Did you know that the origins of the timesheet can, in some ways, be traced back to ancient times? As per rule no 274 of the ‘Code of Hammurabi,’ created circa 1700 B.C., “If a man hires a potter, he shall pay him five gerahs per day.”
But, it wasn’t until the 1940s or 1950s that the timesheet became widely used in the workplace. Employers used pen and paper to manually track and record employee hours.
Fast-forward to 2022, we have come a long way. There are automated systems, cloud-based software, and sophisticated AI-driven tools available for tracking employee hours.
Nevertheless, the basic purpose of a timesheet remains the same: to keep track of employee hours worked and pay them accordingly.
So, if you are an employer or an HR professional looking for information about timesheets, here are some frequently asked questions that can be of help:
27 Timesheet Questions (Answered)
01. What is a Timesheet?
A timesheet is a record of work done by employees. These are typically in the form of templates/forms that can track activities in a basic format. The simplest timesheet records the time in and out of each employee. It is maintained by the organisation to keep track of the total hours worked.
02. What is the Purpose of a Timesheet?
There are many uses of a timesheet. It is helpful for:
Calculating payroll accurately: The most fundamental purpose of timesheets is to calculate employee pay.
Analysing work progression: Timesheets can be used to track project activities, monitor progress and project health. In addition, it tells us whether a specific employee fits into a new role or project.
Managing workload: Timesheets help track work and effort distribution seamlessly. This helps avoid lapses or inefficiency in project management.
Improve efficiency: It helps identify inefficient tasks and processes that can be improved using data.
03. What are the Three Types of Timesheets?
The three types of timesheets are daily, weekly, and monthly. In a daily timesheet, the work completed each day is captured. A weekly timesheet captures the work activity data per week. Similarly, a monthly timesheet is used to keep track of employee work each month.
04. How Do You Manage a Timesheet?
The best way to manage a timesheet is to ensure that the employers, employees, and HR personnel are aware of the steps involved. Ensuring that the timesheet contains accurate and correct data is equally important.
You can manage a timesheet by setting up clear guidelines and ensuring that employees adhere to them. You can also customise the timesheet according to specific needs and use automated or cloud-based systems to track and record data.
Lastly, timesheets should be regularly reviewed and updated to avoid mistakes or data discrepancies.
05. How Do You Ensure that Timesheets are Submitted on Time?
Here are a few steps to ensure on-time timesheet submission:
Communicating the purpose of filling out the timesheet accurately.
Informing employees about how timesheets are essential for accurate invoicing and fulfilling management goals.
Teaching users about the correct way to use a timesheet. This will involve conducting training sessions or sharing tutorials during onboarding.
Sending automatic reminders to ensure that employees submit the timesheet for the given period.
Encouraging employees by incentivising timesheet submission.
06. What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Employee Timesheets?
Advantages of employee timesheets:
Accurate payroll management
Proper task scheduling
Reduction of costs to the company
Improvement of productivity
Increased accountability and transparency
Disadvantages of employee timesheets:
Challenges in tracking creative tasks or initiatives taken independently by employees
Reduction of employee morale owing to lack of time flexibility
07. Do Companies Need a Timesheet Software to Track Employee Performance?
Yes, companies need timesheet software to track employee performance as it allows them to accurately record and monitor employee activities. It can help identify the areas for improvement and enable managers to make informed decisions. Furthermore, it ensures that employees are paid correctly and on time.
08. What is a Timesheet Software?
A timesheet software is an application to improve time management in an organisation. It is used to record and analyse an employee’s work-related data. This helps record the time spent on tasks and aids management decisions on billing, employee performance, payroll, and more.
09. Why is a Timesheet Important in Payroll?
A timesheet is an essential tool for payroll processing as it helps track work hours, accruals, adjustments, and leaves. Employers use this data for accurate payments.
In addition, it allows employers to pay for work hours and track if employees are complying with regulations. For firms that bill their clients, timesheets help keep track of billable hours on each project. Timesheets also help reduce data entry hours and make payroll processing smoother.
10. How can you Invoice a Timesheet?
The following steps can be used to invoice using a timesheet:
Use an invoicing app to bill customers easily.
If you have a project or a client that needs regular billing, you can create invoices and set automatic recurring dates.
When invoicing a timesheet, choose the project, invoice style, and invoice period, and check the fields you want in the invoice field and the description.
The timesheet invoice of all the approved hours of the employees gets populated.
Include the customer charge rates.
Save and email this to the client.
11. How Do You Invoice Freelance Hours?
Here’s how freelancing hours can be invoiced:
Use an hourly invoice to show the client the freelance work hours.
Freelance invoice templates can be customised for specific needs in your organisation.
The major headers are the work done, payment amount, number of hours spent, hourly rate, and total amount for the project.
Add the payment methods accepted and any additional fee for the selected payment method.
With an accounting software, you can simplify the process and personalise invoices with ease.
