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Time clock systems are an efficient way to input a worker’s logged time at work. Most people remember the classic approach of time punching a time card. Others may recognize using an identification badge that they can slide through a machine that tracks time and attendance. With either device, the worker’s exact minute and seconds are logged into a computer. When a worker leaves work, they just re-punch their time card or re-scan their badge. As a result, the payroll department receives an exact hourly rate of time worked by each worker.
These systems are much more accurate than a worker logging their own time for themselves. Say the worker logs into work at 8:55 AM and leaves at 5:07 PM. If the worker has to fill in their own time sheet, they might round up or down to 9:00 AM check-in and 5:10 PM check-out. However, with punch card or electronic badge recording, the worker’s 8 hours, 12 minutes of work are accurately recorded. This not only helps payroll calculate appropriate wages, but it can help human resources and management assess how time efficient the worker is when they arrive to work, takebreaks and leave work.

The central problem with these systems, however, is what is known as “buddy punching”. This is when another worker punches a time card or scans a badge for another worker. Say a worker is sick from work, but still wants to be paid for the day. They can ask another co-worker to take their time card or badge and “punch” their time card or badge through the machines to record their time. Buddy punching is a surprisingly frequent occurrence and it can cost companies hundreds to thousands of dollars in wages a year. The best way to stop this from happening is to invest in a fingerprint time clock.

Fingerprint time clocks are produced by a wide variety of time card companies, like Allied Time and others. The fingerprint time clock works by scanning the worker’s fingerprint instead of using of a punched time card or a badge. Since all people have unique fingerprints, no buddy punching or other workplace fraud can occur. Only that worker can clock in for work or leave work. The time clock accurately records when the worker arrives and leaves for work, but it can only record that time for the exact worker.

Instead of worrying about hourly wage abuse, companies should invest in a fingerprint time clock. Each worker will have their time recorded accurately and no one can abuse the system.