As a timekeeper, many times I have witnessed employee’s negligence to fill out their timesheets properly and accurately. The timesheet is also known as a Form 3081. This timesheet is input into a system, but a paper copy is also printed and filed. Today’s technology allows a paperless process and if this was incorporated as well we could save costs there too, but mostly I believe the Time & Attendance Processing costs are very unnecessary and can be greatly reduced if some policies were changed. Here is a scenario, If an employee forgets to account for their time under sick leave, annual leave or even if they forget to put any overtime or comp time hours worked a Time and Attendance correction has to be input into the SETR (Single Entry Time Reporting) System and processed if their errors are not corrected before a pay period closes.
According to report from AWSS (Agency Wide Shared Services) a budget review was put into a power point presentation and given to managers and timekeepers during a training event. There was a statement in the report which read, "FY07 AWSS cost for processing one corrected T&A was $6.39" I am certain this cost has risen since FY07.
The $6.39 amount sounds very insignificant, but consider the number employees in the Internal Revenue Service(roughly 200,000 and how many errors are created on their timesheets per pay period and there are 26 pay periods in a year. If 100 employees had errors during 13 pay periods within the year then the cost would amount to $8,307.00 per year. When the corrections have to be made the processing costs really add up! We hear this every year in our meetings, yet I don’t believe the issue is taken seriously enough. If a policy could be put into place that only allowed the employee a certain number of corrections per year than the processing costs could be greatly reduced. I believe employees would be cautious in their efforts to fill out their timesheets as accurately as possible, especially if they know they may not get their Over time paid once they have exceeded the number of corrections they all allowed!
And surely with the innovative technology we have in this day and age, there is a better way to account for employee’s payroll with a more up to date system. The TAPS/SETR System is about 20 years old and perhaps this plays a major role in the issues and may need further investigation. My hope is that the Office of Management and Budget will seriously review the Internal Revenue Center’s policy for payroll and reduce the costs of Time & Attendance corrections and maybe even the ability to go entirely paperless once and for all.