Manual Data Entry Problems and Solutions

Author: Eugenija Steponkute
Published: 03/11/2020
manual data entry

The aim of this article is to challenge the ops team and the HR department who still rely on manual data entry. This practice is outdated and should therefore be replaced with a better solution. Namely, one that drives digital transformation

In today’s heavily digitalised world, businesses have mountains of data at their fingertips. In fact, we suffer from a chronic data overload. This in turn urges us to ensure that data is collected, categorised and stored correctly. That is absolutely vital to collect only the valuable insights that could guide you in decision-making.

Not long ago, capturing data was a case of employees entering figures into spreadsheets.  But this method is no longer sufficient. In fact, it is now positively harmful. Manual data entry has a number of pitfalls businesses need to be aware of, and we will discuss them in this article. Of course, not without actionable solutions to the issue.

How Do You Avoid Manual Data Entry Errors?

There are several preventative measures when it comes to reducing the risk of manual data entry mistakes. Such include:

  • Use integrations to transfer data between tools;

  • Use one source of truth;

  • Train your team on data handling;

  • Determine what data is most relevant to you;

  • Stop collecting and tracking the rest;

  • Keep your database tidy; 

  • Understand and correctly determine data sources;

  • Automate the process

The final point is the one we will be deep-diving into today. Simply put, it already includes most of the counter-measures and ties them together. But first, let’s clarify what makes it a better approach.

Why Manual Data Entry is Bad for Business

The problem with entering data manually is far greater than the approach being simply outdated. While a few years ago automating certain tasks was a novelty approach, it is an absolute must today. A failure to entrust tasks like data entry to machines can lead to big financial and productivity losses, as well as giving your competitors an upper hand. Let’s explore it in more depth.

It’s a Slow Process…

Even if an employee is a keyboard whizz, manually inputting data is a time-consuming task. And given the amount of data businesses now rely on, it’s simply not feasible to have employees spend endless hours sifting through it in order to reap any value out of it. Not when an automated system could do it in a matter of seconds.

Additionally, every role carries a plethora of other tasks that rely on human judgment. Wasting time on operations that could be automated leads to being overall less productive. Plus, it poses the risk of not giving your full attention to the decision-driven assignments that are often crucial to the business.

...And an Expensive One

With that said, it’s important to also remember that time is money. Tasks that require a human touch, like liaising with clients and similar, are the time you want to pay for. Manual data insertion, a process that could be carried out by software in much shorter time frames, is not.

Ultimately, wages are wasted paying staff to sit at their desks keying in figures, when they could be doing something more worthwhile with their time. You won’t make money if your staff spends an hour typing the numbers into a spreadsheet. You will, however, make money if that hour is spent closing a deal.

Other Potential Issues

Unfortunately, the problems don’t end here. While manual entry lowers the efficiency and profitability of the process, it bears more serious consequences too. Namely, it impacts your relationships with both clients and workers.

There’s a Big Risk of Human Error

Regardless of how skilled employees are at their jobs, there’s always the risk that they’ll make a mistake. And in the world of data, just one small discrepancy could significantly skew information and have serious repercussions. Errors might not even be picked up on, meaning that a business ends up basing decisions on incorrect information.

Mistakes can be very costly, especially when that data is concerning a business’ money. A small error could mean that an important end figure ends up being wrong. That could negatively impact invoicing, budgets and account balances. Finding errors and correcting all subsequent information also drains time and resources, and any delays or inaccuracies could affect client relationships.

It Could Disengage Your Team

Spending all day entering figures into a spreadsheet is not the most rewarding of tasks. It’s laborious at best, and it could end up demotivating your team, impacting their job satisfaction.

If not challenged with tasks that require thinking, solution-finding and learning in a process, your staff may burn out very fast. They won’t feel valued or that their contribution matters. Most importantly, they will no longer feel the need to put in the effort. Needless to say, you will see a decline in their performance. All in all, it’s better to get a robot to handle the data and have your employees carry out more fulfilling tasks.

One Solution to All

The only way to eradicate the pitfalls of manual data entry is to automate the process. Investing in quality automation software will save you huge amounts of money. It will also enable your employee to spend their time carrying out progress-driving tasks.

Pay and Bill Automation Software

Timesheet Portal records time and expenses and will help you pay workers and bill clients faster. Whether you need a mid-office solution for your recruitment agency or you run and manage projects, it’s guaranteed to make your life easier. Here’s how:

  • Track time easily and set rules and overtime calculations, linking to rates to monitor internal costs and margins;

  • Track client and internal expenses and mileage, record in different currencies and send receipts directly from your phone;

  • Automate customer invoices directly from the time and expenses system;

  • Manage project expenditure and budgets, analyse employee productivity and utilisation across projects;

  • Generate self-billing invoices for limited company contractors and manage holiday accrual, AWR and pay run exports for PAYE staff

These are just a few features Timesheet Portal has in store. Coupled with our bespoke support team and informative resources, your only regret will be not giving it a try earlier. 


Digital transformation is not just a buzz word and it’s no longer the way forward. It is the present. Although associated with the newest technology and complicated operations, in reality, it’s all about optimising your standard day-to-day tasks to reap bigger benefits. Data entry is one of them. Not only manual keying is tedious and boring, but it’s also prone to errors and wastes time that could be applied to driving the growth of your business.

Therefore, it’s one of the areas where digital transformation applies best. Automating data entry will speed up the process, minimise the risk of human error and raise your team’s morale by letting them focus on fulfilling progress-orientated tasks.

Learn how to drive digital transformation in your company. It’s simpler than you think.

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Timesheet Portal online software provided by Anfold Software Ltd, a registered company in the UK.