Manual and paper time cards have been around for a long time, and because many companies are reluctant to spend money to update their paper timesheet systems –they’re still in use today.
But just because they work, to an extent, doesn’t mean that sticking with manual attendance systems is the best – or even most economical – option. These days, having a robust and automated employee timesheet system that verifies work hours, and syncs up with your payroll processing system is the best way to streamline efficiency in your workforce management, all while ensuring that you’re paying your team for the total hours they’ve worked.
While there are many issues with manual time cards, one of the most common problems with manual systems is improper interpretation of time card data.
When entering the data manually into a payroll system, there’s a good chance of human error occurring. This, of course, can result in inaccurate paychecks –something that can add up considerably over the year. In fact, the American Payroll Association estimates that the average business wastes 1-8 percent of its total payroll on clerical errors. And as if this weren’t stressful enough, there are also potentially serious legal ramifications that you have to worry about if paychecks are delayed, or come up short.
Mistakes with payroll can happen to anyone –and are an issue that most companies that rely on manual time card systems face. Let’s see what this problem looks like, practically speaking –and find out how having an up-to-date time tracking system can help to simplify your time tracking process, while ensuring accuracy.
Improper Interpretation of Time Card Data: A Serious Issue
The improper interpretation of time card data can happen to anyone.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) makes it an employers responsibility to track regular hours, overtime hours, and time off for their team members in order to ensure that compensation is accurate and complete. Even when employees are totally aligned with this goal – Human error is inevitable, and with manual time cards, the chance is even higher.
Since handwriting is often hard to read, it is possible that your employees are being paid for time that wasn’t worked –or, on the other hand, it’s also possible that they’re not being properly compensated for hours that they have worked –something that can have serious legal implications.
In addition to misinterpreting the timecard data, there’s also a risk of numbers being transposed, miscalculations occurring –and time that’s forgotten about –all things that can cause paychecks to be inaccurate.
Additionally, transferring data can be time-consuming. The American Payroll Association estimates that the average time spent adding up timecards is 7 minutes per card. And as many business owners know, it’s not uncommon for organizations with a manual timekeeping and payroll process to spend five hours or more running payroll at the end of each pay period. The whole point of employee time carsds is to exercise greater control over schedules; it’s antithetical to then spend a large amount of time just counting the number of hours worked. And since a handwritten, manual timecard has no supporting evidence –if there’s any discrepancies, you’ll have no choice but to take your employees’ word that they worked the hours that they say they did, even if they didn’t.
How to Avoid Improper Interpretation of Time Card Data
The best way to avoid the issue of improper interpretation of time card data, is by upgrading to a new time tracking system that doesn’t require data to be input manually.
Even the best, most careful workers will make mistakes from time to time, and by cutting out the chance of human error, you can ensure accuracy and accountability on all fronts.
Automated time card systems today can help to ensure accuracy, while helping to keep everyone on the team honest, accountable –and happy. Your employees will be happy to know that they are being accurately compensated for time worked and overtime, and your payroll admin will be glad that they no longer have to spend time deciphering handwriting. And of course, you will be happy to know for certain that your workers are being paid fairly –and knowing that you’re not paying out for time that wasn’t worked.
Are you thinking of making the switch to automated time tracking software?