The Value of a Strict Attendance Policy to Combat Absenteeism

The Value of a Strict Attendance Policy to Combat Employee Absenteeism


Strict Attendance Policy

When you manage people, there are going to be circumstances that come up which are going to justify being absent from work, being late or leaving work before the designated time. Personal issues come up all the time and that is acceptable. Unfortunately, there are some employees who may abuse this type of privilege and continually provide excuses that just don’t seem honest. When it becomes obvious that the employee is not being honest, what actions can a business owner take?

Can you ask for documentation?

One of the options available to employers is to have a strict attendance policy set down in writing, in which there are a certain number of days that a person can use due to illness or personal issues. There are some legal rights that need to be factored in like the FMLA, Family and Medical Leave Act and the ADA, Americans with Disabilities act.

These could limit the information that an employee needs to give. Employers can’t supersede these rights of the individual. However, employers do have the right to enforce a written attendance policy and often, inquire about the reason for the time off or ask for supporting documentation, a note from a doctor, etc.


Implementing an Attendance Policy

Things to do When Implementing Attendance Policy

Creating a policy means that there has to be a structure behind it that is firm, fair and consistent. That also means it must be specific and the penalties for violation must be clearly stated for all to read in advance. The number of days an employee is allowed in a year and the specific procedures that need to be followed in order to get an “approved” day off. No business is legally required to create an attendance policy but establishing expectations in the workplace can be valuable in creating positive moral and the expectations that will be in place.

Calling by a certain time, or giving a reason for the absence are all a part of your written policy. It should be stated that an employer can ask for documentation from a medical professional if the repeated absence is due to illness. Clear communication about the status of the illness, if it runs over several days should be reported. This should be common courtesy, but having it in writing will allow for protection in any legal action.

A well-written attendance policy that is consistently enforced will provide a business owner with protection in any case that an employee needs to be punished or even terminated. Documenting absences and keeping a detailed record of employee behavior will defend a business from wild, false claims being made by employees. Use the written attendance policy as a barometer for expectations and a level of protection against any claims of discrimination.


Clear Definitions

Provide Clear Definitions in Policy

The attendance policy can use several options to evaluate an employee’s behavior in regards to the attendance policy. There can be a general statement that defines four or more violations in a six-month period will result in disciplinary measures. Or there can be a more definitive point system in place, where violations carry a point value and reaching a certain level will trigger discipline. All violations need to be clearly defined so that all are aware that they are not following the rules.

It is vital to the well-being and morale of all employees to be clearly informed about what is acceptable behavior and what actions are not allowed. They also need to be clearly informed about the disciplinary consequences that will occur when an inappropriate or unexcused absence occurs.

Of course, there are going to be some absences that are going to be protected by the law. FMLA absences, a court ordered subpoena, military service, and jury duty is good reasons to be specifically mentioned in the attendance policy.



Call Out Protocol

Another clear procedure that should be defined is the procedure for calling and informing the employer of an absence. It should clearly be stated the numbers to be called, what time it should be called. The consequence of a Failure to follow the established protocol also needs to be defined. Employees can be required to follow established procedures and receive discipline should they fail to do so.

Recap of Information

All business owners should create a written attendance policy that lets employees know how excessive absences and tardiness will be handled and lead to disciplinary action that might include termination. There should be a detailed number of days allowed and whether they are unpaid or paid. A detailed procedure for calling in should be established and explained clearly, and the punishment for not following the procedures, no call, no show, etc. All absences should be documented along with the reasons if that is legal. The employer should become familiar with all legal protections from FMLA and CFRA so no violations of these rights occur.



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How Accountants Can Use Big Data to Combat Fraud

The Key Ways Accountants Can Use Big Data to Fight Fraud


Fight Fraud
Fight Fraud

Fraud is flourishing at an alarming rate. It is everywhere, ranging from the hacking of the federal government to the corporation for data -intensive industries like financial services and healthcare. Fraud is evident in business news networks and even on Twitter.

The spread of big data, advanced penalties for controlling violations, an increase of regulation and steady need of performance for publicly traded businesses are among the trends that influence business operation manner. These patterns create an intriguing task and chance for managerial professionals.


