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What is a Timesheet? and How Can it Transform Your Business?

10 min read

Time is an essential part of what makes your business work. And tracking it accurately can make all the difference. So can a small mistake. Century-old manual systems pave way for errors, costing you your profits. 

It is 2022, and inaccurate paper time cards, time-consuming stamping methods and messy Excel sheets have thankfully gone for good. It is the era of timesheets. And businesses- irrespective of their size- use timesheets today. 

Why? 

Because Timesheets are your best bet at recording employee time, allocating resources, tracking their usage effectively, calculating payroll fairly and saving money.  

What is a Timesheet?

A timesheet is a data table used to track every employee’s working hours. It lets employers monitor their staff’s time and helps employees understand how much time they have spent doing a specific project- Encouraging self-accountability. Not just how many hours they are putting in, but also how efficient they are at doing the task.  

And it doesn’t stop here. Businesses too use timesheets to record the time spent on clients and completing projects. It assists Human Resource professionals in calculating payrolls, bonuses and other entitlements. The aim? To help organizations manage all their back-office and front-office activities.  

Simply put, a timesheet is a way to record an employee’s time spent at work and eliminate the chance of misreporting working hours. Think of it as a registry where employees have to punch in their entry and exit timings- with a difference.  

Why use Timesheet Software?  

Not everything can be put onto paper. That’s where technology steps in. It removes the mundane element, cuts the time spent by folds, and increases the accuracy of results. Timesheet software is key to a successful business. It will not just record employee work time but also offer various filters to access the data you want- nearly impossible using traditional methods. Several businesses let their customers use their product or service on an hourly basis. Timesheet softwares keep a tab on this and ensures nothing gets missed.  

Timesheet is the easiest way to capture time spent working on any device from any location in the world. For businesses, this means better adoption of resource strategies to improve customer service and increase project profitability. Apart from helping calculate payroll at the end of the month, it also uncovers an employee’s efficiency, productivity and engagement. 

What are the benefits of using a Timesheet? 

Tracking time can be monotonous. Hence, timesheets to automate the process. But, is investing in a software worth it merely for simplifying the clock-in, and clock-out times? We know that by saving time and automating time-tracking tasks, businesses can save money. And over the years, timesheets have developed beyond offering these basic tasks alone. So, what else can a Timesheet do for you? 

Monitors pre-sales activity

Pre-sales processes are vital to lead to better proposals and improved customer satisfaction rates. However, do you know how much time is spent doing it? By tracking this time, organizations can understand which clients took up most of their time, the size of the business house captured and make strategic decisions that affect revenue.  

Eliminates manual billing errors

According to a report by the Aberdeen Group, manual data entry into different systems can have as high as 15% error rate due to typing mistakes. Timesheet automation can bring that down to 0% by populating invoices directly with timesheet data. 

Removes scope for underbilling

A significant source of revenue leakage, underbilling, might rob your business of billable admin time. Take time spent on emails, meetings and other communications for example. Though these can be considered to be non-billable hours, based on your policies, it could be evaluated otherwise. 

Increases timesheet accuracy

Employees might not always remember what they had done on a specific day at a particular time. But a timesheet does. Documenting the tasks and start-end time every day can help foster a sense of self-accountability and remove the burden of remembering every little task they worked on. It also sends them timely reminders to log their hours. Managers too can check these projects whenever they want to without having to keep nudging employees. They can even manage time off, schedule, organize shift-trade requests, keep track of availability, and more, all with one software.  

Offers a centralized database with transparency

Spot errors and mitigate potential fraud through centralized reporting with timesheets. Employers can easily see time entries created or deleted by one employee on behalf of the other. With everything digital and online, the system tracks every unusual transaction and helps you dodge fraud.  

Favours green HRM through paperless documentation

Leave no room to lose crucial information with Timesheets. Get all the data you need, whenever you need, at the click of a button. Everything up on the cloud means zero paper documentation- encouraging the practice of green HRM keeping the environment in mind.  

Processes complex payrolls with ease

Month-end payroll processing can get super stressful and complex. We get it. Timesheets will cut through the chase and give all the insights, data and information you need to get done with every employee’s payroll without having sleepless nights- All integrated with individual timesheet data entered by the employees and reviewed by their managers.  

Tracks billable hours for freelancers

For freelancers, time is money, making Timesheet key for their everyday work. Even for designers, writers, accountants, and lawyers for that matter. Understanding where their time is being spent helps them make better business and financial decisions. Certain timesheet software also allows you to automatically invoice your clients from your timesheets, making the process easier and more transparent.   

What’s included in a Timesheet? 

A typical timesheet for your employees will cover the categories vital to log their working hours and tasks. These can include: 

  • Name of the employee 
  • Pay period (monthly/bi-weekly/weekly/contractual) 
  • Dates and days worked (weekdays/weekends) 
  • Hours worked (overtime/regular hours) 
  • Start and end times (for each task/project) 
  • Total hours worked within a week or pay period 
  • Name of the project 
  • Name of the task within the project 
  • Name of the person to approve the timesheet 
  • Break time allotted 
  • Travel time allotted (if this requires to be entered) 

Timesheet Software vs Manual Timesheet Methods (infograph) 

Timesheet Software vs Manual Timesheet Comparison

Questions to ask before selecting a Timesheet software 

  • In a tenant, only some of the employees wants to use timesheet. Is that possible? If so, how?  
  • Who can manage the timesheet? Please mention the roles and their privileges. 
  • Can a project be added without the client in Keka?  
  • How many projects can be added under a client? 
  • Can a task be both billable and non-billable? If so, how? 
  • Can we add the same approver in multiple levels under the same project? 
  • Will Timesheets be auto-saved? 
  • Can employees see all the timesheet statuses and time entries submitted within a period under a project? 

Conclusion 

A business can only be successful when it utilizes time effectively. And in a professional services environment, time is a scarce commodity. It is crucial to be managed efficiently and tracked transparently. Accurate time tracking lends the most support, making Timesheets crucial for businesses to survive. A good timesheet software like Keka will let you get all the insights and be data-savvy with a variety of methods to filter this data. Automate, streamline, and manage your employees’ timesheets in the most efficient way with Keka. Do all this and continue scaling without any hiccups from your software. Say Hi to modern-day timesheets. 

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    Meet the author

    Dr. Nishat Afzal

    Content Writer

    A dentist by profession and writer by choice, Nishat is the Communications Manager and Content Writer at Keka Technologies. A literature lover and a religious fan of Ruskin Bond, her magic works best in creating pieces that involve story-telling, emotional punches, facts & current affairs. If not found sewing letters together to form impactful phrases, Nishat can be seen doing RCTs, crocheting or eating to her heart's content.

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