Time tracking software with built-in GPS location tracking uses a cell phone’s native functionality, so it’s easy for both the office and your workers. It also brings many benefits, from improved recordkeeping and worker accountability to reduced labor costs.
Who needs time tracking and why?
Construction and field service companies—from repair and maintenance firms to utilities, HVAC and more—need a reliable answer for job site time tracking, especially when the job site is mobile. Otherwise, remote employees can’t be held accountable for their time—and you can’t improve efficiencies in the field.
Desk and field-based employees alike are generally bad at filling out time cards, according to Harvard Business Review. They don’t remember their hours a week later, or the days they took off, and they do a poor job estimating how long their breaks were.
Whatever the industry, reliance on manual time tracking is time-consuming at best. Paper time cards or timesheets have to be filled out by employees or supervisors, which takes time and invites time theft. Construction is by nature vulnerable to time theft, i.e. workers claiming more minutes and hours than were actually worked. Workers can do this as they are often spread out and unsupervised or difficult to monitor.
Then that paperwork must be gathered and entered into a payroll or accounting program, another tedious process that can be complicated by unreadable writing, missing timesheets, and input errors.
A Closer Look at Time Theft
Employee time theft is common with the use of paper time cards. It boils down to one thing: employees representing that they were on the job working when they weren’t. But time theft can have a variety of causes.
Forms of time theft
- Buddy punching– When one employee punches a time clock for or otherwise poses for an absent employee.
- Hour-rounding – Whenemployees round up their time worked for the day or weekas they fill out their time cards or time sheets
- Late starts or early stops – When employees start a few minutes late and leave a few minutes early every day. This may seem like nothing, butwithmany workers doing this daily, it adds up.
- Misremembering – Whenworkershonestly forget that they left early one day to pick up their kid or for a medical appointment, or took an unpaid day off the week prior.
How costly is time theft?
A significant portion of most business’s budgets is funneled into payroll. For many small companies, that amount is upwards of 50 percent of their gross revenue.
The American Payroll Association has estimated that 7 percent of payroll costs result from time theft. So if you spend $500,000 in payroll a year, that means you’re paying $35,000 more than you should be.
Benefits of using a GPS time tracking app
A time clock app with GPS puts a GPS “time stamp” on the clock-ins and clock-outs of your workers. In other words, the software records the worker’s clock-in or clock-out location along with the time. It then checks if the location falls within the custom geofence you set for each job site, that is the GPS coordinates and a radius of your choosing. Your time clock software will green flag every time stamp inside the goefence, and red flag anything outside.
Again, the immediate benefits of using a GPS time clock app are many. These are the primary ones:
Documentation for more secure compliance
A time tracking app provides you with irrefutable, digital documentation of the time your workers actually worked. An app coupled with SaaS software will store the information in the cloud, so you don’t have to worry about it taking up room on your company’s server when you save your documentation for the three years required by the FLSA. Then, if an employee complains or you are routinely audited, you can pull up the data within seconds, no sweat.
Little to no room for human error
With a time clock app with GPS, the times employees start and stop their work at the job site are recorded digitally, so there’s no opportunity for misremembering or incorrect recording. Even better, the data is transferred to your accounting program, so there’s no room for manual entry errors, either.
Increased efficiency with real-time data
Aside from eliminating chances of human error, a time clock app with GPS makes some of your tedious processes a lot faster. There’s no more filling out time cards or timesheets at the job site. The best time clock apps integrate with any major accounting system, so your payroll person can simply sync the numbers and in seconds the data is moved to payroll. If anyone’s time punches are missing, that can be seen during the week—so there won’t be a last-minute scramble to ensure delinquent time sheets are in by the payroll deadline.
Improved people and project management
A digital time clock app with GPS collects all clock-ins and clock-outs in one place. In ExakTime’s time clock app and cloud software, clock-ins or clock-outs that occur outside the custom geofence you set for your job site are flagged, so that issues with employees can be addressed when they occur, not a week later when you hear through the grapevine that someone’s been showing up late and fudging their time cards. Plus, anyone with admin permission will be able to review all digital time cards from anywhere for quick labor cost estimates.
Reduce time theft, more accountability– When your team is required to clock in and out on an app, you are already improving accountability among all your honest workers. They become more aware of when they typically arrive at work and when they leave, and the hours they clock are now recorded digitally instead of the “close-enough” rounded numbers they jot down at week’s end. As far as those few less-honest workers, without a GPS component, it would be easy for them to tap “Start” when they’re leaving their house, or still driving to the job site. With a GPS time clock app, their clock-in and clock-out data, viewable in real-time on the cloud, will show whether they were at the job site or not.
Great insights and real savings
A time clock app with GPS may be something you’ve considered for time tracking on your job sites. Or maybe it sounds more technical than your needs warrant. But time tracking software that gathers digital time punches and sends information straight to the cloud eliminates the doubt and inaccuracy, not to mention hassle, of paper time cards or time sheets. Most contractors who adopt digital time tracking with GPS find that they save more money than they anticipated when workers’ hours aren’t rounded on paper time cards anymore.
With ExakTime’s powerful, easy-to-use time clock app with GPS, workers are never tracked while off the clock, and both data and battery usage—when not using breadcrumbing for traveling workers—are minimal.
Additionally, ExakTime’s time clock software can produce instant reports on project time or labor time across the company using your digital labor data stored in the cloud. This allows you to speed up or adjust client expectations. It also gives you insight into where your projects tend to drag and where they fly, which is essential for improved budgeting and bidding.
Stop wasting time and money on time-consuming, error-prone time tracking methods. Get in touch with ExakTime today.