12. How Do You Write an Invoice for Hours Worked?
Here’s how you can create an invoice for the hours worked:
To write an invoice for hours worked, download an hourly invoice template.
Include a unique invoice number to simplify payment tracking.
Include the client’s name, service provided, time spent, hourly rate, and payment due date.
Email this invoice to the client.
In recent times, HR and Timesheet software has comparatively simplified the invoicing process, along with automating some of the most tedious tasks.
13. What is Timesheet Compliance?
Timesheet compliance is adherence to the rules and regulations set by federal acts and agencies. All employees who fall under the purview of such agencies have a standard set of predetermined rules set at the company or industry level. These can include accurately entering the hours worked per week, the number of overtime hours approved per week, and the sick or paid time off taken.
When employees are timesheet-compliant, it ensures the effective tracking of projects, accurate forecasting, invoicing, and timely payment. Timesheet compliance is a must for present-day businesses. It helps maintain an audit trail of timesheet changes, approve timesheets, and make comprehensive and regular reports.
14. How Do You Simplify a Timesheet?
A timesheet software with HRMS integration is the ultimate solution to manual timesheet management. It automates tedious tasks like payment calculations and invoicing. It also helps manage employee records, track attendance and leaves, automate timesheet approvals, and generate reports.
Most organisations now opt for integrated software solutions that streamline payroll processing, employee time tracking, and invoicing. This helps reduce the manual effort of creating timesheets and eliminates calculation errors. For companies with a mobile workforce, a mobile timesheet app that allows employees to enter their working hours remotely is ideal.
15. Are Timesheets a Waste of Time?
Timesheets are anything but a waste of time. On the contrary, they help streamline payroll processing and make invoicing simpler. However, traditional timesheet processes can be tedious.
The best way to simplify the process is to use an HRMS payroll software that automates most tasks and reduces manual effort. It also ensures compliance with regulations and helps companies track employee hours, attendance, and leaves.
16.What Happens if you Lie on a Timesheet?
Entering wrong, incomplete, or incorrect data and violating company policy is similar to committing theft and can lead to serious consequences. This can lead to suspension or termination from an organisation.
17. What Does UAT Mean on a Timesheet?
‘UAT’ stands for ‘unallocated time’. Typically, in a timesheet, the schedule is prepared in advance. The employee is expected to work for the set number of hours. When they don’t work on a given day, the hours show up as ‘UAT’.
18. What is Timesheet Freezing?
After the approval of timesheets by the supervisor, they are sent to the billing approver.
The approver then checks the costs, the associated time and freezes the timesheet. Following this, the cost is accounted for, and the timesheet data is ‘frozen’, i.e., it can no longer be edited.
19. How Can You Save Your Team’s Time When Using Timesheet Trackers?
Using a comprehensive HR software can help save your team’s time when using timesheet trackers.
20. How Do You Prevent Timesheet Fraud in Your Company?
One of the best ways to prevent timesheet fraud is to introduce time-tracking systems with approval and lock functionalities. Once the timesheet is approved and a lock is applied, further edits are prevented. Using automated time trackers is also an option. In this, the system clocks in and out only during approved working hours.
21. How to Fill Up the Break Section of My Work Timesheet?
To fill up the break section, you can create a project named ‘Break Time’ in the project section.
Add a small description against the ‘Break Time’ project. It provides transparency on the time spent on breaks.
22. Can I Fill in a Timesheet for Someone Else?
Yes. Adding a timesheet for someone else is legal if the supervisor fills it out for payroll processing.
If the timesheet is added correctly, it must be signed by the filler. It also has to be approved by the person who worked the hours.
23. How Can I Add Overtime to a Timesheet?
Overtime hours can be added manually if the timesheet has provisions for it. The most efficient way to add overtime is by using a time card. With this, work hours and overtime hours are calculated automatically.
24. What is a Great Free Time-Tracking Timesheet Software?
The best time-tracking timesheet software depends on each company’s needs.
It should have the features that the company needs with respect to its business and work hours.
25. When do I Have to Complete a Timesheet? And When Do I Need to Submit It?
You should complete a timesheet as soon as you start your work and submit it to the supervisor at the end of your working hours.
26. What is Timesheet Attestation?
A timesheet attestation is a document that an employee signs to attest the accuracy and completeness of their timesheet. It serves as legal proof that the employee has performed the work and received payment for it.
27. How to Calculate Earnings Based on a Timesheet?
To calculate earnings based on a timesheet, you need to consider the number of hours worked and your hourly rate. Multiply the total hours worked by your hourly rate, and then multiply that figure by the applicable overtime rate. This will give you your total earnings for the period.
Timesheet tracking is considered cumbersome by many employees. Especially, when tasks are complicated and detailed, they find the process tedious. Explaining the importance of timesheets and the steps of using them are key to improving timesheet compliance. With these responses, some of the most common queries employees have about timesheets can be addressed quite easily.