A Comprehensive Guide to Timesheets

Brought to you by Replicon, the Time Intelligence® Company

What is a Timesheet?

A timesheet is a data table that managers can use to track how much time an employee has spent on a particular project, task, activity, or client. Employees make a time entry when they start and end a task. This information is then used to bill clients, assess labor costs, and process payrolls. Traditionally, businesses used paper-based timesheets or online spreadsheets to record employees’ time. Today, modern businesses use timesheet software to capture and track time with prebuilt or customized templates against activities.

what is a timesheet

How Does a Timesheet Affect a Business’s Bottom Line?

Time is a strategic asset for any business. A 1,000-employee company has about 2 million hours at its disposal each year. Yet, most of them don’t know how their employees spend their time or how much their time costs the company. It’s mostly because time tracking is scattered across various platforms including ERP, HCM, CRM, payroll solutions, project management systems and more. The fragmented data make it difficult to connect and share the information for accurate client billing, costing, and payroll processing.

Time feeds into every business metric including pay, cost, billing, productivity, profitability and more. So, a business needs to understand where that time is spent to identify inefficiencies, revenue leakages, and make strategic decisions to drive business growth.

Agile, scalable and configurable timesheets help organizations to accurately track their time and enable

  • project managers to meet deadlines within budget
  • accounting teams to generate accurate client bills and payroll
  • compliance teams to generate accurate audit trails.

What is a Timesheet Software?

A timesheet software allows employees to record their time spent on projects, tasks, and activities accurately to automate payroll and client invoicing. A cloud timesheet software is flexible, configurable, user-intuitive, and eliminates administrative hassles. It helps managers track time spent by employees on each task to keep the project on schedule and within the budget.

timesheet software

Free Timesheet Templates

Replicon’s comprehensive project time tracking suite provides a single source of truth for all your project costing or client billing needs. The cloud-based timesheet is configurable, scalable, and allows users to enter time in real-time. If you’d like to explore all the features and functionalities sign-up for a free trial.

Otherwise, if you’d like to download our free printable timesheet templates, you can get access to customizable daily, weekly, and monthly timesheets. These templates allow you to capture the number of hours worked in a day just by entering your login and logout time.

monthly timesheet template

Download monthly timesheet template for free.

daily timesheet template

Download daily timesheet template for free.

weekly timesheet template

Download weekly timesheet template for free.

biweekly timesheet template

Download our biweekly timesheet template for free.

project timesheet template

Download our project timesheet template for free.

Must-have Features of Timesheets

Configurable Timesheet Software


Not all timesheets are made equal. Every organization has different needs for time tracking . While a few want simple in/out punches, a few others want time entries against projects, activities, or custom fields. A fully customizable timesheet software allows you to create multiple timesheet templates and assign them to appropriate user profiles. You can even choose to pre-fill the timesheets with either the user’s previous timesheet data or their shift schedule, encouraging user adoption.

Intuitive User Interface

Modern and user-friendly timesheets improve adoption and reduce errors. A simple interface makes time entry easy and fast without causing any confusion. Easy-to-read dashboards help managers to identify trends and improvement opportunities.

Intuitive User Interface
Agile Timesheets for Quick Billing


Typically, timesheets are submitted at the end of the week or month, delaying the financial processes for projects that are completed early in the period. Billing managers wait for the complete timesheet to be filled and approved for starting client billing or payroll processing. Agile timesheets enable employees to submit their timesheets as and when they complete a project, giving project managers complete visibility into the project progress and enabling instant approvals of timesheets for quick billing.

Employee Timesheet with Validation Rules

Legislation, collective bargaining agreements, or industry practice may restrict the number of hours an employee can work and what she/he needs to be paid. So, you need a solution that lets you manage work hours exceptions, validations, and adjustments on one unified platform. For instance, you might want your employees to record 40 hours per week and at least six hours a day. When a timesheet is submitted, the solution must check for these conditions to highlight any non-compliance that can lead to costly payroll errors.

