Biometrics, the Protection from Ghost Employees
It sounds almost comical, ghost employees. No, it's not referring to the staff who passed. This term refers to names recorded on payroll, but they do not work at the place, like at all. They could be real, actual people or they could also be fictitious characters, depending on who created the records for these spooky, non-existent employees. It is indeed terrifying when these employees can rake a lot of money from a company and even millions from a government. Bizarre? Not so.
In 2016, a Nigerian government cut nearly 24,000 non-existent workers from its payroll and saved $11.5 million a month! Iraq paid a whopping $380million a year for 50,000 soldiers who never reported for duty. Many other cases are affecting nations across the globe as well as corporate companies.
How could this happen in the first place? You might ask. Dishonest employees and corrupted civil servants pose real damaging risks to businesses and governments alike. And the primary motivation for the perpetrator(s) is money and how to get more money through illegal manners. It could be an individual effort or a collective effort to cheat a system, and the absence or the lack of detailed audit in any system elevates this further.
Is this crime preventable? It's easier to prevent if it happens in SME, smaller companies. However, it's trickier when it occurs in multinational, multibranch, labour-intensive organisations because the larger a company is, the massive the data to audit.
The good news is, every company can minimise the risk by employing this one simple yet effective tactic in operation. Before we dive into the solution, let's explore how could this ghost employee occurrence happen? Two ways, timecard falsification, and another is a ghost employee presence, where an administrator is giving an avatar or a 'life' to an ID in a system. All the perpetrator needs to do is to falsify time for this fake ID, and approves the 'work' done to get paid.
Now, let's talk biometrics.
What biometrics technology does is, it compares the recorded template of a person's biometric data with the biometric characteristic of a real person. If you have stored a fingerprint template inside a system, you would have to scan your finger for your data to be verified and recorded. There is two-step to biometric authentication. One, a person needs to register, then he/she needs to verify. Biometrics cannot skip these two steps to provide authentication. Then, apply this biometric technology to time clocking and monitoring to obtain reliable time data for reference and checking.
Through biometrics, even when an admin who is in charge of the system plans to cheat the system, he needs to figure out whose fingerprints are for which IDs and how would these ghosts come to work to record the time for payroll purposes. If the admin wants to use his fingers, the system will catch him even faster. The ghost needs to clock at the right time with the correct biometrics, and any edit on the attendance data will be highlighted accordingly to prevent data mishandling.
See, biometrics is indeed a simple solution to this problem.
If you think that this Ghost Employee phenomenon wouldn't affect your company, think again. Unless you have installed protection such as biometrics systems in place, no one is safe. And be wary of the people who are against the system because they might have something up their sleeves for quite some time.
Contact us at www.fingertec.com for biometrics solutions and cloud-based time attendance at www.timetecta.com