How to Eliminate Time Theft

Alexandra Franco

5 August 2017    |   

Time theft is an unfortunate reality for many business owners. It can have huge impacts on labour costs as well as staff productivity and morale. Without the correct tools and systems, time theft can be difficult to catch, and even harder to stamp out. What is time theft? Time theft occurs when an employee bills for time they have not worked, or accepts remuneration for time that has not been attributed to work. The most common causes of time theft include: Staff running late to work, and fudging start times. Staff staying late after work to accrue unauthorised overtime or allowances. Staff taking extended breaks.   Where a team member clocks out for another team member. Staff not submitting correct hours for leave requests or sick pay. How much is time theft costing your business? Labour is often regarded as one of the biggest expenses in running a business, alongside cost of goods and utilities. For industries that rely heavily on high staffing numbers, such as hospitality, it is particularly important that managers are not only creating rotas to meet labour budgets and KPIs, but also take control to enforce the schedule. Unfortunately, when time theft is left unchecked it can cause unexpected additional costs, including reduced staff productivity, profitability, and can negatively impact staff who do the right thing. Even time theft that isn’t malicious can add up. For example, according to a study conducted by Tanda, the average business has approximately five minutes misappropriated every shift, just from staff clocking in or out late.*  While five minutes may sound negligible, it can quickly add up over a month and even a year. For example: A team of 30 employees working five days a week could rack up an additional 50 hours/ month in misappropriated time. This could end up costing the business approximately £227/ month, and over £3324/ year (based on the average minimum wage for April 2017). How to eliminate time theft? While most employers would like to believe that their staff are honest and trustworthy when filling out their timesheets, there are unfortunately a few who ruin it for everyone. Systems such as paper timesheets, excel spreadsheets, or outdated Bundy clocks, are highly susceptible to allowing time theft in a business. They fail to accurately track staff attendance due to their lack of verification and functionality. This is because there is no way to confirm that staff finished and started when they say they did, or that they were in fact the ones who signed off their timesheet in the first place. Using a cloud based time and attendance system is the only way to ensure accurate staff attendance records, verify that the correct staff member finished at the correct time, and ensure staff are not overpaid for work that wasn’t completed. So what should you look for when implementing a Time and Attendance system to combat time theft in your business? 5 Must-have Time and Attendance System features to Eliminate Time Theft 1. Time Clock with Photo Verification A  time and attendance system must have a time clock device, and use both photo verification and a PIN code to confirm that the correct staff member has clocked in. This provides an indisputable solution to prevent staff getting their friends to clock in for them, or clocking in late. Fingerprint scanners will not stop time theft, and have many issues that will prevent it from working effectively. 2. Smart Rounding Now you might be thinking, surely staff could still tinker with a time clock system, if they clock in early claiming to have worked? Enter the beauty of smart rounding. Smart rounding prevents staff from taking advantage of clocking in early or late when they haven’t been working. It is customisable and can round to the minute for staff clock ins and outs. This stops “accidental” time theft from staff clocking in before their shift starts, and clocking out after they have stopped working. 3. Complex Award Interpretation As time and attendance is closely linked to payroll, it’s extremely important that your system is able to comprehend any number of complex pay scenarios. For example, staff that stay back late, skip their break, or work over night may incur overtime or penalty rates. Thus, an Award Interpretation system must be able to transparently identify different types of overtime, penalty rates, and allowances if it is to prevent time theft. 4. Predict Correct Staff Ratios A great time and attendance system should be able to not only record when staff start and finish work, but how many staff you need for the shift. Paying staff for the hours they actually work is the first step in optimising your labour costs. The second step works to improve your labour efficiencies by predicting the optimum number of staff required for the shift, ensuring that you’re not over or understaffed. This type of predictive analytics software is the latest method for businesses to ensure their labour costs are under control. 5. Fast & Simple Timesheets Using an electronic time and attendance system is pointless unless you are able to immediately generate timesheets from it. It is also vital that the system is cloud based, allowing you to easily approve timesheets from anywhere. These timesheets should be easy to use and quick to approve by utilising technology such as autosave, fast editing, and cognitive payroll. This will allow you to complete your payroll in minutes, not hours or days. Time theft, if not managed accordingly, has the potential cost business owners thousands of dollars every year. It is therefore important that business owners implement simple, yet effective measures, such as electronic time-keeping devices, and integrated time and attendance systems to combat time theft. Improving staff attendance tracking results in greater productivity and profitability, and can provide valuable insights into how your team works.

Time theft is an unfortunate reality for many business owners. It can have huge impacts on labour costs as well as staff productivity and morale. Without the correct tools and systems, time theft can be difficult to catch, and even harder to stamp out.

What is time theft?

Time theft occurs when an employee bills for time they have not worked, or accepts remuneration for time that has not been attributed to work.

The most common causes of time theft include:

  • Staff running late to work, and fudging start times.
  • Staff staying late after work to accrue unauthorised overtime or allowances.
  • Staff taking extended breaks.  
  • Where a team member clocks out for another team member.
  • Staff not submitting correct hours for leave requests or sick pay.

