Per a 2021 EY study, the average cost for a single HR manual data entry is $4.70. Leveraging manual or non-integrated timekeeping solutions, allows recurring data entry costs to escalate rapidly. RPA can quickly close time management gaps in any organization, eliminating wasted time and resources.
Whether your time management system is paper-based or 95% automated, manual intervention in the timekeeping process contributes to:
- Employee Time Theft (time padding, buddy punches, missed punches, etc.)
- Inaccurate or Insufficient Records (loss of trust in time data = difficulty in resource planning and customer invoicing errors)
- Extra Admin Costs (per the APA, it takes an average of 6 minutes to manually audit a timecard + the $4.70 for each data entry referenced above).
- Increased Payroll Expense (the cost of human intervention calculation errors is between 1%-8% of total payroll = thousands each year in erroneous wages)
Utilizing Robotic Process Automation (RPA), the following manual timekeeping gaps can be closed using RPA software bots.
- Manual Timesheet Processing – Using AI-based Optical Character Recognition and intelligent automation, RPA can process scanned handwritten timesheets with 75%+ auto-entry, and digital timesheets (ex. PDF, Excel, MS Word, etc.) with 100% auto-entry into the target payroll system.
- Timekeeping System Integration – Many timekeeping systems are not fully integrated into the main HRIS system. RPA can provide 2-way integration. Including the export of employee data/setup to the Timekeeping system and the import of time data into the HRIS Payroll system. This automatic integration ensures both disparate systems are in sync at all times.
- Timesheet reconciliation – RPA can automate the manual review and reconciliation of time data to ensure time information is complete, correct, and meets the requirements of the target system (ex., HRIS, ERP, Job Costing, etc.).
- Timekeeping Compliance – An RPA bot can automatically police the timely completion of time entry and take appropriate disciplinary actions (ex., disable an offender’s ability to send email) as required.
Sample Use Case
To illustrate, here is a use case addressing several of the gaps above.
A field service organization spends numerous hours each week reconciling field technician timekeeping data (ex., missed punches, wrong client selection, services hours out of standard, not a client location when clocking in, etc.). While the organization has an electronic (mobile) timekeeping solution that is 95% integrated with their payroll system, issues with the timekeeping data resulted in short/over payments for technicians and erroneous invoicing to their clients. RPA was identified to address these gaps as follows:
- An automated reconciliation bot executes custom punch-data validation rules, including “GPS fencing”, which compares the client’s GPS location vs. the technician’s GPS coordinates from the mobile timekeeping solution. This comparison ensures the “start punch” data was < 1 mile from the client location. If exceeding tolerance, the time data was automatically rounded down to ensure correct client invoicing.
- After all automated and any “human in the loop” reconciliation activities are complete, a bot executes the migration of the timekeeping data into the client’s payroll and client billing systems.
- After the reconciliation, a bot updates a reporting database that tracks timekeeping errors for ongoing analysis. It then automatically emails a weekly timekeeping reconciliation report to designated recipients.
Utilizing RPA to close your timekeeping gaps, whether large or small, significantly reduces effort, administrative costs, and payroll errors. All while improving the integrity of your labor reporting data, the quality of your customer invoicing, and the timekeeping compliance of your employees.
Contact us today to learn more about utilizing RPA to close the frustrating, costly, and cumbersome gaps in your timekeeping processes and systems.