Timesheet Management: How to Create & Manage Timesheets


Timesheet management is an essential part of human resources and business management. Time management is also critical to project management. Whatever type of work you do, if there are teams or employees, then you need a timesheet for time tracking and expense tracking.

Using an employee timesheet is only part of timesheet management. Before we get into how to manage timesheets and the timesheet management software that can help you do this more efficiently, let’s define some of the terms to get a better understanding of timesheet management.

What Is a Timesheet?

A timesheet is a physical or electronic document that’s used by an employer to track the time of an employee over a period of time. It’s usually laid out in a data table that records the time an employee has spent on tasks, projects or clients. While timesheets originated as paper documents, they’re now almost exclusively used in spreadsheets or digit tools.

Timesheets serve several purposes. They allow a business to accurately amount the time its workers are spending on their tasks. Timesheets also instruct payroll in the process of compensating those workers for their work. But businesses also benefit from timesheets as they help them meet deadlines, stay on budget and manage time more efficiently.

ProjectManager is award-winning timesheet management software with secure timesheets that streamline the payroll process and allow managers to track the amount of time their teams are spending on tasks. Setting up timesheets is easy. You can add tasks directly from different projects, copy the timesheet from the previous week or auto-fill timesheets. Timesheets are securely locked when submitted for approval from admins, who can approve and also track time to make sure the work is being done as scheduled. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

ProjectManager's timesheet
ProjectManager’s secure timesheets streamline payroll and keep projects running on schedule. Learn more

What Is Timesheet Management?

Timesheets record the working hours that employees have spent on their tasks. But timesheets by themselves are only so powerful in terms of helping a business run better. For this to happen, timesheets must be incorporated into timesheet management.

Timesheet management is the monitoring of employee timesheets and the analyzing of those timesheets for time-tracking purposes. This is achieved through the digitalized and automated timesheet software that boosts efficiency by connecting teams to managers.

Why Is Timesheet Management Important?

Timesheet management is important for employees and employers alike. Employees get an accurate and regular paycheck. If they’re using a digital timesheet management tool, then they’re also gaining efficiency as they don’t have to waste valuable time manually filling in their timesheets.

For employers, the benefits are many. For one, timesheet management can help reduce wasted time by allowing employers to identify where employees aren’t working productively. They can then be more selective about which tasks to assign and how to ensure those tasks that are assigned are optimized.

Employees like the simplicity of timesheet management and the feeling is shared by human resources (HR). The HR department gets the information they need to quickly and easily calculate employee pay and manage PTO.

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Timesheet Template

Use this free Timesheet Template for Excel to manage your projects better.

When a business charges by the hour, timesheet management ensures their billing is accurate. If you’re not recording hours worked, then it’s impossible to bill clients, especially if you’re using freelancers. Timesheet management not only tracks those hours but gives you accountability when showing clients where their money went.

In terms of project management, the importance is also many-sided. For example, you can track performance and identify who’s working more efficiently, which can help with making assignments for the most productive members of your team. Plus, you can view who is working on what, who is available and how far team members are in completing their tasks.

Timesheet management also helps with managing estimated costs in projects. Using the above information on team performance allows managers to make more accurate cost estimates when starting a budget for a new project.

Timesheet Management Steps

There’s a process for managing timesheets. These timesheet management steps are applicable to paper-based timesheets, electronic timesheets and timesheet software. Whichever type of timesheet you use, timesheet management allows you to get the most out of your timesheets. Start by following these steps.

1. Assign Work to Your Team Members

Begin by looking at your schedule and the available hours of your team. If you have profiles on each team member, that will help you to quickly identify the best person for the job and, if they’re free, assign them tasks for the week. Be sure to calculate the hours assigned to avoid overtime.

2. Keep Track of the Time They Spend on Tasks

Once everyone has their assignments, you’ll want to start time tracking their activities. This allows managers to monitor their work and make sure they’re proceeding on schedule. Depending on the type of timesheet you’re using, this can be done automatically or it’ll have to be manually added to the timesheet.

3. Review Their Timesheet Submittals

Timesheets need to be secure, which is why timesheet management software is preferred. It has the tools to lock a timesheet once submitted, which can then only be opened by an authorized timesheet approver. This person will review the timesheet and ensure it’s been filled out correctly.

