How Many Ways Can Employees Cheat When Clocking In?

By Katherine Muniz
February 22, 2017

Employee time theft takes many forms and can be defined as whenever employees are on the clock but not on-the-job.

Despite every intention to build an honest equitable employee base, employee time theft persists as an ongoing payroll and productivity issue for many organizations.

According to one study recently conducted by Software Advice, a trusted resource for software buyers that provides detailed reviews and research on thousands of software applications, 43 percent of hourly workers surveyed admitted to exaggerating the amount of time they worked during their shifts. 25 percent of those surveyed say they reported more hours than they actually worked 76-100 percent of the time.

Ways employees cheat when clocking in, or, on-the-job

  • Recording inaccurate times
  • Buddy Punching
  • Conducting personal activities on the clock
  • Taking long lunch hours and breaks
  • Slowing down the work pace to create overtime
  • Abuse of sick days and vacation time
  • Deliberately coming in early and leaving late
  • Excessive socializing and personal telephone calls

Not all employees intentionally commit time theft or take advantage of employers — often the issue is not being able to distinguish between professional and personal time, and overlap occurs.

However, alarmingly, 41 percent of employees who pad their shifts say they add between 11 and 20 minutes to the hours they actually work. According to the same study released by Software Advice, biometric clocks are the least used but most effective time tracking device when it comes to preventing employee time theft.

They’re virtually uncrackable, unfoolable, and impervious to fraud. Unlike traditional punch clocks, employees do not enter a password, punch a card, or swipe a key fob to clock in.

Biometric time clocks only recognize the enrolled, encrypted image that’s stored in the machine’s database for each individual employee. No matter what an employee does, unless they can mutate, they will not be able to make a punch that doesn’t register as their own.

According to studies by the American Payroll Association, almost 75 percent of employers are affected by time theft.

If your current time tracking system leaves room for employee time theft, consider implementing a biometric time clock offered by FingerCheck, to eliminate theft and alleviate its cost on your payroll and bottom line.

Employees cannot record their own times unless you allow them manual entry permissions, and each punch populates online for up-to-date digital timesheets, ready for review.

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