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U.S. economy loses $373 million to time theft


According to recent research by TSheets, “buddy punching” is costing American businesses at least US$373 million in payroll costs nationally every year.

Buddy punching is the practice of employees “clocking in” for their co-workers.

Earlier this year, TSheets commissioned PollFish to conduct a survey of workers aged 18 plus about their workplace time tracking habits. The independent survey of 1,000 employees found that 16 percent admitted to clocking in for a colleague. The same survey found that timesheets are most commonly submitted weekly and that when errors are made, the most common mistake made is to add an extra 15 minutes.

Previous statistical data published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor indicates that there are more than 78 million hourly workers in the American workforce. The TSheets survey found that if 16 percent of them added 15 minutes to a co-worker’s timesheet by buddy punching, this would add more than US$373 million to the annual payroll bill, based on statistical data gleaned from the American Payroll Association.

“We know that it takes 10 to 15 minutes for an employee to actually clock in,” said Patrick Adcock, a TSheets analyst, in an interview with BiometricUpdate.com. “Ten to 15 minutes is therefore typically lost.”

To combat buddy punching, TSheet offers cloud-based time and attendance software that tracks employee work hours within the office or remotely via smartphones, cellphones, tablets, text messaging, and Twitter, enabling employees to enter time of workplace arrival vis-a-vis mobile technology. The software, in turn, delivers powerful data for job costing, real-time invoicing, and a short and simplified payroll process.

The software works by allowing employees to clock in using their mobile phones. The GPS capacity leveraged by TSheet software allows the employer to verify that the employee is not arriving late but claiming their on time.

“We basically provide employers and employees a modern take on the old school time clock,” said Adcock. “GPS tracking can determine whether an employee has clocked in while on the road on the way to work thereby allowing the employer to detect time theft.”

TSheets can also integrate seamlessly with QuickBooks, and has been rated a top app in the Intuit App Center.

For more information about time and attendance solutions, read Biometrics in Workforce Management, a research report by Biometrics Research Group, Inc. that examines the growing demand for biometric applications for labor management, workforce productivity and time and attendance solutions.

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