Why Your Business Should Be Using a Timesheet Template

What is a Timesheet/ Timesheet Template?

In order to properly understand what a timesheet template is it is helpful to define what a timesheet is. A timesheet is a virtual or physical tool used to record and track hours worked. Both the time card and time sheet are considered foundational for tracking time in the workplace. A timesheet template is a data table used by employers to track hours worked by employees over a certain period.

Various team members use timesheet data within a business. For example, an employee timesheet is often helpful for management accounting processes. Instead of tracking time off for lunch breaks or hours overtime worked, a simple timesheet tool provides real time data. Managers can use the timesheet to easily reference employee time and evaluate everything from productivity to efficiency.

Payroll processing is often heavily reliant on employee time tools. Time tracking tools help keep track of hours overtime and regular hours each pay period essential to payroll accuracy. Previously, payroll processes were subject to more human errors commonplace with manual employee time processes. Payroll can use timesheet entries and time tracking tools to make sure total pay is correct.

Importance of Using a Timesheet/ Timesheet Template

importance of using a timesheet timesheet template 1622143238 6095

Employers download free timesheet template programs like Google Sheets or Excel to try and save money. However, work hours and overtime hours spent to calculate time and total pay may cost companies more over time. Especially after using Google Sheets or Excel template for a while, implementing specialized time tracking software is exciting. Instead of navigating columns and rows of free timesheet applications, an easy use option is open through time tracking software. Employee time software displays hours worked in real time and can record a wide variety of data effortlessly.

From overtime hours to lunch hours reported, employee time software is a great investment. For example, regular hours worked and overtime work hours are easy to differentiate between with time tracking software. Easier differentiation results in fewer billing or pay period discrepancies. Employee time discrepancies not only cost business money over time but can result in significant damages to a business's reputation.

Benefits of Timesheet Templates

Great timesheet templates come with their own set of benefits. The benefits of timesheets are already felt by small businesses and large corporations around the world. Significant benefits of timesheets that all business professionals should know about include-


insights 1622143238 8638

Employee productivity and efficiency are often discussed by experts in the business world. However, in order for these buzzwords to have any substantial meaning, they must be able to be applied. When businesses track hours and understand how worked hours are spent, productivity and efficiency can be measured more accurately.

Tools ranging from a time clock to a time card can help businesses quantify measurements like employee productivity and efficiency. Businesses can also use timesheet information to view how employee time can be better utilized. When businesses use employee time tools properly it is easier to identify roadblocks and decrease employee time waste.

Project management is significantly improved with the insights that a simple timesheet can reveal. