Statistics That Matter in This Article:

  • Buddy punching costs employers an average of 2.2% of their total payroll.
  • 55% of commercial cleaning businesses lose business every year because of lack of service or non-performance.
  • Manual timesheets have an error rate of .5-2%.
  • 49% of American workers will search for a new job after two paycheck issues.
  • In the commercial cleaning industry, the employee turnover rate can reach as high as 400%.
  • 72% of surveyed employees report a positive experience using geofencing.
  • The average workers’ comp claim in 2017 and 2018 for injury as a result of a motor vehicle crash was $78,466.
  • Managing payroll taxes alone takes nearly 5 hours of a business owner’s time each pay period.

Timekeeping Problems Today

In the commercial cleaning industry, increasing profitability is a constant battle. From dealing with client and employee turnover to spending more time running your business than growing it- the stress can build up, and profitability can decline.

What’s causing this? One reason is improper and inadequate timekeeping systems and practices.

Manual Timekeeping Approaches

What’s the problem with manual timekeeping?

It’s prone to human error, and employee theft & fraud. Simple changes to managing timekeeping can make cleaning businesses more profitable, reduce risk, and control costs. Below are four common problems caused by manual timekeeping:


The Honor System

For cleaning companies that simply take their employees’ word for it, they’re leaving the door wide open for fraud to occur. Employees can essentially ‘milk’ their time if a job can be completed quicker than they’re reporting. Or, they can report that they were on time when they were actually late.

For example, if a cleaner is getting paid $12 an hour and decides to clock in early when they’re they’re running 20-minutes late, that’s $4 stolen in one hour. If more fraud like sitting around, or runs to their car are happening during just half of an 8-hour shift, that’s $16 stolen. Then, multiply that by just a 32-hour workweek, and then by 52 weeks, it equals a loss of $4,160. This example is what is known as time theft.

Buddy Punching

Buddy punching is when an employee has someone else clock in and even perform the job for the absent employee. According to Nucleus Research, a leading provider of investigative information and advisory services, buddy punching costs employers an average of 2.2% of their total payroll.

But that’s not all. It also poses a security risk with buildings where sensitive documents like financial statements and employee information are present. All it takes is for one incident, and an expensive lawsuit can ensue. Or worse, financial strains could leave no choice but to close the business.

Losing Clients Because of Employee No Shows

55% of commercial cleaning businesses lose business every year because of lack of service or non-performance. Finding out that a cleaner never showed up for their shift is bad news, but what’s even worse is finding out when it’s too late and a client has decided to move on to a different service provider.


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Manual Spreadsheets

When inputting data manually into spreadsheets, it’s easy to make a mistake. Manual timesheets have an error rate of .5-2%.

To put it in perspective, let’s say that a cleaning company has ten employees working 40 hours each per week and making $13 per hour. In 50 working weeks, a .5% error rate adds up to $1,300 in annual mistakes. A 2% error rate reaches $5,200 in mistakes annually. It’s avoidable errors like these that decrease a company’s profitability and growth potential.

Manual errors can negatively affect employees too, followed by the company next.

For example, if an employees’ paycheck is accidentally shorted, this can cause employee turnover. In fact, 49% of American workers will search for a new job after two paycheck issues. In an industry where the employee turnover rate can reach as high as 400%, eliminating these errors can help retain more employees and limit expensive turnover.

Fortunately, Janitorial Manager offers a timekeeping solution that increases profitability and retention.

Transform your cleaning operations with proper time tracking. Schedule a Discovery Call at your convenience to learn more.


Facial Recognition Timekeeping.

No more buddy punching. With that, Janitorial Manager’s facial recognition timekeeping solves another problem.

By requiring all employees to provide an updated photo for their record on file, managers can use this to verify that the correct employee is clocking in and out at their scheduled location. Every time an employee clocks in and out, they’re required to snap a picture of themselves. Then, managers can view the employee’s image from each time punch and decline any punches where the face doesn’t match with the photo on file.

With more control over timekeeping verification, business owners and clients can rest assured that security risks are limited- saving thousands or more in potential lawsuits.

Clocking in and out at the right place.

Geofencing has made it possible to ensure that employees always clock in and out at their assigned location. It also prevents them from clocking in from a location other than the building they’re servicing- like the parking lot or a nearby road. By doing so, employees are held accountable to be at their assigned location at the right time.

It also prevents employee time theft. Employees cannot clock in and out from anywhere other than where the geofence is.

Managers can receive alerts too.


Through alerts, managers can have the live information to know that their employees are where they need to be so that client services can be performed timely. Then, with GPS tracking, they can even be alerted if employees leave the geofence. But best of all, integrating this solution is easy and simple for employees to use. 72% of surveyed employees report a positive experience with geofencing.

Increasing Client Retention

In the instances where employees miss their shift, oftentimes managers find out when it’s too late. To prevent a difficult conversation with a client and prevent turnover, Janitorial Manager’s no coverage alerts are the solution. Managers are notified of no-shows and can take action to find coverage for their clients and curb client turnover.

Small but important updates like these help cleaning companies increase profitability.

Controlling Travel Time and Costs

When traveling between locations, everyone knows that it takes time, but how much time should it take to get from point A to point B?

By having a specific travel time requirement, a travel time can be set so that employees are only paid for the capped travel time. This is known as JM’s Travel Cap. It ensures that employees aren’t overpaid for their travel time, and it prevents employees from making detours like at a fast-food drive-thru.

