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The True Cost of Manually Managing Your Employees’ Time

In a December 2023 updated report, Ernst & Young (EY) found the average cost per manual data entry made by an HR professional increased to $4.78. Read about EY’s latest findings for more information.


You know the drill:

  1. Employee completes and submits timecard.
  2. Employer collects timecards.
  3. Employer verifies timecards.

Simple, right? Yes. But also costly, if self-service technology is not part of the process.

When you apply findings from Ernst & Young’s recent study on the true cost of manual HR tasks, the above steps accumulate quite the price tag:

  1. Employee completes and submits timecard, $9.34
  2. Employer collects timecards, $12.98
  3. Employer verifies timecards, $14.75

Therefore, for every manual pay cycle, an employer loses an average of $37.07 in labor and non-labor costs associated with just those three tasks.

And that first task? Note that’s just for one employee. Multiply $9.34 by your current head count, and add that to $27.73 for your own estimate. (Or, for a full breakdown, our instant online calculator will do it for you.)

Hour glass

But wait – there’s more

What if some timecards are incomplete? Or missing altogether?

Glad you asked. That follow-up will cost you $12.70.

While we’re on the subject of asking, let’s look at the process for paid time-off requests occurring outside of self-service tech:

  1. Employee submits PTO request, $9.31
  2. Employer reviews and approves request, $11.27
  3. Employer calculates and communicates PTO balance, $18.69

In addition to the dollar estimates above, your company risks increased errors and decreased productivity. You get the picture: When manual, time management costs you far more than, well, time.

Having employees directly enter and update their own information – hours worked and more – is the most efficient, accurate and cost-effective method of collecting and managing HR data.

Paycom’s new Direct Data Exchange®  tool even proves it, with real-time monitoring of the efficiencies you gain with every HR task completed by the employee, not HR. It also reveals the efficiencies still up for grabs for every HR task the employee could complete.