by Todd Spear
Published on 13 March 2015
Payroll can be a headache. Seasoned schedulers can spend whole careers refining the way they control payroll expenses. Payroll's effect on the bottom line rests on your ability to pull together effective scheduling that addresses customer demands and logistical needs. You also need to ensure your employees' accuracy in recording their time worked.
As your schedule is put into action, things change. New tasks crop up, and workers trade shifts with each other on-the-fly, making payroll dynamic by nature. Consequently, your ability to adapt to the challenges of scheduling team members has a direct outcome on your balance sheet.
Fortunately, there are time-tracking apps that help you keep tabs on an employee's time worked, letting you take command of your payroll expenses with ease. When many employees hear the term 'time-tracking', they might panic at first, thinking of the "command and control" mentality (the outdated, militaristic way of managing payroll). However, modern time-tracking software such as VeriClock offers features that your employees will like as much as you do.
Benefits to you and how to sell time-tracking to your employees
If your business is one that has difficulty keeping payroll within budget, enamoring your team with a time clock software like VeriClock can improve the accuracy of employee hours. This is important because, like poor scheduling, employee error (and sadly, on occasion, time theft) is among the leading factors driving payroll costs up. Manual timesheet processing is a factor that can hurt profits because it not only takes up time itself, but also lends itself to human error. By adopting a time-tracking tool, you can automate this process, reassuring your staff that every minute of their time will be compensated for.
Vericlock, for example, lets your employees punch-in via the cloud, from either their mobile device or their desktops. This can help to greatly reduce clocking errors while eliminating manual processing and its costs. Employees will dig this because it means an end to laborious manual clock-punching.
With GPS time-tracking, you can get a real time overview of your employee clock-in status, giving those employees who might be tempted to cheat the clock, fewer opportunities to do so without being caught. This, of course, acts as a preventative measure against employee dishonesty at the time clock, because they're aware that they're being tracked. As a result, your entire workforce will gain confidence that other employees are not 'cheating the system' and that everything is fair and above-board.
Of course, invasion of privacy can be a big concern among employees. Employees who drive their company vehicle home have every right not to be tracked when they are officially off-the-clock, but mobile phone-based tracking solutions (remember the old Sprint/Nextel television commercials about "tracking the dots"?) offer little in the way of after-hours privacy.
In fact, many time-tracking applications offer customizable reporting that turns off time (or mileage) tracking when employees are off the clock. This reduces the dreaded "big brother" concerns of time and location tracking, reassuring team members of their privacy. VeriClock's built-in customization allows you to set various rules, all in compliance with your own company policies, from the app's convenient dashboard.
Cloud-based tracking gives you a wealth of reporting and analytic overviews that can be reviewed after the fact, which can help create improved schedules in the future.
VeriClock also integrates with popular accounting apps including QuickBooks Online and Sage 50.
How time tracking helped a small business
A Washington-based small business, Northwest Painting Company, run by founder Travis Kunkel, was among the first to adopt VeriClock. In the time since, VeriClock, as Travis recently told GetApp.com, has offered measurable results to the business.
"VeriClock has had a significant impact on my business," Travis told us.
"I've definitely had my share of issues, being a small painting company. I'm the owner, operator, and bookkeeper. In the beginning, I would pick up time cards on the job site on Fridays, and I'd see guys filling out their time cards on the spot. They'd be guessing, rounding up to the next 15-minute interval. Based on some fairly simple calculations, I figured this guessing was costing me more than $3,000 per annum."
Travis added that adding a time-tracking app to the equation has helped recoup some of the yearly expense on "guessing".
"Vericlock solves that issue. The employees get to the job site, they call the number, clock in, and it's accurate to the minute," said Travis.
When asked how his employees initially reacted to the switch to time-tracking software, Travis says he was pleasantly surprised.
"I thought it would be negative, because you are tracking people closely," he continued, "but with maybe one exception, it was no problem."
The one employee who did not appreciate the transition, Travis also told us, was the one that VeriClock helped expose for stealing time off the clock. Leveraging phone-based time tracking, Travis was able to observe time theft over the course of a week and was justified in terminating that employee, with electronic records to substantiate the case against the former employee.
Travis' company favors the phone-in method of employee clocking over the mobile option, for reasons of both employee privacy and local regulations.
"We don't use GPS; they clock in when they reach the job site. They don't get paid for the return trip, which is in line with the laws here, and so we're all fine with that."
Travis also added that as an early adopter of VeriClock, he was astonished when, after being surveyed about feature requests, VeriClock's next update sported QuickBooks Online integration, a suggestion he had made. The app maker rolled out an update, specifically because one of its earliest customers had asked.
To put this all in perspective, let's recap the advantages (for everyone in your organization) of implementing a GPS time-tracking app like Vericlock:
This post is brought to you in conjunction with time-tracking app, Vericlock. Learn more about the software and its benefits here.