Last updated
Contemporary time sheet Time sheet.png
Contemporary time sheet

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. Timesheets came into use in the 19th century as time books. To record time in a more granular fashion, time-tracking software may be used.



Originally developed for an employer to calculate payroll, a timesheet can also be used for management accounting. Timesheets may track the start and end times 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 timesheet 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

An ADP Model 4500 timecard reader ADP Model 4500 timecard reader.JPG
An ADP Model 4500 timecard reader

Factory workers may often have a "time card" (also known as punch 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, though other card technologies such as swipe cards have become more prevalent.


Time tracking can reduce costs in three ways: by making payroll processing more efficient, by making costs visible so they can be reduced, and by automating billing and 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 reducing costs in three ways, and increasing revenue in one way, timesheet management technologies that are web-based can improve the health of companies.

In project management, timesheet can also be used to build a body of knowledge about how much effort tasks take to develop. This data helps resource managers to allocate resource accurately. Machine learning is being used to automatically find patterns in timesheet — then using this information to recommend more accurate project plans in the future.[ citation needed ] 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. [ citation needed ]

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

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Accounts payable</span> Money owed by business to its suppliers

Accounts payable (AP) is money owed by a business to its suppliers shown as a liability on a company's balance sheet. It is distinct from notes payable liabilities, which are debts created by formal legal instrument documents. An accounts payable department's main responsibility is to process and review transactions between the company and its suppliers and to make sure that all outstanding invoices from their suppliers are approved, processed, and paid. The accounts payable process starts with collecting supply requirements from within the organization and seeking quotes from vendors for the items required. Once the deal is negotiated, purchase orders are prepared and sent. The goods delivered are inspected upon arrival and the invoice received is routed for approvals. Processing an invoice includes recording important data from the invoice and inputting it into the company's financial, or bookkeeping, system. After this is accomplished, the invoices must go through the company's respective business process in order to be paid.

Electronic data processing (EDP) or business information processing can refer to the use of automated methods to process commercial data. Typically, this uses relatively simple, repetitive activities to process large volumes of similar information. For example: stock updates applied to an inventory, banking transactions applied to account and customer master files, booking and ticketing transactions to an airline's reservation system, billing for utility services. The modifier "electronic" or "automatic" was used with "data processing" (DP), especially c. 1960, to distinguish human clerical data processing from that done by computer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Time clock</span> Device that records working hours

A time clock, sometimes known as a clock card machine or punch clock or time recorder, is a device that records start and end times for hourly employees at a place of business.

Time-tracking software includes programs and applications that allows its users to record time spent on tasks or projects. Multiple industries utilize this type of software, including those that employ freelancers and hourly workers. These include lawyers, freelancers and accountants.

Time and attendance systems (T&A) are used to track and monitor when employees start and stop work. A time and attendance system enables an employer to monitor their employees working hours and late arrivals, early departures, time taken on breaks and absenteeism. It also helps to control labor costs by reducing over-payments, which are often caused by paying employees for time that are not working, and eliminates transcription error, interpretation error and intentional error. T&A systems can also be used to ensure compliance with labor regulations regarding proof of attendance.

Employee scheduling software automates the process of creating and maintaining a schedule. Automating the scheduling of employees increases productivity and allows organizations with hourly workforces to re-allocate resources to non-scheduling activities. Such software will usually track vacation time, sick time, compensation time, and alert when there are conflicts. As scheduling data is accumulated over time, it may be extracted for payroll or to analyze past activity. Although employee scheduling software may or may not make optimization decisions, it does manage and coordinate the tasks. Today's employee scheduling software often includes mobile applications. Mobile scheduling further increased scheduling productivity and eliminated inefficient scheduling steps. It may also include functionality including applicant tracking and on-boarding, time and attendance, and automatic limits on overtime. Such functionality can help organizations with issues like employee retention, compliance with labor laws, and other workforce management challenges.

Project workforce management is the practice of combining the coordination of all logistic elements of a project through a single software application. This includes planning and tracking of schedules and mileposts, cost and revenue, resource allocation, as well as overall management of these project elements. Efficiency is improved by eliminating manual processes, like spreadsheet tracking to monitor project progress. It also allows for at-a-glance status updates and ideally integrates with existing legacy applications in order to unify ongoing projects, enterprise resource planning (ERP) and broader organizational goals. There are a lot of logistic elements in a project. Different team members are responsible for managing each element and often, the organisation may have a mechanism to manage some logistic areas as well.

Professional services automation (PSA) is software designed to assist professionals, such as lawyers, auditors, and IT consultants, with project management and resource management for client projects and utilization rate management for billable staff. This is accomplished by developing metrics to quantify and qualify basic business processes that can then be used to streamline and improve those processes.

