Timehseet Automation is here to fix Timesheet Approval woes. Here's How

Timesheet Automation – Guide to Automated Timesheet Approval Process


November 5th, 2018 Employee Timesheet  

Every day, the nightmare that is employee timesheet lurks in every single office corner across the world. Ask any random professional who is supposed to punch in and punch out of their work daily, and they will univocally say that they find timesheet approval process to be unsophisticated and a waste of their time.

Of course, we can’t deny the importance of recording an employee’s hours and the amount of labor they put in during those work hours. But although the intention is noble, the execution is very much homespun.

Thankfully, many workplaces are waking up to the new reality and seeing hope in timesheet automation. These automated HR tools are becoming a norm across all organizations because of the simplicity and convenience that they offer. But before examining the benefits of automated timesheets, let’s dissect a few reasons why traditional employee attendance tracking fails.

What is employee timesheet automation?

Timesheet automation is the process of capturing and tracking employee working hours easily through an application that works on multiple platforms seamlessly (mobile phones, desktop, and browser extensions). Employee timesheet automation simplifies and speeds up timesheet processing and changes the way timesheets travel through the organization to the payroll process.

How to fix your timesheet approval process using automated timesheets

It is a universally agreed sentiment across all working class professionals that they hate timesheet approval process because it is mundane and take forever.

The many problems with timesheet approval process begin right at the point where people are supposed to record their in and out time in the timesheets, which they tend to ignore. You could argue that they are being clumsy for not doing a simple act like clocking in and out of their work hours, which hardly requires a few seconds of their time. However, the blame lies not with the people, but the process.

Filling out time cards look like a trivial act, and maybe that’s why people ignore it without even thinking about it. For example, unlike placing their fingers on a biometric machine – which also doubles up as a security gatekeeping – at their office entrance, people have to grab a pen, find their timesheet card, and consciously fill out their time. There is no guarantee that they are providing accurate information, which kills the whole purpose of having a timesheet approval process. In reality, timesheet tracking system encourages clockwatching culture.

Let’s consider another example to understand the inefficiency of employee timesheet management. A 2015 survey suggests that manual timesheet management and errors cost American employers over 50 million work hours, or about 7.4 billion dollars a day in lost productivity.

Obviously, it isn’t an intentional act on employees’ part. They simply don’t have the eagerness to proactively fill their timesheet cards.

Here are some of the most common reasons that employees cite as their excuse to not fill timesheet tracking cards which uses a boring timesheet template:

  • A timesheet template unintentionally lives up to its name because it’s time-consuming. It’s laborious, slow, and tedious.
  • Proper timesheet tracking is not indicative of productivity. Going by the book, your best employees might look like they are slacking during work hours, while freeloaders might appear to be the brightest employees.
  • Timesheet tracking doesn’t do justice to the long hours that project managers, remote workers, on-site employees, and freelancers spend at work.
  • Organizations that impose rigorous timesheet approval process as part of their workforce management might actually be killing employee motivation.
  • Employees procrastinate to fill their timesheets all the time. They come back to it right before the month ends and bulk-fill their hours, which leads to inaccurate entries.

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Benefits of using automated timesheets

Along with other important aspects of business operations that are taking the digital route to prepare for the future competition, it’s time for all forward-thinking organizations to digitize and automate their timesheet approval process.

The process should keep abreast of the time. When all business processes are moving at breakneck speed, there’s no reason why you should leave the timesheet approval process to suffer through the snail’s pace of manual paperwork.

Automation is not rocket science that needs a lot of IT investment or hi-tech robots; automating timesheet approval process is actually very easy. All you have to do is look for a cloud-based HR Management Software that allows you to create forms, replicate your timesheet culture, and make the app available for your teams to start using it.

The best kind of cloud-based hr automation solutions will inadvertently have a drag-and-drop form designer that allows app admins to create form fields. You can design these fields as data computed through formulas, pre-populated items, or as drop-down menu options.

Once you finish the groundwork of modeling the app, you can automate the entire process without having to come back to it every day. You might need to re-configure certain things as your process scales up or the norms change, otherwise you can just sit back and let the system handle the mundane job of tracking employee hours automatically.

You can also create exceptions or conditions for employees whose timesheet calculations are complex compared to office employees who report daily at their physical office. The automated timesheet app can take care of overtime and holiday work calculations once employees make their entry to the app.

Employees have the advantage of submitting their time hours from their mobile devices while managers can review and approve the timesheet approval requests regardless of where they are and what time of the day it is. Automated timesheets approval process reduces the amount of time needed for timesheet completion by large and hugely eradicates the risk of human error.

If you want to sample how a timesheet automation app can redefine your timesheet management process, sign up for a free demo with Kissflow HR Cloud. In addition to getting full customer support during your trial period, you can also integrate the app with your existing range of software to see how the app fares for your business.

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