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January 27, 2023

Remote Accountant Who Billed Too Many Hours Owes Her Former Firm $2700 For ‘Time Theft’

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NPR has a strange story of a Canadian accountant and a firm with time tracking software installed on work laptops that should give remote workers pause before submitting their next time sheet.

NPR:

When Canadian accountant Karlee Besse was fired for being unproductive at her job, she found herself up against not only her former employer, but its time-tracking software, too.

Now, a civil tribunal, which is part of Canada’s judicial system, has ruled that Besse owes her former company $2,756 after the software installed on her laptop revealed she misrepresented over 50 hours at work.

Last year, Besse was fired without cause (per her) from Reach CPA, a cloud accounting firm in British Columbia. The firm fought back against Besse’s claim and said she was rightfully let go due to time theft. They determined this with the help of TimeCamp time-tracking software on her work laptop which showed a discrepancy of 50 hours, though Besse said that she spent some of that time working with paper documents. Says NPR, she didn’t tell her company about the paper documents because “they wouldn’t want to hear that.” You know, cloud and all. Good excuse but TimeCamp can track what you’ve printed too and didn’t show that she had printed a bunch of documents.

Besse was allowed to use her work laptop for personal stuff off the clock and says that she had trouble getting TimeCamp to differentiate between work and personal time logged on the laptop. Apparently that didn’t fly as Reach CPA was able to demonstrate in court that TimeCamp can tell the difference between work and personal.

When confronted with the 50 unaccounted hours, Beese told her manager that she inaccurately logged some hours in her timesheet.

“I’ve plugged time to files that I didn’t touch and that wasn’t right or appropriate in any way or fashion, and I recognize that and so for that I’m really sorry,” Besse said in a meeting with her company, according to video cited in the ruling.

Her repayment to the firm works out to about $55 an hour, the court ruled she also has to pay “other associated costs” not elaborated on in the NPR piece.

Be careful out there, Big Brother is watching.

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1 Comment

  1. Technology is dictating our lives step by step . Accountant Besse might have a case there .
    The reliability of the system ,the paper work time and tea time everyone does that even in offices .
    I think an average of an hour should be deducted per day when calculating the amount she needs to pay back . The accountant is not a robot after all

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