Are you a Canadian employer in search of an app to track employee hours? If so, many apps can help you track employee hours and pay your workers accordingly. One of these apps, QuickBooks Online, can sync with many other time-tracking apps for easy integration with your current systems.
Luckily, QuickBooks makes it simple to set up employee time sheets and track their hours. This ensures you always pay them accurately while providing key details concerning your business’ productivity and efficiency.
Learn about the benefits of time tracking software and how to track time in QuickBooks and TSheets.
What Are the Benefits of Employee Time Tracking?
Better Project Management: Using time tracking to get reliable data on your workflow can be a big help. Employee start time, project name, and scope of the project is instantly available to you, so you can keep tabs on projects in real time — all without having to pester your staff for time estimates. Seeing the project status at a glance makes it easier to find inefficiencies and spot tasks that need additional help. You can also see if the project is on track in terms of budget and adjust your workflow accordingly.
Accurate Client Estimates: When you give a client an estimate, you’re essentially guessing how much time you need to complete the project. But with the help of time-tracking systems, you have access to a database of accurate records that show exactly how long it takes your team to do a similar project.
Efficient Workflows: If your employees aren’t using their time efficiently, it can eat away at your budget without increasing profits. Time tracking can help you spot inefficiencies and teach you how to organize time.
Reduced Scope Creep: Scope creep happens when clients ask for one thing, but then add extra requests and deliverable over time, which can prove to be expensive for small businesses. Time tracking can help you eliminate scope creep. Are your employees spending time on requests that weren’t in the original contract? You can show the client the time-tracking records. Then, the client can stop the additional requests or pay out more money to cover the extra work. Either way, your business wins.
Improve Morale: Automated time accounting software can actually improve your employees’ workflows. They don’t have to worry about timecards or struggle to remember how much time they spent on a project. Instead, they can track time instantly with just a few clicks. Plus, if you choose a cloud-based system, your staff can record time from anywhere, on any device.
Manual Vs. Online Time Tracking
Manual Time Tracking
If you prefer a traditional method of tracking time, consider mounting an automated time clock to the wall. Every employee gets a timecard and each time the person leaves and returns to work, they slide the card under the print mechanism on the clock, where it receives a timestamp. The clocks print the exact time worked each day.
Keep in mind; you have to enter those hours manually to process payroll, which can add a significant amount of time to the process. For small companies, a manual method of entering start and stop times on a spreadsheet may save money and serve as a convenient method of tracking time.
Don’t know where to start? Download easy-to-use time tracking templates for Excel.
Online Time Tracking
If you have room in the budget, cloud time tracking is a better option. Cloud-based systems allow you to track time from any computer, tablet or mobile phone. That means it’s easier to record your hours when you’re traveling or out of the office.
How does it work? Simply choose the client or job from a list. Then, start and stop the timer. Later, you can customize the entry by describing the task and including notes. When it’s time to bill the client, you can itemize the invoice by task or simply add up all of the hours.
If you’re serious about efficiency, consider a time-tracking tool that integrates with your accounting software. A program like TSheets gives you full time-tracking capabilities. It also integrates with QuickBooks Online, making it easier to add billable hours to client invoices and import employees’ work hours and streamline payroll.
Why Track Employee Hours in QuickBooks?
QuickBooks provides an all-in-one time tracking solution and offers easy, accurate time tracking insight. Some of the highlights of QuickBooks’ time tracking solution include the abilities to:
- Track, submit, and approve employee time on the go.
- Monitor overtime and paid time off (PTO) with alerts.
- Get accurate workforce insights.
- See who’s working, where, and on what task.
- Create employee schedules through job categories and shifts.
- Streamline payroll functionality.
How to Choose the Best Time Tracking Software
Invest some time into finding the right time-tracking app for your needs. In some cases, you may want a simple timer to track just your hours. In other cases, you may need an app that multiple employees can use to sign in and out or add expenses as required. Luckily, most apps offer a free trial period so you can test out their features before signing up for the service.
