Timesheets Verses Time Tracking – What You Need to Know!

Let's face it, if you can not measure it, then you've got absolutely no way to control it. This adage is true for most things, but none more so than for time, which is why there is such a huge timesheet industry.

But what's involved when you collect time, and why should a business bother with this process. What are the pros and cons, and are there any pitfalls? Lots of questions which is why this paper will focus on the main types of data collection, and the possible choice you should make for your business.

So why bother collecting time in the first place. This is really the crux of the matter, and when you get down to it, there are many reasons.

1. So you can correctly bill your clients for the work you've done. For example, if you've spent 2 hours re-designing a web page, then you need to bill your client for those 2 hours of your time, else you will not get paid. You could of course have a fixed cost, which also works, but in general most business charge by the hour.

2. Process improvement is another key reason why you should be collecting time data, using a decent time tracking software, or at the very least a simple timesheet solution, like pen and paper. However, read on as there are ways to collect time, and then there is the way.

3. Theft of time is possible the most compelling reason for some organizations to collect time – so the effectiveness of their employees can be measured, and the lazy ones weeded out. Harsh, but a fact of life.

Let's take a look at three simple ways to measure time.

1. Online Timesheets: A variant to the Site Timesheet system (below), whereby a typical user may logon on to a centralized server, using their web browser, and enter their time usage into a live web page.

2. Site Timesheets: Timesheets are a favourite and go back years and years, quite possible even to the birth of the modern industrial era with Mr. Henry T Ford and rationalization. Modern timesheets are electronic these days, and the onus is on the user to complete the timesheet when prescribed.

3. Time Tracking Software: If you want to jump to what's hip and modern then today its time tracking solutions. Time tracking is a more modern approach to the problem of measuring time. Instead of completing timesheets, the process is automated in software, allowing the user to focus on the job at hand.

3 different ways to measure time, but are they all the same? Do they have the same pros and cons? /

Regrettably, the answer is no. For all types of timesheets, be that online timesheets or pen and paper, there are some inherent problems, especially when juxtaposition against time tracking solutions.

For example, relying on your staff to complete a timesheet is still very much a manual process be that paper or electronic. You still have to say what you've been doing, who the job was for and how long it took you. While very popular with service industries, this technique is very poor at capturing all the time used within a business setting, and can suffer as much as 30 to 40% loss in productivity.

The alternative, would be time tracking software solutions. This as a method of time attendance, has none of the drawbacks and inherent problems long associated with timesheet software, in general gathering more accurate data, giving a more meaningful insight into the business using the software.

In all, when you come to make a choice between electronic timesheets, or possibly even online timesheets, do be sure to checkout the latest in computing technology, and test drive the more modern time tracking solutions, you may find the experience more worth while than you would think.