Timesheet

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A timesheet (or time sheet) is a method for recording the amount of a worker's time spent on each job. Traditionally a sheet of paper with the data arranged in tabular format, a timesheet is now often a digital document or spreadsheet. The time cards stamped by time clocks can serve as a timesheet or provide the data to fill one. These, too, are now often digital.

Use[edit]

Originally developed for an employer to determine payroll, timesheets are not just for payroll any more. Timesheets may record the start and end time of tasks, or just the duration. It may contain a detailed breakdown of tasks accomplished throughout the project or program. This information may be used for payroll, client billing, and increasingly for project costing, estimation, tracking and management.

Some companies provide web-based timesheet software or services that provide a means to track time for payroll, billing and project management. One of the major uses of timesheets in a project management environment is comparing planned costs versus actual costs,[1] as well as measuring employee performance, and identifying problematic tasks. This knowledge can drive corporate strategy as users stop performing or reassign unprofitable work.

Time cards[edit]

An ADP Model 4500 timecard reader

Factory workers often have a "time card" and "punch in" by inserting their card into an automatic timestamp machine (called a time clock or bundy clock) when starting and ending their work shift.

Advantages[edit]

Time tracking can lower costs in 3 ways: by making payroll processing more efficient, by making costs visible so you can lower them, and by automating billing & invoicing.

Time tracking can increase revenue through automating billing, which tends to make it easier for a company to get correct invoices out for all hours worked by consulting staff. This speeds up payment and eliminates the hassles of 'dropping' bills.

By lowering costs in 3 ways, and increasing revenue in one way, timesheet management technologies that are web-based can improve the health of companies.

In project management, timesheets can also be used to build a body of knowledge about how much effort tasks take to develop. For example if developing a training plan has historically taken a month, then it can be assumed that creating a new one will take a month. Also most timesheet software has the ability to track resource costs and project expenses to allow for better future budgeting.

For the HR function, the time spent on activities by individuals can be analyzed over a period of time and categorized into broad types. Based on the outcome roles could be realigned.[2]

Disadvantages[edit]

  • Prone to human error.
  • Repetitive.
  • Stressful to employees when used inflexibly.
  • Rounding errors (12:27:34 is not the same as 12:30) Although Federal law in the USA requires that if employers round up when you clock in, they must round up when you clock out. So in this case it is not a disadvantage to the employee's pay calculation. It is only a disadvantage for accuracy

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Measuring Project Health Neville Turbit, January 1, 2008
  2. ^ "Timesheet – its purpose, use and importance". itknowledgeexchange. Retrieved 19 December 2014.