How many times have you reviewed a timecard that shows 9am to 5pm for each day of the week?

It’s hard to believe, right? Each one of your employees starts work exactly on time and leaves exactly as their shift ends? The reality is, your employees–even those with high character–will typically round in their own favor.

When they round, they are inflating their time and costing your organization large amounts of money.


What does the data show?


Surveys from have shown that 43% of employees will round in their favor and artificially inflate the amount of time they work.

If an employee on average rounds in their favor 10 minutes each day, that is 50 minutes per week, or an average of more than 3.5 hours per month per employee. If you have 100 employees, 43 of whom round, that is 150.5 hours per month of inflated time.

If you consider that beyond just rounding, buddy punching and ghost employees (where supervisors create fake employee records and collect paychecks) are also common, the level of fraud is often as high as a few percentage points of payroll. If your workers are remote employees, the amount of time fraud is likely much higher.

Fraud could account for 2-5% payroll that should be going to your bottom line.


3 things you can do to prevent time theft:


1. Prove that you are serious about accurate time tracking and how it fits within the vision of your organization

An organization’s culture starts with building proper habits within each member. The culture starts with leadership. As a business leader, it is extremely important to show your commitment to accuracy. You expect accuracy with your employees work. You expect accuracy when your employees communicate with your clients. You should demand accuracy as it relates to your employee’s time. This can become a keystone habit that will set a tone of accountability for all of the many areas of your workers responsibilities.

2. Set clear organizational policies about time tracking

Mobile time tracking is particularly challenging when your workers are remote to the home office. By making policies for accurate time tracking clear and setting expectations and business rules for those that show a disregard for the expectations, employees are not surprised when the policies are enforced.

3. Ensure you have an accurate time system that meets your needs and is easy for the employee

This may seem simple, but ensure the time system isn’t hurting more than it is helping. The system should be easy for employees to adopt, allow them to easily get to work, and not require extensive intervention from their supervisors or IT staff. Ideally, the time system should automatically verify the biometric identify of the employee and the location of the employee. In addition, many good time systems will allow full job costing and even checklists to ensure the proper tasks are being completed each shift.


Every time you see a time card that starts at 9am and ends at 5pm, you should be thinking of techniques and policies that help you unify your organization’s workers in their effort to enforce time tracking technologies and habits that are 100% accurate.

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