Time theft can occur in your business when you pay an employee(s) for work they either have not done, or you pay them for time when they were not on the premises. With the growing remote and mobile workforce, time theft has become a much bigger issue for employers. In fact, it has become so big, millions of dollars are being lost every year in productivity. Some other businesses are using factoring invoice companies to pay employees who have cheated the system. This puts a dent in cash flow by paying for work that was not completed.
We caught wind of a news story today about a Stamford, CT woman who embezzled over $150,000 from her employer by falsifying payroll spreadsheets over the course of a four year period. Apparently the woman was manually increasing the number of hours that she worked each week then manipulated composite reports so they would not show any increase in pay. All told over the course of nearly four years, she overpaid herself $150,689 in salary and $11,528 in Social Security and Medicare benefits.
After reading this article, we wondered if the employer might have been able to avoid this employee time theft if they would have discontinued using paper time sheets and instead switched to an automated labor tracking system that included a biometric time clock component. We have written previously about 5 reasons paper time sheets suck and why you should stop using them, clearly this story is a an example on how employers can mitigate risk by switching to automated payroll systems that eliminate data manipulation leading to exorbitant payroll losses.
Investing in an automated payroll system that includes a “soft” clock application that can be used with or without biometrics and acts as a custom employee time data collection interface is becoming a more attractive option for employers. Our RightPunch™ soft clock application works seamlessly with many leading Workforce Management platforms, such as Kronos, ADP, Empower, Qqest, Insperity, and others, to collect offline time stamps, locally enforce schedule restrictions, and facilitate employee self-service (ESS) functions. It is a more affordable alternative to the traditional time clock and more sensible option to the antiquated paper time sheet system which can easily be exploited. It is designed to eliminate employee time theft, increase productivity, reduce payroll error rates, and ensure compliance with labor tracking laws. It also creates payroll efficiencies through automated data collection and submission, to prevent employees from falsifying data and cheating the system.
Could this be the right time for you to invest in an automated payroll system? Have you ever suspected employees were cheating you by falsifying their time sheets? What questions or comments can you share about your experiences?