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What are the different methods of time-keeping in Cost Accounting?

The Different Methods of Time Keeping in Cost Accounting.

There are two methods of time-keeping. They are the manual methods and the mechanical methods. The choice of a particular method depends upon the requirements and policy of a firm. But whichever method is followed, it should make a correct record of the time incurring the minimum possible expenditure and should minimize the risk of fraudulent payment of wages.

Classification of Cost, Direct Material, Direct Labour, Overheads ...

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The manual methods of time-keeping are as follows:

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Attendance Register Method: It is the oldest method of recording time. Under this method, an attendance register is kept in the time office adjacent to the factory gate or in each department for workers employed therein. The attendance register contains such columns as the name of the workers, the worker number, the department in which he is working, the rate of wages, the time of arrival and departure, normal time and overtime. The time of arrival and departure, may be noted down by an employee known as time keeper. If the workers  are illiterate, they may make a record of time themselves in the presence of a time keeper or foreman.

This method is simple and inexpensive and can be used in small firms where the number of workers is not large. This method may lead to dishonest practice of recording wrong time becuase there is possibility of collusion between some of the workers and the time keeper.

Metal Disc Method: Under this method, each worker is allotted metal disc or a token with a hole bearing his identification number. A board is kept at the gate with pegs on it and all tokens are hung on this board. These boards can be maintained separately for each department so that the workers could remove their tokens from the board without undue delay. As the workers enter the factory gate, they remove their respective discs or tokens and place them in a box or tray kept near to the board. Immediately after the scheduled time for entering the factory the box is removed and the late comers will have to give their tokens to the time-keeper personally so that the exact time of their arrival could be recorded. The discs or tokens still left on the board represent the absentee workers. Later the time keeper records the attendance in a register known as Daily Muster Roll which is subsequently passed on to the Pay Roll Department.

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