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Accounting Best Practices, Fifth Edition by Steven M. Bragg Englewood, Colorado

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17–9. Use Biometric Time Clocks

The computerized time clocks noted in the previous best practice represent a wonderful improvement in the speed and accuracy with which employee time data can be collected. However, it suffers from an integrity flaw—that employees can use each other’s badges to enter and exit from the payroll system. This means that some employees may be paid for hours when they were never really on-site at all. A division of Ingersoll-Rand has surmounted this problem with the use of biometric time clocks.

Ingersoll Rand Recognition Systems is a company that sells the punch biometric time clock (as shown at www.recognitionsystems.ingersollrand.com). It requires an employee to place his or her hand on a sensor, which matches its size and shape to the dimensions already recorded for that person in a central database. The time entered into the terminal will then be recorded against the payroll file of the person whose hand was just measured. Thus, only employees who are on-site can have payroll hours credited to them. The company sells a variation on the same machine, called the HandKey, which is used to control access to secure areas. These systems have a secondary benefit, which is that no one needs an employee badge or pass key; these tend to be lost or damaged over time, and so represent a minor headache for the accounting or human resources staffs, who must track them. In a biometric monitoring environment, all an employee needs is a hand.

Cost: Installation time: ...

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