Manual Data Entry Cost is Higher Than You Might Think

The Unseen Cost of Manual Data Entry and How Automated Time Tracking can Benefit Your Organization

Today, organizations are ditching paper or spreadsheet-based timesheets for more automated solutions. To successfully make this transition, businesses often need to overcome traditional manual methods that have become ingrained within your workforce. Digitizing processes like time and attendance tracking requires an investment in technology and, often, adapting workflows, which may seem cost prohibitive. However, making the change can end up saving companies money.

Research shows that more than two-thirds of businesses have or plan to implement automated solutions in various areas of their business to increase efficiency, raise productivity, and reduce errors and waste. Smart organizations are making the switch to automated systems. Dive into some of the top reasons your company should consider updating your time and attendance methods.

The Drawbacks of Manual Time and Attendance Methods

Managing employee time and attendance is one area where companies can see a quick return on investment (ROI) when shifting from manual data entry to digital processes. Dealing with manual processes is a burden on HR, payroll, and employees.

When a company relies on manual processes, it needs skilled employees who can apply complex pay and benefits rules across all departments. However, even the best employees occasionally make mistakes when entering data manually, and when errors occur, it adds even more time and costs to the process.

Manual timekeeping processes can also limit productivity, requiring employees to take part of their workday to fill in, distribute and approve time sheets. These processes can also lead to errors, either intentionally or unintentionally. 

Another drawback of manual time and attendance processes is the lack of real-time visibility and reporting capabilities. The number of hours an employee has worked in a pay period may not be evident until the manager or HR receives the timesheet when it’s too late to avoid overtime.

The Direct Financial Costs of Manual Data Entry

Because manual time and attendance processes require more labor, these types of systems are often more expensive for organizations when compared to automated time tracking. Office staff spend hours and, possibly, use overtime to complete payroll correctly by the deadline. Paper-based processes can lead to employees spending time searching or reconstructing lost time sheets or records while administrators take extra time to correct errors.

Second, without an automated rule engine, policies are no not always consistently applied across employees. This can lead to overpayment or underpayment and cost the organization. 

In a Deloitte Global Payroll Benchmarking Survey, 27% of payroll staff respondents reported spending most of their time manually running payroll. Additionally, a lack of real-time visibility into employees’ time records can make an organization more vulnerable to losses from time theft. With automated time tracking, staff can reallocate manual tasks to spend more time on strategic activities that improve processes and minimize time theft and other productivity issues.

Indirect Costs and Productivity Implications

In addition to the direct costs associated with manual processes, an organization will also experience indirect costs for inefficient, manual timekeeping methods. 

As discussed previously, managing a manual time and attendance process decreases the efficiency of the HR and payroll departments. These processes inevitably lead to spending time each pay period resolving discrepancies and answering questions.

Next, timekeeping and payroll errors can lead to compliance risks and potential legal consequences. Businesses in California, for example, must carefully account for breaks and overtime or face penalties and fines. 

Furthermore, relying on manual processes for complex organizations that have a workforce composed of exempt and nonexempt employees, union laborers, remote workers, and other pay categories can create stress and tension for HR and payroll. This inevitably lowers morale and, potentially, leads to an increase in employee turnover. 

The Benefits of Automated Time and Attendance Systems

An automated time and attendance system enables businesses to overcome pain points with manual processes. It streamlines timekeeping data collection and eliminates manual data entry and keying errors because a digital solution can integrate with HR and payroll solutions.

A full-featured, automated system can facilitate Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and labor law compliance, ensuring records are correct and up to date with minimal intervention from HR resources.

Data is crucial when it comes to knowing how time periods are going. So having data available in real-time when time and attendance is digitized is key to a successful process. As a result, managers can monitor time to avoid scheduling employees for overtime and ensuring that employee records are correct.

Ecotime Can Replace Manual Data Entry 

Ecotime is designed to streamline time and attendance processes, replacing inefficient manual data entry with automation and accuracy, even for the most complex operations. Our system enables employees to conveniently enter time with a time clock, mobile app, or computer. Ecotime also simplifies FMLA and labor regulation compliances, streamlines approvals to catch and correct discrepancies early, and reduces the possibility of time theft throughout your organization. 

To start seeing your ROI on time and attendance automations, request a demo with our team today!


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