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Protecting Your Bottom Line: Preventing Employee Time Theft with Lathem and Greenshades

Lauren DeBisschop
Feb 28, 2023

Time theft is the act of employees using company time for personal gain. Essentially, it is when a worker should be working and is not.

Time theft can take various forms, such as:

  • Buddy punching (when a friend “swipes in” on their behalf).
  • Taking longer-than-scheduled breaks.
  • Logging off early at the end of the day.
  • Using work hours to do household tasks or other personal activities.
  • Performing timesheet fraud (rounding up on hours or manually adding time).

Even though these workers may not be stealing something tangible from your business, they are still wasting valuable resources.  While time theft may not involve physical objects, it can still impact your business's revenue and productivity.

The True Cost of Employee Time Theft

While time theft may seem inconsequential in isolated instances, it can gradually transform into a recurring pattern for some employees. Consequently, the financial implications for your organization can mount and ultimately become significant.

The American Society of Employers reports that employee time theft results in a loss of twenty cents of each revenue dollar.1 Additionally, the US Chamber of Commerce estimates that 75% of employees steal from the workplace at some point,2 costing US companies more than $400 billion dollars annually.3

There are several ways to prevent time theft in your organization and improve your daily operations.  To mitigate the impact of time theft on your business, consider leveraging technology to improve your time and attendance systems. Here are two effective options:

1. Use Biometric Time-Tracking Devices

Biometric tracking devices are a simple and easy way to hold employees accountable for their time worked. These devices accurately record employee time and attendance by using an individual’s unique physical characteristics, such as fingerprints or facial features. In addition, managers can ensure individuals are present for work and clocking in only for themselves.

One of the main advantages of biometric time-tracking devices is their ability to prevent time fraud and buddy punching. Since the devices use unique biometric data, it is almost impossible for an employee to clock in or out on behalf of a colleague.

Your time and attendance data accuracy also drastically increases with biometric tracking devices. Since employees have unique identifiers, the device helps ensure time entry data is attributed to the correct person every time.  

Fortunately, in recent years, technological advancements have made biometric time-tracking devices such as fingerprint scanners, facial recognition systems, and hand geometry readers inexpensive. Most are easy to use, and many are accessible via a mobile app, making them helpful for the “deskless” worker.

2. Automate Time and Location Based Data

In some industries, knowing where work is performed is just as crucial as tracking the time worked.  However, workers may exploit "deskless" situations to clock in before reaching their designated work location. For example, an hourly employee may punch-in before they drive to work, even though their contract does not allow that. This leads to time theft and even potential tax implications due to the ever-changing state and local tax rules.

To prevent time theft, it's important to capture accurate time and location data automatically. For instance, some time and attendance systems allow you to set up "geofencing" to define specific work locations and limit clock-in periods. By automatically capturing a GPS stamp whenever an employee punches in, the payroll system can apply the correct pay rules based on the location. In addition, this process specifies periods during which an employee can clock-in, preventing them from stealing time before their shift is scheduled to begin.

A Partner in Preventing Time Theft

Your payroll and HR teams play a critical role in ensuring your workers get paid correctly. However, increasing demands for transparency, reporting, and compliance call for an even higher level of efficiency and accuracy.

Technology provides ample opportunity to improve your organization’s overall operational success, starting with payroll and HR. The key is to find the right payroll, HR, and time entry partner to support your processes.  

Lathem is a leading provider of time and attendance tracking solutions for organizations of all sizes. They offer a wide range of products to help businesses accurately track and manage employee attendance and work hours.

One of the key features of Lathem’s products is their biometric technology which uses fingerprint scanners and facial recognition systems to prevent time theft. Their user-friendly solutions include features such as automatic data collection, real-time reporting, and more.  

Lathem’s seamless integration with Greenshades allows for easy management of employee time and attendance data while streamlining payroll and HR processes. Time entry data from Lathem’s systems automatically populate into Greenshades’ payroll and HR systems, eliminating the need for manual data entry and reducing the chance of errors. Then, managers can quickly approve or deny time-off requests, track employee hours, and calculate paychecks and overtime directly in the Greenshades system.

The partnership between Lathem and Greenshades offers an efficient way to manage employee time and attendance data to combat time theft and ensure workers are paid properly.

Eliminate Impacts of Time Theft

Time theft significantly impacts businesses, but there are multiple ways to manage and mitigate the costs associated with the behavior. Technology plays a crucial role in tackling many of the challenges of time-tracking, including time theft. The key is to find the right partner to support your organization’s operations and keep your employees happy.  

Greenshades and Lathem have aligned to deliver a powerful, combined platform that helps employers operate with greater accuracy, timeliness, and efficiency. Learn more about the power of the right partnership by downloading the eBook; Accuracy Counts - The Critical Links Between Time, Attendance, and Payroll.

ebook cover of Accuracy Counts


1Safe Communications, Inc. (2018, June 30). Safe Communications, Inc. Completes Acquisition of Control of Northsight Capital, Inc. news-releases/safe-communications -inc-completes-acquisition-of- control-of-northsight-capital- inc-123013583.html

2Safe Communications, Inc. (2018, June 30). Safe Communications, Inc. Completes Acquisition of Control of Northsight Capital, Inc. -releases/safe-communications -inc-completes-acquisition-of -control-of-northsight- capital-inc-123013583.html

3Ahmed, A. (2018, January 19). How To Insure Against Time Theft. Forbes. sites/ashikahmed/2018/01/19/ how-to-insure-against-time- theft/?sh=7f90f8515ac8

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