When you’re choosing time tracking software, it’s important to look for features like:
- Cloud access from any internet-connected device
- Mobile apps for phones and tablets
- Reporting and analytics
- Project management tools to help you track progress
- Custom permissions for different users
- Customizable alerts to tell you when a project is nearing its budget limit
- Secure encryption
In most cases, time-tracking apps charge a small monthly fee per employee, but pricing structures vary, and you should look closely at the costs to ensure they fit into your budget. In addition to the price of the service, also consider whether or not you need to invest in new hardware. Most time-tracking apps are cloud-based, so you don’t need to worry about storage or processing power. Instead, you simply need a few laptops or smartphones that you can connect to the internet.
As an employer, you can opt to provide these tools to your employees. However, as most Canadians own smartphones, you may simply want to have your employees use their own phones. In this case, you need to ensure you meet your legal obligations. In particular, at tax time, you should fill out Form T2200 (A declaration of Conditions of Employment). This simply notifies the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) about expenses your employees incur as part of their employment contract. This form also allows your employees to claim these expenses on their tax returns.
How to Track Time in QuickBooks
QuickBooks offers a time-tracking feature that lets your employees log the amount of time they spend on a task. For billable tasks, you can choose which client gets the bill. Your employees just need computers with an internet connection when using QuickBooks to track their time. You can give them time entry-only access that prevents them from accessing the rest of your information, and you can add as many users as you like without affecting the number and cost of your QuickBooks licences. To track employee time, take the following steps:
- Click the Employees option at the top menu and select Enter Time
- To create a weekly timesheet, click Use Weekly Timesheet.
- Choose an employee in the Name drop-down list.
- If you must bill the time, choose a customer and service item, and mark the time as billable.
- Choose a payroll item for the time.
- Enter the number of hours worked in the column for the day.
- Repeat the above steps to fill out the time sheet for the week.
- Click Save and then Close to save the timesheet.
Alternatively, you can activate the time tracking function in QuickBooks by using the gear icon and going to advanced accounts and settings. From there, click the pencil to the right of Time Tracking and use the Add Service and Add Customer fields to customize how your employees use the timesheets, and you can also easily convert these timesheets into bills for your customers. Once you finish, click Save and Done to return to QuickBooks.
As an employer or manager, you look for ways to optimize your workforce. QuickBooks Online offers an automated employee time tracking tool that helps you know your numbers with real-time labour reports. If you want better ways to automate your business processes, consider this option.
Track Time with TSheets
Compatible with QuickBooks, TSheets allows you to create schedules, and it lets employees clock in and out from anywhere using a computer, laptop, or smartphone app. Employees may even text or call in a code to sign in if they are don’t have a smartphone or are in an area with no cellphone coverage. GPS capabilities allow you to check on the location of your workers in the field, and the dashboard shows you instantly who is working, where they are, and how many hours they log.
With the tap of a button, you can sync your workers’ hours to your accounting software. This eliminates mistakes related to manual entry, saves time, and streamlines your payroll process. The app starts with a free trial so you can test it out, and if you like it, the service is available for a monthly fee.
The app offers a wealth of features. Learn more, below:
TSheets also supports shift scheduling. To schedule shifts in TSheets:
- Install the TSheets Scheduling add-on if you don’t already have it.
- Click Manage and select Schedule to access the schedule calendar.
- Double-click a cell in the schedule calendar.
- Click Actions in the top left corner and select Add Shift.
- Choose the start and end times of the shift.
- Customize the shift by adding a colour, job description, and an employee.
- Click the Publish button to publish the shift information to the calendars of the assigned employee.
- The assigned employee receives a notification of the shift assignment.
Time tracking gives you documented proof of an employee’s hours, which eliminates guesswork on paydays. This keeps employees satisfied, and it ensures your business maximizes profits by not spending more than you have to. Consider analyzing the various methods of time tracking to discover one that works best for your company size, and pair the system with your accounting software.
Online time tracking software can help you stay organized and make sense of your payroll systems. 5.6 million business owners use QuickBooks, help your small business thrive and join them today!