4. Approve Timesheets for Payroll Processing

If the timesheet is correct, it’ll be submitted to payroll. Again, if you’re using timesheet management software, that individual timesheet you’re approving will be locked to ensure security as it’s passed on to payroll to avoid any tampering. Payroll will then process the timesheet.

5. Save Timesheets for Future Reference

All timesheets should be archived for a couple of reasons. One, management will want to have a record of their employees’ pay in case there’s a dispute, then the timesheet can be retrieved and reviewed to resolve any issue. Second, as noted, old timesheets are valuable as historic data when researching costs for future projects.

Timesheet Template

This timesheet template for Excel is ideal for any type of business that employs hourly employees. It helps you keep track of your team members’ work hours and calculate their pay based on their hourly rate.

timesheet template for Excel

What Is Timesheet Management Software?

We’ve mentioned timesheet management software a few times, but haven’t defined it. Timesheet management software is a digital tool that controls the timesheet process, while also monitoring and analyzing it to find ways to work more efficiently.

Unlike paper timesheets or even electronic spreadsheets, timesheet management software gives employees more free time to focus on their job and not have to do as much paperwork. While it provides their employers with a window into their productivity to help them better manage workers.

That’s just the broad strokes. Timesheet management software improves payroll processing by tracking the workflow for payroll approval. It also ensures the accuracy of the data to avoid any errors in payroll and, at the same time, keeps the payroll process moving smoothly.

It can be a work management tool by helping managers record the start dates and end dates for the tasks they assign to their teams. This allows managers to see which tasks are taking more time to complete than the others. From that information, they can identify bottlenecks and other issues that are delaying work and resolve them.

Timesheet management software also acts as employee time tracking, as noted above. Once you have an employee schedule done, you can use timesheet management software to track the amount of time it’s taking them to complete their tasks. This will help managers track progress and allocate resources as needed to stay on track.

If your time is distributed and you are managing remote employees, timesheet management software is essential as it provides accountability. When managers aren’t in the same office as their employees, they can still monitor their team’s work through timesheets. That ensures everyone is working at capacity and keeping up with the project schedule.

ProjectManager Is a Timesheet Management Tool

ProjectManager is award-winning project management software with timesheet management features that has timesheet tracking. Our online timesheet software helps you keep track of your team’s project tasks whether they’re in the same building, on the job site or working from home. Use our secure timesheets to add efficiency to your payroll process and get time-tracking features to keep your project on track. Our timesheets seamlessly integrate with all our other project management features to provide users with all the tools they need to manage payroll and projects.

Use Multiple Task Management Tools

Timesheets are also a task management tool, but only one of many featured on our software. We have multiple project views, such as Gantt charts, kanban boards, task lists and more, all of which use robust task cards. Each task card tracks progress, sets priority and adds tags to make them easier to discover. You can comment and add files to foster collaboration. Another feature is workflow automation to free of busywork, while task approval settings ensure that only quality deliverables move forward. A summary page shows all your tasks in one place, including a workload chart and more.

ProjectManager's task card
Get Real-Time Tracking With Project Dashboards & Reports

Timesheets provide a window into your team’s tasks and what percentage complete they are. But that’s only one of the tracking tools on our software. Use the real-time dashboard for a high-level overview. It’s like a status report whenever you want it, showing time, cost, workload and more in easy-to-read graphs and charts. Unlike lightweight tools, there’s no time-consuming setup. It’s ready when you are. When you want to get more in-depth data, use our customizable reports. You can quickly generate reports on timesheets, portfolio status and more. Each can be filtered to show only the data you want to see and then shared across a variety of formats to update stakeholders.

ProjectManager's timesheet report filter

Our tool goes well beyond just offering dynamic timesheet management. There are risk management tools to identify and track issues and resource management features that help you set team availability and balance their workload to keep them productive. Our collaborative platform connects teams wherever or whenever they work and allows managers to track their progress and performance in real time. Why just get a timesheet management tool when you can have a fully loaded project management solution?

ProjectManager is online project management software that helps teams plan, manage and track their work in real time. Get all the features you need to manage your project and timesheet management tools that keep your payroll processes moving forward without a hitch. Join teams at companies as varied as Avis, Nestle and Siemens who are using our software to deliver success. Get started today with ProjectManager for free.