Validation Rules for Timesheets
Timesheet Approvals and Notifications

Intelligent Approvals and Notifications

The timesheet should ease the burden of your approving managers. The ability to define dynamic approval workflows and route timesheets based on real-time data validations while looping in project managers, supervisors, and other stakeholders helps streamline the approval process. Real-time alerts and notifications on both desktop and mobile devices allow managers and supervisors to review and approve requests in time.

Mobile Timesheet

Remote teams and mobile employees need access to timesheets anytime, anywhere, to quickly enter time ― whether it is for attendance management, internal project costing, online billing of clients, or managing shared services resources. The ability to add comments and submit your work directly from your iOS device while it’s still fresh in their mind increases the accuracy of the timesheet. Mobile app also enables managers and supervisors to view employee hours and approve timesheets, time off, and expenses for their teams instantly.

Timesheet Mobile App
Touchless Cloud based Time Clock

Touchless Cloud Clock

Employees returning to the office space after the pandemic expect a contactless way to punch at arrival, breaks, and end of shift. Touchless employee time clock with features like facial recognition and voice commands allows your employees to simply walk up to their time clock and automatically punch in without touching any clock or clock surfaces. A sophisticated combination of both facial recognition and voice-assisted technology reduces the risk of exposure to the virus, encouraging your employees to safely resume punching in and out without fear.

Project Timesheets

Timesheets help gain real-time visibility into actual spend and track it against estimates to quickly identify overspends for course correction. Project managers can define estimated costs against each task to understand which ones are consuming more resources than what’s allocated.

Built-in Labor Compliance for Timesheets
Application Integrations with Timesheet


Share timesheet information with your CRM, ERP, HR, and accounting tools. Seamless exchange of data ensures accurate invoicing of clients, and easy reimbursement of employee labor costs and vendor payments.

Applications and Advantages of Timesheets

While timesheets are primarily used to process accurate payrolls, there are many other use cases that your organization can benefit from.

Payroll and Labor Compliance

Payroll Processing and Labor Compliance

Accurate timesheets powered by streamlined approvals, prebuilt pay rules, and gross pay workbench reduce the administrative overhead and accelerates payroll processing. A preconfigured global pay rule library helps to manage overtime, meal breaks and other statutory labor laws. With the fully automated pay calculations, you can always be confident that you are paying right.

Project and Client Billing

Project Billing

Timesheets are the best way to show your customers how efficiently you handle their projects. Timesheets let them see how much time your team dedicated to the project and serve as proof of how accurate your billing is. Agile timesheets enable your team to send timesheets for approval as soon as the project is completed, enabling faster billing.

Accurate Costing and Internal Chargebacks

Accurate Costing and Internal Chargebacks

Our configurable timesheets capture the information as per your shared services needs to enable your organization with accurate internal chargebacks. It’s customized to differentiate between project/admin hours and allocate them to internal clients.

Payroll and Labor Compliance

Labor Cost Capitalization

Categorize your project hours and costs into capital expenditure (CapEx) and operational expenditure (OpEx) based on your business needs. To allow your team members to capture additional information, timesheets can be designed to accommodate comments and attachments, giving supervisors detailed context and transparency for consolidation and audits. The advanced business validations reduce errors on timesheets and calculation of CapEx and OpEx.

R&D Tax Credits

R&D Tax Credits

If your business is set up in regions like the UK where the government provides R&D Tax Credits as incentives to promote research and development, a versatile timesheet can help you to capture and categorize all R&D project hours and costs in real-time. It is then run through the right approval workflows and claim information is compiled instantly. The entire process makes your tax credit claims audit-proof.

Way Forward with Timesheet

The easiest way to see if time tracking will be of benefit to you and your organization is to simply commit and start recording your time on tasks. The hardest aspect of timekeeping is maintaining the habit.

When applied properly, timesheets will quickly become the norm for your team, and completing them will be another aspect of collectively achieving success. Soon, you’ll wonder how you ever managed to run your projects without the rich data that time tracking will provide.

It won’t be long before your estimates improve, your confidence in hitting deadlines is bolstered and your project success rates increase.

Now that you know everything you need about timesheets and tracking time, it’s time to get started! Sign up for your free Replicon trial and get started with accurate time tracking.