The Fraud Triangle
The Fraud Triangle

The Fraud Triangle

The fraud triangle results when there is an increase in demand for reporting information and performance improvement. The essential elements of fraud element include:

– Opportunity results as an increase in the demand for information by competitors and stakeholders, the availability of more opportunities in the business segments plunges accounting professionals to the need to present results in a favorable manner tempting them to enter gray areas of reporting results.

– Pressure in the form of stakeholder reporting necessitates accounting professionals to prepare reports to disseminate to stakeholders. It can result in unethical and fraudulent behavior.

– Rationalization common rationalizations include bonuses, non-cash compensations, and promotions. Making up for little payment or replacing a bonus has been proven to lead unethical professionals to bend the rules.

Accountants should take control of fraud by working on the portion of the fraud triangle over which they have the most control.


Fighting Fraud
Fighting Fraud

Fighting Fraud using Big Data

Big data provides a method through which accountants can increase the value they bring to the organization. The potential of big data focused primarily on its possible benefits to operations, financial decision making and improving reporting metrics. To accounting professionals, these areas are vital but there is an additional angle that should be explored.

With increased perspectives on data flow, both internal and external, measured against the market and internally prepared expectations make the implication clear. The fight against fraud provides a significant potential area for the adaptation and implementation of big data.

Apart from preparing financial statements, accountants also facilitate IT upgrades and implementations. It is, therefore, logical for professionals to exploit all the available tools at hand. In business, the initiative to eradicate inefficiency, wastage of resources and fraudulent activities can only be achieved by having adequate and reliable information. Spotting gaps in process flows saves time and money and at the same time enables management professionals identify fraudulent activities.

Transformation of operational data into financial statistics is the role of accounting and financial information systems. For accountants to take up a leading role in efficiency initiatives it is mandatory to incorporate them within IT, financial systems and enabling them to serve as a go-between for upper management, operations, and external stakeholders.

Taking into consideration the evolving role of accounting professionals, accountants can exploit big data in many ways to help combat fraud and possible fraudulent activities.


shifts in trends
shifts in trends

Analysis of shifts and trends

The use of big data tools in the analysis of customer profitability, shopping habits and shipping locations in purchase and payment patterns enables accountants to spot irregularities in real time.

Inventory and asset control

Big data provides an advantage of improved data collection and processing to improve inventory and other asset control. Operations with the ability to produce and monitor inventory information in real time enable accountants use the information on inventory counts, valuation, and custody.

Reporting of data to stakeholders

It is the role of financial professionals and organizations to provide frequent reports to stakeholders. Big data enables exploiting real-time information reports of data and analytics required by the recipients. It is attained through an exploitation of internally available information and technology by the accounting professionals. Increased scrutiny and reporting give the professionals greater opportunities to analyze and examine the data before it is presented to stakeholders.

The pressure of competition and stakeholders interested in financial reports of the organizations put forward unique situations for many companies. The opportunity for unethical fraudulent activities continues to increase and, as a result, the penalties associated with them. This scenario creates an opportunity for accountants and financial professionals to create value for organizations. Utilizing technological tools and advances accountants can deduce and initiate ideas to enhance operational efficiencies and detection of any possible fraudulent activity.


Unethical activities
Unethical activities

Unethical activities cost organizations time decrease productivity leaving the venture vulnerable to fines and penalties. Accountants take a prime position in protecting the body from these penalties. Exploitation of advanced technology keeps analysts at the forefront in business decision making and provides new methods of displaying value brought to the organization.

Reporting data is a crucial competency of accounting professions, but quality data and information continue to grow in importance. Accountants can help organizations attain maximum efficiency. Again, they help prevent fraud for better performance.


Author Details:


I’m a Certified Professional Accountant based in Mississippi. I love to write about Tax and Accounting matters. I’m a businessperson deep down, and enjoy individuals who want to establish companies and add to the economy. I really hope you liked my article. Please do not hesitate to provide me reviews. This year, if you plan to e-file 1099 forms online, consider using

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