Employee timesheets should be fairly straightforward. Employees clock in, clock out, and you pay them for the hours they work. Sounds pretty simple, right? But in practice, it’s not always that simple.
Time tracking errors, employee time theft, and inaccurate time tracking methods can result in underpayment, overpayment, and conflict between management and employees. All of these issues can have a negative impact on employee morale and your business’s bottom line.
So, in this article, we’ll take a look at the importance of timesheet reporting, how it’s conducted, and how it can benefit your company.
What Is Timesheet Reporting?
Timesheet reporting is a record-keeping process that tracks the time spent by employees on various tasks and projects. Typically, employees fill out a timesheet that documents the amount of time they spend on different activities, usually broken down into specific time periods such as daily, weekly, or monthly.
Timesheet reporting is often used by businesses to track employee productivity, bill clients for work completed, and calculate employee wages. It can also help managers to allocate resources more efficiently and identify areas where productivity can be improved.
In addition to tracking the time spent on specific tasks or projects, timesheet reporting may also include other relevant information such as the name of the client or project, the billing rate for the work completed, and any notes or comments related to the work performed.
Why Timesheet Reporting Matters
Timesheet reporting is a critical aspect of project management and team collaboration. Here are some reasons why timesheet reporting matters:
- Effective resource management: Timesheet reporting helps project managers and team leaders track how much time their team members are spending on each project or task. This information allows them to manage their resources effectively and make informed decisions about project timelines, budgets, and staffing needs.
- Accountability and transparency: By tracking their time and reporting it accurately, team members take ownership of their work and demonstrate their commitment to the project. This information also allows project managers to identify and address any issues or inefficiencies in the project.
- Invoicing and billing: Accurate time tracking helps ensure that clients are billed correctly for the work done, and it provides a detailed record of the work completed, which can be used to justify the fees charged.
- Performance evaluation: Timesheet reporting provides valuable data for performance evaluations. By analyzing the time spent on various tasks and projects, project managers can identify areas of strength and weakness for each team member and provide feedback for improvement.
- Compliance and legal requirements: In some industries, timesheet reporting is required by law or regulations like the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). For example, companies that work on government contracts or in the healthcare industry may be required to track and report time for auditing purposes. Timesheet reporting can help your company align with recordkeeping requirements.
How to Conduct Timesheet Reporting
- Evaluate timesheet reporting software: Every business and industry’s needs will vary slightly when it comes to timesheet reporting. Fortunately, there are many different tools available to help you log hours in the workplace. So, take time to evaluate your options and find timesheet software that works best for you.
- Set up your timesheet: Once you’ve evaluated and selected timesheet reporting software, set it up with relevant projects, tasks, and team members. Ensure that the timesheet is easy to use and understand and that all team members have access to it.
- Train team members: Train your team members on how to use the timesheet reporting software and how to accurately report their time. Encourage them to report their time regularly and to be as specific as possible when describing the work done.
- Monitor timesheet entries: Regularly monitor the timesheet entries to ensure that team members are reporting their time accurately and that the data is up-to-date. As a manager or supervisor, you should review all time sheets before they go to payroll. This will help you identify any issues or inefficiencies in the project and make informed decisions.
- Analyze timesheet data: Analyze timesheet data to understand the amount of time spent on each project or task, and to identify areas of strength or weakness for each team member. This information can be used to provide feedback for improvement and to make informed decisions about project timelines, budgets, and staffing needs.
- Use timesheet data for invoicing and billing: Timesheet data can help you ensure that the billing process is transparent and that clients understand how their fees were calculated.
- Use timesheet data for performance evaluations: You can also use timesheet data to evaluate team member performance and to provide feedback for improvement. This information can be used to identify training needs and to recognize high-performing team members.
Common Tools Used for Timesheet Reporting
There is a wide range of employee timesheet apps available to support your business, but how do you know which one is right for you? Your company’s needs may vary according to the industry you work in, so it’s a good idea to consider the variety of timesheet reporting tools and how well they align with your needs.
Let’s take a look at a few common tools used for timesheet reporting and the benefits they offer.
GPS timesheet apps
GPS time clock apps are ideal for field service businesses because they allow employees to clock in and out using their smartphones, tablets, or other devices with GPS capability. The GPS feature can accurately record the location of the clock-in and clock-out, ensuring that employees are physically present at the designated work location. This helps to prevent time fraud and inaccurate time reporting, resulting in more accurate and reliable timesheets for payroll and billing purposes.
GPS timesheet apps like Workyard can also automate the time tracking process and streamline payroll and billing workflows. Timesheets can be automatically generated based on the clock-in and clock-out data, reducing the need for manual data entry and calculations. This saves time and minimizes errors in the payroll and billing process, leading to more accurate and timely payments to employees and clients.
Traditional time tracking software
Like other methods of timesheet reporting, traditional time tracking software can be used to monitor and record employee attendance, working hours, and activities, and to generate reports and analytics for various purposes such as payroll, billing, project management, and compliance with labor laws.
Traditional time tracking software may be installed locally on individual computers or servers within a company’s network, or it may be cloud-based and accessed through a web browser or mobile app. It generally provides features such as clocking in/out, manual time entry, task or project time tracking, reporting and analytics, and integrations with other business systems such as payroll or accounting tools.
