13 Oct What is a timesheet?
What is a Timesheet?
Timesheet is essentially a record of the time an employee spends on a task at hand. Employers use timesheets to register attendance, project durations, allocate jobs, etc. They also keep track of the clock-in and clock-out time, any breaks they take, as well as the time required to complete a job. With the help of the above, they determine the payroll weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly as they so need. Other elements of payroll, including leaves, accruals, and vacations are also recorded when preparing the payroll.
Not just payroll, companies use timesheets to do project management too. Client-based timesheet or timesheets just for individual projects are also commonplace. They track in detail the work done by each and every employee for individual projects. These timesheets help human resources for workforce planning by identifying the weaker areas and the projects in need of an extra boost. More importantly, it helps to track the productivity levels of every employee.
Timesheets can either be digital or on paper. Manual timesheets records take time and effort to create as well as maintain, and payroll is an absolute terror. But, digital timesheets, on the other hand, do everything that a paper timesheet could do in the press of a button.
Time Tracking App helps you record the above online and are easily trackable. Employees submit their respective timesheets, which are then forwarded to their manager, who then approves the same. The data is either processed by the internal team or outsourced to a vendor specializing in payrolls. Either that or a payroll hours calculator can do the work for you.
With the in and out time and hourly wage in hand, the calculator then works out the wage after considering the tax deductions, etc.
Why Do You Need a Timesheet?
Every company should consider having a timesheet for their employees. A new procedure is always a hard thing to accept since some perceive it as an intrusion to their privacy. The importance of a timesheet trumps the complexity and inconvenience.
Timesheet works similar to a database and collects all the necessary details from the employees. These details include the completed tasks, hours worked, etc. Aided by the facts in hand, the employers are able to pay their workers fairly and reasonably. And the workers have proof of their work.
Besides this, the management can track the time spent by the team with respect to productiveness. Knowing the amount of time spent on each task helps to identify the gaps in resources and detect time management issues. Combined with other tools, timesheets also improve transparency within the organization, which can prove to be beneficial for the employer.
When it comes to the employees, they can see the number of hours spent on each task and use timesheets to increase their productivity. They can also relate their pay to the hours worked and would no longer question if they are paid enough. Counter actively, they can ask you if they haven’t been paid for the hours worked.
As for project management, the managers can use timesheets to work the expenses and the estimates of a project. They can also compare projected costs versus actual costs for various projects at the same time. With this information available, they can work towards the completion of current projects on time and also plan future prospective ones.
Digital Timesheet Vs Paper Timesheet
While timesheets are very important to the growth of any organization, is it wise to jump the digital bandwagon or stick to traditional timesheets?
Trust us when we say that digital is the way to go. You have years and years of records at your fingertip on a server or cloud. But with manual timesheets, though you might have the data in hand, do you have the time to search for the necessary information. Not just that, how possible is it to track all the data? But on the upside, paper timesheets are simple and easy to follow. It also saves costs and keeps the process simplified.
In a corporate world, pairing digital timesheets with a project management solution is probably the best way of tracking the development of a project and maintain the transparency within the organization and also the client. Most electronic timesheets come with time management apps. With this, the employees can track their productivity themselves and monitor the progress.
Before arriving at a solution, it is important that you consider the employees as well. If you are a small company with a handful of employees, you would do better with a manual timesheet or even a free time calculator. But, if you are a large organization with remote employees, you might find that a digital timesheet or a cloud-based timesheet work better.
How Do Timesheets Work?
Timesheets are not one of the most attractive tasks of the day, but much necessary when it comes to the running of a company. Hence, a time tracking app should be the easiest and also self-descriptive without having to spend too much time on it.
To start with, the parameters are set up by the managers as a part of the induction to the company or project. The employees then enter the time period in their respective modules against specific tasks assigned. The time defined includes overtime and shift time if any, in addition to the regular workweek.
Timesheet also records holidays, leaves, vacations, training, etc., as a part of the administrative tasks. These allow the employer to track employee hours for payroll purposes. However, these depend on the employer’s need and for which the timesheet is being used for.
At the end of the day, the employees enter the hours’ works against the tasks and submit the same for approval. The parameters are different for each employee depending on the projects, and it is customizable by them and also their managers. After submission, the timesheet is passed on to the supervisor, who may be the manager or even the client himself.
The supervisor with authority either approves or rejects the timesheet. In case of approval, it is passed on to the payroll department for processing. If rejected it returns back to the employee to make necessary changes, who then submits it again after correction.
As a fellow employee, you would know the punch in and punch out the time of your co-worker. As a manager, you would know the tasks allocated to your team member. But, without a timesheet, the time spent on the task remains a mystery. This creates a lack of transparency in the system.
With timesheets, your team can record the task they are working on. And also, time worked under each job or module depending on the project they are working on. This helps you to measure the productivity of the team in addition to efficiency. Managers can use this data to address any gaps or arrange for training wherever there is a lack of output.
How Does Timesheets Help Organizations to Get Better?
Timesheets assist the organizations to gain an insight into the professional lives of the employees. It helps them make better decisions in relation to the employees and to inspire them. It also identifies pitfalls in any project and also a knowledge gap.
A detailed timesheet can give the organization a deep insight into any project. This identifies potential risks based on past data, and the administration can investigate what’s causing the snag. This helps to change the process and adjust the data currently to prevent the same in the future. If miscommunication is what’s causing the problem, you can arrange for better ways of communication or plan team-building exercises to boost the morality within the team.
The above is possible only when you have a profound understanding of the workings of the team and also the hour by hour run by of every day.
Keep Track of the Employees
Timesheets aid in project management by tracking the employees’ projects and monitor their yield/output. Through this, you gain an insight into a team member’s specialization as well as their gaps. This way, you can identify if the employee is eligible for a better role within the organization. Additionally, it also recognizes employees with niche knowledge, which may be beneficial in future projects. On the other hand, it also points out employees lacking the same.
Record Project Expense
No one wishes to willingly lose money on a project, and you would be doing just that if you don’t start tracking your timesheets. Timesheets help you to monitor the time spent and thereby the cost, especially in the case of fixed-bid projects. You definitely do not want to be on the losing side of things.
Client facing businesses like service industries work better with their time and cost tracked with a timesheet. This not only helps them keep track of things but also reassures the client that the project is in the best hands. You can also avoid the confusion when the times comes to billing them for the various tasks. You can claim the monetary compensation without having to justify every expense.
In today’s age, going digital is inevitable, so is tracking the productivity of the employees. While this has been around for some time with the help of manual timesheets, it is also important that you look for digital options depending on your need. Timesheets can help an organization in many different ways other than for being a means of payroll calculation.
Looking for free timesheet templates. Click here for samples in Excel, PDF, and Google Sheets.
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