Finishing and submitting time sheets seem like a simple task to do. Yet, most employees timesheet management pose a perennial challenge for businesses offering technical and professional services 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 includes
- Late time sheets that impact cash flow with clients and customers.
- Inaccurate time sheets 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. It should, but for many professional services firms, it isn’t. So how can time management processes be improved?
First 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, which resulted in a multitude of difficulties including missing sheets and storage issues. The biggest issue 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. Sadly, it is the obligation of the employer to pay employees on the agreed payday regardless of whether a timesheet has been submitted. There is no law that allows an employer to withhold payment until the timesheet has been submitted.
A practical way to manage this issue is to have a defined policy and procedures on the reporting hours worked and the deadlines. Educating your employees on the expectancy for completing the timesheets on time is key to ensuring that you are abiding with wage payment requirements.
You can treat this policy as a disciplinary measure if it continues even after expectations have been communicated. Withholding the paycheck to gain compliance may subject the firm to potential claims for unpaid wages.
As a last resort, you can upgrade your timekeeping to an automated time tracking system that calculates employee’s hours and overtime. This method would eliminate any lateness because it is the simplest alternative to strenuous time card calculations, and attendance 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 in a firm as large as on-time web. We always recommend that accurate measures should be adopted to prevent illegible or inaccurate records from occurring in the first place.
The employer should delegate responsibility for submitting time sheets in a clear format for easy referencing and tracking. Where electronic timesheets are used, procedures should also include the following:
- Users of electronic timesheet systems should be required to change their password on a regular basis.
- The user should be logged out automatically when the user’s session has been inactive for a specified period of time.
- Users should be prevented from logging in to the system after three incorrect attempts.
CALCULATION AND MANUAL ENTRY ERROR
As technology advances at a blazing speed, the ability to automate the timekeeping process has become easier to implement, simpler to learn, and increasingly inexpensive. On top of these improvements, the best of breed 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. The amount could be either more or less than what should have been received and is the result of calculation or manual entry error.
If there is a case of an error in the amount of pay, the employee should immediately bring the discrepancy to the attention of his / her employer so that appropriate corrections can be made as quickly as possible.
Once a pay error is discovered, the department must assess the reason why the error occurred and take the appropriate action as outlined below. The first step is to confirm that the information entered onto the paperwork or in an electronic submission was correct. If it was correct, the pay error correction process is used to report calculation errors to the Payroll.
Calculation errors such as Underpayments, Overpayments and Stop Payment each has its own requirements for address.
Make Timesheets Fun
Make your timesheet submissions fun. Here are some ideas:
- Award the first person to submit their timesheet each day.
- Create a leaderboard of best timesheet submitters throughout the month. You could give point values for different accomplishments, such as first submitted, submitted without errors, Hold a drawing for gift cards for everyone who submits timesheets on time. Reward the top performer at the end of the month or quarter.
- Hold a drawing for gift cards for everyone who submits timesheets on time.
- Make it team-based by rewarding units. Track performance throughout the year and hold an annual recognition party.
Set goals for the company or for teams and celebrate when the goals are reached—then set new goals. We hope this guide was helpful. Please visit our website on-timeweb.com to know more about our services.