Right off the bat, let’s make it clear: tracking employee work time is not a waste of time in and of itself. In fact, it can be key to ensuring business productivity and profitability. As it happens, I’m all in favor of recording work time, not just for hourly employees, but for everybody.
No, the problem is not with tracking time per se — the problem lies with how some businesses go about recording and processing that time.
Handwritten time sheets have got to go
Do you track employee time using handwritten time sheets?
According to a study commissioned by Planview and carried out by Loudhouse, an independent research agency, the number one cause of wasted time during the workday is inefficient processes (44%), followed by an overload of paperwork (43%). According to a survey conducted by Nitro and the PDF Association, over 20% of the productivity loss at the typical business is due to “document challenges,” including reviewing, collecting signatures, and filing/organizing/retrieving documents.
Handwritten time sheets are a big contributor to these problems. They bring with them a number of issues that are costing your business time and money:
- Time wasted deciphering bad handwriting
- Time expended adding up hours by hand
- Errors due to mis-reading bad handwriting
- Simple math errors in adding up work time
- Coding errors posting the hours worked to your payroll system
- Time it takes to correct all those errors
- And so on…
Clearly, there has to be a better, more efficient way than shuffling all that paper around. In other words, if you’re looking to streamline your processes and cut down on the paperwork overload, those paper time sheets should be among the first on the chopping block. (Or into the shredder, if you prefer!)
A better alternative
Fortunately, technology has come to the rescue. Automated time tracking — whether using installed software like timeQplus or a cloud-based service such as AcroTime — is your time-saving, headache-reducing, productivity-enhancing solution. Here’s why:
- Employees can clock in easily using a badge, a PIN, a biometric marker (finger, hand or face), the computer on their desk, a telephone, even a smartphone app (the specific options available depend on which product you choose).
- Their time is automatically recorded and totaled. No more squinting at bad handwriting. No more clerical errors.
- Supervisors can review and approve their employees’ time sheets easily, electronically. No more excuses!
- Time records can be exported, hassle-free, to your payroll provider or software, eliminating another common source of errors.
- This means it takes less time (often much less time) and fewer resources to process payroll more accurately — which saves you money and frees up workers for other, more productive tasks.
Many of our customers find their savings are so great, the new system pays for itself within a matter of months! Now that’s the kind of payback period that will get your accountant all excited. (Not that you will be able to tell, most likely. Accountants usually like to keep their cool in public.)