How are You Collecting Time?

By: Gurpreet Banwait

How are you collecting employee time today? Maybe you are using pen and paper, or an old style punch clock system. Either way, you must understand the manual effort involved in collecting, verifying/matching with shifts, and then inputting into your payroll system must take significant time.

The time spent only increases as you grow your business by adding staff or by having to deal with calculation errors. Along with the increased risk of input and verification errors, manual entry also increases the risk of employees reporting their time incorrectly. There are better ways out there that will allow you to manage this process, reducing the time you are spending as well as reducing the potential for fraud.

Here are the some important questions to determine if you need an automated time clock process:

1) Are you looking to save time?

If you are spending significant time collecting the hours, verifying them and then inputting the data into a payroll system, you may want to consider updating your time clock process. The American Payroll Association has estimated that errors in the manual process can cost businesses up to 7% of their gross payroll.

2) Do you feel that your employees may be taking advantage of the manual process?

If you think that employees are coming in late or taking longer breaks and then entering in the incorrect time, an automated process should be considered. Time theft or labor fraud is serious and will continue to cost you money until you do something about it.

3) Are you challenged with verifying attendance or staff not taking their breaks?

There are really two main issues here – attendance and possibly legal ramifications. For the attendance issues, having an electronic collection method will alert you to people who are consistently showing up late or taking breaks that are longer than what they should be taking. From a legal perspective, jurisdictions like California want to ensure that employees are taking their breaks. If they are not, that could leave you open to a potential lawsuit. Having an electronic time clock will allow you to see who is not taking their breaks, giving you the opportunity to speak with these employees and advising them of the importance of taking the necessary time off.

As can be seen from the above, any time that is spent on manual processes takes time away from managing and growing your business. If you are experiencing any of the above problems, you might want to consider an app that can allow your employees to manage their clock-in/out functions or purchasing physical time clocks that can be placed at your sites. Whatever you decide on, ensure that the data is automatically reconciled against your employee scheduling system. This will save you significant time by having to only deal with exceptions.