How to Track PTO as a Growing Company

By Brett Derricott

A lot of small companies track paid time off using paper forms, emails, or spreadsheets. As these companies grow, however, these outdated tools start to show their limitations. It’s at this point that many companies contact us to learn how to track PTO in a scalable, efficient way.

There are two key elements in improving how a growing company tracks paid time off:

Small companies frequently have loosely-defined time off policies. Because the team is small, management is able to personally keep an eye on each person’s productivity and attendance. As a result, PTO policies with strict rules aren’t necessary.

As a company grows, middle managers are added into the hierarchy. These middle managers are now responsible for the approvals, rather than a single leader or manager. Managers need a set of rules to guide them in the approval process. Otherwise, one manager may be very generous with time off approvals while another manager might be stricter.

As headcount grows in a company, knowing how to track PTO efficiently requires each of the following policy items to be considered (or reconsidered):

  1. Approval process: Who does the approving?
  2. Earning method: Is time off accrued or granted lump sum?
  3. Carry over: Does unused time off carry over from year to year?
  4. Minimum staffing: How many people can be gone at one time?
  5. Waiting period: Do new hires need to wait before paid time off can be used?
  6. Negative balances: Do you allow employees to have negative PTO account balances?

2. PTO Tracking Tools

Along with more robust PTO policies comes a need for growing companies to implement better tools. Paper, email, and spreadsheets may work fine with a handful of employees but being to fail spectacularly as headcount expands.

The larger the company, the more critical it is to have reliable, accurate tools in place to track PTO. A robust PTO tracking system like Built brings many benefits to a growing company:

  • Automated accruals
  • Accurate records of approvals and usage
  • Time stamped history of all actions for audit purposes
  • 24/7 access by both employees and administrators
  • Permissions and roles to ensure people only see what they should
  • Robust calculations for carry over, max balances, and other policy settings

Is your company outgrowing your manual process for tracking paid time off? If so, contact us and we’ll review your process and your tools to make sure you have a scalable solution.