Timesheets Don’t Need to Be Your Enemy
Timesheets can be a manager’s worst nightmare but they don’t have to be. There are ways to make timesheet management more efficient and payroll duties much easier. Here are a few simple rules for efficient office timesheet management and time tracking.
Implement an Automated System
There are few things that bore employees more than filling out a manual timesheet. By automating the process, you’re saving hours of administrative work for employees. You’re also reducing the risk of errors in time reporting. You will save your payroll department time by automating the process, too.
An automated system allows you to utilize a variety of perks. You can choose to have automated reminders for employees, for instance, and easy access no matter where an employee works. Automated timesheets are essential if you are taking advantage of telecommuting or remote working arrangements.
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Utilize a Pin or Security System
One of the best ways to improve timekeeping accuracy is to implement a secure PIN system. This requires employees to enter an identification number or use biometrics to identify themselves when they sign in and out. This avoids the opportunity for fraud that many manual timesheet systems create.
Streamlining the way you compile payroll reports is one of the best ways to save time. Time accounting software can automate the process. It can help you collect timesheets and reduce processing time. Hubstaff is an example of a great software that will simplify the entire process from beginning to end. It will provide you with accurate data to help managers make crucial staffing decisions.
Like anything, timesheet management requires a clear and concise policy. Make procedures easy to follow and be clear about what you expect. Proper communication eliminates misunderstandings and reduces payroll waste. Put clear guidelines in place to cut down on the time wasted explaining procedures to employees later. This will give employees more time for their job responsibilities. It also reduces the likelihood you’ll hear complaints from employees or your payroll department.
Simplify the Process
If it takes employees longer than 10 minutes to fill out their timesheets each pay period, the system is too complicated. Consider implementing a system that keeps employees motivated to track their time. Using a complicated and frustrating system isn’t going to do the trick. If your system invites complaints or seems to take too long, evaluate what’s happening. Explore your options and consider using time tracking software.
Use Timesheets as a Management Tool
Instead of micromanaging timesheets, use the data that seems “off” to your advantage. Employees should not be in fear of getting into trouble for what’s on their timesheet—unless they are committing blatant fraud. Instead of scolding employees, use the information gleaned from timesheets to identify problems and fix them.
It’s important for managers to understand that despite the automation of timesheet tracking, there are still humans involved. Not all projects are going to take a uniform amount of time. If you spot an issue, use it as an opportunity to evaluate the workflow and determine if there’s room for improvement. Keep in mind that it might only have been a single instance of time overrun.
It can be a struggle, but giving up a bit of control and choosing not to track every single thing can actually produce better results. Managers who limit or merge the number of items tracked on a timesheet end up with better data that is easier to evaluate. For instance, instead of asking employees to separate face-to-face meetings and video conferences into separate categories, create a catch-all category for staff meetings. You’ll always have the ability to be more specific later on a case-by-case basis, but there’s no sense in complicating the process from the beginning.