Finishing and submitting timesheets seems like a simple task to do. Yet, most employee timesheet management poses a challenge for businesses, whether they are due daily, weekly or monthly.
Timesheets are very important aspect of the delivery process for professional services organizations for two major reasons:
- They help businesses determine whether resources are being allocated appropriately and are yielding positive returns.
- They enable organizations to provide a comprehensive invoice and report to show clients that they are getting the resources they paid for.
If timesheets are important to any business, shouldn’t the time management procedures be of utmost importance to how you manage your business?
Honestly, nobody likes timesheets! Nevertheless, the inevitable effects of poor timesheet management include:
- Late timesheets that impact cash flow with clients and customers.
- Inaccurate timesheets which will affect due payments to your employees.
- Missing timesheets which might hinder opportunities to invoice customers because your employees haven’t recorded their billable time.
To avoid these problems, timesheet compliance is imperative. When using paper timesheets, there is no way to avoid late entries, employee/manager errors, late/missing time sheets, data entry errors, and input errors.
Let’s look at some problems organizations face with the timesheet management process:
LATE AND MISSING TIMESHEETS
For many years, most companies have used paper time sheets. This resulted in a multitude of difficulties including missing sheets and storage issues. The biggest problem comes down to accuracy, as there are mostly discrepancies between time-worked and time-reported.
There are employees who turn in late timesheets and this can be a challenging problem for employers as well. Sadly, it is the obligation of the employer to pay employees on the agreed payday even without a submitted timesheet . There is no law that allows an employer to withhold payment due to missing timesheets.
A practical way to manage this issue is to have defined policies and procedures for reporting hours worked. Educating your employees on the expectancy for completing the timesheets on time is key to ensuring that you are abiding by wage payment requirements.
You should treat this policy as a disciplinary measure if the behavior continues. Withholding the paycheck to gain compliance may subject the firm to potential claims for unpaid wages.
To prevent this issue, you can upgrade your timekeeping to an automated time tracking system. This method would eliminate any tardiness because it automatically records time, and records would be instantly available to you.
ILLEGIBLE AND INACCURATE TIMESHEETS
It is easier to prevent fraud than to detect it and stop it, particularly with large firms. Furthermore, we always recommend putting in place measures to prevent illegible or inaccurate records from occurring initially. The employer should delegate responsibility for submitting timesheets in a clear format for easy reference and tracking. Where electronic timesheets are used, procedures should also include the following:
- Mandatory password changes on a regular basis.
- Automatically logging out users when their session has been inactive for a specified period of time.
- No more than three incorrect login attempts.
CALCULATION AND MANUAL ENTRY ERROR
As technology advances, the ability to automate the timekeeping process has become easier to implement, simpler to learn, and less expensive. On top of these improvements, the best systems are delivering higher and higher returns on investments due to added functionality.
A calculation error occurs when an employee does not receive the correct dollar amount in a paycheck. If there is a case of an error in the amount of pay, the employee should immediately bring the discrepancy to the attention of their employer for correction.
Once discovered, the department must assess the reason the error occurred and take the appropriate actions. The first step is to confirm that the information entered was correct. If it was correct, a pay error correction process is used to report calculation errors to the payroll department.
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