations when they punch in or out.
Punch limiting allows you to customize how someone can punch in for their shift. For example, if several employees consistently clock in ten minutes early, those minutes quickly add up over the payroll period.
Punch limiting helps you avoid this and lets you set limits for when employees can clock in based on their schedule.
Correcting Overtime Mistakes
Even with all of these parameters in place, mistakes can still happen. Someone may mistakenly log too much time, for example. Buddy Punch makes fixing timesheet errors and approving time cards effortless. Here’s how:
1. Click the drop-down menu on “Timecards” and then click “View all.”
2. You can select the employee’s timecard you want to review.
3. You can edit the timesheet as necessary, such as changing when someone clocked in, clocked out, or took their break.
PTO doesn’t count towards overtime, but it’s a benefit if you can track absences and PTO with your overtime tracker, so you don’t need to juggle two different tools.
Here’s how you and your staff can use Buddy Punch as a PTO tracker.
1. An employee opens the app, enters the requested days, and specifies the type of leave they’re taking.
2. If it’s paid time off, the hours are logged on their timecard to be reconciled with payroll.
3. Once the request is submitted, you can view, approve, or deny the request. Or, you can customize your settings to approve the PTO automatically.
You can set up custom PTO accrual rules based on hours worked, payroll periods, or even work anniversaries. In addition, you can customize these rules for each employee. For example, you can have different PTO rules for hourly, salaried, or freelance employees.
So far, we’ve covered a lot of information. To recap, Buddy Punch is an overtime tracking app that lets you:
- Automatically track overtime
- Set up accurate schedules
- Hold your team accountable for their work hours
- Quickly correct and approve time cards
Next, let’s look at how Buddy Punch can make sure your team gets paid accurately and on time.
Overtime tracking is just one aspect of Buddy Punch that helps you run your business. It’s also a payroll provider that lets you:
- Use Buddy Punch to run payroll: Buddy Punch handles everything including taxes, pay stubs, and direct deposits. You can choose between 2-day and 4-day processing. You can also set up auto-payroll so you never miss a payroll deadline.
- Integrate Buddy Punch into your current payroll system: By using our accurate and accountable time tracking records, you can rest assured that your team will be paid correctly. We have ready-to-go payroll integrations with leading accounting software:
- And more
Here’s a look at how to quickly run payroll with Buddy Punch:
1. When a pay period is complete, click “Payroll” in the top navigation, followed by “Run Payroll.”
2. Select the pay period you want to run from the dropdown. Next, click “Run Report” to populate hours.
If everything looks good, click “Import time into Payroll.”
3. After your employee’s hours have been synced, you will be able to:
- Configure a custom pay rate
- Add additional earnings
- Enter tax-free reimbursements
If changes have been made to employee time and you need to re-sync, choose the “Reimport time into Payroll” button in the top left-hand corner.
4. If you’re ready to continue with payroll, click “Continue.”
5. Next, you’ll see a breakdown of pay and taxes for each employee, along with the total costs for payroll under the Cash requirement section. If everything looks good, click the “Submit Payroll” button.
6. And that’s it! You’ve officially processed payroll. You will receive an email letting you know your payroll is pending and will also receive an email if there are any issues or once it’s been processed.
You can also run payroll separately for freelancers. Once a freelancer sends you their billable hours, simply run payroll using the above mentioned method.
Real Customer Reviews of Buddy Punch
We believe Buddy Punch is your business’s best overtime tracking solution, and many of our customers agree. As of writing, we have 4.8 out of 5 stars on Capterra with over 850 reviews. (Capterra is a third party review platform where real customers can leave honest reviews about the software.)
Here’s a selection of reviews highlighting why our customers love Buddy Punch for time tracking:
“I love how quick and easy it is to punch in and out. It does not make it difficult to keep track of your hours and where you punch in and out. It also keeps you on track and accountable for your work day, and I really appreciate that.”Read the full review here.
“I love how easy Buddy Punch is to use. I love how easy it is to fix a missed punch and how it keeps track of my sick time and vacation time!”Read the full review here.
“It’s very easy to manage, and our employees must punch in and out within the GEO fence to eliminate punching errors. It’s easy to see the time before your eyes, easily add or delete someone, and make simple time changes and PTO additions.”Read the full review here.
You can read all of our Capterra reviews here.
Start Your Free Trial with Buddy Punch
If you want to see if Buddy Punch is the right time tracker for your small business, sign up for a free 14-day trial. You can also: