How to Convert Time for Payroll

by Grace Ferguson; Updated September 26, 2017
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Payroll processing for a single pay period can sometimes take two or three days to complete because it is a detailed process. One of the most time-consuming (and first) tasks of payroll processing involves figuring employees’ time. During performing the calculations, you must also convert the employees’ time.

Gather hourly employees’ weekly time sheets. Hourly employees are paid based on their hours worked within the current pay period--the period of time for which they are being paid. The time sheets should reflect each employee’s regular, overtime, vacation, sick or personal time used for that week. Some employees use time sheets that are completed by hand; others punch time clocks. Ensure that the employee and his manager or supervisor signs the time sheet. If it's not signed, return it for the appropriate signatures.

Go through the time cards and convert military time to regular time. If the time sheet is completed by hand, you most likely can skip this step because the employee would have used regular time to record his hours. If the employee uses a time clock that records his punches in military time, you must convert it. Use the following example to convert military time to regular time: In--900; lunch in--1300; lunch out--1400; out--1900 equals in--9 a.m.; lunch in--1p.m.; lunch out--2 p.m.; out--7 p.m. The employee should be paid for eight regular hours and one hour of overtime, provided he has 40 regular hours for the week.

Change decimals to minutes. The employee’s time sheet might reflect decimals instead of minutes. Use the following formula to do the conversion: 0 - .25 equals 15 minutes 26 -.50 equals 30 minutes .51 - .75 equals 45 minutes .76 - .99 equals 60 minutes

Round up hourly employees’ time to the nearest quarter hour. The employee or the time clock generally records the exact punches (e.g., 8:13 a.m. or 7:06 a.m.); round up as follows: 8:13 a.m. equals 8:15 a.m. 7:06 a.m. equals 7 a.m.

Total the time sheet columns based on your conversions for each day. The regular and overtime columns should both be converted. For example, your regular column conversion reflects: Monday: 8 hours Tuesday: 7 hours and 30 minutes Wednesday: 6 hours and 15 minutes Thursday: 8 hours Friday: 7 hours and 45 minutes The regular column total should read 37 hours and 30 minutes.

About the Author

Grace Ferguson has been writing professionally since 2009. With 10 years of experience in employee benefits and payroll administration, Ferguson has written extensively on topics relating to employment and finance. A research writer as well, she has been published in The Sage Encyclopedia and Mission Bell Media.

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