Software asset management (SAM) is a business practice that involves managing and optimizing the purchase, deployment, maintenance, utilization, and disposal of software applications within an organization. According to ITIL, SAM is defined as “…all of the infrastructure and processes necessary for the effective management, control, and protection of the software assets…throughout all stages of their lifecycle.” Fundamentally intended to be part of an organization's information technology business strategy, the goals of SAM are to reduce information technology (IT) costs and limit business and legal risk related to the ownership and use of software, while maximizing IT responsiveness and end-user productivity. SAM is particularly important for large corporations regarding redistribution of licenses and managing legal risks associated with software ownership and expiration. SAM technologies track license expiration, thus allowing the company to function ethically and within software compliance regulations. This can be important for both eliminating legal costs associated with license agreement violations and as part of a company's reputation management strategy. Both are important forms of risk management and are critical for large corporations' long-term business strategies.

Expense management refers to the systems deployed by a business to process, pay, and audit employee-initiated expenses. These costs include, but are not limited to, expenses incurred for travel and entertainment. Expense management includes the policies and procedures that govern such spending, as well as the technologies and services utilized to process and analyze the data associated with it.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Accounting software</span> Computer program that maintains account books

Accounting software is a computer program that maintains account books on computers, including recording transactions and account balances. It may depends on virtual thinking. Depending on the purpose, the software can manage budgets, perform accounting tasks for multiple currencies, perform payroll and customer relationship management, and prepare financial reporting. Work to have accounting functions be implemented on computers goes back to the earliest days of electronic data processing. Over time, accounting software has revolutionized from supporting basic accounting operations to performing real-time accounting and supporting financial processing and reporting. Cloud accounting software was first introduced in 2011, and it allowed the performance of all accounting functions through the internet.

Replicon is a Calgary-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) company that makes software for time tracking, advanced project management, task collaboration, resource allocation, and professional services automation. Its online timesheets and cloud clock are an alternative to paper timesheets or punch cards.

Wireless Expense Management (WEM) is an extension of Telecom Expense Management (TEM) services and is the process of managing enterprise's mobile and wireless devices. However, not only auditing invoices are enough to fully manage the device from procurement to retirement. Corporations need to be able to focus on their core business; the larger the business, the more there is to handle on a day-to-day basis. Businesses with a large mobile/cellular/wireless presence also have the expenses associated with them. These companies need professional Telecom Expense Management (TEM) to help them manage their wireless telecom bills accurately and effectively.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">NETtime Solutions</span> Software company

nettime solutions is an American software company based in Scottsdale, Arizona. The company produces time and attendance software for businesses. The software is developed to help companies keep track of labor management data in real time. The software is intended to help compliance with local, state, and federal labor laws. In 2010, the company's software as a service handled over $3 billion in payroll.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">TimeClock Plus</span>

TCP Software is a cloud-based time and attendance workforce management system founded in 1988 to serve the time tracking needs of the restaurant industry. Developed as a DOS application, the system developed into a Windows application, and transferred to be a web application. The software is available under a SaaS and serves 30,000 customers, overseeing millions of customers on the public and private scale.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wave Financial</span> Canadian provider of financial software and services for small businesses.

Wave is a company that provides financial services and software for small businesses. Wave is headquartered in the East Bayfront neighborhood in Toronto, Canada.

Payroll automation refers to the use of computers to produce paychecks and manage benefit payments for a company or community. Often, payroll automation is integrated into the company's enterprise resource planning system that provides an overall view of the company's or community's finances; in addition to payroll, it can manage customer relationships, production, personnel resources, invoicing and accounting.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Time book</span>

A time book is a mostly outdated accounting record, that registered the hours worked by employees in a certain organization in a certain period. These records usually contain names of employees, type of work, hours worked, and sometimes wages paid.

A human resources management system (HRMS) or Human Resources Information System (HRIS) or Human Capital Management (HCM) is a form of Human Resources (HR) software that combines a number of systems and processes to ensure the easy management of human resources, business processes and data. Human resources software is used by businesses to combine a number of necessary HR functions, such as storing employee data, managing payroll, recruitment, benefits administration, time and attendance, employee performance management, and tracking competency and training records.

TimeCamp is a web-based application launched in 2009 by Kamil Rudnicki, a programmer and founder of Time Solutions, to track the activity of computer users. The application is dedicated either to freelancers or teams. The tool is a time tracking software to invoice the employees' work based on an hourly rate, measuring the work effectiveness and project management.


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