Accountants and other financial advisers know better than most how busy small business owners are and how much they value any advice, resources or tools that can help them save time, particularly on administrative tasks. A time and attendance solution can improve both efficiency and accuracy in time reporting and management, but some small business owners can be understandably cautious when contemplating the purchase of a new solution.

A recent survey by Paychex found 36 percent of small business owners have never changed their time and attendance system. There is no doubt, finding and implementing the right solution can take time, but in the long run, the right time and attendance system can allow small business owners to transition from laboring on administrative tasks to tackling more strategic work.

The same survey also found the efficiency and accuracy of collecting time for payroll reporting is the most important factor for small business owners (48 percent) when investing in a time-keeping solution. An integrated solution can not only improve day-to-day operations for your small business client but can also help ensure that you are receiving accurate payroll information as you file their taxes, provide financial advice, and more.

As your small business clients weigh their time and attendance options, they may turn to you for your expertise. Here are a few key benefits a time and attendance system can offer your small business clients:

• Managing an efficient workforce: Automated time and attendance solutions give managers the ability to match scheduling to workload projections. By closely aligning these two things, it's possible to increase efficiency, meet production goals, and better manage costs. An analytics dashboard also allows small business owners to review data over time, watch for opportunities to be more efficient, and head off problems that can derail productivity.

• Improving employee satisfaction: Scheduling and handling time-off requests are an important part of maintaining a satisfied workforce. With automated—and in many cases mobile—systems, it’s possible to quickly review, approve or address absence requests and manage planned absences to minimize their effect on the business.

• Helping business owners ensure compliance: From industry-set scheduling requirements to corporate work hours’ policies, time and attendance software may help business owners ensure compliance by allowing managers to set notifications and alerts for schedule conflicts, when an employee is approaching overtime, and other potential issues regarding both scheduling and appropriate compensation for hours worked.

• Data entry accuracy through technology: A time and attendance system that does not employ up-to-date technology is a risk factor for inaccurate data entry, which can result in significant compliance consequences. New developments such as Wi-Fi-enabled time clocks, mobile punch options through a tablet or phone, biometric verification and automated time tracking can help reduce cases of inaccurate time records.

With knowledge of the potential benefits and a deep understanding of your small business client’s business needs and challenges, you can help them see the advantages of adopting a time and attendance system, hence further cementing yourself as a strategic partner to their business.