Employee Timesheets | HR's Guide to Simplified Timesheet Tracking

How to Do Employee Timesheets and Timesheet Tracking in 2019

Is there anything as iconic to the world of work as the punch-card employee timesheet?

Clock-in, clock-out. Rinse, repeat.

But nothing can make you feel more like a machine. You’re only useful when you are on the clock, and your pay might change if you punch time card in a few minutes later, or early. Years later from these early days, some companies use a similar system in the form of biometrics or badge scanners, while others have employees fill out a new sheet of paper every week they are on the job.

Employee Timesheet

But in this impersonal employee timesheet system, is there a way that a different kind machine could actually free the burden of workaround tracking work and bring a little more humanity to everything?

What’s the use of an employee timesheet?

Employee timesheets became important to businesses when we started paying laborers per the time they worked. As early as 1772 BC, the Code of Hammurabi there was a standard yearly wage paid to workers. The New Testament mentions a regular daily wage for laborers in the Roman world.

Sometime near the 1930s, workers began to be paid in hourly rate increments. When wages are paid monthly or bi-weekly, it becomes essential for each worker to use some time tracking tool. The employee timesheet app allows an employer to calculate the number of hours worked for each employee over a certain period on a specific task and also the check-in and check-out time at work.

How employee timesheets work

There have been different forms of employee timesheets over the years. For employers who want a lot of control over the process, the punch card time tracker was supposed to provide a way to collect the hours worked by a large number of workers. But, all workers must wait in line to punch in or punch out, and errors are difficult to correct.

The modern punch-card often takes the form of an electronic machine that records a clock-in and clock-out time either from the employee swiping a card, or taking a biometric reading. These advances have helped to improve the accuracy of recording, but there still might be a long line, and errors are hard to correct.

Other companies switched to a paper form instead of a punch card for employee timesheet tracking. This version lets individuals fill out the timesheet form on their own and submit it at the end of the time period. Paper forms give a lot more flexibility in that they are easy to correct and employees don’t have to wait in line to clock in and out.

However, their accuracy leaves a lot to be desired. If an employee forgets to fill out a form for a pay period, he or she must remember back several weeks and note any days off or planned absences. Paper forms also put more trust in workers to not falsify the form.

These paper forms have also been digitized. Whether it is a spreadsheet or a Google Form, employees can access a link or a shared file and fill out a new version. These new forms usually have a timesheet calculator that takes an accurate reading of the employee hours worked.

The time tracker is usually approved by a manager, and processed by HR and the Finance department.

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Why traditional employee timesheets don’t work anymore

Old paper employee timesheet templates bring too much chaos to the modern office. With the propensity for errors, the slow processing time, and the lack of controls, even digital forms are not something that should be trusted implicitly.

Traditional employee timesheet processing means that every pay period the finance and HR teams have to focus a lot of work on pushing and reviewing either paper or digital forms. They will need to verify signatures and ensure that everything was completed accurately.

This system creates too much stress and confusion, especially when the result is the pay an employee receives. You need something that is completely trustworthy, easy, well documented, and produces data you can use to improve the timesheet management by removing the manual problems in the approval process.

Modern employee timesheets using timesheet tracking software

Automation is the key to taking a step into the modern world. If you want to give your workers the flexibility of filling out their own timesheets, but not make it a burden on them and chaotic around the office every few weeks, this is the timesheet tracking solution you need.

Automation looks at the process and determines where best a system can improve on what’s currently happening. For example, let’s look at a modern employee timesheet app. Starting with a digital timesheet template makes sense, but why do employees need to fill in their name, department, employee ID number, and other details every time? A smart form will capture this information automatically when the user is logged into the system.

Also, the best employee timesheet software should allow the employee to save a template of the employee timesheet form so that he or she doesn’t need to start from scratch every time. If work hours are consistent, it should be very easy to submit the form.

Automated forms also include a timesheet tracker that will configure the number of hours worked and any additional overtime hours to ensure there are no errors. Another task an automation tool helps with is funneling the request through approvals. Rather than the employee trying to get the attention of a manager, an automated timesheet tracking software can send the form directly to a manager as soon as the employee submits it. The manager can view the form and approve it from a mobile device, and then it’s ready for processing.

Automation and modern timesheet management system can continue to work at this stage. If all that needs to be done is making a few journal entries up updating software, rather than have someone on the HR team do that work, it can be automated with easy integration.

Try Kissflow HR Cloud as your employee timesheet software

Kissflow is the ideal timesheet app because it is completely flexible. Whether you are looking for something that gives you more control over the process, or generates key data about how many employee timesheets you are processing, Kissflow is a software you need to try.

The workflow for a timesheet approval process is straightforward as well. Most flow from Manager Approval to HR Processing to Payroll Processing.

Give it a spin for a free trial and find out if the employee timesheet app in Kissflow HR Cloud is right for you. Don’t forget to check out the dozens of other apps as well that you can automate!

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