Solving the Top Six Problems for Collecting Employee Time for Payroll

Solving Six Problems for Collecting Employee Time.  Manually collecting employees time for payroll can be somewhat problematic. Not just reducing the mistakes but also reducing the time it takes to process. Solving Six Problems for Collecting Employee Time can be an easy fix with On-Time Web.

Issue 1 – Missing timesheets or time cards

I’m sure you have heard every excuse in the book for missing time cards or timesheets.  They all remind me of the old excuse of “the dog ate my homework.”  It always happens when you are on a time crunch and you just don’t have time to waste.

The best way to keep from having missing timesheets or time cards is to not use them.  Investing in an electronic time and attendance system can practically eliminate this issue.  Whether your employees write their time down or they punch an old-style punch clock with time cards, a good system will allow for both. This will also make it easier for your employees to keep up with their time without the need to write a timesheet every week.

Issue 2 – Illegible timesheets

This really goes hand-in-hand with Issue 1.  No point in having a time card if you can’t make out what it says.  Handwriting can run the gambit from too fancy to too sloppy. You shouldn’t have to be a handwriting specialist or military code breaker to read a timesheet.  The simple truth is that not everyone has legible handwriting. An electronic system can eliminate this issue as well.

Issue 3 – Late timesheets or time cards

Late timesheets or time cards can bring your payroll processing to a grinding halt.   Often the inconsiderate employee doesn’t understand the tedious work that it takes to process payroll.  The time to run down the culprit’s time card or timesheet could delay the entire process, thus delaying paychecks from being processed. By doing away with paper timesheets and time cards you have the ability to check the status of employees’ time daily.   This will help you minimize issues like this on payday.

Issue 4 – Inaccurate timesheets

Timesheets often bring about a great phenomenon — a super coincidental happening in the universe that 99 percent of those who fill out a timesheet is on time for work. They always take their lunch at the correct time right down to the minute and they leave for the day exactly when they were supposed to.  Either they are all very meticulous and prompt or someone is fibbing on their timesheet.

It is hard to believe that many companies just don’t feel this to be a big issue, but the monetary value can make it a big issue pretty quickly.  For example, say you have a company with 100 employees and they all do timesheets. You trust your employees and don’t want to spend the money on an electronic system.  Now, out of the 100 employees let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and say that 50 of them are accurate in keeping their timesheet.

Why 50? A national survey by PollFish asked 1,000 people if they have incorrectly overstated their time on a timesheet and 49% said they regularly add over an hour a week to their timesheets.  So, we figure half will fudge on their timesheet.  They come in 10 to 15 minutes late practically every day but they get there before the boss so they appear to be there on time.  They take a long lunch 3 days a week because “the lines were long”, and it appears that they work about a half an hour at least 2 days a week without much to show for it. So, in the course of a week, a person could give themselves a raise of about 1 hour a week.

Now, multiply that by half of the employees and that becomes 50 hours a week, 216 hours a month or 2,592 hours a year.  Let’s say you are a generous employer and the average wage you pay is $20.00 per hour. That is a whopping $51,840.00. Electronic time and attendance systems that force punching keeps honest people honest and save you money.

Issue 5 – Calculation errors

The American Payroll Association estimates that the rate of human error in time card preparation is between 1% and 8%. Let’s put your company on the lower side of that at 2%.  So, for 100 people making $20.00 an hour your weekly payroll is around $80,000.00. At a 2% error factor, you lose $1,600.00 a week or $83,200.00 a year.  Electronic time and attendance systems help close these money holes.

Issue 6 – Manual entry into your payroll software

Okay, let’s go back to your company of 100 employees again.  Payroll day.  You have collected all your time cards or timesheets. Then begin the tedious job of calculating all the time for the 100 employees. You enter the data from the time cards or time sheets into Excel to help increase accuracy in your calculations.  After that has been done and double checked you have to transfer all the time ticket entries into your payroll system.

Some payroll systems will allow for importing data from Excel, but often people prefer to enter the data manually. Once in the payroll system, you perform another check to make sure that you accurately entered the data from your spreadsheet.  That is a lot of manual entry, re-entry, checking and re-checking of your data. So how much time do you spend? On average it takes someone around 6-8 hours to process payroll for 100 employees.

Electronic time and attendance systems resolve this issue in three ways.

One – it can delegate the approval of time to the direct supervisors.  They should be reviewing, correcting and approving time because they deal directly with their staff.

Two – all the calculations are automatic. You will not need to manually calculate hours, regular, overtime, PTO, vacation or leave time.

Three – importing time saves time and reduces errors in the time entries. Your role changes from someone that had to take days to manually calculate and enter data to a specialist that reviews the process to verify correctness.  You are no longer doing the bulk of the work; now you are managing the exceptions.  You expedite payroll and have more time to focus on other responsibilities.

On-Time Web is the system that can resolve all these issues and more Solving Six Problems for Collecting Employee Time.
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