It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book: An employee gets to work late, wants to clock out early or is a total no-show and recruits a co-worker to punch in or out for him or for her. It’s a sneaky way to get paid for work not done and solicit a co-conspirator to help make it happen — all while employers are left holding the bag. “Buddy punching,” as the practice is known, costs businesses millions of dollars annually, both in wages paid for non-existent workers, and in lost productivity. Not only that; buddy punching is considered in many cases to be fraud. It’s a crime, and it’s a bona fide punishable offense.

Buddy punching isn’t hard to execute. A worker simply shares his or her personal information, such as usernames and passwords, with an accomplice who then signs in for the absentee employee. This idea of ‘doing a favor’ for a colleague can be controlled by HR personnel who should clearly spell out to employees that this is unacceptable behavior and against company policy.

To date, preventing buddy punching has been difficult; systems just were not in place to detect this fraudulent activity, and it fell on employees to honor a firm’s policy of clocking themselves in and out. But times have changed: New technologies are being applied that can detect fraudulent activity at the time clock. In addition to scheduling modules and tracking applications, GPS technology is one of the most effective means of controlling time theft.

Learn More about Accu Data’s Time and Attendance Solutions

Employee GPS tracking, which utilizes satellite navigation to establish the location of a person, vehicle or device, is being implemented in the workplace more and more to track employees on the job. GPS time clocks incorporating geolocation technology are being employed to monitor workplace activity. It’s a swift and efficient system of observing employees through mobile time clock monitoring technology that enables employers to keep close track of who clocks in and who clocks out, and when. It also helps employers to track everything from the location of company vehicles, to ensuring that employees are as efficient as possible.

Biometrics, such as a finger scan have been a part of time and attendance systems for years now and have yielded significant changes with stopping buddy punching. Your coworker may be able to use your badge or PIN, but your fingerprint is not so easy.  By using a biometric time clock, the employee has to be present to punch in. An additional benefit is increased speed in the clocking in process. Newer time clocks use technology that allows the employee to punch simply by placing their finger on the sensor – with no badge number or passwords needed.

Using new technologies such as GPS time tracking and a biometric attendance system can make a significant dent in lost time and productivity, while ensuring that employees stick to the rules and are on the job in the hours for which they are being paid. If used properly and legally, these technologies can be a big step forward for any business looking to streamline its operations. Accu Data’s Time and Attendance software can also be a huge help toward monitoring and managing and processing data related to employee hours and attendance.

If you have questions regarding the implementation of GPS monitoring or Biometrics in your workplace, contact an Accu Data Workforce Solutions specialist, who can spell out the system in detail and get you started when you’re ready to begin implementation to cut costs and increase productivity.