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Your Timesheets May Get You into Certified Payroll Trouble

Posted by Kit Dickinson on May 28, 2019 12:10:00 PM

Timesheets May Get You into Certified Payroll Trouble

If your construction company takes government contract jobs, you’re required to submit certified payroll reports after each payday. The forms are a pain to fill out manually, but IDI’s Contractor Central automates the entire process—you’ll never have to worry about certified payroll again...unless your timesheet data isn’t completely accurate.

There’s more to certified payroll than filling out the forms, and it all starts with accurate time collection. If your time data isn’t accurate, you may be susceptible to heavy fines and penalties.

Many construction companies overlook the importance of accurate time collection for certified payroll reports. They don’t work government contracts very often, and they often assume it’s not important to be rigorous about time collection. That’s a risky gamble.

Related content: Think HCM Can't Work for Construction Companies? Think Again!

The Importance of Accurate Time Data

Certified payroll reports require a day-by-day accounting of each employee—where they are, what they’re doing, and when they’re on the clock. Most companies rely on a foreman at a worksite to track each person’s time each day. In that case, the supervisor usually enters the time that the crew started working and the time the crew left. But the time entered isn’t accurate, because all your employees don’t show up at the same time, start working right away, and leave at the same time. You can’t simply estimate people’s time—it should be accurate down to the quarter hour, or better.

To capture accurate time for every employee, you need an automated time system on a mobile device. If that sounds costly, there’s good news. New innovations have made automated time capture much more affordable.

On the other hand, you’re probably already spending more than you realize on time-and-attendance.

The Cost of Manual Time Collection

Manual time collection might seem cheaper, because you don’t have to invest in an expensive system. But a simple ROI calculation can show how much time and money you’re losing every pay period.

For example, if you have 300 employees, it could take your payroll people as much as two days each pay period to track down the information they need and verify it. With automated time systems, you push a button and the data is transferred in about 20 seconds. If you’re paying your payroll person $25 per hour, that’s an immediate savings of $10,400 per year (with a bi-weekly pay schedule). And it’s another 416 hours per year that’s freed up for your payroll person to do more important work.

In addition, there are other factors that affect your ROI, such as:

  • The time your foremen are spending on time collection
  • How much time theft is happening on the job site
  • Paycheck errors that overpay your employees

Steep Legal Ramifications and Penalties

Whether you take government contracts often or rarely, the Department of Labor holds the same expectations of your time-and-attendance data. As more contractors are being targeted by the DOL, it’s more critical than ever to ensure you’re reporting accurate numbers. Contractors who wait are finding themselves with tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties.

Inaccurate time collection can also lead to employee disputes, leaving you—not your employees—with the burden of proof that your records are accurate. An employee dispute will cost you time, effort and aggravation. But if you have time tracking software, you already have your proof right at your fingertips.

Don’t wait for a trigger event to get the automation you need. Contact your time-and-attendance provider to see how they can partner with IDI to automate your certified payroll reporting.

IDI Resource Center

Topics: Construction Industry Solutions

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