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5 tips to help stop timesheet errors and fraud

Posted by: The ADP Team on 14 June 2017 in Compliance, Time and Labour

43% of hourly workers surveyed admit to exaggerating the amount of time they work during their shifts(1). Employee timesheet error is a big problem, but it doesn’t have to be. Even if you believe your organisation is immune to time theft, without the right tools for time analysis it’s impossible to understand your exposure. Click to watch how you can stop time theft on an individual and organisational level. Efficient time capture solutions increase the efficiency of employees and their managers, reducing all the manual effort required to review timesheets. With the right systems you can unlock significant savings and boost productivity. 

Here are five tips to help you stop time theft and unnecessary payroll expenditures.

1. Identify and seal the cracks

The right method of time data collection can vary significantly, depending on your organisation’s workforce, size and technological capabilities. Organisations that integrated time and attendance with payroll had an almost 30% lower rate of payroll processing errors(2). Understanding your options and their potential for timesheet error and falsification can enable better data inputs. Time-tracking methods include:

  • Web timesheets — employee-entered data
  • Mobile timesheets — mobile access to time data entry
  • Time clocks — biometrics, ID badges or PIN time punches

2. Improve visibility with self service

While your HR manager and team may be tasked with driving cost savings through more accurate timesheet data, they’re not always able to recognise risks on an individual or team basis — from first-hand exposure to unusual worker behaviors. Enabling mobile self-service for managers can allow individuals throughout the organisation to participate in fraud recognition. With 24-hour access to timesheets for example, managers can notice and report discrepancies between worker attendance and recorded time capture data. Self-service may also allow your leadership teams to to identify poor processes that contribute to time theft. 

3. Cross-check and connect timesheet data

With the right technologies, you can discover discrepancies between timesheets to reveal falsification trends. You may discover fraud by comparing payroll data against:

  • Biometric data on employee physical attendance
  • User engagement metrics from apps and tools
  • Team-wide time clock trends that point to employee collusion

Using multiple data sets to identify time theft requires an integrated payroll approach. While it’s certainly possible to manually compare data sources, an integrated system enables easy, accurate reporting. HR or finance systems typically focus on helping teams to execute on administrative activities faster, with fewer errors. An integrated payroll software, timesheet and rostering solution can take you further and help you connect workforce decisions to business outcomes. This also supports future modeling and the establishment of clear projection patterns.

4. Benchmark your workforce

Proactive analytics on your workforce can allow you to exert payroll expenditure control. Continually monitoring trends can reveal risks within departments or the discovery of individual, serial time theft. In many cases, timesheet fraud becomes obvious with the right tools. Even simple statistics can be an effective tool for analysis.

According to LinkedIn, employees whose manual time adjustments are two standard deviations above your organisation’s mean could reveal potential falsification or collusion. Using reporting to track adjustments can reveal a need for better data collection, overtime control or time theft.

5. Automate efficiency

If your HR department is struggling to cover the bare minimum required for compliance and payroll, you may not have the tools necessary to identify timesheet error and fraud. With technologies that make time tracking, overtime control and data analysis simple, you can gain the capacity to perform HR analytics in real time. HR leaders need quality data inputs and integrated tools to identify risks of time theft within their organisation. While biometrics are an important tool for controlling fraud, they’re not always the right approach for all organisations or foolproof. An integrated approach to monitoring fraud could enable your organisation to reduce risk.

Time and attendance tools are good business practice as they are an important way to reduce the high costs of timesheet error and fraud. Click to access your copy of a white paper that shows you how simple and accurate time capture can help your business reduce fraud and improve business performance.

(1) “How Software Can Reduce Payroll Losses Industry View | 2015”, Software Advice
(2) “Total Workforce Management 2013: The State of Time and Attendance” 2013 Aberdeen Group


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TAGS: Payroll time and attendance time capture time theft timesheet