Today almost every employee carries a smartphone, which is a huge opportunity for businesses with mobile employees to implement mobile time tracking. Field service businesses, landscapers, construction companies, and other small businesses are all key candidates.

Can you picture yourself running payroll without having to call your staff asking “Where’s your time sheet?” or knowing that you’re paying for the exact times worked and not guesstimates coming from a paper time sheet?

Let’s take a look at 6 of the reasons why mobile time tracking is a great idea:

  1. Save on Payroll: Paper time sheets are often completed at the end of the day or the end of the week, not in real time. Human nature is to round up. As an isolated case, 15 minutes of inflated pay may not be a big cost but if you multiply this event across many employees, and 250 or so work days per year and you have a major expense.
  1. Verify Employee Location: Most employees are honest. But, the few bad apples ruin it for everyone. Mobile workforces often cannot be continuously supervised by trusted key employees. Dishonest employees can easily falsify records, claiming they were on a job site when they weren’t. In fact, it’s a common frustration and concern shared by most businesses with mobile workforces.
  1. Accurate Job Costing: Construction and Field Service Businesses typically need to cost labor to the correct job and labor task. It’s critical to many of their processes that this information is timely and accurate. Many companies we speak with share with us that paper time sheets often do a miserable job with costing labor.
  1. Real-Time Information: Paper time sheets bring in information at the end of the pay period. Automated time tracking software means that information available in real time – so problems with recorded times can be resolved throughout the week, rather than at the last minute before payroll. Managers also benefit from real-time information related to employee work times, locations, and job labor budgets.
  1. Accurate Billing: Businesses that bill from paper time sheets are sending inaccurate invoices, period. Being able to back up your invoices with an electronic time record inspires confidence with customers and eliminates concerns about the damage that under or over billing could cause.
  1. Cut Admin Time Spent on Payroll: Companies we talk with that switch to automated time tracking see a typical 50% time savings in the time spent on payroll. The numbers speak for themselves.

Employees generally find mobile time tracking to be helpful and are “graciously accepting” as they are on-boarded. Of course, as with any organizational change, you should expect to have a smaller portion of employees react with skepticism or resistance. In our experience, these concerns go away within a few weeks as employees get used to the new process.

One helpful tip is to understand the amount of mobile app data usage that a proposed solution will use from your employees’ data plans. It can be helpful to put in place a cost recovery program for the employee in the event that a data overage is caused by use of the software.

If your business sounds like a candidate for the cost and productivity gains that a mobile time tracking system can offer, there are various solutions on the market to investigate. Make sure to do your homework and (if possible) run through a trial period with any proposed solution before you commit to it.


Author: Cliff Mitchell

Published: May 5, 2015

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