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Timesheet Fraud

What is timesheet fraud?

Remember that kid from school who was always trying to figure out a way to change the grades on their report card? Well, they are still out there and now they are an adult and trying to figure out a way to scam company timesheets.

ADP Payroll conducted a survey of workers who get paid for every hour they log and 43% admitted to exaggerating the amount of time they work during their shifts. With those results, it is no surprise that cases of timesheet fraud continue to be heard across The Fair Work Commission (Commission). Most recently, the Commission upheld a summary dismissal of a hospital cleaner who spent around one-third of his time ‘on break’ in the tearoom. The employer dismissed the worker for serious misconduct after discovering the conduct, arguing that it amounted to, ‘time fraud/theft’, in that the employee was paid for time worked when he had removed himself from duties without authorisation.

How does timesheet fraud take place?

It takes place when an employee gets paid for work they never did or for time spent on activities not related to work. Time fraud schemes mostly depend on the method employees used to track their time, absences, and overtime.

Here are the most common fraud types:

  1. Inflating time logged in the timesheet.
  2. Editing time-track retrospectively
  3. Punching in for a coworker
  4. Logging regular time as overtime

Four tips to help you stop time theft:

1. Identify and seal the cracks

Businesses that integrated time and attendance with payroll had an almost 30% lower rate of payroll processing errors. Understanding your options and their potential for timesheet error and falsification can enable better data input.

2. Improve visibility with self-service

Enabling self-service for managers can allow individuals throughout the organisation to participate in fraud recognition. With 24-hour access to timesheets, for example, managers can notice and report discrepancies between worker attendance and recorded time capture data.

3. Make sure to inform your employees about payroll and overtime policies

Sometimes timesheet fraud is not really intended. Things start going wrong, when an employee doesn’t clearly understand their duties or how they should account for their work.

4. If you’ve noticed any minor cases of fraud, don’t ignore them

Remember the old saying: “It’s better to prevent than to cure”? Talking to the employee as soon as possible is your chance to prevent major problems in the future.

There’s no doubt that timesheet fraud is harmful to the bottom line and culture of a business. No matter what technology you implement or processes that you put in place to manage timesheet recording, building trust in your team will allows provide dividends particularly in maintaining a productive and engaging business culture.