The Top 5 Reasons Your Accounting Clients Should Automate Their Time Tracking

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There are more than 28 million small businesses in the United States today, and approximately 80 percent of those businesses have hourly employees. That equates to nearly 78 million hourly employees clocking in and out on a weekly basis.

That’s a lot of timesheets.

Now consider this: 62 percent of those small businesses with hourly employees are still using a spreadsheet to track employee time and run payroll–a process that on average takes more than 10 minutes per employee at the end of each payroll period. For businesses with 10 employees or less, that’s an extra two hours spent on payroll every other week–but for business with a higher headcount, payroll can account for an entire day’s worth of work … or more.

Even worse, only 14 percent of those small businesses use an accountant to process payroll. The majority of business owners don’t realize that the accountant they’re already paying offers payroll processing as a service. (Are your clients among them? You should be asking yourself, “How can I let my clients know this is a service I offer?”)

No wonder payroll is such a dirty word among business owners.

But it doesn’t have to be.

The solution lies in automated time tracking.

Time tracking that’s both automated and accurate saves time and money on payroll. In fact, our research shows that business owners save an average of 2-8 percent on gross payroll costs each year (a big deal for small businesses with tight margins)–just by making the switch. On top of that, fast and easy payroll means that you can double your number of payroll clients–just like that.

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Still not convinced? Here are 5 MORE reasons your clients should automate their time tracking.

1. Pay employees for time actually worked–not estimates.

It’s hard to fudge accurate-to-the-second start and stop times–especially when clocking in or out is as easy as the push of a button. But it is hard to estimate accurate time worked on a paper timesheet. When in doubt, employees will guess how long they’ve been on the job (usually based on their schedule) rather than recording actual hours. The result is time theft, or timesheet padding–and those unworked minutes add up.

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On top of that, the time it takes for each employee to estimate how many hours they’ve worked that week can be unexpectedly time consuming–and time that could be better spent on another project. When all’s said and done, your clients might end up paying each employee for several hours worth of unworked time each week.

Making the switch to an accurate time tracking system could save them thousands of dollars in payroll costs immediately–simply by cutting out the possibility of padding.

2. To err is human–and automated time tracking eliminates human error.

Handwritten timecards are easy to mess up–and easy to lose. We’ve heard horror stories of an employee’s time card being turned in on the back of a napkin, or the side of a McDonald’s cup. A three could look like a five, a smudge could leave an entire week unreadable, or the employee could forget to fill the time card out entirely.

Entering those numbers manually leaves room for a slew of even more mistakes. They could fat finger a number as they manually enter each time, they could enter it incorrectly by accident–and, if there is a mistake, they’ll have to track that timesheet down and attempt to decipher and verify.

Of course, if you’re in charge of running payroll, that process falls to you. How much time is being wasted attempting to track down, read, and process those time cards?

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Automated time tracking eliminates human error. Employees can clock in with the click of a button–and that time is automatically recorded within the time tracking software, ready to be imported to the payroll processing software of choice. Those numbers can’t be fudged, smudged, or lost–and thanks to automated mobile time tracking, napkin timesheets are a thing of the past.

3. Accurately and easily calculate job costs.

1330532816859_9777175A paper timesheet can determine how many hours an employee has worked each day (you know, minus the rounding and timesheet padding), but it can’t give you a big-picture view of all the hours tracked against different projects, clients, and locations. And because time is our most precious commodity, shouldn’t we know where it’s going?

Mobile, cloud-based time tracking has the ability to track time against multiple job codes, locations, or projects, giving you a comprehensive overview of where your hours are going–in real time. From there, business owners can run filtered, interactive reports that allow them to see exactly how their business stacks up. The result is accurate job costing, precise labor costing, and valuable business insight.

“We have a number of clients in construction and TSheets is our go-to app for them. I recommend it to every single one of them. It makes job costing so much easier. The reason it’s such a good fit for the construction industry is that you can be tracking time against each job, which is critical, and it takes way too long to manage paper timesheets when you’ve got different crews on different jobs.”

-Rachel Fisch (Fischbooks)

4. Take preventative measures–avoid overtime costs before they happen.

overtime-holiday-party-office-funny-ecard-CnjIn the case of paper timesheets, employees are required to fill out their time, add up their hours, and manage their minutes. Not only does this leave plenty of room for human error (and even more room for timesheet padding), but it could also result in employees working more than their fair share of hours each week. Unless the employee dutifully adds up their hours each day–to the second–they have no idea how many hours they’ve actually worked.

Automated time tracking helps business owners avoid overtime surprises and gives the employees total visibility. All the employee has to do is clock in and clock out each day, and accurate-to-the-second time tracking does the math for them! They’ll know exactly how many hours they’ve worked, and exactly how much time they have left.

Customizable overtime alerts are available to notify both the employee and the manager when 40 hours is drawing near, ensuring there’s no surprises come payroll–and potentially kiboshing the cost before it’s incurred.

5. Reduce administrative time–and get back to work!

NhHJxstimesheets-paycheck-ecards-someecardsManually collecting time cards, deciphering them, recording the data, verifying the data, and running payroll can take 10 to 12 minutes per employee (pending that employee’s time card wasn’t written on a plastic cup)–and that’s a low estimate. Even for a small company with a handful of employees, that’s hundreds of hours’ worth of time that could be spent working on the business and pushing the needle. It’s no wonder payroll is such a dreaded word.

With TSheets, running payroll is as easy as the press of a button. Automatically collect, verify, and approve employee timesheets from anywhere (no more chasing down errant napkins). Those numbers are automatically imported for insightful reporting, accurate job costing, and, most importantly, fast and easy payroll. A job that once took hours suddenly takes minutes–saving time and money for everyone involved.

Eager to learn more? Join us for our monthly webinar, “Automate Time Tracking to Simplify Payroll.”

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Your clients will love you for sharing these innovative new technologies that will help them save time, save money, and gain valuable insights–and you’ll love TSheets for eliminating the multi-step, multi-hour payroll process we all love to hate.

“If something is all hype and no substance, I’m not buying it, but TSheets has a really effective app as well as a really engaging partner program … it’s very easy to refer my clients to TSheets.”

-Rachel Fisch (Fischbooks)

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