Falsified time comes in many shapes and forms. It can be as basic as simply adding extra hours to a written timesheet. It may be clocking in while driving to work or modifying records to extend shift time and get paid more. Some people may even clock in for a coworker who is not there.
In addition to the ethical issues, stolen money in the form of falsified time adds up quickly. No one wants to pay for work that doesn’t take place. Or potentially, overbill clients for those hours. Business leaders and managers alike are rightfully concerned about falsified time records.
Tracking time efficiently and accurately has become a heightened concern as many organizations moved to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Physical time clocks are of no use to mobile or remote workers, and since managers often aren’t in the same location as their employees, they have to trust that the hours employees report manually are accurate. These manual solutions aren't scalable or efficient.
“There’s a greater risk of inaccuracies [with manual systems]. Workers can easily forget to write down their hours each day, so you must rely on their memory,” according to the American Payroll Association. “There are no timesheet backups, which may be a problem if timesheets are lost or destroyed, and the business is audited."
Given the technology available today, it's time to turn to digital and mobile solutions that will streamline processes and protect you from future hardships.
Understand the benefits of digital time tracking
Compared to manual methods, the American Payroll Association reports that there are several benefits for using a web- or mobile-based time clock solution, including preventing time theft.
“Managers report fewer instances of time theft when using a digital time-tracking system. Employees are more in control of their time when using a digital system. It’s easy to clock in and out—reducing off-the-clock work—and to record hours against different clients or projects.”
When employers use time-tracking software to manage employee time, organizations experience several benefits, including:
- Increased visibility and oversight regarding overtime issues.
- Automated approval processes and the seamless transfer of employee’s hourly data to payroll.
- Enhanced record retention options, with data stored securely in one location.
- Improved compliance with wage and hour regulations.
Address concerns about time falsification
Managers may understand the benefits of using time clock applications, but when it comes to mobile employees they may still have concerns about falsified time records. Without seeing an employee on the job, how can they be sure an employee is clocking in from a work location and not walking around the mall?
Thankfully, mobile features exist to help address manager concerns about time theft and limit the opportunities to falsify time records.
Mobile time clock features and capabilities
- Geofencing is a feature that enables the organization to allow mobile clock operation for specific locations. For example, a construction company might use geofencing to allow workers to clock in only at specific job sites. The same might apply for school district maintenance workers who could access the mobile time clock only from particular locations.
- Geolocation uses the employee's location from the mobile app to pinpoint where clock operations occurred. For home healthcare providers who travel to various locations based on patient needs, an employer could review mobile geolocation records to confirm accuracy. This feature is also popular for companies with staff who travel to client locations to make electric, plumbing or other repairs.
- Configurability in the time clock mobile solution allows organizations to select and limit access to only the desired employee tasks. For example, based on an employee's login, they might only have the option to clock in and out, while management employees may be able to review time-off requests using the mobile interface.
Each of these features protects the organization while also ensuring extensive data integrity. This type of data will also reinforce manager confidence that employee time is reported accurately.
It’s also important to keep in mind that when it comes to supervision, managers must trust employees and release some of the control they would have if they were at the same location.
Respect employee privacy
You only need to look at your smartphone to realize how many apps want to track your every move. When presented with the option of clocking in from a mobile device, employees may feel that the timekeeping app is just another instance of “big brother” watching their activity.
At TCP, we understand this concern. Our MobileClock app only uses the employee's location while they are performing clock operations. It does not use an employee's location when the app is not in use. Other providers, such as QuickBooks’ Tsheets, track employees’ locations at all times – regardless of whether they’re on duty or not.
Accuracy that improves your organization
Regardless of whether you're recording time using a mobile app or on paper timesheets, accurate reporting is necessary. You don’t have the time or budget to deal with falsified records, nor do employees want to work somewhere that they aren’t being paid for all the hours they work.
Finding and implementing a mobile time-tracking solution will help you ensure accurate records, prevent errors, and increase trust across your organization. Schedule a consultation today to learn more about how our mobile solutions work.