Time tracking

What are Timesheets and How Do They Work?

A timesheet is tabulated data where an employer can formally track their employee’s work hours. Many businesses will use timesheets as a record of the time which is spent on projects, clients or tasks.

As technology is continually transforming in the world today, many businesses have opted to use a digital format of timesheets as opposed to paper-based timesheets. Timesheets for work are imperative to keep track of the business’s monetary expenditure on employees and the employees’ time expenditure.

The topics will help you understand more about time management and time sheets and their role in small business management: 

How Do Timesheets Work?

A timesheet is a type of time tracking document that will explicitly record the specific amount of time a business’s employees have spent at work on the clock. This can be done automatically or entered manually. It will also record the delegated time an employee has devoted to specific clients, projects and tasks.

By tracking an employee’s hours from start to finish and the break times, a timesheet can be a reliable way of calculating an employee’s pay for the period.

Timesheets and project management

Since it has become more common for businesses to work with multiple clients and team members, and on numerous projects, timesheets provide a detailed record that displays the amount of time a company has spent on each client or project, with attached billable hours. This is great news to project managers and business owners as it makes tracking time and client billing a breeze.

Timesheets are incredibly advantageous for companies’ human resources departments to analyze and review the activities carried out by employees for the organization. This also assists with planning future projects and client work within the organization.

Timesheets or time sheet

There is in some instances, overall confusion if it is timesheets or time sheet. The correct terminology is a timesheet.

Who Fills Out Timesheets?

Typically timesheets are filled out by the employees themselves and double-checked by a specified manager before being approved for payroll. However, depending on a business’s policies, these rules may dictate that a manager, supervisor or owner will fill out the employees’ timesheet.

There are also different ways in which timesheets may be filled out – including manual entry and automatic software.

Manual tracking of timesheets

There are advantages and disadvantages of manual tracking time and paper timesheets. Advantages include the saving in costs of not needing to purchase additional software for automatic software entry. The disadvantages of manual input of timesheets may outnumber the benefits.

The lack of accuracy and human error and employees’ possible dishonesty while filling in their time card can cause numerous payroll processing and financial issues. Task and project costing can also be hindered when records do not accurately display the data entry of hours worked by an employee, task, or project. This can result in lost revenue or damaged business relations.

Automated tracking with timesheet software

There are many advantages of automated time tracking systems. Such software offers the perfect time tracking solution for companies as it allows for more precise calculations of time, less room for human error, more time saving and less human labour to fill out timesheets, more data collated for future planning of projects and added efficiency.

Overall the cost of automated tracking software can be offset by the cost savings obtained by only paying only hours worked, and the greater visibility it affords you in showing where time and money are being spent.

Businesses might expect that automated time tracking software is too costly for their budget.

However, there are software products on the market that offer great value and comprehensive features at affordable pricing. Such features include mobile apps for employees to clock in and out of, seamless integration with your payroll system, and even a biometric time clock attached to an available time clock kiosk system.

What’s Included in a Timesheet?

When creating timesheets for your workers, there is certain information you must include in this document to track your employees accurately.

A formal timesheet should contain:

  • Name of the employee
  • Pay period
  • Dates and days worked
  • Hours worked
  • Start and end times
  • Total hours worked within a week or pay period

Timesheet template for small businesses

If you require a timesheet template for your small business, then we can help. Tailor these employee timesheets to the specific pay period for your business or other internal requirements. Our weekly timesheets can be downloaded in XLS, DOC, PDF, or Google Sheets format.

Opt for the free bi-weekly timesheet template, or use our weekly or monthly templates instead.

What is Timesheet Rounding?

Timesheet rounding happens when an employee’s timesheet data is either rounded up or down to the nearest payable time on the clock, as completed by the timesheet approver. This may be the rounding of work time hours to the nearest minute or 5, 10, 15 minutes. The larger the rounding the less accurate the pay will be even with the use of timesheets.

Timesheet rounding is still in use today as some businesses have not transferred their paper timesheet systems to digital systems.

Do Salary Employees Fill Out Timesheets?

A business’s employees can be separated into two different groups for measure: salaried workers and hourly workers. Salaried workers are paid on a salary basis, meaning they have a fixed amount of pay each year regardless of how many hours they have actually worked. Exempt employees generally work an average of 40 hours each week. In contrast, hourly workers are paid for each hour they work at a specified rate, and their hours are tracked so they can be paid accordingly.

Salary vs. hourly

Employees who are contracted on a salary pay receive their pay at a fixed amount each year. This pay may come in intervals each week, bi-weekly or each month. Employees who are paid hourly do not receive a fixed amount of pay throughout the year. These employees are paid depending on how many hours in which they work.

By law, you do not have to track hours for salaries

By law, it is not required for salary employees to track their hours in timesheets. Although it is not legally required, it is still beneficial for a business to track salaried employees’ hours.

Even though the timesheets will not directly affect the employee’s pay, timesheets display crucial data for management, including billing for clients, accounting and project management. The timesheets are also advantageous as they allow the business to analyze its business processes, making future project planning more accurate and efficient.

Simplify the Time Tracking and Timesheet Process

Why not streamline the timesheet process with quality timesheet software? Gain all the advantages of automatic time tracking listed above, and improve your timesheet processes and overall billable hours, making it easier for both management and employees.

QuickBooks Time offers a quality software solution for businesses, so they can keep accurate records of their employees’ work hours in real-time to ensure proper remuneration. Try it free today!

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