Manual vs Automated Attendance System: Comparison


Senior Writer

automated attendance system

For business owners, it is not easy to keep track of whether all their employees are arriving on time for work or are stealing time. Well, stealing time means your employees are misreporting their working time or clock in even if they are not working at all.

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Hence, to avoid such a situation, business owners or companies have started using the attendance system.  Such a system not only helps to monitor the working hours of the employees but also determine their salary and in better payroll management. 

Manual vs Automated Attendance System

There are two kinds of attendance system a company can choose from, i.e. manual or automated. The traditional attendance tracking method includes punch locks or some other sort of manual system. However, this method requires consistent human supervision. But fortunately, the evolving technology has led to the introduction of the automated attendance system that provides much better results. 

One can use either of these systems for maintaining the attendance record of the employees; however, just like every coin, there’s a good and bad side to both. It is because of this reason that most of the companies get confused and are unable to decide whether they should use an automated or a manual attendance system. 

Hence, let’s learn more about each of these systems, along with their pros and cons, to know which one is better than the other. 

Automated Attendance System – Pros and Cons

This attendance system has made it a lot easier to manage the attendance of the employees in organizations, especially in large scale companies. Apart from recording attendance, it can prevent unwanted movements of employees and unauthorized entry.

An automated attendance system can effectively track the company’s human resources in an economic as well as a convenient way. By introducing this system, you will receive significant pros but will have to deal with a few cons as well that have been listed below.   

Also, Read: The Benefits of Using Time Management Software


  • Records all the data automatically

By incorporating this system, you no longer have to waste your time on overlooking the attendance task yourself. The system does the job for you by collecting as well as storing the attendance data of all the employees. You can use the stored data to track the attendance of each employee and know the number of hours he/she has worked. 

  • Provides accurate results

When tracking the attendance manually, your employees may provide you with false data, and this will lead to inaccurate records. They might add extra hours on the attendance sheet to rake in overtime wages. But with the help of an automated attendance tool, you no longer have to worry about such miscalculations or errors. 

  • Helps in administrative tasks

Attendance and payroll management are time-consuming and challenging tasks. However, an electronic attendance system takes over such critical administrative tasks of your company and makes them a lot easier and quicker. 

  • Saves money, improves the productivity of the employees

By implementing an automated attendance system, you can easily cut down unnecessary movements of your employees and boost their productivity. They will be able to complete the project within the given deadline. This, in turn, will influence your company’s profit positively as well. Your company will witness less employee absenteeism as well as enhanced payroll processing time. 

  • Easy to use

An automated attendance system is easy to install and use. You don’t have to learn anything complicated or extra to use it. With just a few clicks, and you will get all the details related to attendance management. 


  • Non-effective in buddy punching

When it comes to buddy punching, this system may not work properly. It will be challenging to determine the employees who are involved in the malpractice. However, you can avoid this situation by installing biometric technology. 

  • May fail to comply with changing regulations

Employment laws keep changing with time. Unfortunately, such attendance systems may not be able to update themselves on their own based on the current regulations. You will have to update them manually. However, by using a cloud-based automated attendance system, such issues can be avoided. 

  • Is expensive

Such a system can be costly, and you will have to invest money on badges, passes and the automated device itself. But, in the case of manual attendance, you will not incur such kind of expenses. 

  • Requires maintenance

As the system is an electronic device that runs on software, it requires adequate maintenance. If any technical issue arises, you will have to call an expert immediately to fix it. This will further lead to an increase in your expenses.  

  • Needs power supply to work 

The automated system requires a continuous power supply to function. As such, if you face power cut off, for say 3 to 4 days, you will not be able to record the attendance of your employees. 

Though the automated system has some drawbacks, with proper maintenance, you can keep it running without any errors and enjoy an increased profit. 

Manual Attendance System- Pros and Cons 

Speaking about manual attendance systems, these are traditional systems that require employees to fill in their attendance sheets manually. These are generally used by small scale companies where there is less number of employees. However, such attendance systems require fair and consistent execution. Besides, HR managers face enormous pressure when it comes to collecting details about employees’ working hours with these systems. For better understanding, let’s have a look at the pros and cons of such a system. 

Also, Read: Top 7 GPS Attendance Apps for Your Business


  • System cost

Manual attendance doesn’t need any expensive system or software. Small scale businesses or start-ups don’t have sufficient funds to invest in an automated system. But with a manual system, a small business can do payroll management without spending a lot. 

  • Simple to implement and use

Most employers know to maintain and track data on a manual ledger sheet. So, for them, this system is quite beneficial. It doesn’t require the help of an expert for implementation. 

  • Resistant to power outages

Unlike the automated attendance system, the manual system doesn’t require a power supply. Hence, you no longer have to worry about power outages or cutoffs to maintain the attendance of your employees. 


  • Data manipulation 

As the data is recorded manually, it can be easily manipulated. The employees may put wrong information to garner extra wages. Moreover, this can create a “Time Theft” condition as well. As such, you will keep paying your staff for the time that they didn’t even work for. 

  • Possible human errors

The attendance of staff needs to be compiled, keeping in mind the necessary compliance, remuneration, etc. However, when such tasks are done manually, the chances of human error get elevated. 

  • Speed

Recording attendance manually is very time-consuming. This can affect productivity as well as the performance of the employees. Besides, it will also take your time to obtain the attendance data of all your employees manually. Furthermore, the entire process may even end up consuming a lot of your time in maintaining scorecards, rectifying errors related to time entry, among others. However, in case of an automated attendance system, you will be able to do all such tasks with just one click. 

  • Ineffective and outdated

The manual methods of obtaining attendance are ineffective and getting out-of-fashion with the introduction of new technologies. As such, using such outdated methods can significantly affect business activities and can also be a costly affair. 

The Final Verdict

With time, most of the companies have started inclining towards an automated attendance system. Such systems are now an accepted standard universally. However, manual attendance systems are still being used in companies that have fewer employees.

But keeping in mind the various benefits offered by the automated systems, all companies need to consider using these tools now. Such a system can significantly boost accuracy and help to conduct better employee and payroll management. There is no doubt that it requires more investment, but in the long run, it will bring several benefits to your company. 

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