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Blog Banner of How does an Online Attendance System Work

How does an Online Attendance System Work?

An attendance system is one of the critical requirements to ensure the company’s productivity is optimized. While it is hard for many managers to directly co-relate attendance with productivity and revenue, it is an integral part of payroll management.

Digital optimization is at the forefront in 2022, and companies across industries are adopting online attendance. Technology has always been the mediator between increased productivity and workforce satisfaction. With an online attendance system, your company can automate an essential workforce and payroll management segment.

If you have ever been a manager or supervisor, you understand how tedious and time-consuming manual attendance recording can be. In the digital landscape, there is no place for redundant manual labor. Any company, irrespective of its business nature and size, can benefit from adopting an online attendance app for employee.

In this comprehensive guide, we look in-depth at how the technology behind an online attendance tracker functions and why companies need to adopt such a solution.

An online attendance system is a dedicated software designed to manage attendance but also offers a robust set of tools for workforce management. A typical online attendance app like Truein is based on cloud architecture with a centralized database with fail-over and backup of infrastructure done across multiple regions.

Managers, supervisors, and employees can access the data stored within the online attendance system with a varying degree of access defined by the organization. Since online attendance is entirely paperless, HR managers get freedom from managing timesheets, manually calculating leaves and holidays, accurately converting overtime hours, etc.

The time saved can be invested in essential business activities to boost productivity and revenue. The working of an online attendance system is pretty straightforward, which is why companies across industries are openly adopting them. No infrastructural changes or system upgrades are required to implement online attendance within an organization.

As mentioned before, it operates on the cloud; everything related to online time attendance exists on cloud servers. To set up an online attendance system, managers have to enter the details of the employee and allow access. Depending on the method you are using, verification of the employee might be required.

For instance, an online biometric attendance system uses physical traits like fingerprints, iris scans, thumb impressions, face recognition, etc., to identify workers and record attendance. One of the most significant advantages of adopting an online attendance system is the easy data availability from anywhere, anytime.

Managers can access attendance data for payroll with a click. Similarly, supervisors can check the availability of workers without any interference from the managers. An online attendance app allows employees to access shift data, record attendance, and get notified about schedule changes.

Types of online attendance systems

There are several types of online attendance systems available. A company can choose an online time attendance solution that best matches its requirements.

  1. Card punching machines are the most basic type of online attendance system. These machines use a time card that stores the employee ID and other related information about a person. To record clock in and out time, the workers must swap the time card on a machine. The problem with card punching machines is that they are prone to buddy punching.
  2. Online biometric attendance systems are primarily popular. Biometric attendance systems rely on physiological or behavioral characteristics to identify an employee and record attendance. Physiological biometric attendance systems capture and compare a person’s fingerprints, hands, face, iris, etc. At the same time, behavioral biometric attendance systems rely on a person’s behavior, such as voice, keystroke, and signature.
  3. Mechanized attendance systems record online attendance when input is provided. Such attendance systems depend on passwords to automatically register in and out the timing of the employees. These systems offer a degree of automation but are highly prone to time theft.
  4. Cloud-based attendance systems are the latest inclusion in the category. Truein is one of the leading cloud-based AI-powered time and attendance management systems that utilize modern cloud infrastructure and captures attendance by using face recognition technology. The benefit of implementing such systems is decentralization. Cloud-based attendance systems like Truein don’t require any additional hardware and can be used through mobile apps.

While evaluating the necessity of online attendance within your organization, you must look beyond the upfront costs and anticipate the benefits.
In detail, let’s discuss some of the essential benefits of an online attendance app.

Benefits of online attendance system

  1. Prevents error: Online attendance systems eliminate human error vulnerability. Often staff complaints about incorrect data from the HR team result in inaccurate attendance calculations and ultimately affect salary. With online attendance management, such errors can be easily prevented.
  2. More efficient: Manual attendance keeping is cumbersome because it involves manually recording attendance in timesheets. As managers have to maintain these timesheets and manually input data into payroll software periodically, it’s not difficult to anticipate how time-consuming this entire process can be. Online attendance systems entirely automate the timekeeping of employees. Modern online attendance apps like Truein can be easily integrated with payroll software. It eliminates the requirement to manually share data between attendance and payroll software.
  3. Real-time tracking is possible: A unique feature of some online attendance systems is that they allow real-time monitoring of employees. In industries like mining, construction, and manufacturing, where the workforce is scattered over a large area, real-time attendance tracking effectively discourages time theft and calculates working hours more accurately.
  4. Automatic reports generation: The comprehensive set of tools we spoke of earlier includes automatic reports generation. Automated attendance and time management systems like Truein have built-in capability to generate insightful reports. The data in these reports can facilitate a company’s productivity and workforce management decisions.
  5. Integrate with other software: Plug and play feature of online attendance apps make them more robust. The cloud infrastructure of online attendance systems enables compatibility with HRM, accounting, marketing, and payroll software. It is incredible freedom from migrating data from one software to another, which is a technical task and often requires the services of a third-party engineering team.
  6. No additional peripherals are required, accessible from the phone: Cloud-based software is also known as a mobile-based attendance system or hardware-less application. It is called hardware less because it does not require the setup or installation of any peripherals. These apps can be deployed on the workers’ smartphones or you can use it as a kiosk and require an initial configuration to record real-time attendance.

Which industries can benefit from an online attendance system?

1. Manufacturing & construction

These industries do not have a workforce tied to a desktop computer at one location. Workers in the manufacturing and construction industries are pleased with several remote areas. With online attendance systems, workers in these industries can be tracked, and their attendance can be accurately recorded. Furthermore, geo-fencing and GPS targeting ensure that workers are at the worksite while recording their attendance.

2. Facility management

Managing employee time and attendance for facility management staff can be challenging since most managers are always on the go, traveling from one location to another to serve customers. With online real-time attendance management systems, facility managers can remotely track employees. They can also access essential employee data such as time, location, number of workers, etc.

3. Education

Attendance is an integral part of the education industry. Unsurprisingly, schools and colleges are one of the main customers of online attendance system manufacturers. In the wake of the pandemic outbreak, more educational institutions are proactively adopting touchless online attendance systems.

4. Healthcare industry

In the healthcare industry, HR teams are usually busy with medical practices and keeping up with insurance, billing, and compliance. Amidst all these responsibilities, employee time tracking can be a significant productivity hassle. This is why the healthcare industry is one of the prime customers of cloud-based timekeeping solutions.

Truein: A modern online attendance and time management system

Truein is a full-fledged online attendance and time management system that helps companies automate attendance keeping. An AI-based face recognition attendance system, Truein offers HR managers complete control over employee time tracking. It is a hardware-less, cloud-based software available as online attendance app.

Apart from real-time and efficient attendance and time tracking, it offers powerful report generation, shift scheduling, and leave management, and easily integrates with the most popular payroll software systems.

Here are its top features:

  • Realtime and accurate time and attendance management
  • Mobile/tablet app-based (Android, iOS)
  • Easy Payroll integration
  • Enterprise-grade data security and privacy
  • Review and approve hours
  • Geo and GPS-based time tracking


Online attendance is mandatory for businesses adopting digital transformation. Traditional recording attendance is highly prone to time theft and costs businesses billions of dollars annually. Your organization can boost productivity and eliminate time theft by adopting a reliable online attendance management system like Truein.

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