7 Ways Paper Time Tracking Cost Your Construction Business Money

Category: Construction | By ClockShark | 4 minute read | Updated Feb 15, 2020
7 Ways Paper Time Tracking Cost Your Construction Business Money

Is your construction company still using paper time cards? Well, then you must be all too familiar with missing time cards, incorrect information, time entry at the end of the week and a mad dash to get payroll processed at the end of the pay cycle.

Every wondered if paper time cards are impacting your business negatively? Labor is one of the biggest costs for a construction business. 

Here are seven ways your construction business could be losing money due to paper time cards.

How is paper time cards costing your construction business money

1. Manual Entry Errors

Paper time cards rely heavily on memory and the honor system. They are usually completed at the end of the day or end of the week rather than in real-time making incorrect entries a very real possibility. Also, poor penmanship or hasty scribbles could lead to confusion and mistakes. Additionally, manual data entry into the accounting system can also lead to mistakes.

2. Employee Time Theft

Ever rounded up numbers or the time for convenience? You can bet your employees have too. According to the American Payroll Association, paper time cards results in ‘employee time theft’ of up to ten minutes per employee per day. This time theft could be in the form of early checkout, late login, long lunches or just ‘rounding off the hours’. While an isolated ten extra minutes might not seem significant to you when multiplied by every employee and every workday, the extra cost becomes quite a sizeable amount.

Another common type of employee time theft is ‘buddy punching’. Buddy punching occurs when an employee clocks in for a late or missing colleague. The American Payroll Association estimates a loss of 1.5 to 5 percent of gross payroll over a year due to buddy punching.

Buddy Punching

3. Loss of Productivity

Have you made countless to and fro trips to the office and job site to pick up and drop time cards? If yes, then you know what we mean when we say that paper time cards are a major time sink and contribute to a drop in productivity. Switching to automated time tracking saves a ton of administrative time that is otherwise spent on payroll processing.

4. Inaccurate billing

Construction businesses that are billing the customer from paper time cards are most probably sending inaccurate invoices. Both under and overbilling your client could harm your business. You also risk a loss of customer faith if you are unable to provide electronic evidence to back up the invoice. An automated GPS time tracking that proves exactly when, where and how long your employees were working on a project goes a long way in establishing a great working relationship with your clients besides providing accurate timesheets.

5. Job Costing

Construction businesses like yours rely on accurate time card information to cost labor to the correct task. Since the very accuracy of paper time cards is questionable, companies that depend upon them have a tough time with job costing as well as budget projections.

6. Delayed Communication

You will typically receive employee paper time cards towards the end of the pay cycle. Automated time tracking ensures that the timesheet information is available to managers in real-time. Any issues that might arise with the timesheets can be resolved during the week instead of resolving it at the very last minute.

7. Overtime

Despite your best intentions, overtime is necessary for the successful completion of a project. With manual time tracking, you might lose track of the overtime costs and overshoot your budget considerably. With an automated time tracking system since all timesheets are updated in real-time, you can choose to receive alerts when the overtime hours are crossing a certain limit. Overtime management with a paper time card becomes considerably tougher.

DCAA Timekeeping Requirements Guide


Payroll accounts for over 50% of your total budget. Accurate timesheets are not only essential to reduce losses and run your business smoothly but also for your peace of mind. 

At Clockshark we are passionate about helping business owners like you build and grow your business. Our automated GPS time tracking app seamlessly integrates with payroll as well as accounting software for stress-free and easy payroll processing.

Construction workers too tend to prefer time tracking apps over paper time cards now. That way the onus is no longer on them to accurately fill in their time cards. They can also be assured of fair payments and compliance with any labor scheduling laws.

Still on the fence about switching over to an app-based time tracking system? See a demo or schedule a one-on-one demo and learn all the ways Clockshark can streamline your payroll processing.

9,500+ companies use ClockShark to track employees and save time every month.

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