Human Resources, Payroll

SBS 233: Benefits of Using Biometric Timekeeping Systems

Hey Compliance Warriors!

Bio-metric time clocks have been around for while but with increasing technology and security they’ve become even more popular. Listen in as we discuss some of the benefits of using this type of timekeeping system!

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Enjoy and until next time, Be Audit Secure!



Lisa: Welcome to another edition of small business spin fools. I’m Lisa Smith

Mason: I am Mason Merrell

Lisa:  And today we are talking about biometric timekeeping systems.

Mason: Yep, that’s right. So we’re talking about the way you keep time that, you pay your employees with.

Lisa: Yeah And biometric is something that’s gained a lot of popularity over the last several years. This is the type of time keeping system where you really, track based on physical aspects like thumb prints or your eyes or your facial recognition.


Mason: or even vocal sample is what it says. So, I mean these are becoming ever more popular because they want it to be as personalized as possible so they can keep track of, you in the most secure way.


Lisa: Yeah, absolutely. very controversial. I personally don’t mind this, I’m not going to get chipped I don’t mind this, but chipping people has been also in the conversation. So a lot of things to think about here when you’re implementing and there can be some, really strong benefits.


Mason: Oh yeah, definitely. And that’s what we’re going to talk about here today. We’re going to talk about five reasons that firms are switching to this, this type of timekeeping system at, from the old ones, whether it’s, an app people are using or, more newer or just even paper people, people still use.


Lisa: yeah, absolutely. the first thing that is a huge benefit to employers is that when you use biometric  timekeeping systems, it really reduces and almost eliminates any sort of theft that goes on by people clocking each other out. Or maybe someone writing down hours, they didn’t work on a time sheet.


Mason: Yeah. it brings out in this article we’re looking at is over 75 companies in the United States report losing money to buddy punching, which is when somebody clocks you out after you’ve already left or before you come in or something like that. So they are keeping your time up for you.


Lisa: Yeah. And that adds up to a lot of money, especially when you consider that a typical workplace loses 5% of its revenues to fraud and then that fraud will go undetected for over a year or more according to studies. So this practice can really be something helpful.


Mason: Yeah. And with these biometric timeclocks, you may think, Oh that’s so invasive to my employees,  their eyes or fingerprints or voice man, that’s so invasive. But it’s really helping you in the end because it’s a good system so people can’t just steal money from you essentially.


Lisa: Yeah, it’s right. And it helps the other employees too, because let’s say you’re a really honest employee and you’re working your time and punching it in and out properly. But then I’m over here using the buddy system and me, you know, Susie Q are just punching each other in and out and getting all kinds of extra overtime pay that we don’t deserve now that’s still in money from the company, which means that maybe they don’t have the budget to give you your pay raise.


Mason: Yeah. And that’s really bringing us up to our next point where it talks about boosting security here.


Lisa: Yeah, absolutely. So knowing that only employees who are physically at work, and can be a huge relief, to workers and to employers, but the security of the whole thing can really be important as well. we see so much workplace violence on the move these days that, knowing who’s there in the building is, huge.


Mason: Yep. So the next point we’re talking about would be simplifies the clocking in process.


Lisa: Yes, that’s right. So, I mean, how easy is it if you don’t have to remember your password, you don’t have to worry about, your thumbprint is not going to change unless you’re in an accident of some sort.


Mason: you can come to work with your hand, you can clock in or your eye or with your voice, whatever that your system uses.


Lisa: Yeah. So it’s, a good deal as far as that goes. You don’t lose a key card, all sorts of things and, key cards and so forth. They can all be duplicated and people can fraudulently, get in like that. And then it goes back to, the security thing. But, unless you’re in a James Bond movie, your thumbprint is going to be your thumbprint.


Mason: Yeah, for sure. It also, as far as the employer goes, it simplifies the system of the data keeping. So, a lot of these biometric timeclocks, we’ll send it right to your payroll system. So that eliminates really a middleman step of taking that data and putting it in themselves. So, it can really help the employer too. It’s not just a, luxury for the employee. And the next part kind of goes along with what we were talking about with the employees that really saves time.


Lisa: Yes. Being real time tracking, can take a long time, but a person’s hours are reported, right. The payroll system as you brought out, with biometrics, normally that’s the case. And this really just helps simplify things. You don’t have the thing at payroll time where nobody turned in their time card and now you’ve got to guess at how much you owe them because if they’ve been clocking in and out with a thumb print or an eye ball or something like that, then, you know, when they were there and it’s really a great device.


Mason:  So, the next point is improves accuracy. It just tracks the time right there as long as they clock in and out. And it’s really a good thing if you’re using these to try to tie it into your door system somehow. I know I’ve seen some of them where it’s also acts that time clock can act as the security for you to actually get in that door, so it’ll clock you in and open the door for you. That’s really some, it may seem space age to some people, but that’s really great technology.


Lisa: Oh, it’s wonderful because, one of the biggest, questions that we get, at least lately, it seems like is I can’t get my employees to clock in and out and they keep forgetting and blah, blah, blah. But if you’ve got it hooked to your door, then when they get in and they do their thumb or whatever it is, then they’re clocking in and so they can’t even enter. So there’s no forgetting. It’s really the accuracy of the whole thing can be really amazing.


Mason: Yup. Okay. So what are some legal considerations here


Lisa: Well, October 11th, marked the anniversary of the Illinois biometric privacy act known as BIPA And it’s really worth mentioning that it’s something to watch out for when you implement your own practices because according to the American bar association, the public welfare, security and safety will be served by regulating the collection use, safeguarding and handling, storage, retention and destruction of biometric identifiers and information. So with this whole law and everything means this act is the businesses who use biometric information have to treat this just as they would other records. It’s very confidential. There has to be a way to destroy it. And since it’s electronic, it can’t just be you hit the delete button cause it’s not gone. And so a lot of States are implementing BIPA laws. Illinois has like one of the biggest BIPA laws but I mean it’s really something to look out for because if we don’t handle this information, which is so confidential, if we don’t handle it correctly, then, it’ll be more trouble for us than it was ever worth to implement in the first place.


Mason: That’s right. So ask yourself, should you make the switch, consider some of these guidelines. It may seem like something so complicated, but if you just get yourself some proper training on how to use it and your employees proper training and how to use it ultimately, as we talked about here, can save you a lot of time and a lot of money and a lot of headache.  Okay, so I’m sold here.

Lisa: Let’s put it on the door today.

Mason: All right, sounds good. I guess that’s it for now and we’ll talk to you next week.

Lisa: Until then, I’m Lisa Smith

Mason:  and I’m Mason Merrell

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