How businesses can use digital devices to replace paper based time and attendance sheets and the impact on productivity and service delivery
One suspects that since the beginning of time that Business Owners have been keeping an eye on Employee attendance and making sure that their workers have been onsite and are being productive. Whether it started out with a caveman carving lines in a rock, making sure that the right number of employees were there when they were supposed to, or the factory manager making sure that all the time cards were punched when they were supposed to be, the problems were all the same – keep productivity and profit up by making sure that employees were in attendance and working.
The big problem was that these Business Owners and their Managers faced was being able to accurately record and prove that every Bill and Mary was in attendance for their worked hours, and that they in turn could be correctly paid for that time. Using pens and paper had its place, but when it came time to gather all the paper time sheets into the same place for reconciliation that is where the pain starts. Data entry for payroll can cause huge mistakes compounding with more paper time sheets and with more workers that becomes a bigger and bigger problem. Anybody using an ‘Analogue’ method of recording attendance has to be satisfied with information that is:
- Near Enough – Someone’s estimation of how long they were performing a task
- Historical Information – Paper are traditionally filled in, post work, so are subject to someones memory as to what happened. And we all know what people’s memories are like!
- Open to Fraud - People often have selective memory and use ‘manual rounding’ when it comes time to reporting what they actually did.
In operation since 1998, Ezitracker has worked with hundreds of businesses around the world and tens of thousands of staff. In fact, Ezitracker was one of the early innovators of time and attendance software when it came to using something other than paper time sheets to record employee attendance. Like many great ideas Ezitracker was born out of need. The original founders came across a Business Owner who was bemoaning the fact that he did not know if his staff were actually on site when they were supposed to be. This busy cleaning company owner wanted to know if there was another way of making sure he was complying with the terms of his contracts and delivering a quality service. Our founders suggested the potential use of a landline time and attendance solutions at his customer locations and Ezitracker was born.
Time theft is the depreciation that any successful business can ill afford. International studies consistently report that somewhere between 4-5 hours per week are ‘stolen’ from an employer by their employees. Perhaps stolen is a harsh word, as many employees would not see rounding up time worked as out and out theft, merely as perks of the job, or an opportunity to cut corners wherever they can. Typically time theft is made of things like:
- Manual rounding on time sheets
- Straight out fraud – putting in false times
- Buddy punching – logging for other not at site
- Early finishes
- Long breaks
- Unauthorised overtime
- Personal Activities – running personal errands etc.
- Logging in at home
Many Employers have no idea of the effect that Time Theft has on their business. How could they? They are still using pens and paper time sheets – historical and manual methods of recording activities that have no place in modern business. The writer can recall an episode in the early 2000’s whereby a new user of the Ezitracker service contacted him just over a month after starting the service, expressing their concern that the information that was coming through from the Ezitracker service in no way matched the schedule of their Worker. Upon being asked to consult the Employee the Employer found out that the schedule times and durations that had been put in place some two years earlier were not being adhere to. The employees explanation – “I just agreed with the customer about the times and duration that I would come and meet them. We did that about 2 years ago.” Using an Electronic device to mandate real time attendance just makes sense. It’s time to get rid of the paper timesheets for record keeping.
Ezitracker customers have typically reported at least a 5% saving of their payroll costs by using the Ezitracker service. Generally the larger the organisation the greater cost savings. Some larger public bodies have reported savings of up to 15% of their payroll costs – by reporting and recording actual data at source, rather than a post event paper based process that involves the human memory. So, if you’re an organisation with a remote workforce that hasn’t moved away from processing paper for all of your data reporting needs do yourself a favour and add some form of hardware to report attendance management…you won’t go back!