Still using spreadsheets for tracking time? Here’s why you should stop now

Avoid Using Spreadsheets

For many years, software vendors have predicted the demise of the spreadsheet – but instead, it’s mutated from being a simple calculation tool to an application used for more complex business tasks. In the employee management world, small businesses to multinational corporations alike are still using spreadsheets to track staff hours, better utilize resources and improve business efficiencies.

Yet for a tool designed to enhance efficiency, it’s a productivity drain. Think about it: in an age of automated technologies such as self-driving cars, drones and robots, shouldn’t using spreadsheets be a relic of the past?

Spreadsheet pitfalls explained

Tracking employee time on spreadsheets is fraught with data entry frustrations. Errors are rife, and finding and fixing them can be a time-consuming nightmare. Plus, spreadsheets’ lack of centralization means there’s no way to get actionable insights from the data, and the human intervention at each step leaves a question mark on the data’s accuracy. Spreadsheets are not only cumbersome and difficult to consolidate, but weak timesheet controls make companies vulnerable to hidden costs such as timesheet fraud, revenue leakage from inaccurate data entry, and higher risks in wage and hour noncompliance. In fact, the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has recovered a whopping $1.3 billion in back wages for workers since 2009.

Thomson Reuter’s research on the hidden dangers of using spreadsheets found that many organizations have spreadsheet-based solutions that are not only inherently unreliable and insecure, but simply weren’t designed to support multi-user, process-centric working environments. Version control, auditability, and integrity are all well documented problems. Spreadsheets also can’t meet the standard record retention guidelines of compliance programs. Clearly, this model is just not sustainable in today’s data-rich and analytics-hungry business environment.

Automated technologies to support your bottom line

The challenges that spreadsheets present to track employee time mean that the benefits of using automated time tracking tools, such as Replicon Time & Attendance, are a certainty. These solutions are easy-to-use and add much needed scalability, visibility and security.

The advantages of automated time and attendance solutions are:

  • Reduced labor-intensive payroll processing, and less errors and costly overpayments
  • Ability to integrate with other processes such as tracking project costs and client billing
  • Real-time insights into labor cost management, project completion, and a reduced billing cycle ― dramatically improving cash flow velocity through quicker invoicing
  • Robust reporting functionalities to ensure compliance with labor laws, minimize operational and compliance risks, and ensure a strong audit trail

Whether you’re looking to move away from spreadsheets, or are aiming to maximize the benefits of an existing system, a flexible and powerful time and attendance system can drive significant value to your business – and your bottom line. You don’t have time to waste on manual, labor-intensive systems of yesteryear. Are you ready to reap the benefits of an automated solution?

Vivek Gopalpuria
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Vivek Gopalpuria
Vivek is the Associate Director of Product Marketing at Replicon. Replicon provides award-winning products that make it easy to manage your workforce. With complete solution sets for client billing, project costing, and time and attendance management, Replicon enables the capture, administration, and optimization of your most underutilized and important asset: time.
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