Time and expense tracking may not be the most exciting part of management, but having an efficient system in place makes a huge difference to your bottom line. Using paper forms or time and expense tracking spreadsheets in excel doesn’t cut it anymore. The hidden costs of manual time and expense tracking eat away at your business’s profitability.
Here, we’ll break down the real costs of manual management. How do timesheets and expense trackers contribute to (or detract from!) your business? And how can automating timesheet and expense management processes make your business more sustainable?
- Management Costs
- Accuracy Costs
- Efficiency Costs
- Recouping Costs with Time and Expense Tracking Software
The Hidden Costs of Time and Expense Tracking
Manual time and expense tracking may seem straightforward, but according to HBR, avoidable mistakes are costing businesses billions of dollars in lost hours and revenue. Valuable time that could be used for developing projects and strategies is instead spent on managing workflows, correcting mistakes, and processing information. These costs can add up quickly.
The good news is that automation can do much of this for you. When excel timesheet expense tracking just isn’t cutting it anymore, it’s time to look at software that can track hours, simplify shift management, and streamline expense reporting. These effective solutions will give employees and employers more time to focus on work that really matters.
Time and expense tracking by hand requires a lot of oversight. Employees will need to fill in their information, but managers will be left to review it, tally up final numbers, and send the data to payroll or accounting. Here are some of the most common management costs associated with manual tracking:
Distribution & Collection
Doing things the old-fashioned way means managers must create forms for employees to fill out. They are also responsible for making sure that employees have access to the right documents as needed. As the end of the pay period nears, managers may find themselves chasing employees around to collect timesheets or expense reports. This is, in short, a waste of time for all involved.
Filling Out Time Sheets or Expense Reports
Maybe this seems straightforward, but filling out forms is not always as easy as you think. Employees are liable to make mistakes. For example, they may misreport hours worked or expenditures from a business trip. Data shows that employees are more likely to have highly accurate reports if they adjust their timesheets several times a day. However, such frequent modification detracts from the time they could be working!
Once they receive the reports, managers will be responsible for deciphering employee handwriting, asking follow-up questions, and filing paperwork. If things don’t quite line up, it will be managers pulling out their hair at the end of the pay period or (gulp!) before the start of tax season. This is not their favorite part of the job, but someone has to do it— unless they invest in automation.
Manual reporting not only take more time but is also more inaccurate. Mistakes can lead to big problems for businesses, such as labor disputes or even lawsuits! These costs need to be factored in when considering manual vs. automated tracking. Automation can help businesses to protect themselves and provides comprehensive records in case something goes wrong.
Everyone is human! Employees filling out timesheets may accidentally enter the wrong hours for a certain day or misremember their shifts. They may end up working beyond their allotted hours without their supervisor’s approval, qualifying for overtime. Managers need to keep a close eye on manual time tracking to make sure there aren’t any mistakes.
Legal Problems & Disputes
Businesses that have accuracy problems may end up with various legal problems. If they fail to track worker’s paid time off accrual, they may end up with fines from their state government. If they don’t offer leave management in compliance with FMLA, they may end up in trouble with federal regulators. To avoid unhappy workers, grumpy officials, and expensive lawyers, businesses must make sure to keep their records accurate!
When businesses have accurate information, they can better plan for the future. With more accurate expense reports, they can budget for future trips. More accurate timesheets will mean that businesses will be able to assess whether they have the resources to take on more projects. If reports aren’t up to snuff, the business may end up spending money they don’t have down the line.
Manual time and expense tracking can cost your business money in terms of missed opportunities. Time and expense tracking software provides businesses with important data and information about their company. This can be used to make informed decisions! Why not take advantage of available information?
Missed Strategical Opportunities
With a digital time and expense tracking solution, managers will be able to run custom HR reports. They can compare expenditures, sorting by expense type, or employee. Additionally, they can easily track employee hours and clocked overtime. This makes it easy to understand payroll costs as well as business expenditures and identify areas for improvement.
Tracking time and expenses with paper reports or Excel spreadsheets can feel a little dated. Employees will certainly prefer the opportunity to easily submit and adjust their hours and expenses through a mobile app. They can follow the process as managers approve expenses and hours. The increased transparency will make them feel more trustful and more engaged.
Time and expense tracking can be expensive for businesses. It often comes with heavy time, accuracy, and efficiency costs. However, the right software makes it easy for managers to track time and expenses without hassle. Why manage timesheets when you could be managing people?
Factorial’s time and expense tracking software streamline payroll and expense reporting. With time tracking software:
- Employees can clock in and out from the office entrance, and employers will receive a notification if the clock in from another location.
- Both managers and employees can review and visualize hours worked and hours pending.
- Businesses benefit from automatic timesheet collection, calculation, and analysis.
- Employees can automatically upload their expenses and receipts and classify expenses according to categories.
- Managers can review expense reports on their own time and accept or deny reimbursement requests.
- Expense reports can provide insight into where the money is being spent.
At Factorial, we combine shift management, time tracking, and expense management into our all-in-one Time and Expense tracking software that also allows you to do everything else from managing vacations to monitoring performance to onboarding new employees. Isn’t it time you streamlined your HR processes?
Is it Time to Invest in Time and Expense Tracking Software?
Time and expense tracking has never been easier. No more juggling timesheets and expense reports! Instead, make the most of your time with time and expense tracking software that helps your business run more efficiently and profitably.
Written by: Valerie Slaughter