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Electronic timesheets: What Are They and Do You Need Them?

Wondering if electronic timesheets are for you? Get the lowdown on what they are, how to use them, and the benefits they offer your business.
Published 1 Jun 2022
Updated 24 Nov 2022
5 min read
Timesheets Guide: What Are They and Do You Need Them?

An employee timesheet is a crucial tool for every business, no matter its size.

From employee attendance tracking to using them in creating a project-management strategy, your timesheets give you vital data on your employees and operations.

Manual time tracking and paper timesheets can be a task that many managers let slip down the to-do list. The timesheet entry process can be made much simpler and more efficient with cloud-based HR management software, and it’s much easier to get started than you might think.

Many businesses think you should only use timesheets to track total hours worked, but they have a range of other project applications that prove extremely beneficial.

Let’s dive into this important business tool and understand precisely what timesheets are their benefits for managers and employees and the best ways to optimise their use.

What are electronic timesheets?

The simple answer to what electronic timesheets are is that they’re a way to track employee working hours. Basic timesheets record the date and time and are most commonly used to record a single shift’s start and finish.

More complex time tracking can be far more detailed and explicit. They can record specific activities during the workday to calculate billable hours, which is very helpful for businesses with numerous clients and projects.

If your company operates this way, you probably need to know how much time is being spent on specific tasks to determine marketing budgets, how long creation, distribution, and customer service takes, and more.

An online timesheet app can be an efficient tool and a critical requirement that many companies find invaluable. Remote working software is making business operations more efficient.

Implementing electronic timesheets is the easiest way to monitor time, keep project management on track and ultimately help your business to thrive.

What are timesheets used for?

The most basic application for employee timesheets is the calculation of payroll.

Calculation of payroll and time tracking

While this is often a simple equation of how many hours employees worked in a week multiplied by the employee’s pay rate, it can be a cumbersome task for businesses with more than a handful of employees.

It’s also not something you want to get wrong. The correct keeping of employee time and attendance records is also in most cases a legal requirement.

An electronic timesheet handles the payroll process accurately and automatically, saving you time and ensuring your staff are paid correctly.

Once the process of how to track time is simplified, their adoption throughout your business will be far less of a burden, eventually becoming standard practice.

Other time tracking and timesheet applications beyond this include:

Time recording for project planning

When it comes to project management, electronic timesheets can help to monitor how your employees are working which provides insight into their efficiency and qualifications for certain tasks.

This is crucial information when planning new projects.

Tracking hourly rates and billable hours

Timesheets will accurately report all hours worked, which is a requirement if you invoice your clients based on the number of hours specific tasks took to perform.

Identify training opportunities

If an employee is taking more time than they should for a certain task, the timesheet will show this. This can help to identify training gaps and give you the information you need to improve your workforce.

Delegating tasks with greater accuracy

The timesheet is where you’ll gain an understanding of how much each employee has on their plate.

This allows you to distribute workloads fairly and therefore increase productivity.

Measuring efficiency

Employees aside, there may be areas of your workflow that could be improved, and timesheets offer the necessary data that will allow you to improve your processes.

Detailed reports for job scheduling

Timesheets essentially give a numerical value to each task which is crucial when planning timelines for future project management. This can help to improve client communication, pricing and dedicated resources.

This is the data you’ll need to provide the most accurate estimates you can.

Management accounting

Being the most essential tool for management accounting, timesheets help managers truly understand certain tasks and identify areas that experience significant delay.leave management on employment hero

Why should businesses use electronic time-tracking software?

Using online time-tracking software is the most efficient process available for creating accurate timesheets right now.

The three essential areas where smart time-tracking software can save time for businesses are:

  • Scheduling
  • Time tracking
  • Cost reporting

Having payroll software with electronic timesheets works for every business, no matter its size. You can create employees’ work schedules quickly, manage time off, organise shifts and keep track of availability.

Along with many other benefits, the Employment Hero timesheet app will provide push notifications and automatic reminders to managers to action any pending timesheets anywhere, anytime.

Benefits of using Employment Hero’s time-tracking software

Employment Hero also provides full access to all business timesheets via a simple-to-use online portal that negates the need for spreadsheets and manual admin tasks.

Employment Hero allows all of your employees to complete their online timesheets daily or weekly and then submit them to management via a mobile device. From here, it’s easy to check in with managers to get approved timesheets.

This makes it much easier to monitor employee activity, saving hours of admin work in the process.

Additional benefits of our online timesheets include:

1. Real-time tracking and scheduling

Employment Hero online timesheets provide the ability to publish rosters straight to all employee’s devices and assign rostered hours to each individual team member, who is then alerted with a notification. Employees can request time off easily via their mobile.

2. Communicate to casuals

Have a casual pool of workers? You can advertise available shifts to all employees via the Employment Hero app through which workers can respond and accept promptly.

3. Accurate mobile time tracking

Employees can clock on and clock off with ease via their mobile, removing the need for paper schedules, excel sheets and lessening the chance of time theft.

Capture the exact time a shift begins and ends, and use the geotagging feature that shows where your staff clocked on and off. It is also easy to record breaks, submit timesheets and request leave.

4. Enhance the quality of your communication

Employment Hero timesheet software will send an alert when a staff member is approaching overtime or when a timesheet requires approval, keeping everyone on track.

Instant message alerts increase the quality of your communication with instant notifications when a new schedule or shift is available so staff can schedule accordingly.

5. Significantly reduce admin time

The use of an online timesheet system with payroll integrations allows for the automation of manual data entry tasks.

From data flowing to your payroll system for the automatic and accurate calculation of tax and pay to the updating of your accounting management software, every automated task is one less thing you need to have on your to-do list.

Paperless electronic timesheets like Employment Hero provide built-in scheduling functions that will make all employee management tasks much more straightforward. They create high-quality data that allows you to automate payroll, gain new insights and efficiently run your business.Online timesheets on Employment Hero

Making the most out of timesheets for your organisation

The best thing to do if you’re not already using some form of an electronic timesheet, is just to take the plunge and get started. The many benefits of time tracking mentioned above will become very clear very quickly.

The hardest is getting used to the habit of recording time and attendance, but timesheet software like Employment Hero makes this much easier to manage.

Any software tool that helps make the management of employees more efficient should seriously be considered by every business, regardless of their size.

If you would like to know how our payroll system and timesheet app can help you achieve greater project success, reach out to us today to learn more.

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