Back to the basics: Do you need a Time & Attendance System? Posted on: 21-10-2015

Before time attendance systems, employers trusted employees to provide their time in and time out. The loophole in this system soon became clear as there was no way to verify employees' entries. The corporate world then moved on to the punching system, where it worked pretty much the same way, but with the times being recorded automatically. This was an improvement, but still lost out to the ingenuity of the human race with 'buddy punching', an unethical practice of workers misusing their colleagues' cards to their advantage.

Do you really need one?

A study conducted by the American Payroll Association suggests that 75% of all employers lose money as a result of buddy punching, with the average being 18 hours' worth of wages per employee on a monthly basis. And how big is this? One in four employees admits to reporting more than the hours he/she actually worked, and participates in this practice all the time. The math is simple - if you have 100 employees, you overpay 25 of them for eighteen hours each, meaning your cumulative loss is a whopping 450 hours of wages per month. Sometimes it can be more than that!

A time and attendance system has a positive effect on your bottom line

The lone person hired to the Human Resources department of Michigan adventure course manufacturer and installer Ropes Courses Inc. realized that all the time-keeping was done on time cards that were handwritten. She had to manually run after people and verify if they were indeed working eight hours per day, and that came on top of having to make out job codes on the time cards, some of which was illegible.

The headcount grew from 15 to over a hundred, and she realized that the company was losing money on more than just time theft. They were spending hours monitoring time cards, and even worse, they were unable to project how many man hours would be required to complete a project, affecting their ability to place competitive bids and potentially losing thousands of dollars more.

Exasperated, she went to her boss and got a time and attendance system to manage employee attendance better. This required employees to be photographed holding up their QR cards, and once she presented proof by showing photographs of workers clocking their buddies in or out, they settled down to not trying to cheat the system.

The system has also contributed to significant cost savings. The time tracking software allows the company to know where time is being spent - or wasted - and by whom. The time and attendance software is not only saving the company from paying wages for hours not worked for, it is helping cut down on overtime and reducing costs even further. Additionally, the time & attendance system is helping compute manpower requirements and costs accurately, allowing the company to successfully bid for projects for bottom line improvements.

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