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April 14, 2020 | Time and Attendance | Posted by Ascentis Thought Leadership

Why Automated Time and Attendance Software Makes Sense For You

In an era of artificial intelligence and algorithms, employers have a wider range of options than ever before for smoothing out the wrinkles in their time and attendance systems. Even with all of these technological advancements available, though, a surprising number of employers continue to lag behind the curve. According to industry surveys, only about 25% of employers currently use a software-based solution for tracking employees’ time. Let’s look at some of the reasons that should be a troubling statistic for any business with its eye on the bottom line. 

Most employees steal time 

That’s an eye-catching — and accurate — headline, but it’s not quite as dire as it might seem. It’s true that employee surveys have shown that a striking 80% of workers admit to engaging in some kind of time theft. That doesn’t mean, however, that your workforce is made up of a bunch of hardened criminals. Many of the activities that constitute time theft are things that employees might see as harmless or just “part of the job”: browsing the internet on company time, taking a long lunch or coffee break, punching a co-worker’s timecard for them when they’re running late.  

Although your employees may not mean any harm by it, these activities take their toll. Time theft in its various forms costs American companies more than $11 billion each year. One of the key arguments in favor of an automated time and attendance tracking system is that it takes away the opportunity for time theft. By shifting from an antiquated punch card system to an automated system, for example, a business can eliminate buddy-punching, a practice experienced by 75% of employers at an annual cost of $373 million. With time theft adding up to as much as 7% of some companies’ payroll expenses, increased automation just makes sense. 

People make mistakes 

A big part of the reason automated tools even exist is because humans make errors that software generally does not. That’s all the more obvious when it comes to something as detail-focused and variable as hourly time-tracking. According to a survey of employers, 96% of employees make mistakes when recording their own hours. The likelihood of those mistakes increases depending on the frequency of the recordkeeping: workers who enter their hours worked daily make fewer mistakes than those who enter them weekly, who in turn make fewer mistakes than those who enter hours on a varying schedule. 

Automated time tracking software with real-time reporting not only reduces these kinds of mistakes by 44%, it also improves efficiency by making sure employee hours are submitted on a regular schedule. Employee time tracking software also cuts expenses by limiting the time your human resources team spends tracking down delinquent time sheets and correcting human mistakes. What’s more, automation helps your company avoid fines and back-wage payments that come with violations of FLSA and other time and pay rules. While there’s still no such thing as a completely error-proof system, an up-to-date suite of workforce management tools including time and attendance software can significantly reduce many of your workforce’s most frequent and expensive mistakes. 

Employees want better tools 

One common argument against instituting employee time-tracking software is that employees will resent the feeling that they’re being too closely monitored by their employers. While going overboard with tracking is certainly a consideration, the truth is that most time and attendance solutions are unobtrusive tools that save time and streamline daily processes for workers and employers alike.  

In fact, studies show that most employees embrace these kinds of solutions. In a landscape where 75% of workers say their job doesn’t currently give them the technology they need to complete their tasks efficiently, tools like mobile apps with employee self-service options have been shown to increase employee satisfaction considerably.  

Tracking the way your employees spend their workdays also makes it easier for them to do their jobs effectively. For instance, the average employee has their work interrupted every eight minutes, and only 20% of those interruptions are considered worthwhile. That creates a frustrating and confusing work environment that impacts your bottom line. Automated time tracking helps your HR team identify the sources of those interruptions and make adjustments for a smoother, more streamlined workday.  

 Considering all of those factors, just makes sense to automate time and attendance functions, especially with studies showing that automation improves profitability by up to 30%That’s a striking figure considering that a surprising number of companies still rely on outdated time management tools like spreadsheets, manual time clocks, and punch cards. Reliable time-tracking software, along like smart hardware like biometric time clocks and time-tracking apps for mobile devices, is a crucial investment for any business looking to stay ahead of the competition, reduce expenses, control labor costs, and improve efficiency.   

 Ready to learn more about automating time and attendance? Download our infographic now! 


With more than 35 years of experience in providing Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, Ascentis thought leaders have become a respected source for insights, tips, and innovations in the Human Capital Management (HCM) space.