There’s a huge problem that occurs at almost every company in nearly every industry – time theft. It happens when an employee accepts payment for time they didn’t work. It has been estimated by the American Payroll Association that the average American employee steals approximately 4.5 hours a week, adding up to about six weeks a year!

Common Ways Employees Steal Time

Time theft can take many forms, including completing personal tasks at work like surfing the internet, checking social media accounts and taking personal phone calls. For salaried employees, those who don’t technically “punch a clock,” time theft can include extending your lunch hour, coming in late and/or leaving early. For hourly employees, time theft can get a little more direct or even fraudulent. It can include:

  • Buddy punching: when one employee clocks in for another who isn’t actually at work
  • Inaccurate timesheet: when an employee records an earlier time than they actually arrived or later time than they actually left

5 Ways Time Tracking Software Can Help Your Company

You can have a set plan in place for dealing with time theft (and discuss that plan with your employees) that lays out the disciplinary actions involved. You can even investigate when time theft requires legal action. But investing in time and attendance software is an easy way to eliminate time theft and help make your employees more accountable for the hours they work.

1. Reduce errors by ditching the swipe cards and paper timesheets

It’s been estimated that up to 8% of gross annual payroll can be attributed to timecard computation errors. A paperless time tracking system prevents employees from fudging numbers or the office from making a clerical error leading to an incorrect paycheck.

2. Eliminate buddy punching with flexible time tracking options

From setting up a self-service portal to using biometric or geofencing methods, a digital service allows employees to securely log their hours on the job site or from their mobile devices. Biometric photo verification prevents buddy punching and geofencing ensures your employees are actually working where they’re supposed to be.

3. Be transparent by making timesheets available to employees

Being open and upfront with employees builds a culture of trust, helping to improve retention. When your employees can view and track their own hours, it not only reinforces that trust but eliminates any paycheck surprises. Employees are also protected because they know they’re getting paid for the hours they worked, especially when they are due overtime.

4. Show employees the benefit of putting in the hours

When employees take control of the hours they put in, they can start making plans for the PTO they accrue – helping to prevent burnout. Time and attendance software can automatically calculate time-off requests, routing those requests directly to the person that signs off on them.

5. Sync it all to payroll

The ultimate goal of time tracking is to pay your employees for the hours they work. If time tracking software doesn’t sync directly to payroll, you’re just making more work for yourself. An integrated system allows you to easily see rundowns of the hours each of your employees worked and what they were paid.

BirdDogHR, an Arcoro Company, offers a variety of time and attendance tracking methods to help organizations eliminate buddy punching and other time‑tracking inaccuracies. All methods are paperless and allow your employees to clock in from anywhere. Use our sister company’s Payroll Savings Calculator to see just how much time and attendance software can save your business.