Many industries rely upon time punching to help keep track of the hours worked by employees. Time punching is common, because time clocks are relatively cheap and offer a reliable way of tracking the hours worked by employees. However, despite the advantages offered by time punching, there are distinct disadvantages that must be considered.
Though employees can quickly punch their time cards, much more time is required to compile and record the time card data. This is especially true of businesses with a larger number of employees. Because of the sheer number of time cards and associated time data, it may be necessary to have an employee dedicated to the collection and processing of time data.
The simplicity of time punching creates a situation where the system can be abused by employees. Employees can take advantage of the time-punching system by having friends "punch" for them in the event of absence or late arrival. When this happens, companies are paying for work that is not actually being done. While there are systems available to discourage buddy punching, they increase the cost of doing business.
Unlike digital time-keeping systems, time punching requires the constant purchase of time cards. While the cost of time cards may be insignificant for smaller companies, the cost of time cards can quickly add up for larger companies with many employees.
After all of the time card data is collected and processed, it still must be entered into some sort of database in order for employees to receive paychecks. Because of the sheer amount of data being manually entered into a database, there is a high chance of entry error.