Timesheet apps represent the newest iteration in how businesses and contractors track their time. So what do these apps do? What makes a good timesheet app? How do these work with financial systems? What ways are different industries using these apps? Continue reading this article for answers to these questions and a high-level overview of how timesheet apps can benefit your business.
What does a timesheet app do?
Hourly employees, contractors, or other workers who are paid on an hourly basis typically use timesheets to track time worked for payroll calculations or for invoicing billable hours to a client.
Businesses and contractors can also use timesheets to gather data to ensure accurate pricing for services or products. This allows them to optimize their processes by understanding how long it takes to perform specific tasks. Other examples include freelancers or consultants that are required to submit time entries to their clients for billing purposes.
Timesheets can vary in how they look or function. Here are some common examples:
- Punch cards or time cards use either a time clock that may physically punch a card or a digital clock-in/clock-out system that creates the timesheet.
- Point-of-service (POS) systems are used by businesses for employees to log in and log out for timesheet purposes.
- A physical piece of paper is a basic way for employees to write down the hours worked
- Excel spreadsheet or .csv files are basic time tracking tools that can either be processed manually or imported into time management or payroll systems.
- Mobile apps are a way to use smartphones or other devices for employees to complete their timesheets digitally.
As smartphones have grown in popularity, more companies are moving away from traditional forms of time cards, and they are moving toward mobile apps that are more convenient for collecting timesheet data from employees.
Using the native functionality in Android and iPhone mobile devices, employers can engage in real-time tracking of team members’ time. This can also enable their organization to automate additional functions like payroll or paying contract consultants/employees. Mobile apps also open up an opportunity to use new technologies, like the ability to use GPS locations or geofencing that can monitor and track the employee hours spent at a physical job site.
Technology is empowering businesses to become more efficient and many companies are starting to realize productivity gains by moving toward mobile apps for their time tracking.
What are the best elements of a time tracking app?
There are several timesheet apps and time tracking software platforms on the market, but not all of them are created equal. When evaluating your options, here are some of the top features you will want to have in your timesheet app:
- Having multiple employee types is an important feature that lets you differentiate between employee time tracking and contractor time tracking to ensure detailed and accurate billing.
- GPS integration and geofencing capabilities allow your business to automate the time tracking of workers at job sites.
- Security features that are native to iOS and Android, like facial recognition, can be used in timesheet apps to ensure the correct individual is logging time.
- Integrations with your core systems (like payroll or accounting platforms) can help to minimize the effort of processing payroll and paying invoices.
- Flexibility to track time both in real-time and through manual entry (and differentiating between those tracking methods).
- Accessibility on different devices is incredibly important for employees to be able to use both Apple/iOS and Android phones/tablets, as well as web browsers or desktop applications.
When selecting a timesheet app, your business should carefully determine what requirements need to be met for tracking people’s time and select a timesheet solution that is easy and secure for collecting and managing your data.
How can timesheet apps integrate with payroll and accounting systems?
Timesheet software and time tracker apps are most effective when integrated directly with payroll and accounting systems such as ADP, Quickbook, Xero, and others.
By leveraging these integrations, companies ranging from small businesses to enterprise-level clients can automate time tracking processes.
Consider an integration with your payroll and accounting system if your business needs to improve business operations and cut out manual processes. Integrations can significantly help your business save time, effort, and money, while also increasing payroll accuracy.
What are the benefits of digitizing and automating time tracking with a timesheet app?
Moving to a digital strategy for tracking time provides many benefits to a business. Here are three of the top benefits of timesheet apps for business:
1. Streamline project management
From a project management perspective, understanding the allocation of resources is critical to managing businesses’ workflows. If a worker takes more time on a task than expected, it can cause missed deadlines, cost overruns, and other problems. Understanding task timing is critical for keeping projects on time and it gives you the ability to forecast budgets and project estimates more accurately in the future. Timesheet apps will streamline your business processes and improve project management.
2. Avoid losing track of time
Employees and contractors are not always perfect and missed time happens. Timesheet apps can help your business avoid losing track of time. This can be done by automating time tracking with systems that help to ensure that all the billable hours are captured. Advanced capabilities like geofencing or the ability to retroactively validate time can help employees capture all their time worked.
3. Simplify the process for staff
Timesheet apps and digital time tracking platforms make managing multiple employee timesheets or project timesheets a breeze. The insights from having multiple employees or projects aggregated in one location can help to ensure that everyone is billing accurately. For example, if one employee in a group does not have time logged while the others do, there may be missed time. Tracking timesheets for multiple employees and projects at once also streamlines the effort required to process timesheets.
Examples of time tracking apps for business
Now that we’ve covered how you can save time and money with digital time cards, you can start to check out some of the time tracking app examples available today. GoCanvas timesheet apps are accessible right from your mobile device and help businesses to:
- Eliminate data entry and re-entry errors, missing timesheets, and fraud with mobile time-tracking
- Provide visibility into who’s working, who was late, and how many hours have been clocked
- Access time cards anywhere with instant access to digital time tracking apps
With the option to get started for free, you can see how GoCanvas fits your business and consider how it can help you streamline your processes for time tracking and business operations.
Industry Use Cases of Timesheet Apps
Timesheets are used by many different industries. Below are some common examples of how different industries use timesheet apps:
Companies providing construction services use a combination of employees, contractors, and subcontractors on job sites. These individuals are often generating billable events by merely being at a specific job site. By using time tracking apps with geofencing capabilities, construction services can accurately track workers’ timing and hours in an automated fashion.
Construction Timesheet App Template
The Construction Timesheet mobile app helps contractors, sub contractors, trade specialists and others fill out construction timesheets to track when they start work each day, which project they are working on, their lunch break and the ending time. This employee timesheet app is designed for companies that focus on a certain type of work and don’t need to break it down by job phase or category. Additionally, this app calculates the employee’s time automatically (i.e. an in-app time clock), and has the ability to enter and track multiple employees as well.
Field Service Companies
Like construction companies, field service companies often use a combination of employees and contractors to provide services. Time tracking apps can help these workers bill for services more accurately as different types of installation, repairs, maintenance services, or even specific clients can have special pricing or service rates.
Field Service Timesheet App Template
This Field Services Timesheet App makes it easy for workers to access an employees time clock from anywhere in the field. Instead of using complicated time clock software or standard time tracking machines, this easy to use app is accessible using a smartphone or tablet. Perfect for small business owners and others who manage employee time and attendance, this easy to use time tracking app will simplify your payroll processes each month.
For businesses that provide transportation services, coupling time tracking with travel distance can help provide accurate billing. Using these apps also helps ensure that drivers who may be subject to transportation regulations and restrictions are not driving more hours per day than is legally allowed.
Transportation and Logistics Timesheet App Template
This Transportation Timesheet App is the easiest way for truck drivers, trucking services and vehicle transportation companies to track all the most important details of short haul long haul trucking jobs. With the truck driver time card app, you don’t have to worry about losing any of the important daily log details. This app covers a record of the work completed, including dates and times, load details, and road conditions. The truck driver daily log also includes a safety list to ensure that all trucking industry professionals have the right gear on board before hitting the road.
Providers of professional services, such as lawyers, accountants, and consultants, live by the billable hour. Making time tracking as easy as possible to reference different projects or clients can significantly improve billing accuracy and maximize revenue.
Professional Services Timesheet App Example
This professional services timesheet app allows you to track every detail necessary, including company details, consultant information, hourly rate, hours worked, and authorized signatures. This consultant timesheet template documents billable hours through tracking time each day. This time tracker app is an ideal component of effective project management, where this info can be pulled for invoices and weekly timesheets.