Manual punch clocks have been around for decades. While each punch clock design varies from one to the next, they all had the same basic premise - whenever an employee arrived or left work, they would inset a heavy time card into the machine and stamp it with their work time. This process was efficient for its time, but in today’s modern age, using such an outdated method can lead to inaccurate pay and payroll processing, time theft, and profit losses for your business.

Punch clocks are a thing of the past.

As mentioned, manual punch clocks were a great solution when they were invented. However, with an ever-evolving business landscape and the advent of a modern employee time clock app, manual punch clocks are better off in the trash. Let’s take a look at a few of the disadvantages of using a manual punch clock.
Inaccurate Time Cards

Manual punch clocks were great at capturing an employee’s work time when they arrived or left for the day. But what about when an employee arrives to work and forgets to punch in? You aren’t able to adjust the punch clock for just that one person, so management or the employee would need to manually notate their time, which leads room for error.

Leads to Time Theft

Time theft occurs when an employee punches time for another employee or misrepresents their own time worked. With a manual punch clock, the only way to verify an employee is punching time for themselves and accurately would be to station someone to watch over workers as they punch time. Talk about wasteful!

Poor Payroll Processing

Unlike a modern-day employee time clock app, manual punch clocks didn’t automatically calculate the number of hours an employee worked on any given day or week and certainly didn’t calculate overtime. This meant that there were designated people to do these calculations, and we all know that humans aren’t perfect.

Manual payroll processing leads to clerical errors, which leads to inaccurate pay, resulting in unhappy employees. Not to mention the chances of running into a labor dispute for not paying your employees for their work.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that manual punch clocks are incredibly outdated and can lead to severe consequences for your business. Luckily, there are plenty of modern employee time clock apps available to help you better track your worker’s time.

Moving forward with an employee time clock app.

Employee time clock apps have come along way. When first introduced, they were incredibly basic and couldn’t handle complex overtime calculations, PTO tracking, and certainly couldn’t provide you with job costing information. Today’s time clock solutions are robust and come with a vast set of features and functionalities to meet each unique business’s needs.

Accurate Time Cards
With an employee time clock app, employees can punch in and out in real-time and can make edits with or without permissions. Any edits made are logged and can be reviewed at any time. An online timecard system also automatically calculates work hours based on the specified overtime type. You no longer have to worry about inaccurate time calculations.

Increased Security
Modern online time clock software comes with several ways to help eliminate the possibility of time theft. Have employees who punch in early or out late to get overtime? Well, say hello to punch limiting! You can specify exactly when an employee can punch time. Frequently experience buddy punching where one employee punches time for another? Facial recognition allows you to ensure that workers are only punching time for themselves.

With increased security comes a peace of mind that the correct workers are only being paid for their spent actually working - nothing more, nothing less.

Improved Payroll Processing
Accurate team time tracking doesn’t just make your employees happy because they’re being paid on time and in the correct amount, but it also leads to an improved payroll process. Employee work hours can automatically be sent over to your payroll provider, reducing clerical errors. You can ensure you get the correct paycheck to your employees, thereby reducing the chances of running into a labor dispute.


Making the switch from a manual punch clock to an employee time clock app is beneficial to your business and your employees. They can help increase time tracking and payroll accuracy, but they are much more cost-efficient and flexible. Most online timecard systems are web-based, so they can be used on any device with an internet connection and at any location. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to make the switch!