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How to Avoid the Biggest Timesheet Mistakes

Break These Bad Habits To Keep Customer’s Trust

The importance of timesheets⏰ can’t be ignored, as they help to streamline operations and monitor employee productivity🤩. In the fast-paced world of running a business, timesheets are ideal for keeping everyone accountable and play a crucial role in project management, payroll processing and ensuring compliance with labor laws✅. 

In some cases, timesheet mistakes are made which can be detrimental to the flow of operations. In this blog, we’ll uncover some common errors and explore ways to prevent them from occurring👌. This way, your business will continue to thrive, you’ll save money, and operations will run smoothly. 


Source: LinkedIn 

The Importance of Timesheets⏰📃

Timesheets are arguably the unsung heroes of the business world, and the role they play should not be underplayed🦸‍♀️. Timesheet management is vital, as an effective job can help a business in more ways than one. 

Here are some examples:

Effective Progress Trackers📈

One of the key reasons why timesheets are so important is because they track the progress of employees. They allow managers to get an insight into how much time is spent on each task. From there, a manager can take steps to optimise workflow, identify any issues or bottlenecks and track the progress of each employee. 


Source: Zoomshift 

Billing Accuracy💵

Employees fill out timesheets to keep track of their work hours, making it useful for billing and invoicing purposes. Precise timesheets are crucial to a business as they can help avoid any mistakes in payment and foster trust and positive relationships in the workplace. 

Allocation and Planning🤔

Looking at the work of each employee, their productivity, and the time taken for tasks can help future resource allocation and planning. This, in hand, will help operations run smoothly and efficiently.

Compliance with Labour Laws👮‍♂️

Accurate records of employee work hours can help businesses ensure they adhere to legal requirements and labour laws. Laws are constantly evolving, which is why keeping track of all employees and their working hours is essential. 

Overall, timesheets are more than just recording work hours⏳. They’re vital in keeping business operations running smoothly and efficiently and ensuring everything is legal and tracked. 

Common Timesheet Mistakes🙅‍♀️

In order to avoid common timesheet mistakes, looking at common errors is essential. That way, businesses can make a conscious effort to avoid them and keep all processes running as smoothly as possible. 

Here are some common mistakes:

Inaccurate Time Tracking👎

One of the main errors that occurs within businesses is inaccurate time tracking. This is incredibly common, especially in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. Sometimes, employees will forget to log their hours, creating issues later down the line. By doing this, their pay may be inaccurate. 

Time Theft👮‍♂️

Time theft is when an employee may exaggerate their hours, insinuating that tasks have taken up more of their time. The result of this is that employees can be paid more or less for the time that they work. An employee might log their break, making it appear that they’ve worked more than they have.

Calculation Errors🤔

Calculation errors are common timesheet mistakes, and unfortunately, they happen often. According to QuickBooks, “80 percent of employee timesheets have to be corrected.” Whether it’s because of a typing error or handwriting that’s hard to read, it can have a significant impact. Rounding errors, up or down, can also cause calculation issues, as it can lead to a miscalculation of wages.

employee timesheets

Source: Quickbooks 

Buddy Punching🥊

Buddy punching is a term that refers to one employee clocking in on behalf of another, and it’s actually a form of fraud. The person filling in the timesheet for another employee may put in different time entries, like a false arrival or leave time. It’s estimated that “Over 75% of companies lose money from buddy punching”, according to the American Payroll Association Society. 


Source: PredictiveHR 

Overtime Abuse⏱

In some instances, employees might log their standard work hours as overtime on a timesheet. As a result of this, they might receive a higher salary that they’ve not actually worked for. If an employee doesn’t monitor their overtime correctly, it may impact a timesheet. 

These common timesheet mistakes happen all the time, and that’s why acknowledging and addressing them is so important. Once businesses are aware of the issues that might arise, they can take steps to ensure they avoid them🤝. 

How to Avoid Timesheet Mistakes⭐️

Taking steps to avoid timesheet mistakes can help your business continue to run efficiently and keep your operations streamlined. Whether you use paper timesheets or digital time-tracking software, you can implement strategies and cultivate a culture of effective time tracking. 

Here are some tips on how to avoid timesheet mistakes:

Implement Effective Time Tracking Tools🔧

Thanks to the internet and modern technology💻, there are many tools available to aid successful time tracking in a business. Consider your options and important factors, like the different features and scalability, and ensure it’s user-friendly. Make sure the system you choose aligns with your organization and meets the specific needs of the company. 

Tommy offers effective timesheet software that comes with a range of features to streamline your processes. The software highlights anomalies like overtime, manual edits, unscheduled time, and more. It also offers you the chance to review, edit, and approve the timesheets, saving you from hours of payroll headaches💆‍♀️. 


Source: eBillity 

Create Clear Deadlines and Expectations📆

As a manager, setting clear deadlines and expectations of when you want timesheets filled in is essential. This will help staff remain on top of it and work towards the deadline, whether it’s weekly, monthly, or bi-weekly; set up an automated reminder system that provides gradual reminders in the time leading up to the submission. This will help to avoid any procrastination or missed deadlines⏳. 

To help business operations, set the deadline so that it matches up with the payroll or any project timelines. This way, you can assess the timesheets, identify any issues or strengths, and reallocate depending on that. 

Provide Education and Training👨‍🏫

Taking the time to educate your employees about not only how to use a time tracking system but the importance of it, will encourage them to make it as accurate as possible. Enlighten them about the significance of tracking their time and how it can benefit them and the company as a whole👍. If they understand the reasoning behind accurate time entries, they’ll be more likely to take responsibility for their personal recordings. 

Furthermore, if you decide to implement any new time-tracking software, a timesheet app, or a new system, taking the time to train them can help enhance their confidence. This will ensure they understand how to fill it in accurately. 

Regularly Review the Timesheets👀

By regularly reviewing the timesheets and remaining on top of your employee’s submissions, you can flag any potential issues. Take the time to look through the timesheets and notice any errors, inconsistencies, or reoccurring problems that come up. If your employees know that management is checking their sheets, they’re more likely to be accurate and conscious of any mistakes✍️. 

You can also use this reviewing process to provide helpful feedback if necessary. You might discover that more training is required, and if so, you can take the steps needed to organize it. 

Promote Effective Timekeeping Practices⏰

As a manager, it’s essential to take the time to promote good timekeeping practices and allow your employees to reflect on their time management skills. This will improve employee productivity, as well as the success of the business📈. 

For example, promote the importance of regular break times, like lunch breaks🍎 or well-being walks, to enhance engagement. Time-blocking techniques and a lack of multitasking can also help employees focus on one task at a time, improving their motivation and sense of achievement when complete. Statistics show that employee multitasking can reduce an organization’s productivity by 27.5%.


Source: Zoomshift 

Implementing these strategies in your business operations can improve the flow, accuracy, and efficiency of timesheets. Once you acknowledge any potential issues that may arise, you can minimize them as much as possible. This, in hand, will streamline your processes, enhance accuracy, and ensure all time tracking is strategic and helps the business as much as possible🤝. 

Tommy offers efficient timesheet software, employee scheduling software, and more features that help enhance a business and the efficiency of its employees🤩. For more information, check out our website and learn how to improve team communication within your business for optimum success.