What is a Timesheet


What is a Timesheet?

Timesheets are documents or electronic records used to note the hours worked by individuals. They are essential in monitoring how much time is spent on different tasks and projects. Therefore, understanding what timesheets are and how to create one is key to using them to manage time efficiently.

We will discuss the basics of timesheets and how to create one in this article.

Definition of a Timesheet

A timesheet is a record of the time spent on projects by an employee. It’s used to determine salary, monitor employee productivity and attendance, and for billing and compliance. Timesheets are mostly used in businesses with hourly or salaried staff.

Timesheets track categories like regular hours, overtime, vacation/leave, sick leave, holidays, and unpaid absences. They can also track different shifts for those who have varying hours. Calculations are made at the end of payroll periods and when timesheets are submitted.

When timesheets are submitted, employees must add notes on their activities, and get a supervisor’s signature. They can also be used as proof of activity in case of disputes between employers and employees.

Types of Timesheets

Timesheets are a vital thing to help businesses and organizations keep track of the hours worked by their staff. They can be used to record various kinds of data, such as the number of hours per day worked and tasks done or leave taken. Different businesses have various demands for timesheet accuracy and detail, but all have one purpose in common – accurately tracking time.

Here are some of the most commonly used timesheets:

  • Manual Timesheet: This is filled out by hand, at the start and end of each day. Employees write their name and role, start time (if different from usual hours) and off-the-clock rest breaks taken. Weekends are usually noted too.
  • Web-Based Timesheet: This electronic format saves time, as it doesn’t need handwriting. Employees enter their own numbers into a template that fits their job roles and hours.
  • Excel Timesheet: This popular format uses Microsoft Excel files for entering data such as total number of work hours per day, projects worked on during a shift, overtime details etc. Reports can be made from this data.
  • Barcode/NFC Enabled Timesheets: These systems scan an employee in/out with barcodes or NFC tech. This makes data entry quick and accurate.
  • Biometric Recognition: Face recognition or fingerprint scanning is becoming more common. This ensures that employee attendance is accurately recorded. It adds security and streamlined record keeping.

Benefits of a Timesheet

Timesheets are all about the time spent on different tasks. They reveal the number of hours put in and the type of activities. They are valuable for many reasons. For instance, they are useful for payroll, invoicing and measuring productivity. Plus, they help observe the progress of tasks.

Let’s delve into the advantages of timesheets!

Improved Accuracy

Timesheets can help track employee hours accurately. There are several tools to do this, such as paper, online applications, or time-clocking software. They capture details like the start and end of work, pauses, and breaks. Such precision can help clear up discrepancies when dealing with payroll.

Also, many businesses need both the supervisor and employee to sign off on the timesheet to confirm accuracy.

Increased Productivity

Having a timesheet system, electronic or traditional, in your workplace can boost productivity. It tracks the time spent on each task, letting you objectively measure how time is used. Knowing how much time is needed for a task encourages employees to be productive and finish in the given timeframe.

The timesheet also keeps a history of past activities. Managers and supervisors can spot wasted tasks or resources and take steps to improve them. This improves morale due to more accurate payments and ensures unproductive tasks aren’t missed.

  • Plus, employers get insight into how much overtime is being requested, so they can take action if it becomes excessive.

Improved Visibility

A timesheet system can give your business visibility of employee activities. With accurate records of employee hours, decisions about future roles, and time efficiency can be better. Projects spanning multiple weeks or months? Timesheets provide data on employee performance, so you can discover bottlenecks or inefficiencies, now and in the future.

And, timesheets are essential for businesses hiring remote workers, to properly track their hours.

How to Create a Timesheet

Timesheets? They’re for tracking hours worked, for payroll! Making one isn’t too hard. Paper timesheets, online programs, and software apps all work. Learn how to make one with these tools in this article.

Here are the tools you need to make a timesheet:

  • Paper timesheets
  • Online programs
  • Software apps

Set up a Template

Creating a timesheet template can help you track employee hours. It’ll be organized and efficient.

Here are the elements to consider:

  • Define the period: Start & end date.
  • Establish time increments: 15, 30, or 60 min intervals.
  • Identify job tasks: List them for timesheets.
  • Set up pay rate: Labor costs, overtime, bonuses.
  • Capture details: Project codes, account numbers.

A timesheet template can make sure employee hours are tracked accurately. This leads to accurate payroll & billable amounts. Plus, if you pair it with KPIs, it can help you reach strategic initiatives.

Enter Data

Once the timesheet format is set, it’s time to add data. This could be done daily or weekly, depending on the workload and organization structure. Timesheets need two sets of data: clock-in/clock-out times and work info.

  • For clock-in/clock-out times, employees usually record exact start and end times, with breaks included. When entering this digitally, employees should avoid typos.
  • To record work info, employees select from pre-populated dropdown menus. They should note projects and tasks completed during the chosen timeframe. Depending on the system in use, detailed notes could be needed for supervisors to analyze productivity.

Track Hours

Tracking hours worked is key for making an accurate timesheet. It shows employees how many hours they worked on a job or task. Managers use this info to decide salaries and budgets.

Two methods exist to track hours: manual and digital. Manual tracking involves writing down how much time was spent on each task. Digital tracking uses software applications like spreadsheets and task management systems. Employers may require their own hr software.

When tracking, make sure to get the start and end times of each day’s job right. This will help the timesheet stay up-to-date. Deadlines should also be noted. This way, no important dates get missed by you or other stakeholders on projects.

