3 Ways to Prevent Time Theft

As a business owner, one of the biggest concerns you might face is time theft. Did you know that nearly half of employees commit time theft in one form or another? As a matter of fact, 43% of employees accept pay for time that they have not actually worked. As the new year begins, you might want to consider ways to prevent this from happening in your business, because at the end of the day, time clock fraud has a big impact on your bottom line.

1. Choose the Right Time Tracking Method

There are many ways of tracking time and attendance, the most popular options being the following:

  • Spreadsheets

  • Time Cards

  • Badges and ID’s

  • Time Clock

  • Biometric Time Clocks

Although some of these methods are better than others, the truth is that they all work to achieve the same goal -- track an employee’s time and attendance. Depending on the size of your workforce, or even the industry you are in, some time tracking methods may be more cost and time effective. For example, if you only have one or two employees, a simple spreadsheet might be your best option. If you work for a large factory, then biometric time clocks will work best for you. To learn more about time tracking methods, read here.

Keep in mind that having a good time and attendance software not only makes your employees’ lives easier, but it also reduces the workload of your HR department. Businesses that do not have the right time tracking method in place are more prone to time theft. Before committing to a time tracking method, make sure you have done all the research you can and even better, make sure you read the reviews of whatever method you decide to go for.

2. Improve Communication

It may seem obvious, but telling your employees all your rules and expectations will prevent time theft. When you hire a new employee, make sure that they know what their work schedule is. Teach them how to punch in and out, how to request time off, and if you have a points system make sure they are aware and understand the consequences. Surprisingly, not everyone understands that you cannot punch in for someone else - this is also known as “buddy punching”.

This can be done through sharing an employee code used to clock in, or by giving another employee your badge to scan. For example, at Dominion we use our Time Clock App. Every employee has their personal 4 digit pin number which they use to punch in and out. If my coworker is running a few minutes late and he texts me his pin and tells me to clock him in, I should not do it because doing so will result in time theft.

The same goes for businesses that use time cards and similar time tracking methods. This is one of the main reasons why biometric time clocks are most recommended. By having clear communication with your employees you reduce the risk of ambiguity so every worker knows what is prohibited and what is accepted on company time.

3. Audit Your Processes

A simple way to start auditing is by having your managers and supervisors run audits on random employees’ time cards. Each week, two employees in the same department have their punches audited for anomalies. Another way to audit is to have your Payroll department run weekly reports to determine if certain departments are consistently over budgeted for payroll. It may be caused by time card fraud, poor scheduling, or other managerial mismanagement. Either way, auditing allows you to determine any patterns and misinformation. You may find out that the time tracking method you have in place is not the best option for your business.

When it is time to reconsider your time and attendance options, keep in mind that having an online, cloud-based software is the best option. As for the actual time tracking method, again, I recommend using biometric time clocks. Dominion’s time and attendance software allows hours to automatically and seamlessly flow into payroll, which means no dual entry between platforms. Dominion also offers multiple input options such as biometric time clocks, mobile punching, and PC punching to collect time. Keep in mind that as an employer, you need to stay compliant with FLSA laws and having a good time and attendance software can help you do that. Dominion’s software allows you to quickly produce reports of hours worked and paid with the Reporting feature.

See how Dominion’s Time & Attendance Software can help you stay efficient, productive, and compliant.