Traditional time tracking software may require employees to manually input their time data, such as clocking in and out or manually entering time worked on different tasks or projects. This method of timesheet reporting can work well for a few different industries and businesses, including but not limited to professional services, manufacturing, healthcare, hospitality, and retail.
However, traditional time tracking software may be less effective for field service businesses as it lacks features like GPS tracking which are especially helpful for employees who are out on job sites.
Manual clock-in/clock-out systems
Manual clock-in/clock-out systems, while not as advanced as GPS timesheet apps, can still provide some benefits for timesheet reporting in businesses. Because manual time tracking systems often include features such as biometric time clocks and fingerprint scanners, this method of time tracking can be especially attractive to businesses with additional security needs.
Digital timesheet reports
Digital timesheet reports are often more convenient and accessible to implement in the workplace. Because digital timesheets are most commonly installed on work computers, this can make it easy for supervisors and employees alike to access the software and record hours.
Digital timesheet reports are generated automatically based on electronically captured time tracking data. Because they are generated automatically, they can be accessed and analyzed quickly and easily, providing businesses with comprehensive insights into employee time data.
Reports can be customized to capture specific metrics, such as total hours worked, overtime hours, or time spent on different projects or tasks. This enables businesses to gain valuable insights into their labor costs, productivity levels, and resource allocation, which can inform decision-making and strategic planning.
Paper-based timesheet reports
Paper-based timesheets, or timesheet templates, can be a simple and cost-effective way to track employee work hours. They typically involve physical timesheets or time cards that employees fill out manually, recording their clock-in and clock-out times, breaks, and other work-related activities. Paper-based timesheets can be a convenient option for small businesses, particularly local creative or service-based startups, as they do not require significant upfront costs or technical expertise.
Paper-based timesheets can be relatively simple for employees to fill out. However, they rely on employees remembering to log their hours and are extremely prone to human error.
Features to Look For in Timesheet Reporting Software & Apps
Every business’s needs will be a little different, but any reliable timesheet reporting software should contain a few specific features. Although some features may be less important to you than others, most businesses will need timesheet reporting software and apps that include the following key components:
- Time tracking: The software should allow team members to track their time easily and accurately. This may include features such as time cards, start/stop timers, manual time entry, or integration with other time tracking tools.
- Customizable timesheets: The software should allow you to create customizable timesheets that suit your specific needs, including the ability to add custom fields and tags.
- Integration with other tools: To reduce admin burden, improve labor burden calculations, and streamline workflows, the software should integrate with tools you already use, such as project management software, payroll software, and invoicing software.
- Reporting and analytics: The software should provide robust reporting and analytics capabilities, allowing you to analyze time data and generate reports on project progress, team performance, and invoicing/billing.
- Mobile accessibility: The software should be accessible on mobile devices, allowing team members to track their time on the go.
- Automatic reminders: The software should send automatic reminders to team members to enter their time, reducing the likelihood of missed entries and inaccurate payroll.
- Real-time GPS tracking: If your employees work in the field or report to job sites, you need software with real-time GPS tracking. This allows employees to track drive time and mileage, ensuring every hour is properly accounted for.
- Overtime, break, and wage calculations: Timesheet reporting software can also help you keep track of overtime, breaks, and wage calculations on an individual and company-wide scale. This keeps you compliant with federal and state regulations regarding employee overtime, breaks, and fair pay.
Try Workyard for Accurate Timesheet Reporting
There are many different timesheet reporting platforms on the market but, let’s be honest, all timesheet reporting software has not been created equal! Workyard aims to be the gold standard in employee productivity and time tracking software, but don’t just take our word for it — take a look at these key Workyard features and see how Workyard can help you simplify your timesheet reporting process.
- Reduce admin burden
Workyard automates the timesheet reporting process by allowing employees to track their time and submit timesheets in just a few clicks. This can save time and reduce errors compared to manual timesheets.
- Improve project estimates
Workyard can help improve project estimates by providing real-time tracking of project progress and time spent on tasks.
- Boost employee efficiency
Workyard boosts employee efficiency by improving and automating employee time tracking, attendance, and productivity measurement. The app’s real-time GPS tracking features allow employees to automatically clock in, log their hours, and submit detailed invoices for clients in seconds. The ease and accessibility of the Workyard app helps employees spend less time on admin and more on what they do best.
- Automate billing and invoicing
Workyard can automate billing and invoicing by integrating with accounting software and streamlining the billing process. Through seamless integration with popular accounting software such as QuickBooks and ADP, Workyard allows businesses to automatically generate invoices based on timesheet data.
- Improve accuracy for compliance
Analyzing data, juggling admin, and processing invoices can take up a lot of time. With so many additional tasks cluttering up your day, it can be difficult to stay on top of the finer policy details which ensure your business is compliant with a plethora of federal state and regulations.
But when Workyard automates the majority of your daily tasks and simplifies company-wide timesheet reporting, it’s easy to review policy data at a glance and confirm that you and your employees are aligned with all compliance regulations. So what are you waiting for? Sign up for a free trial of Workyard today!