Automated timekeeping and attendance accounting system using RTLS


Organizations of all sizes use timekeeping and attendance accounting systems to optimize their business processes. Thus, it is necessary to have reliable information about the location of employees at their workplaces or in other areas connected with their duties. At the same time for effective performance assessment it is essential to take into consideration the time when the employee is at workplace but does not do his job.

Automated timekeeping and attendance accounting system using RTLS

There are two major options – manual and automated timekeeping and attendance accounting.

Manual timekeeping and attendance accounting is a time sheet, which contains information of the working hours and cases of unauthorized absence from work. Frequently, time sheet record keeping is the responsibility of a personnel accountant. If an organization has a gatehouse, there is often also a Record Journal that encloses information about check-in and check-out time of employees. This reduces future operational errors in the calculation of working time. Manual system, as well as any activity performed by a human is subject to the "human factor" –a person can forget to make a record or make it with an error, etc. Also, this system can not provide real-time data, since all data requires manual data processing, which leads to additional labor costs and reduces overall efficiency.

For qualitative improvement of the situation electronic timekeeping and attendance accounting systems are used. Let’s consider the basic automated timekeeping and attendance accounting systems:

Automated timekeeping and attendance accounting systems on RFID-tags.

They are used for identification and access control. Usually it is a reader built into the turnstile or electronic lock. The data on the personnel movements is stored and can be therefore analyzed for making a report on the location of personnel in certain areas. These systems have such disadvantages as: positioning is limited to the room, connected to the reader; "bottlenecks" that significantly limit the use of the system depending on the number of employees and makes the use of the system almost impossible if there are many of them, and, moreover, the system can not provide positioning within the premises.

Biometric automated timekeeping and attendance accounting systems.

Operating principles of these systems are similar to the ones on RFID tags, with the only difference that readers are substituted with fingerprint, retina, vein pattern and other scanners. This system is more reliable because one can use a strange tag, but not a body part. At the same time, this type of identification is more expensive and more distracting staff from the duties.

Automated timekeeping and attendance accounting system using video surveillance.

These systems have become widely spread recently due to the reduction of computing power cost that provides face recognition. The biggest disadvantage of these systems is its low reliability of this recognition and practical impossibility of working in the crowd. The advantage of these systems is the low prime cost and the possibility of personnel tracking at the workplace, or within a specified area.

Computerized timekeeping and attendance accounting systems.

This method of timekeeping and attendance accounting is supposed to be functioning using software only. Consequently, the disadvantage of these systems is obvious – timekeeping can be performed on the computer, that limits its use. On the other hand, the advantage of the system is its low prime cost.

Automated timekeeping and attendance accounting system using RTLS real time location system.

The RealTrac system provides personnel positioning in real time, not only within the premises but also providing its precise location (for instance, at workplace or tea table). The system also provides a possibility of creating a Worker’s Journal, displaying the location of a worker and the duration of his presence there (at workplace, in the smoking room, accounting office, etc). The system has the ability to issue a warning automatically in case of violation of internal regulations, such as being in restricted areas or continued staying in a certain area (for example, in the smoking room). Integration with video surveillance system can increase the efficiency of the system that can deliver the image and video recording to the system manager automatically. The data received from the system can provide automatic generation of timesheets T-12 and T-13, timekeeping records, as well as special reports on statistics of the presence of a worker in various areas.

Comparison of the systems.

Parameter  RFID Biometric systems  Video surveillance systems  Software method  RealTrac
The accuracy of localization Limited to the device  Limited to the device  In the camera’s field of view  When operating the PC only Within the premises with the accuracy up to 1 meter
Identification in the crowd Identification of an object in a specified area Identification of an object in a specified area Very limited  No  Yes
Opportunity to substitute the user Yes No Difficult  Yes Depending on the system implementation
Formation of "Bottlenecks" Yes Yes No No No
Dividing the place into zones  Possible with some difficulties Possible with some difficulties Yes No Yes
Distracting personnel Yes Yes No Depending on the system No
Panic Button  No No No No Yes

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