Many firms track the billable hours employees work to derive a payroll for every pay period. This ensures that employees receive payment proportionate to the units of time they clock, and that employee hours are recorded for analysis. But although the concept is theoretically very appealing, its realities are a lot different for those still using rudimentary tracking systems, such as ones that are paper-based. Typically, data is written down in a tabular format to record hours worked at or for the company. Depending on the firm’s preferences, it may just note the duration or span of time worked or mention the specific times at which an employee began and stopped working, or it may contain more details about the nature and specifics of the tasks completed. Either way, a paper-based system has many limitations that can have many negative effects for a firm. The good news is that there are now modern web-based time and attendance tracking software such as OnTheClock that can completely transform the employee time tracking experience for a firm. Read on to find out more about how a web-based system far outshines paper time sheets:
A web-based system is much easier to manage
There are plenty of things a firm typically has to worry about. From meeting deadlines to maintaining quality of work done to achieving task outcomes, there are many objectives that the people employed at a workplace should be investing their time and energy in. When a firm uses a paper-based tracking system, it just creates one more unnecessary issue to stress over. Paper time sheets need to be filled in, manually. When you factor in all the time needed to estimate or calculate time spent on each task per employee, and then to note it down, for every single working day from one pay day to the next, you will find that a lot of time is being wasted. Moreover, when it comes to the time when an invoice needs to be derived, the firm (or at least those in charge of consolidating the time sheets) will face a nightmare of having to go through log after log and deciphering clumsy handwriting, and then converting time into monetary values. Paper time sheets are also likely to get lost or damaged, and are difficult to work with when there are a large number of employees. With a web-based time clock app and time sheet calculator, you won’t encounter any of these problems.
Paper time sheets might not be accurate enough
It’s not a pleasant thought, but yes, employees may cheat. They have a strong incentive to do so: if they receive payment based on how long they work, lying about it can mean a more handsome paycheck at the end of the period. A paper-based time tracking system is so vulnerable to fraud that a firm using it would basically be enabling employees to take advantage of it. This would lower their motivation to actually work harder, and the entire company would be less productive (and less honest or transparent). Even if employees are not engaging in time theft or ‘buddy punching', paper-based systems involve a lot of guesstimates, which you know can be off from the truth at times. People may consistently overestimate or underestimate the amount of time that they’ve worked, which -- depending on the situation – isn’t fair to either the employer or the affected employees themselves. And humans are prone to make errors, which can again hamper the accuracy of paper-based tracking. They may misinterpret the writing, make calculation errors, and so on. A time keeper app on the other hand will give precise details about time spent on the job and also make time clock conversions and calculations to reduce chances of manipulations or trivial errors.
Paper time-tracking can be a lot more costly in many ways
We’ve already seen how paper-based systems are not reliable and difficult to manage. But this also has a big financial cost on the company. The cost of actually purchasing the paper and writing material and calculating resources aside (as well as individuals who may be tasked with recording or converting data for payroll purposes), the decreased productivity of employees due to the ease of tweaking records and the time spent in managing time sheets can potentially mean lower revenue and higher labor costs. Overpayments due to input or calculation errors may be recovered, but labor laws may place limitations on that based on where your firm is situated. Furthermore, if time sheets get lost or suffer damage, you will lose the records that are mandatory under law for you to preserve. Lawsuits and other legal hassle can be expensive and a big drain for the entire company. An online system saves all the time clocked in on a cloud so that it doesn’t get deleted or destroyed, and also shows accurate values so that there are no overpayments or underpayments. Some like OnTheClock come without a hefty price tag.
Web-based tracking systems improve accessibility
Unlike virtual time sheets, paper time sheets cannot be accessed in more than one location at the same time. Paper records are usually kept by the employer or individual employee or a specific department, based on the organization of the firm. But they are useful for employees who wish to look over their records for discrepancies or to strategize for more efficient working, as well as for employers and managers who wish to target undesired behavior such as absenteeism and extended breaks. While web-based time sheets can usually be accessed at the click of the button from any location or device on an app or browser as long as a registered account is used, paper time sheets cannot.
Web-based systems have sophisticated features that paper time sheets don’t
Apps and software can do things that humans simply cannot. For instance, the OnTheClock app can track GPS and use geofencing to prevent time theft. It can also use IP location restrictions, and biometric time clocks or fingerprint time clock so that buddy punching doesn’t occur. Employees can clock in and out from their mobile phones, from a web browser, and also from a shared device. It can also track paid time offs such as sick leaves and vacation days, shift employee scheduling, and give notifications and reminders about breaks and punching. All of this happens in real time, as do conversions so that employees get a timely and deserved wage. Paper sheets just cannot compare.
It's evident that paper time-tracking is a practice of the past, and firms who wish to improve efficiency and decrease potential problems should adopt a web-based time clock calculator. This will be a decision that will result in marked improvements in productivity and cost-management.