Timecard fraud is not a new issue. It has been with us since the beginning of online work. Whether you allow your employee to work from the office or hire them for remote work, you cannot avoid such fraud in any case. And since the boom of remote work in early 2020, many IT and tech companies have begun to see the trend of increased time card fraud investigations across the globe.
Due to the pandemic in 2020, almost 60% of employees started working remotely. And this makes it harder to detect such time card frauds. Because of the unsupervised work environment, many employees could get tempted to take advantage of reduced oversight.
Many employees have logged in to their remote desktop and then started watching the latest web series or running their personal errands during working hours. Such activities might seem mild, but they can abruptly harm the productivity and work status of the firm itself.
According to the statistics, the control over the increased rate of time card fraud during the pandemic has initiated the forging policies for time card fraud investigations within the firm. Well, mitigating such time card fraud risks can also be taken forward by simply checking up with the employees from time to time within working hours.
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How To Respond During Time Card Fraud Investigations?
There are not always easy responses to show during time card fraud investigations, but keeping cool and evaluating the risk is a major task you should pursue first. Well, if you discover any employee doing time theft, then referring to the company policies always comes in handy.
You can start investigating time card fraud issues in your firm by hearing out the employee side of the story. And assess the reliability of it then and there. Take listening to them into consideration even if you have all the evidence of employee misconduct. Hearing your employee out might open up the portal one more perspective to judge their behavior.
Hopefully, your firm has the policy to combat such situations. Well, as the trend of remote work increased, many companies have introduced robust employee monitoring software. For example, EmpMonitor! This tool equips its consumer with all sorts of internal monitoring advantages that one can possibly think about.
With this tool, you can track each and every move of your employee on their user screen.
EmpMonitor is a cloud-based software that allows you to have a real-time surveillance experience via various features such as time-tracking, clock in/out tracking, screenshot monitoring, webcam shots, etc.
Along with this, it has a stealth mode that allows you to monitor your employee and generate robust reports on employee activity matrices and productivity patterns.
Installing employee monitoring software helps in tracking their online behavior of all sorts. Having proof of time card fraud is the must step before you sue someone.
Several employee misconducts hamper the workflow of your firm and potentially violate the company policies, for example, wage theft, attendance fraud, and fake documents.
What To Do To Avoid Time Card Fraud Investigation?
The easiest way to avoid time card fraud is by informing your employees about the repercussions of their misconduct and holding them accountable. Ensuring full awareness of employee policies and manipulations can indeed work wonders on the team.
Documenting their work via screenshots, keyloggers, and productivity reports is another way you can reach out to avoid the circumstances of time card fraud. Well, checking up on them from time to time regarding the work also has its benefits of reducing time card frauds.
According to a recent time card fraud investigation in the aviation department, any possible time theft should be dealt with by firm policies. You can provide the list of terms and conditions within the staff and implement strict disciplinary actions for any misconduct.
Well, you can take a few actions to avoid time card fraud happening in your firm. Let us understand the ways through which you can proceed.
- You can take updates from your employees three times a day to ensure their availability.
- Send your most trusted employees to remote work so that you will not have to stress about their productivity.
- Install EmpMonitor in your employee’s desktops to monitor and supervise them.
- Ask your team leaders to keep a check on your employees from time to time on their works and projects.
- Ensure a healthy and productive environment at your firm.
- Allow your employees to talk about those office systems that bother them, for example, not having flexible office hours or anything.
- Offer mutual support and guidance if they get stuck.
- Be aware of your employees about the company policies regarding time card frauds and wage thefts.
- Implement disciplinary action and let them know that the firm will not take misconduct easily.
- Help your employees to get to know about the behaviors that your company policy considers as misconduct.
As an employer, make sure that you hire legitimate employees with decent work experience and personal life records. It was a lot easier before the arrival of the pandemic.
The online recruitment process is quite a tricky job. But amending the possibilities and preventions is the need of an hour. According to sapling.com, an NSA contractor was charged with a five-year sentence for committing time card fraud.
Introducing such harsh penalties is also one way to reduce time card frauds in your company. Although, with all these time card fraud investigations, one must not overlook the possibility of system failure.
So, if you find yourself in a situation where you have to claim time, it is best to ping your superior before you proceed with the process because this can lead you to lots of troubles if not handled properly.
How To Fight Time Card Fraud?
Let us take a case study of possible time theft in the Aviation department.
- The objective of the investigation needs to be determined first before proceeding with the process.
- Dig out every evidence that is related to the case.
- Access your own company policies and understand the depth of the case concerning it. Also, ensure that the policies are adequate enough to deal with it.
- Present all the evidence to the authorities and summon the responsible employee to hear their side of the story.
- Evaluate the chances of loopholes and truthfulness of the employee before making a judgment.
- Investigate the case on behalf of the company and the employee side.
- Derive your conclusions based on findings from the investigation.
- Implement the company policies on the final judgment.
Timecard fraud can mean many things as per the depth of the case. It can occur as productivity loss, wage theft, employee leave fraud, or anything. Whatever it means to the employee or staff, time card fraud can cost any company its revenue.
Having time card frauds under control is a necessary step. Well, we have covered most of the time card fraud investigation that concerns your firm. However, there is still some confusion regarding labeling any act as a time card fraud.
So, before wrapping it all up, let us glaze at a few behaviors that might seem like a time card fraud.
- Employee running personal errands using firm issued device or official device user.
- An employee participating in personal work during working hours without taking leave permission or informing superiors about unavailability.
- Late log in for work but claiming full working hours.
- Employees working late or overtime even though it is against the company policy.
- An employee taking longer lunch periods than it is allotted to them.
- Claiming time of the work they haven’t even performed.
Well, there may be several reasons that can come under as time card frauds. It can depend on the company policies and their conduct. But knowing those things that can backfire is always good to avoid getting involved with any time card frauds.