Excel is not an HR tool

A Stitch in Time Saves Nine

You run a busy and successful care home/hospice/domiciliary care provision. Your staff are efficient; they know what they are doing and how your systems work. So far, so straightforward. You’re using paper-based timesheets and rely heavily on Excel and on staff recording accurately. The system works, so what is the point in changing your process?

But, dig a little deeper and you might find that everything isn’t rosy. You might discover that your HR process could do with a tech upgrade.

What are the benefits of using a cloud-based system as opposed to paper timesheets and Excel spreadsheets?

Surely it’s just an extra cost and a lot of hard work?

  • Going paperless will save hours when your system automatically generates your employees’ timesheets simply by them using a time and attendance app to clock in and out of their shifts. This app might even begin to learn patterns and habits, therefore knowing what a ‘normal’ or ‘approved’ shift is. A system like this can be straightforward to set up using any phone or tablet, so don’t be put off by thinking you will need to invest in expensive hardware.
  • Investment in HR automation will also bring you greater accuracy. Using an online rota and time and attendance system, rather than employees creating inaccurate paper timesheets, you will get live data as it happens and your software will decide for you whether the attendance readings match the allocated rotas and schedule.
  • Not only does a software-based system give you more accuracy, but it can also give you more control over your timesheets, shift allocation, holidays and absences. You can make decisions as and when you need to, rather than waiting for bits of paper to filter in. Your system should also come with features to quickly see patterns of absence and where staff repeatedly work overtime or leave early, meaning you can deploy your employees more effectively.

These are all excellent reasons why going digital with your time and attendance is a must, but, undoubtedly, the most crucial reason is that you will be giving your staff back their time to do what they do best. Why pay your qualified care staff, for example, to spend time filling in timesheets and absence requests when they could be making a difference to the lives of your residents; let a robot do the form filling!

If you work in the independent care market and none of this convinces you that you should invest in tech, maybe this will…

On the first day of using the Alpaka time and attendance app and rotas, one care home discovered they had accrued a loss of £8000 over the past five years. This loss was due to overpaying one employee by 30 minutes for every shift worked simply because of rounding up and being ‘too busy to check properly’.

Imagine what could be flying under your radar without you realising?!


Kate balances being COO for a workforce management software product with being an almost perfect human.

Her blogs and expertise are about efficiently handling three obnoxious children and a difficult 42-year-old who wrote this bio.

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