How Much is Your Manual Time Tracking System Costing You?

Silver and Gold Coins in Front of a Clock

Truth is, it’s costing you time and money. It’s time to cut your losses and get automated.

At Sierra Workforce Solutions we have dedicated ourselves to helping clients large and small automate their time and attendance systems. We’re truly passionate about ensuring that employers pay their employees accurately and on schedule. And truth be told, outdated manual time management systems end up costing your business significant time and money. 

Are your employee time tracking systems as efficient as you think? Have you thought about how to save yourself time and stress with an effective workforce management solution? How many times a month does your payroll team have to retroactively amend an employee paycheck? What is that process like for your staff? Have you ever thought about what impact these inefficiencies have on your staff and audit trail?

Spare Change and Coins


Imagine having employee timesheets arrive at your payroll office in a standardized, easy-to-read format.  No more time spent gathering random time tracking sheets/documentation. Followed by trying to decipher employee handwriting and then manually calculating time worked. Errors in transcription can be costly. By automating you can eliminate double data entry and completely shorten the time spent processing these timecards. Now imagine the data safely archived in a protected format… processing payroll will be a quick and easy task with an automated system! 

One of the great benefits of automating timecards is overtime visibility. A good time and attendance system will have numerous ways to track overtime such as approaching overtime reports, insights built into the scheduling tool, and even the possibility of notifying you when an employee is close to earning overtime. You might not be able to avoid paying employees overtime, but you can certainly manage it much more easily if all these tools are in place.

At Sierra Workforce Solutions, we identify the three categories of time, and their resulting costs, that contribute to the overhead of manually processed timecards. The overall impact of these categories of time can be dramatically lowered by automating your system.

Auditing Timecards

The first category we look at is “auditing” timecards. This covers the time spent by payroll clerks adding up time cards. Studies have shown that manual totaling of timecards takes approximately six minutes per time card each pay period. Automated systems will reduce that to one minute.


From 6 down to 1


Human Error

Our second category allots for human error. Studies have shown inaccuracy in manual calculation of employee time between one and eight percent of entries. And the additional cost associated with the errors is having to retroactively fix employee paychecks. Defining the cost of fixing an employee paycheck using a manual system is tricky, however, here are a few of the factors to keep in mind: 

  1. The employee time involved in identifying the error.
  2. Then employee time spent calculating and making a special check run, and subsequent delivery to the employee.
  3. Finally, documenting all of this for an audit trail.

Bit by bit as an employer you are wasting both time and money making these paycheck fixes. Automated systems will greatly reduce this factor of error, while also creating an accessible and secure audit trail of employee time.

One Hundred Dollar Bills


Quantifying Lost Time

The third thing we factor in when quantifying automating time and attendance systems is “lost” time or time theft. The average weekly “theft” is four hours and five minutes including long lunches, breaks, tardiness, early departures, etc. according to studies conducted by the Robert Half Agencies. This number accounts for employee buddy punching, as well as incorrectly applied rounding and workplace rules. When you automate your time and attendance systems you can apply business rules across your employees fairly and accurately. Also, by automating and installing biometric time entry devices, you can effectively put an end to employee time theft via buddy punching.

The cost of manual time tracking systems is reflected in both the time involved and the additional cost of correcting errors and other inefficiencies. Ready to make the switch to an automated system? There are a variety of options in the market for you! SaaS and On-Prem are popular simple dashboard driven models, as well as the more detailed systems with integrated complex time, scheduling, access control, and HR modules.

Ready to Get Automated?

Curious how much your company can save a year by switching to an automated time management system? We have some sample breakdowns by company size listed below, and we can custom audit yours at any time!

Contact Sierra Workforce Solutions today and be sure to ask about our bi-directional interface to popular ERP products. And we work with any payroll company! We’d love to show you how automating your time and attendance system can make time “work” for you.