A lot goes into your business every day that requires attention and resources, but manually tracking your employees’ time shouldn’t have to be one of them.
According to the American Payroll Association (APA), 25% of U.S. businesses are still using paper time cards or spreadsheets to handle time tracking and payroll. But these traditional methods require hours of work — from gathering and adding up time cards to cutting checks — and even more hours if you have to troubleshoot and solve issues along the way. In fact, it’s not uncommon for the typical payroll employee to work about 25 hours of overtime each month. And even if you don’t handle payroll in-house, you’re presumably paying someone else to do it for you, which means you’re still committing significant resources to it.
With this in mind, let’s look at a few ways that manual time tracking and payroll can chew up too much of your time, and how an automated time tracking system that merges with payroll data can help you finally ditch manual time tracking altogether.
Where your time is really going
Here’s what you’re really spending time on when you manage employees’ time manually (this list is not exhaustive):
1. Calculating time cards
When you add up time cards, you’re bound by a number of rules, including how to round time up and down, how to count paid breaks like meals, and how to calculate overtime, to name a few. But if you’re still using manual timesheets, adhering to the rules and following correct procedures get much more complicated — and anything that’s complicated is also more time-consuming.
2. Deciphering illegible handwriting
Even though this one may sound silly, making sense of employees’ handwriting can actually turn into a serious time suck. When you’re not able to read what’s on a time card, you end up with additional chores on your plate — such as tracking down the employee who wrote it and re-entering corrected data into your system. If you can’t track down the employee, you may have to guess what they wrote and then risk inaccuracy.
3. Filing taxes (and worrying)
Not only is your time wasted tracking down and trying to verify information with employees during payroll periods, but when tax season rolls around, all those same concerns and inaccuracies can pop up again, taking enormous amounts of time to figure out and correct. If you miss something along the way, and it results in tax errors, your business could be subject to expensive penalties.
4. Organizing and keeping track of paperwork
Many businesses are still in the process of going paperless, and if you haven’t gotten there yet with time tracking and payroll, you may still be expending major effort on them. If that’s the case, you probably have an intricate process for organizing time cards and payroll paperwork, which means you know all too well that maintaining this level of manual organization is also incredibly time-consuming.
The good news is that manual time tracking is steadily becoming a thing of the past as businesses realize there are far better ways of managing it today. Adopting an automated time tracking system is one of the best decisions you can make to smooth out the process and reduce the hours you have to commit to it.
Why you should invest in a time tracking system
Earning time back in your day isn’t the only reason to adopt a digital time tracking system. Here are some other important benefits of automated time and attendance systems:
Using time tracking software eliminates manual effort — and all the meticulous organization and paperwork that comes with it. The system makes it easy for employees to digitally clock in and out — no matter where they are, from the desktop or a mobile app — which then makes it easy for payroll staff to calculate time cards and overtime. And because the system reduces human error, you don’t have to spend additional time troubleshooting discrepancies, correcting data, or tracking down employees to figure out what they recorded. The entire time tracking workflow is streamlined and easier.
Tracking time accurately is key to accurate payroll. With a time tracking system that integrates with payroll, you can avoid the common mistakes and errors that impact payroll, such as time theft (accidental or otherwise), missing time card data, double punching, and other issues. The system captures time and calculates it for you, with accurate rounding, a complete record of time card edits, and other automated features that ensure correct information.
Staying compliant with payroll laws is crucial to avoid serious penalties. A time tracking system designed for compliance helps your business meet federal laws governing overtime, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and other state and local requirements. A compliant system also ensures the right payments can be made in complex situations, such as when employees report their time on call, for travel, or when splitting shifts. The system can be set up according to your unique time tracking needs without fear that you’ll end up out of compliance.
Reduction in unethical practices
Time tracking can be rife with unethical practices — including buddy punching and willful time theft. A time tracking system that includes GPS helps you know if employees are clocking in and out when they say they did, and if they’re actually on site or “on the clock” if working remotely. The software system curbs behaviors that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to know about or manage with a manual time tracking process, and help you avoid wasted money on hours that weren’t worked.
Improve time tracking today
Manual time tracking is too inefficient and inaccurate for today’s businesses. The time you spend manually calculating time cards and processing payroll could be put toward strategic practices and initiatives that help grow your organization and meet business objectives. With time clock technology, you can save time, money, and headaches by tracking time more efficiently and effectively.
Save time with PrimePay.
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