It’s small trips like these that are wage theft and can quickly add up to losses in productivity.

Preventing Legal Ramifications

What’s troubling, however, is the legal liability and hassle an employer is responsible for if an accent happens- especially if an employee makes an unnecessary trip between locations.

That’s why in addition to travel caps, GPS tracking can help control employee travel. Managers can view employee travel data and hold them accountable for any unpermitted detours.

Consider the fast-food example. If an employee makes a detour for a bite while still on the clock and gets into an accident, the employer can be hit with a lawsuit for their employee’s negligent act while working off-premises. Or, if the employee gets injured, workers’ compensation can apply.

In fact, the average workers’ comp claim in 2017 and 2018 for injury as a result of a motor vehicle crash was $78,466. If an employee rejects the claim offered by the employers’ insurance company, he or she can seek legal guidance. From there, it can result in the employer paying for the settlement. These are massive headaches and losses that can cripple cleaning businesses.


Eliminating Human Error & Building Accurate Budgets

Unlike manual timekeeping approaches, with industry-leading timekeeping from JM, employees are compensated for their precise working hours. It’s another way that can decrease employee turnover because of payroll discrepancies.

With enhanced features like facial recognition timekeeping, payroll costs are consistent and predictable, which helps when forming budgets.

Josie Latford, Co-Owner of CorpClean in Toledo, Ohio, credits her improved budgeting thanks to JM timekeeping. She states, “When you can see when the employees are physically clocking in and clocking out, you can see how much of a difference in what we are budgeting for this location and what is being spent on this location. And we were able to change some of those buildings [budgets]. That has saved us quite a bit.”

Saving Time

Running payroll is a time-consuming task. QuickBooks reports that managing payroll taxes alone takes nearly 5 hours of a business owner’s time each pay period. That’s why JM time punch data can integrate with payroll and sync with other payroll applications like QuickBooks Online.


In addition, users of the other payroll systems can export their timekeeping data and import it with a few clicks. Below are some of the many payroll systems that JM can communicate with.

  • QuickBooks Desktop
  • QuickBooks Online
  • ADP
  • Paychex Flex
  • iSolve
  • Snelling
  • Sage50

Instead of manually inputting timekeeping data or cross-referencing spreadsheets managers can reduce their payroll time and spend more time focused on other areas of their business.

Amy Schellhorn, the owner of Fine Cleaning Services, confirms that JM’s timekeeping has made her payroll process quicker and more accurate. “The timekeeping feature within JM has quickly become the most valuable tool for our company”, said Schellhorn. “It makes our payroll process a lot quicker, more efficient, and with much fewer errors.”

Win More Janitorial Contracts

Business owners are in a constant battle trying to separate their cleaning business from the competition.

That’s why JM’s timekeeping solution can be used as a sales aid for winning more clients. The benefits listed above offer peace of mind and professionalism that the direct competition might be lacking. Specific benefits to point out during the discussion are:

  • Added security with facial recognition.
  • Employee missed shift notifications.
  • Geofencing measures encourage employees to be on time for their shifts.
  • Travel cap measures encourage employees to be on time for their shifts.

Business owners want a reliable cleaning company that they can trust. They also want a partner to meet their needs and establish a healthy working environment for their employees. By showing JM’s timekeeping, it builds trust and a stronger reason to be the cleaning company they select.


Increasing profitability doesn’t have to be difficult. With a few process tweaks, cleaning companies of all sizes can reap the immediate benefits of JM’s timekeeping solution.

Plus, with innovations, no cleaning company should feel stuck with a low bottom-line, and high employee & client turnover. That’s why along with timekeeping, Janitorial Manager also offers additional features in an all-in-one system.

These features include inspection management, inventory management, work orders, client & employee management, employee messaging, and much more. Together, JM is helping cleaning businesses around the world reach their full potential.

Here is Real World Feedback!

“The timekeeping feature within JM has quickly become the most valuable tool for our company. It makes our payroll process a lot quicker, more efficient, and with much fewer errors. The dedication of the JM team and especially our Account Manager has no doubt made the rollout of JM to our employees a complete success. We are now starting to use other features within the program, like Inspections, and are confident this will continue to improve our company overall, by streamlining our managers’ inspections & reporting.”

Amy Schellhorn, Owner, Fine Cleaning Services

“I changed to Janitorial Manager because I was looking for software that allowed my workers to clock in and out and keep track of supplies without using many different software [solutions]. This one suite has it all. My employees can request supplies, clock in/out, take pictures, and ask questions all from the same place. I can do evaluations, look at how much money in profit I am bringing in, AND reconcile reports all from one suite. This thing does it all, and I am seriously wondering how I got along without it. The price is cost-effective, and it doesn’t break the bank. They have dedicated people who answer all questions and fix all issues, no matter how big or small. I seriously LOVE this software, and I am totally recommending it to all my colleagues in the cleaning industry.”

Rashaii Russell, Founder, Happy Hands Cleaning

“I have tried many products on the market, but JM provided the best solutions to run my entire business, and the cost is extremely reasonable. I have built my company to run with no managers and only employ about 39 employees. One of my pain points is communication. JM helps me solve that issue with the Messenger app. I can keep tabs on employees and clients using this app. From inspections, to work orders, to inventory tracking, Janitorial Manager is a major key to the crazy growth I saw this year!”

Kevin Scott, Office Pride of Rancho Cucamonga-San Bernardino

Understand the full value of Janitorial Manager with a free consultation call, scheduled at your convenience! Get in touch today to learn more.