6 Things to Look for in a Time Card App

By Brian Sugarman on August 13, 2021
Tags: Business Operations, Data Collection

person on tablet device completing work

Time card apps are growing in popularity to replace the traditional form of punching in and punching out. A digital time card allows employees to record their hours worked by using a mobile app on a phone, tablet, or computer.

Time card apps are helpful for a company’s payroll systems. By recording hours worked through the mobile app, it can sync to your accounting software to initiate payment for your employees. This process runs much more efficiently than paper time cards. Instead of logging hours on a paper form, spreadsheet, or Google Sheet, you can use simple time card apps to collect hours worked and have it synced in real-time for faster payments and less work for your operations staff. 

 

6 Things to Look for in a Time Card App

As a leading provider of mobile forms and apps, GoCanvas has helped thousands of companies to digitize their processes and work more efficiently using time card apps and more. If you’re thinking about going with digital time card apps, this article covers some of the top things to look for when selecting a platform for mobile apps and forms.

 

#1. Simplicity

Time cards should be simple for employees to fill out. The time card template should be easy to complete and time cards can be edited or modified, if needed. Some time card systems will allow you to pre-fill information based on data that is already known. For example, if you are a contractor and billing to a certain client, you may have a unique client ID that is referenced when completing the time card app with data from your CRM or other database. This saves time during the time card process and the goal is to make the process fast for your employees in the field or on a job site. 

 

#2. Mobility 

It goes without saying that your time card apps need to be accessible via mobile device and tablets, even when your employees do not have access to the internet. Time card apps can be completed offline and then synced back to the cloud when WiFi is available again. Mobile time card apps make it simple for anyone to complete their timesheet, and your business does not have to provide the hardware in most cases. Most employees can use their own mobile devices to complete simple time cards, making it easy for them to complete and easy for your business to process. 

Another native feature with a mobile device is GPS tracking. Time card apps can be enabled with the GPS tracking feature to confirm that work has taken place at a specific location. This can help ensure that your team is clocking in and out from the job location and you can have an accurate record of where work has been performed. This can be a hidden feature collected automatically from the mobile device or it can be part of the form submission fields in the digital timecard.

 

#3. Customization

Customization is another important aspect of time card apps. For example, your business may need to bring in specific fields in addition to the standard fields on a timesheet. It’s important that your time card app is highly customizable to account for these unique business needs that you will have. You may have different categories of workers that require different timesheet templates, or you may require timesheets to be filled out on different cadences (daily, weekly) depending on the type of project. Having a high level of customization gives you the flexibility to design your time sheet app templates to your exact requirements.

 

#4. Workflow

Beyond making it easy for employees to fill out their timesheets, apps also help your managers and operations staff with better workflows. Time cards can be automatically assigned to employees, saving your staff from having to manually remind employees to fill out their time cards or track down information. 

Time card apps can also be assigned to multiple people, so if you have a project with multiple contributors, you can have the timesheet roll up with hours worked from the entire team. Once the timesheets are completed, easily collect digital signatures within the app to get managers’ approval. Going digital removes much of the back and forth that is required when dealing with paper forms or spreadsheets. Simplifying workflows can reduce wasted efforts and free up your staff to focus on other work.

 

#5. Automatic Calculations

If you are dealing with paper sheets, Google sheets, or spreadsheets, there’s always the possibility of an unforeseen calculation error. It’s common for these types of mistakes to occur, but they can create additional rework to spot and resolve the calculation error.

Mobile time card apps have built-in calculations, to help your business eliminate manual errors that can occur during paper time card processes. This improves data accuracy and brings efficiency to your business by eliminating the time-consuming process of manually tallying the hours worked by each employee. 

 

#6. Integrations and Analytics

Another important consideration when selecting a time card app is your business needs for its data processes. You will want to decide if an integration between your time card apps and your payroll system like Quickbooks or Sage is necessary for your business. Most time card apps can integrate directly with these systems and other databases, to streamline your processes and sync data between systems in real-time. Instead of manual data re-entry, you can have your information flow from your time card directly into your accounting system for a seamless billing process. This level of automation can help your business operate more efficiently, saving you time and money. 

On the topic of data, another important feature for your business is analytics. Having the ability to run analytics reports on your time sheet data and form submissions will allow you greater visibility into projects and work that is being done. This can help to spot potential issues or inefficiencies across the business, giving you the opportunity to become more data-driven with decisions.