How much is time theft costing your business?

Labour is often regarded as one of the biggest expenses in running a business, alongside cost of goods and utilities. For industries that rely heavily on high staffing numbers, such as hospitality, it is particularly important that managers are not only creating rotas to meet labour budgets and KPIs, but also take control to enforce the schedule.

Unfortunately, when time theft is left unchecked it can cause unexpected additional costs, including reduced staff productivity, profitability, and can negatively impact staff who do the right thing.

Even time theft that isn’t malicious can add up. For example, according to a study conducted by Tanda, the average business has approximately five minutes misappropriated every shift, just from staff clocking in or out late.*  While five minutes may sound negligible, it can quickly add up over a month and even a year.

For example:

A team of 30 employees working five days a week could rack up an additional 50 hours/ month in misappropriated time. This could end up costing the business approximately £227/ month, and over £3324/ year (based on the average minimum wage for April 2017).

How to eliminate time theft?

While most employers would like to believe that their staff are honest and trustworthy when filling out their timesheets, there are unfortunately a few who ruin it for everyone. Systems such as paper timesheets, excel spreadsheets, or outdated Bundy clocks, are highly susceptible to allowing time theft in a business. They fail to accurately track staff attendance due to their lack of verification and functionality. This is because there is no way to confirm that staff finished and started when they say they did, or that they were in fact the ones who signed off their timesheet in the first place.

Using a cloud based time and attendance system is the only way to ensure accurate staff attendance records, verify that the correct staff member finished at the correct time, and ensure staff are not overpaid for work that wasn’t completed.

So what should you look for when implementing a Time and Attendance system to combat time theft in your business?

5 Must-have Time and Attendance System features to Eliminate Time Theft

1. Time Clock with Photo Verification
A  time and attendance system must have a time clock device, and use both photo verification and a PIN code to confirm that the correct staff member has clocked in. This provides an indisputable solution to prevent staff getting their friends to clock in for them, or clocking in late. Fingerprint scanners will not stop time theft, and have many issues that will prevent it from working effectively.

2. Smart Rounding
Now you might be thinking, surely staff could still tinker with a time clock system, if they clock in early claiming to have worked? Enter the beauty of smart rounding. Smart rounding prevents staff from taking advantage of clocking in early or late when they haven’t been working. It is customisable and can round to the minute for staff clock ins and outs. This stops “accidental” time theft from staff clocking in before their shift starts, and clocking out after they have stopped working.

3. Complex Award Interpretation
As time and attendance is closely linked to payroll, it’s extremely important that your system is able to comprehend any number of complex pay scenarios. For example, staff that stay back late, skip their break, or work over night may incur overtime or penalty rates. Thus, an Award Interpretation system must be able to transparently identify different types of overtime, penalty rates, and allowances if it is to prevent time theft.

4. Predict Correct Staff Ratios
A great time and attendance system should be able to not only record when staff start and finish work, but how many staff you need for the shift. Paying staff for the hours they actually work is the first step in optimising your labour costs. The second step works to improve your labour efficiencies by predicting the optimum number of staff required for the shift, ensuring that you’re not over or understaffed. This type of predictive analytics software is the latest method for businesses to ensure their labour costs are under control.

5. Fast & Simple Timesheets
Using an electronic time and attendance system is pointless unless you are able to immediately generate timesheets from it. It is also vital that the system is cloud based, allowing you to easily approve timesheets from anywhere. These timesheets should be easy to use and quick to approve by utilising technology such as autosave, fast editing, and cognitive payroll. This will allow you to complete your payroll in minutes, not hours or days.

Time theft, if not managed accordingly, has the potential cost business owners thousands of dollars every year. It is therefore important that business owners implement simple, yet effective measures, such as electronic time-keeping devices, and integrated time and attendance systems to combat time theft. Improving staff attendance tracking results in greater productivity and profitability, and can provide valuable insights into how your team works.

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Tanda Time Clock Now Available for the Desktop

We at Tanda are pleased to announce that our time clock application is now available to download for Windows and macOS devices. Starting today, employees can have the same experience they’ve always enjoyed with the tablet version of our employee time clock, but now on the desktop. It accurately records employee attendance and compares it with the weekly rota. It also updates the timesheets automatically to the cloud and stores it offline when the device is not connected. And if the computer has a webcam installed, it can also take a selfie of the employee when they clock in and out just like the mobile app! There are so many great uses for Tanda Time Clock for the Desktop. You can now have employees clock in and out in their respective desktop workstations instead of going to wherever the tablet is located. It can also be a backup option if and when your office’s main Tanda Time Clock is unavailable. Remote employees can also use the Tanda Time Clock for the Desktop to clock in and out using their own computers. Existing users can click here to find out how to download the Tanda Time Clock for Desktop. Are you a new user? Signup for free here to use Tanda to track time and attendance for your business, and so much more.  

