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Are Paper Timesheets Becoming Obsolete?

Timesheets are seen as a standard aspect of every business. But in an increasingly digital age, why are we still so reliant on paper versions?

Many businesses use timesheets to track how long their employees have spent at work. This is nothing unusual; if your recruitment agency is paying people by the hour, you need to know how many hours to pay them for. Even if all your employees are on a salary, timesheets are still a good way to make sure nobody’s consistently coming in late and preventing absences from going unnoticed.

However, does this mean we have to still use the old-fashioned paper timesheets? Despite recruitment becoming an increasingly digital industry, many agencies are still using paper to track employee hours. It should go without saying that this is not the best way of doing things anymore.

Companies like Boomerang Back Office already have online timesheet solutions that can be used instead of basic paper. But why is this necessary? Isn’t paper cheaper? As it turns out, this is not necessarily the case. Digital timesheets will save your recruitment agency money and make your payroll more accurate and efficient.

Paper timesheets lead to human error

One of the major benefits of switching to a digital timesheet system is that it cuts down on human error. If your recruitment business relies on paper timesheets, it means depending on all of your employees to note down their hours accurately, and on your accounts team to calculate them correctly. You might hire the best possible people, but mistakes are still going to happen.

The American Payroll Association (APA) has studied this in the most detail, and it estimates that the error rate when calculating time manually is between one and eight per cent. This means that if you have ten employees who are paid £25,000 per year each, the best-case scenario for you is that you lose £2,500 each year to timesheet mistakes.

In the worst case for that example, your agency could end up haemorrhaging £20,000 per year. That is not an amount most recruitment businesses can afford to be losing, and it is entirely down to using an obsolete, paper-based timesheet system. Furthermore, this doesn’t take into account the time required to fix this issue. Speaking of which…

Paper timesheets take too long

Another statistic from the APA is that filling out a time card takes between five and six minutes. If your employees have to do this each working day, it adds up to almost 20 hours wasted for each person per year. As we all know, time is money, and this loss of productivity could be costing your recruitment agency.

That’s not even counting the time it takes you to fix the mistakes that have been made. If one of your employees realises they’ve been paid incorrectly, someone in your agency has to search through all the timesheets for that month in an attempt to work out where the error is. This can be a lengthy process and takes away from your business of actually recruiting people.

A digital timesheet system can eliminate these errors, or flag them up as unusual so they are easy to find and correct. This saves your recruitment agency time, making it more efficient and therefore more profitable.

Paper timesheets allow employees to steal time

According to research undertaken by Software Advice, 43 per cent of hourly employees admit to exaggerating the amount of time they work during their shifts and up to a quarter of employees said they reported more hours than they’d actually worked more than 76 per cent of the time.

According to Software Advice, switching to digital timesheets drops the rate of employees exaggerating their hours from the 43 per cent mentioned earlier down to just three per cent. Paper timesheets are clearly no longer the best way of managing your payroll if you don’t want your recruitment agency to end up losing money.

But the number one reason to switch to an online timesheet service is, you can free up precious hours on operational activity, allowing you to focus on sales, marketing and growth.

Boomerang Back Office can streamline the whole timesheet process. Simple to circulate, quick to complete, and easy to manage, our online timesheets remove the constant back-and-forth scenario that so many recruiters have to encounter, giving you the ability to seamlessly scale up. 

Take a look at our timesheet solution



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