The term “Biometrics” originated from the Greek words “Bio” (meaning life) and “metric” (meaning measure). It measures and analyzes the unique biological physiognomies of a person; this could be physical or behavioral for the purpose of recognition.
The term can be used to mean the science of establishing the identity of an individual based on the physical, chemical or behavioral traits or as a physical or a biological feature of an individual that can be measured.
Biometric technology is widely used in various aspects of life and for different purposes; we shall be considering how biometric clocking in systems can be used in managing the employees of an organization to avoid employees’ fraud.
Common Employees Payroll Related Fraud
There are several types of employees’ fraud within an organization; such fraud may be sales related, inventory related, account related, human resources related etc. This article focuses on the human resources related fraud, particularly payroll related fraud. It has been reported by the American Payroll Association (APA) that hundreds of billions of dollars have been paid for lost work hours every year as a result of employee payroll related fraud. Examples of such fraud include:
Timesheet fraud may occur in various ways, but the end point is that companies overpay employees based on falsified timesheet submissions. This may be due to Buddy punching (when an employee gets another employee to “punch” the time clock for them). In some cases, employees might even have a co-worker clock in and out for them when they are not even scheduled to work. Sometimes there might be a scenario that will require a manual entry by the employee, which gives them opportunity to add extra hours they did not work for. Or, perhaps, a payroll clerk may manually override employee timesheets to increase the number of hours worked or even the rate of pay.
This is when an employer pays employees who don’t actually work for the organization or who are non-existent. Ghost employees are the second most common type of employees’ fraud, which is usually perpetrated by the payroll staff or the manager. In short, a ghost employee is either a fake employee who has never worked for your company — but who has been “created” by payroll to divert funds, or someone who once worked for the company and has since left, but was never officially terminated in the payroll system.
How biometric clocking in systems can combat employee fraud
Biometric clocking terminals use detailed measurement of the human body as a means of verifying the identity of the person clocking from amongst the records stored in the clocking device. To use a biometric clocking terminal your biometric details must first be registered on the device.
With biometric authentication technology built in the Human Resources Management System or Payroll Processing Systems, it is easier to track employee’s time and attendance with the touch of a finger. It is the most accurate way to collect employee’s time and attendance information as it verifies an employee’s identity based on their biometric characteristics, which makes it impossible to manipulate. Below are summary points on how Biometric Clocking in systems can combat employee fraud.
- Preventing Timesheet Fraud
Biometric clocking terminal eliminates timesheet fraud by preventing employees from falsifying their timesheets or clocking their colleagues in and out on their behalf (buddy punching).
- Preventing Employee Impersonation
Biometric clocking terminals can provide confidence for the employer, staff and members of the public utilizing an organization’s services that the adequately trained and insured individual has attended for work.
Ensuring that the correct person attends work can be essential in some specialist jobs where employees are skilled, working with vulnerable people, working alone or with unfamiliar colleagues. This could be a matter of health and safety and is an important duty of employers to attend to.
Biometric clocking terminals provide enhanced security for the business and other employees by allowing only verified staff to enter the business premises or secure areas.
- It eliminates lost or damaged clock cards excuse
Since most biometric clocking terminal installations do not require the use of a clock card, biometric clocking eliminates missing clocking excuse due to lost or damaged clocking cards. This puts a kink in the plan of some staff that use this excuse as a platform to manually complete timesheet, which creates room for fraud.
In summary, biometric authentication technology makes clocking in and out much faster for your employees and at the same time saving your company time and money by paying your employees for the exact time they work. Your company will also reduce costly payroll and data entry errors caused by the old time card system. This addresses the problems faced by companies of employees doing the proxy attendance for their colleagues, stealing company time, putting in more time in the daily time record (DTR), and increasing the amount of gross payroll resulting from buddy punching.