If you run a business then time and attendance recording is highly important to make sure that you are paying your staff correctly and to make sure that you aren't losing money anywhere. Time and attendance recording is essentially what it sounds like - it means recording the amount of hours that your staff have worked and the time they arrived/left and this way being able to pay them accordingly the right amount. This way they will feel they aren't being short changed and they will be more likely to work happily and well. At the same time though it also means that you won't pay them too much and that you won't lose a lot of money that way. Good time and attendance records even allows you to be more flexible in the way that you assign hours and the way that your staff work. For instance if you have a good system in place then this will allow you to let your staff work from home and to use flexi time where they might start to finish the day later or earlier and make up the time elsewhere.
There are many time and attendance systems available for businesses, and today there are more than ever before. In the past this would simply be a 'time clock' which would 'punch in' the time. The way this would work would be simple - it would be an actual mechanical clock that would have a stamp in it and a button. When the employee came in they would put the card in and hit the button which would stamp whatever the current time was onto the card (others denoted this differently by stamping holes into the card). The cards would then have to be collected up at the end of each day and it would need to be calculated how much was owed at the end of each month. This of course was a time consuming and labor intensive process that would cost businesses a lot of time and money. At the same time it was a flawed system in many ways - meaning that people could get others to sign in and out for them, and meaning that people could forget their card or lose it and thus lose the hours they worked.
This is not the case with more modern systems. For instance digital time clocks allow people to sign in and out on a system and this would mean that the hours and the pay were calculated automatically. A great improved version of this is the digital time clock that uses biometric data - in other words finger prints and retinal scans - thus meaning that it's impossible for someone else to sign in for that person.
The problem here though is that you still need to be physically present to 'clock in' and this means that it's impractical if someone works from home or is on a business trip. The internet of course has made up for this and using software it's possible to let people log in and out from their own home or even abroad.