Best Practices for Using a Timesheet

Timesheets are essential! They track employee hours and activities for billing and payroll. Streamline payroll and make sure employees receive wages on time. Timesheets can also help monitor productivity and make project estimates more accurate.

Best practices for using a timesheet? Let’s check them out!

  • Ensure employees are aware of their timesheet deadlines.
  • Provide employees with clear instructions on how to fill out their timesheets.
  • Encourage employees to track their time accurately.
  • Provide employees with the tools and resources they need to fill out their timesheets.
  • Review timesheets regularly to ensure accuracy.

Establish Clear Policies

When using a timesheet in your business, clearly define policies. These policies should be about when and how to fill out timesheets. This will help avoid confusion and conflicts. Here are some guidelines:

  • Communicate deadlines and whether you expect hard copy or online submissions.
  • Make sure workers understand they must accurately record daily start and end time, meal time break duration, total hours worked per day and any overtime hours.
  • Specify if rounding of hours is allowed or exact start and end times must always be reported.
  • Set a protocol for employers to follow if mistakes are found in previously submitted timesheets.
  • Establish a chain of authorization if multiple levels of approval are needed between the employee and approver.
  • Detail processes for handling disputes that may arise from reviewers’ comments before each payroll period is approved.

Automate Where Possible

Automating timesheets can save time and money. Plus, it can free up resources. Instead of manually entering data into a spreadsheet or other system, automated timesheet applications make the process easier. They integrate with existing systems like ERP software, HR, Payroll software, POS systems and more. Automation speeds up data entry and increases accuracy. It also lowers the risk of cross-entries, since timesheets are updated in real time. Data encryption techniques keep information safe and secure from fraud and breaches.

Benefits of automated time tracking include fewer errors, higher efficiency and better compliance with organizational policies. Automated processes also give managers better visibility of projects. They can track progress in real time without waiting for manual updates.

For best results when using automated timesheets, do the following:

  • Set clear roles for users with different access levels
  • Implement a security model to only allow authorized personnel
  • Enable notification features to remind users of deadlines
  • Audit reports regularly to ensure accuracy
  • Encrypt sensitive data
  • Frequently review user permissions.

Utilize Reports

Timesheets track hours worked and tasks completed. They generate reports about employee performance, efficiency and productivity. Reports are great for assessing performance and give employers insight into how employees use their time. Reports also compare performance for different employees.

By assessing timesheet use, disparities between departments or roles show up. This leads to understanding processes across an organization. Consistent timesheet reporting lets employers make informed decisions based on data. It also helps support employee development with feedback.

Timesheet Software

Timesheet Software is great for automation! It can monitor employee time and attendance with ease. And employers can take charge of payroll and overtime management. Plus, Timesheet Software can save time and money! Let’s look at some features and benefits:

Features to Look for

When businesses evolve, they may use timesheets to track employee hours. It’s key to select a system that suits your workplace operations. Here are features to seek out when selecting timesheet software:

  • Flexibility: Get timesheet software that lets you modify its features to match your management style, workflows and payroll needs.
  • Clock In/Out: Make sure the software has an easy method for staff to “clock in” and “clock out” of shifts in real-time. This helps record hours precisely and compute payroll accurately.
  • Integrations & Automation: Go for timesheet software with pre-existing integrations or the aptitude to link with existing systems like payroll, ERP systems, accounting services, etc. Also, seek automation capabilities so tasks like payroll can be done automatically instead of manually each time.
  • Accuracy & Reporting: Choose a system that comes with built-in reports so you can monitor hours worked daily/weekly/monthly and gain access to other analytics such as overtime worked or total hours worked across different departments/teams.
  • Expense Tracking: A great timesheet system should also offer features related to expense tracking—particularly if employees are travelling or working remotely where they must submit travel receipts or other expenses relevant documents to get reimbursed by the company.

Popular Timesheet Software Solutions

Timesheet software can make a huge difference in getting the most out of your time. Here are some of the most popular solutions:

  • Hour Timesheet: This automated system tracks employee hours & payroll, creates invoices, and helps adjust project budgets.
  • SAP ERP Financials Timesheets: Automates data entry & provides detailed reports. Real-time tracking of employee hours & rates.
  • TSheet Team Timekeeper: A cloud-based solution for small businesses. Easily & accurately track employee time cards. Calculate real-time payments & access personal dashboards. No extra cost.
  • Time Clock Plus (TCP): Designed to save time & money. Advanced search filters & accounting package integration for extra efficiency.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a timesheet?

A: A timesheet is a record of the amount of time an employee has worked on a task or a project. It usually includes the hours worked and the activities performed during that time.

Q: Why is a timesheet important?

A: A timesheet is important for both employers and employees. It helps employers track employee productivity and project costs, while also helping employees keep track of their own hours and ensure they get paid correctly.

Q: What should be included in a timesheet?

A: A timesheet should include the employee’s name, the date, the hours worked, the activities performed, and any breaks or overtime worked. It should also have the supervisor’s approval and signature.

Q: How do I fill out a timesheet?

A: To fill out a timesheet, start by entering your name, the date, and the task or project you worked on. Then record the start and end times of your work, any breaks or overtime, and the activities you performed. Make sure to get your supervisor’s approval and signature before submitting it.

Q: Are there any software tools to help with timesheets?

A: Yes, there are many software tools available to help with timesheets. These include time tracking apps, online timesheet software, payroll software, and project management tools.

Q: Is it legal for my employer to change my timesheet?

A: No, it is not legal for an employer to change an employee’s timesheet without their knowledge or consent. Employees have the right to review and dispute any changes made to their timesheet.

Hansica Kh.