In our high-tech society, few business operations use a manual timekeeping procedure. A favorite of the entrepreneur who provides services at multiple locations for a multitude of clients is a call-in time tracking service.
This automated service has dual roles. Billable time is recorded in order to invoice the client at a later date and hourly time is tallied on a timecard for payroll processing. An employee will call a designated phone number from any location to “punch in.” Upon completion of a job, a second call allows the employee to “punch out” thereby closing out the assignment. However, this system isn’t without its drawbacks; one of which is its lack of employee supervision.
On the occasion that a timecard appears to have exceeded the allotted time for an assignment, a business is confronted with a dilemma. The actual cost to the client will show a discrepancy in the proposed cost and the payroll will be over budget. A solution to the problem may be to provide a more accurate estimate of time in future proposals. However, a common problem is an employee failing to follow the proper procedure in reporting time.
A disobedient employee may pad his/her time by calling in with a cell phone before reaching the destination and after leaving the location thus increasing his paycheck as well as the client’s billable time. A benefit to using an automated time tracking system is its ability to reveal the source of a call.
A thorough of review of timecards in addition to enforcing a policy to have all employees call in from a landline at the location where the work is taking place will ensure that company time is tracked properly and honestly.
Ultimately, clients will be satisfied and payroll expenses will be on budget.