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5 Restaurant Solutions and Technology You Need to Succeed

Restaurant solutions and technologies should be incorporated in any restaurant’s day-to-day operations in order to succeed. Whether you are an up and coming restaurateur or an industry veteran, your restaurant’s ability to constantly innovate can be the difference between success or being in shambles. With that in mind, here are five restaurant solutions restaurant owners need to have to innovate and rise above the competition: Electronic Ordering One of the coolest things we’ve seen from the restaurant industry this past decade is the advent of electronic ordering. Some restaurants are now using tablets, smartphones, or a touch-screen based kiosk instead of paper menus and static display signages. This high-touch-high-tech innovation lets customers see better the item they are about to order. What’s convenient is that digital menus allow you to change menu items and revise prices instantly, without the need to reprint a new batch of menus. 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As the industry becomes more competitive, the Point-of-Sale has stepped up its game too, with the rise of cloud-based PoS. Leveraging on the cloud expands your PoS’ capabilities. Food Newsfeed wrote in-depth on the benefits of cloud-based Point-of-Sale. According to the article, cloud-based PoS enables restaurants to increase their profitability with better insights. This is especially true if the cloud-based Point-of-Sale can integrate multiple forms of data with each other, such as transactions, inventory, and employee schedules. It can also instantly add new features as it is released. As it is connected to the internet, the cloud-based PoS can minimize business risk with better security and off-site data backups. Finally, it can also minimize labor costs with costly human errors minimized. Clover is one of the most flexible cloud-based PoS restaurant solutions available in the market today. For restaurateurs who are starting from scratch, they have a small countertop or handheld PoS stations that accept even the latest EMV and NFC payments. And for established restaurants, Clover also works well with existing PoS machines. It can connect to the internet via WiFi, 3G, or Ethernet and it can store sales data offline for up to seven days. Restaurant Inventory Management Software Inventory can make or break your restaurant: doing it right controls your restaurant’s food costs, which improves profitability. However, inventory is quite a chore, involving numerous man hours of countless tasks. Using a restaurant inventory management software can lessen the stress that comes with inventory. According to this Medium post by Daphne Blake, using a restaurant inventory management software can automate and optimize the supply chain. It can track and order inventory with a simple click of a button. And of course, using that software gives you an accurate picture of your restaurant’s inventory. Cloud-based restaurant inventory management software is a better option for today’s restaurant market. SimpleOrder and MarketMan are excellent restaurant solutions, with both having extensive features and powerful integrations with other software. Reservation and Waitlist Applications Part of the day-to-day restaurant business involve hosts taking reservations on the phone. And on a busy day, such as the weekend dinner service, your restaurant will also have a queue of customers waiting to be served. Mismanaging a restaurant’s reservation and waiting list can result on a lot of no-shows and walk aways. This may cause terrible online reviews, without them even tasting your offerings. Restaurant reservation and waitlist applications bring this essential process to the modern age. Customers can now use their smartphones to book reservations in advance, with SMS and email notifications that will remind them on or before the day itself. For the benefit of walk-in customers, leveraging on the same system enables restaurateurs to even ditch costly pager systems. With this new system, customers can make the most of their wait time with other activities, such as shopping at nearby stores. The application can give an accurate wait time and notify customers whenever their table is ready. OpenTable and Yelp Reservations are the biggest names in the online reservation service industry. Signing up for these services can really boost your business. NoWait, which was recently acquired by Yelp, can also let your restaurant waitlist customers through a smartphone app. Workforce Management Software At the core of any restaurant is the people running it. No matter how much tech a restaurant possess, it is still up to the staff to deliver top-notch service all the time. Workforce management will require the lion’s share of the restaurateur’s time. In fact, hundreds of restaurant owners surveyed by TouchBistro said that staffing is the number one pain point they face in the business. Some restaurant owners would spend 8-12 hours a week just on staffing, payroll, scheduling, and making adjustments. This is just to make sure that no shift is understaffed, and the right people are working during the right shifts. That’s a lot of time that could have been spent on more valuable activities such as innovating the restaurant’s menu or crafting a creative marketing and promotions strategy. Offloading to a feature-rich workforce management solution can streamline the entire process for restaurant owners, enabling them to focus more on the core business. Tanda provides restaurants with all the tools and solutions they need to manage their workforce. It helps restaurants optimize their operations for a smooth running business. With Tanda, restaurateurs can quickly build weekly rotas with a drag-and-drop interface and send it instantly to staff via SMS and email. They can also track time and attendance accurately as they go with the Tanda Time Clock app.  With Tanda’s technology, restaurateurs spend less time on administrative tasks. Timesheets are automatically calculated with pre-set rules for accurate payroll, and Tanda easily integrates with existing best-of-breed payroll software, decreasing the hassles of making sure each staff gets the right salary on payday. Click here to find out more on how Tanda streamlines workforce management for restaurants.

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About the author

Alexandra Franco

Alex was a former Business Manager for Tanda.

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