5 Reasons Pen & Paper Timesheets and Timecards Are Costing You Money


It’s widely understood that technology, when utilized properly, can make businesses more efficient.  Unfortunately, time tracking systems are frequently overlooked by small businesses.  Time and attendance systems eliminate many of the problems associated with old-fashioned clock punching, but many small businesses continue to use pen and paper timesheets or timecards.

Processing payroll manually costs your business money.  Here are five reasons why:

(1) Human Error & Overpayments
KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAWe all make mistakes. From not being able to distinguish time data handwritten by employees to misreading a clock, according to the American Payroll Association (APA), companies that lack automated timekeeping have up to an 8 percent error rate on their payroll.

An overpayment can be defined as compensation paid to an employee in excess of the amount owed for a given pay period. Wage overpayments, which can result from clerical errors, can typically be recovered, but state laws vary according to Bloomberg BNA’s summary of a APA Congress session. For instance, Illinois mandates that employers can only deduct wages to recover an overpayment from the first paycheck following the overpayment. Overpayments can be more easily avoided when using time and attendance software, as opposed to pen and paper timesheets or timecards.

(2) Productivity Losses
Imagine having to chase down employees for timesheets and then interpret and re-record each of those documents. For some business owners, this is a time-intensive and, thus costly, reality.

(3) Poor Scheduling Leading to Increased Overtime
Not having a full understanding of how much employees have worked could result in your biggest resources—your employees—being underutilized. It could also result in unnecessary overtime payments if the same individuals are being scheduled repeatedly.

(4) Time Theft
iStock_000015666827_LargeFrom “buddy punching” to embellishing hours, one of the greatest downfalls of a paper timesheet is that not only to do they lend themselves to human error, but they are easy to forge. An extra fifteen minutes here or there might not seem like much, but it adds up. Imagine an employee claims an extra 20 minutes of work each day. For an employee paid $8.50 per hour, who works six days a week, that is an $884.00 per year loss. Now, image some of that time paid out as overtime.

(5) Noncompliance and Lawsuits
Paper timesheets can be lost or destroyed in a number of ways, from natural disasters and burglary to simple disorganization. Losing timesheets also means losing information critical to your company’s financial picture. It also means losing the accurate time and attendance records required by law, and legal disputes over employee wages and employee hours—which can be costly—are two of the fastest-growing areas of litigation.

The choice is obvious, if you’re still using pen and paper timesheets or timecards; it’s time to embrace technology. An automated time and attendance system tracks employees in real-time without the worries or complications of pen and paper timesheets or timecards, and the benefits don’t stop there. Learn more about how Wasp’s Time Tracking and Attendance can benefit your business.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

Rate this article

Rating: 4.3/5 (3 votes cast)
5 Reasons Pen & Paper Timesheets and Timecards Are Costing You Money, 4.3 out of 5 based on 3 ratings
Brian Sutter

Brian Sutter

Director of Marketing at Wasp Barcode
Brian Sutter is the Director of Marketing at Wasp, responsible for the development and execution of the company’s marketing strategy. His role encompasses brand management, direct and channel marketing, public relations, advertising, and social media. He also writes and speaks on topics related to helping small business owners grow their business and improve operational efficiency.
Brian Sutter
Brian Sutter