April 18, 2024

Free employee timesheet template—and 5 reasons to level up


Accurate, on-time payroll is fundamental in an organization and what employees expect from their employer.

If you’re still relying on paper and pencil employee timesheets, you aren’t alone. Here is an example of the the type of employee timesheets customers use when they first come to TCP. You can download it here:

Traditional paper and pencil manual employee timesheet

However, as our customers know, paper employee timesheets require manual data entry, and often, manual calculations, all of which can lead to errors. This means that not only are they chaotic and time-consuming for organizations big and small to manage, but they also have a big financial cost for your business.

In fact, research shows that 49% of employees look for another job after just two payroll errors.

An online time and attendance solution not only improves payroll accuracy but also boosts productivity, supports compliance, and improves employee satisfaction. Read on to learn the benefits of using employee timekeeping software and understand why it’s time to level up from paper timesheets.

5 benefits of leveling up your employee timesheets

1. Save time with fewer manual processes. When employees have to manually track their time using a spreadsheet or paper form, they’re wasting valuable work time. Similarly, when you manually run payroll, you need someone to collect, review, and input data from paper timesheets and calculate across complex rules, all of which can detract from other important work.

In fact, manual time collection and payroll calculations may be costing your organization more than you think. According to the American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC) it can take anywhere from 5-10 days for low-performing organizations to resolve a payroll error. However, when you adopt time tracking software and payroll automation, you regain valuable time for both employees and payroll team members. Instead of manual calculations, you rely on your software to do the legwork while you dedicate time to the issues that matter most.

2. Reduce payroll errors. Managing payroll requires paying different groups of employees according to their established pay rate and hours worked. If your workforce primarily consists of hourly workers, you must take into account all overtime, shift differentials, and leaves to avoid overpayments and underpayments. According to an article published by the American Payroll Association (APA), “Manually keying anything into a system nowadays is an outdated practice. It is also time-consuming and prone to human error.”

Time tracking software reduces the chance of errors by collecting employee data—such as total hours worked, overtime hours, and meal breaks—and making the payroll calculations for you.

You can also configure your time tracking system to notify you when any exceptions require your attention, so you can proactively manage errors before they become an issue. The numbers around time tracking software’s impact on errors speak for themselves:

3. Enhance the accessibility of employee timesheets and records. Using paper files can also make it difficult to promptly access the records you need. If employee records are stored in boxes, you don’t have ready access to the data needed for reporting and decision-making.

With time tracking software, you can store all historical pay information securely and access it at any time. You can also configure your system to grant specific levels of access to different user groups. As a result, payroll managers can access all the payroll information they need and control who can view data or make changes. Accessibility of timesheets and records is also crucial in case of an audit by the Department of Labor (DOL) or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). DOL violations can easily cost organizations hundreds of thousands of dollars, and overtime claims are on the rise. If the thought of a DOL or other audit has you feeling nervous or stressed, it’s time to upgrade your solution.

4. Keep sensitive payroll data secure. Payroll data is highly sensitive, so if you use physical copies of payroll documents, there is a risk that they could get lost or end up in the wrong hands. The right time tracking system keeps employee data secure. With encryption, firewalls, and vendor solutions that reinforce secure systems, you can have the assurance that sensitive payroll data is safe. Three of TCP’s core solutions—TimeClock Plus, Humanity and Aladtec have passed NIST-based security assessment (NIST 800-53) and achieved Texas Risk and Authorization Management Program (TX-RAMP) Level 2 certification, demonstrating compliance with stringent security measures for cloud service providers.

5. Provide employees with self-service options. Modern workers expect self-service access to timesheets and other payroll information. Self-service brings more transparency to time and attendance processes and reduces reliance on paper as the sole means for employees to view their pay history, hours, accruals, and leave requests.

Let timekeeping software transform your processes

Leveling up from employee timesheets to employee timekeeping software simplifies and automates the complex task of tracking employee hours and preparing them for payroll. Without the right tools, organizations are faced with payroll inaccuracies, inefficient workflows, and compliance risk.

TCP provides automated timekeeping as part of a holistic time and attendance solution. We offer a suite of flexible time capture options and robust rules engines that can be configured to the unique needs of each customer—no matter how complex.

To learn more about how TCP can transform your time and attendance processes, download our report, “5 Ways Time and Attendance Boosts Your Bottom Line” or speak with an expert to identify your timekeeping needs and find the best solution for your organization.