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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

How do timesheets work?

An essential part of running any successful
business, implementing effective timesheet management can make the difference
between running a tight ship and encountering endless problems.

So, how are timesheets deployed in a business, how to make a timesheet for your business,  and what can you do to improve them in a way that works for you?

What
is a timesheet?

Timesheets track the number of hours or ‘time’
employees spend on their work. This can be segmented on a day-by-day basis,
account for project work, actions for a specific client, or however you choose
to operate.

These are completed by the individual and then
submitted – normally on a monthly basis – allowing businesses to capture
information about work executed to date. Where these used to take the form of
physical slips and dockets, modern businesses increasingly use digital software
platforms to capture and process data. Or, where an extensive physical solution
already exists, a hybrid platform can be put in place as a permanent or stage
solution that addresses ongoing issues.

These can allow for the creation of custom
forms and ensure that all essential data is captured in a timely manner.

However, this is not always the case.

For many businesses, timesheet management is an
ongoing bugbear that requires continual care and attention. Forms are often
incorrectly completed and tendered late – if at all. This can result in members
of the department getting involved in ‘chaser’ engagement to follow up on
issues with submission. This can quickly produce logjams for smaller companies
and a culture of acceptance for larger businesses that swallow the wastage of
effort as a simple cost of doing business.

Taking the time to understand your unique
timesheet needs and the opportunities in the current marketplace for tailored
care can bring significant benefit to your business…and help your teams keep
their “Just following up” emails to a minimum.

How do
they work?

While there may be differences in the payroll
process between companies, most businesses follow standard timesheet procedure.
This will involve providing the employee with a template or form to record the
hours worked and the facility to add any notes or incidentals that should be
factored in. As standard, this should record when an employee or contractor
starts or ends their day, takes a break, and engages in project specific tasks
when working across a range of clients.

Once this is captured, it is passed to your
internal team to calculate their wages and payroll. This involves making any
required deductions such as National Insurance contributions, student loans,
child maintenance or other values.

When it comes to invoicing, employees are
required to be honest and accurate when it comes to providing their
information. Outside of this, your company is required to carry out a range of
payroll tasks and ensure that their liabilities are accurately calculated, and
the payroll register is fully up to date.

Why do
we need them?

Timesheets forms the backbone of a business for
a number of reasons, these include-

Wage
Management
: Being able to pay employees accurately and in
a timely manner is an essential part of a business and any disruptions can
cause serious issues. This can result in overpayment which may result in morale
damage or underpayment, which can result in frustration for employees or
potential legal action. Issues around payroll or timesheets will often take
time and resource to resolve – making them a high-priority issue for
supervisors and all professionals involved.

Data
Collection
: Capturing accurate timesheet data is
essential when it comes to improving your business approach and providing
accurate estimates for future work. Gathering this data can allow you to
acquire oversight of the realities of real-world costs and play a vital role in
project management. While paper timesheets can be easy for individuals to
complete, ‘going digital’ can allow professionals to complete their timesheets
on smart devices, receive non-intrusive reminders to complete their submission,
and give peace of mind about where they are currently sitting in your payroll
pipeline. This keeps all parties fully aware of the process and reduces bad-feeling
or frustration in the event of delays or other unavoidable issues. 

Efficiency:
Getting timesheet management right takes significant
time and effort. If your business grants employees a high degree of
autonomy, outsources heavily, or has high staff turnover – issues around
timesheet completion can be significant. If your timesheet management actions
are not optimised, this can result in excessive resource expenditure, issues,
or ongoing resource drain as your teams struggle to complete their tasks.

In summary, deploying a digital or cloud-based
solution can make a massive difference when it comes to managing your work and
allow for increased oversight, accuracy, and error reduction when it matters
most.

Sam Allcock
Sam Allcockhttps://www.abcmoney.co.uk
Sam heads up Cheshire-based PR Fire, an online platform that has already helped over 10,000 businesses to grab widespread media coverage on their news at an extremely accessible price point.

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