attendance clock

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An attendance clock -- commonly referred to as a "time clock" (a redundant, non-descriptive term), "clock card machine", "punch clock" or "time recorder" -- is a device which provides an independent record of the beginning and end of individual's presence at a particular location, usually a work site.

This is typically by having the individual perform some quick action at the device on arrival ("clocking in") and just before leaving ("clocking out"). In the pre-digital era, the individual (usually an employee) would present a card to the machine, which it would stamp with the current time. With the advent of digital technology, the paper is often dispensed with and the record is made electronically on a computer running attendance clock software.


  • /software
  • /terminal: in a digital system, this part interfaces with the person clocking in/out
  • /system: digital attendance clocks usually consist of one or more terminals plus one or more computers and software; the combination is an "attendance clock system"