From hounding employees for their time cards to deciphering illegible writing, owners and operators of field service businesses or anyone who’s had to manage payroll knows the many frustrations paper time cards can bring to a company.

Yet, apart from the physical hassle, there are a number of other costs paper time cards can bring to your organization that, if left unchecked, can cut deep into your bottom line. With the price tags of running a successful, field service business continuing to increase year after year, buckling down on monitoring your expenses is becoming more important than ever before.

On that note, here are 3 hidden costs of paper time cards that could be running up the bill for your business, big-time.

#1.) Employee time theft.

Based on studies by the American Payroll Association, it’s been estimated that using paper time cards results in 10 minutes of “time theft” per employee, per day. Defined, time theft is any time employees clock in/out early or late, take long lunches or other types of breaks, resulting in the logging of exaggerated hours.

No matter if your organization is made up of 5 people or 500, 10 minutes of pay adds up quick. Over the course of months and years, the additional costs time theft piles on could’ve been used to pay for new equipment, business expansion, or even a nice vacation.

The continued use of paper time cards makes time theft easy for the workers who are willing to take advantage of the system. By being proactive and addressing this problem head-on, you’ll not only be setting precedence to future employees that this dishonesty won’t be tolerated, you’ll also be setting your business up for long-term, financial success.

#2.) The cost of waiting to fill out time cards.

It’s hard enough to remember what you had for breakfast yesterday morning or if you watched TV two nights ago, let alone trying to recall the specific tasks you did at work seven days ago and for how long. When it comes to filling out weekly time cards, procrastination is a common occurrence for workers. As a result, numbers get fudged, hours get added, and you as the business owner is the one who has to pay for it.

Studies show that timesheets filled out seven days or more after a job is completed are only 36% accurate. Time makes our memory fuzzy, and with each passing day, the likelihood your workforce is properly and accurately filling out their time cards decreases. To avoid paying for these hiccups out of pocket, ditching paper time cards altogether may be your best bet.

#3.) Payroll processing errors.

One of the biggest inconveniences of paper time cards is, undoubtedly, payroll processing. From inflated hours to poor handwriting to double data entry, the room for error spans far and wide. These mistakes have the potential to wreak havoc on a company’s profit margin. In fact, it’s been estimated that up to 8% of gross annual payroll can be attributed to time card computation errors, a cause for alarm for any business.

On the other side of the coin, when a company’s accounting software is synced with automated time and attendance tracking, efficiency in payroll processing has been found to shoot up 14%, on average. Best of all, with automated time tracking, your workers will be the ones handling data entry for payroll, freeing you up from manually inputting it yourself.

With payroll already accounting for about 50% of your total budget, can you really afford to throw even more cash into the process? Can you afford to continue paying for hours employees didn’t actually spend working?

As an already-busy business owner, continuing to use paper time cards is likely adding a layer of complexity to your job duties that you’ve been tackling because you know no different. From payroll to equipment costs to government fees, the price of running a business is high as it is, so it’s important to never leave money on the table.

Here at ExakTime, for over 20 years we’ve provided our customers with the streamlined systems and tools they need to spend less time chasing down time cards and more time on the tasks that matter most. From automated time tracking to GPS location tracking to seamless payroll integration, monitoring and recording your worker’s hours has never been easier than it is with ExakTime.

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