TrainRocket.com helps you document every process and policy in your business so you can onboard, train, and scale faster.

Get started with TrainRocket.com for FREE!


For any business, accurate tracking of work hours is an important part of day-to-day business. If you don’t track your employees’ time, you could be overpaying them. While most businesses have an honor system, it’s important to be mindful of employees who may try to take advantage. You don’t have to let that be your business or organization.

Many businesses also rely on having an accurate way of recording the hours their employees spend on client projects. It’s important that you choose a tracking template that can help you accurately track time in whichever manner is most logical, depending on your business function.

Some employers prefer a time card template that allows plenty of room for comments, notes and even project codes.

There are a variety of factors to consider when you’re considering the use of timesheets

Blank timesheets and timecards can be used to record employee work hours. Payroll errors are surprisingly common, especially with companies that have a large workforce. You might not be able to know it, but accurate accounting records will allow you to know whether or not you’re overpaying employees. It’s also possible that inaccurate records could cause people to not be paid enough and eventually even lead to high turnover rates.

Timesheets are used to resolve disputes. An employee may claim they worked more hours than they actually did, or did not get paid for time that they supposedly worked. Maybe they will clock a few additional minutes to their timecard without verifying with a supervisor to determine if it’s appropriate. Some employees will try to take advantage of you. They might even threaten to sue you if you do not consider them for a promotion. Without a paper trail, you’re liable to lose credibility.

When you’re tracking time, you can accurately track overtime. Any hours over 40 that your non-salaried employees work requires you pay them time and a half. Ask your local government about any additional requirements when it comes to overtime. You should document every overtime hour so you can accurately track your time.

Which Timesheets Are Best For Businesses?

A basic template can get you started if you’re only going to use it to track employee hours. If you want to track your staff’s hours, a basic paper template will give you an easy way to do it. Many businesses have found that it is useful to keep the original timesheet for at least one year, but preferably much longer, for auditing purposes. Your lawyer will let you know where the law stands when it comes to this paper.

The accounting department can’t do payroll without the timesheets, so make it clear to your workers that you need it on time. Timecards are used in most workplaces, and most workers have to think about time management and calendars. Your employees want to be paid, and that’s why they turn in their timecards on time every week.

You may need a different template for time tracking if you only want to track time spent working on your own projects. Some businesses have their employees use a project code or acronym to indicate which client’s project they were working on. If you need to track projects, invoicing, or overall organization, this platform works for you. You can use the hours to track the progress of a project and see which phases are taking longer than expected.

Here’s how to manage your project’s time sheets

Conversely, you’ll want to download our time sheet templates for examples of how to fill out the form. Many states require project timekeeping so speak with your legal advisor to learn more about the reporting requirements. Once you’ve gotten everyone on board, using a timesheet template will eventually become as natural as booting up your computer at the start of the day. Here’s a quick checklist of what you need to do to implement project-based time sheet systems.

Keep It Simple, Silly!

The “Keep It Short and Simple” principle is a universal way to approach tasks in the workplace. A simple worksheet crafted from an easy-to-use template, like the ones on this page, should be easy to use and read. The simpler the timesheet, the more effective it will be in helping you show where your productivity actually is. Make sure to stick with a timesheet that consumes no more than 5-10 minutes each day.

Train Your Workers

Many employers think that it’s clear what they mean when they ask for a timesheet, but don’t make this assumption. Make sure everyone is operating on the same page. Every office has different systems but you should make sure that everyone is on the same page. Every time an employee submits an error-filled timesheet, it is a real headache to try to recover the lost data. Many companies rely on employee timesheets because they note which client an employee worked for throughout the day.

Make it Easy to Submit

On Friday, set aside some time and let a specific person review the timesheets. Make sure the person you submit your resume to is easy to find, and that they are at work.

Send Out Reminders

Some people will put off turning in their timesheets, and that can quickly lead to other problems. You should remind your employees that their timesheet is due every week at the beginning of the day. This will help minimize the amount of timesheet submissions that are late.

Use a project code system that’s easy to use

Since your project coding system is used often, you should make it as easy to use as possible. Make sure employees accurately record who they are working for and what the job is in case it needs to be checked or reviewed.

By using a time tracker, you’re able to get a realistic estimate of how long a project will take, and that will allow you to work more efficiently, saving yourself the headache of under or over-quoting when it comes to price. Time tracking can be a great way for you to become familiar with the time it takes to complete certain tasks in a process, which can help you to streamline your process. When you start tracking your time, you may be surprised to see which parts of your regular projects are taking most of the time. It may be time to charge your client more money.

Many frustrations with project management can be eliminated by simplifying the timesheet process. In addition, emphasize the value of completing timesheet templates correctly and on time. Project managers should focus their time on managing their project tasks.

Free Timesheet Template In Excel

More complex timesheets will sometimes call for computerized storage. You can get a timesheet template for Excel from here. Most businesses start out with just using a printed, informal timesheet or timecard to track employee hours. You may need a more advanced solution to deal with accounting needs as your business grows, or if you add more people to your HR or payroll departments. With Excel, you may be able to keep employee hour records as well as track monthly financials for your company stakeholders.

In the end, if your business employs other people, a timesheet template will help you figure out where all their time goes.

Make sure that the people you need most are spending their time on critical tasks, as opposed to menial tasks. You may be surprised as to how time gets spread each day. For example, if you don’t have an in-house tech support person, you’re likely to get tangled up in error codes when dealing with tricky software systems.

A timesheet can help you track where your time is going, and use that information to make improvements to your business. Timesheet tracking is a good way to track what you’re spending your time on and how much time each task takes.

Using time cards will help you track your community service, internships and volunteer time

Many nonprofits use timecards as a way of showing their contributions to society and rewarding volunteers for their hard work. Many organizations choose to use a timecard system to track their volunteers’ hours.

For internships, you must have a timesheet that a manager or executive director can sign off on weekly or biweekly. Many interns are financially independent or relying on their work hours to give them class credit, and if there’s no paper trail, there could be problems for them. Make sure you explain to your interns and volunteers how to log their time. Volunteers often like to help out for more than one year. If you want to be able to vouch for them, keep track of their work hours for at least a year.

Other times, nonprofits will use timesheets to evaluate the performance of volunteers. If you host a gala, think about thanking the volunteers for all their hard work. You must show your financial backers that people will actually value the services you provide.

Time Card Template Examples

Workers can track their hours on a timesheet tracking app while working from home

Many companies employ virtual workers. When they work remotely, it’s easier for mistakes to happen. Many remote employers will ask their employees to log their time using a time tracking app that’s built especially for project management. Workers can see exactly what they are spending their time on, and for whom.

Many project management tools will generate their own timesheets, but the data is usually sent to the standard timesheet template that your other workers use. Some project management apps even take screenshots of employees desktop while they’re working. You need to make sure that your remote employees are actually working on your project, not just surfing the web or chatting on Facebook. The time management app will save a copy of the timesheet and/or screenshots, in case you need to reference them.

Make sure that all remote workers understand how to log their time via timesheets and that you have a proper template so they can fill it out. Proper recordkeeping can help you budget both your time and money.


TrainRocket.com helps you document every process and policy in your business so you can onboard, train, and scale faster.

Get started with TrainRocket.com for FREE!