How Much Are Paper Timesheets Really Costing You?

A clerk holding paper timesheets


Hello again,

This post is for companies that are tracking employee shifts by manually logging hours on a spreadsheet.

We would like to thank Clayson S. at TimeClick® for this guest blog post.  We hope you find the specificity of his findings useful for your business!


Paper Timesheet Costs

Labor costs are generally the largest item on most companies’ expense report. Labor costs are derived from the hours employees spend working.

For hundreds of years, most businesses kept track of their employees’ times by writing down the hours with pencil and paper.

Fortunately, time tracking has evolved over the years—unfortunately, too many businesses have not.

Time Theft Due to Exaggeration

Timesheets require the employees to enter their time after the fact. Can you remember the exact minute you left the office yesterday? Me neither. People are human and when they can’t remember exactly, they round—generally in their favor.

For example, consider an employee whose shift starts at 8:00 am. Suppose this employee generally shows up at 8:05 am, but for the sake of appearances reports that they began their shift promptly at 8:00 am. Those five minutes add up to be a lot over time.

According to a 2015 survey take by Software Advice over 43% of all employees are guilty of exaggerating time by an average of almost 22 minutes per shift.  This could be as high as 7% of your annual payroll costs. Imagine what your boss would think if you shaved 7% off of your highest expense item!

Wasting Management’s Time

It takes a manager about 5 minutes to add up and reconcile one employee timesheet. If you only have 12 employees it takes your manager about an hour of doing 5th grade math to total them all up.

Not only is this a tedious, inaccurate process, it’s costing you money! If the manager makes $20/hr and spends 1 hr adding up employee time every pay period over the course of a year that costs the business $520!

To get a better idea for how much time inaccuracies are costing your business check out this free time theft calculator.

Timesheet Software Solution

Obviously, there has to be a better solution than pen and paper. An automated timesheet software program is the best way to track your employees’ time. Employees can quickly clock in and out from all the computers across your network and they will get paid exactly for the hours they work. Instead of spending hours adding up time, you can have a neat report with totals for all your employees at the press of a button.


We hope you found this post helpful – Learn more about Passport Software’s partner TimeClick.

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Great advice, easily explained
for you to grow your business!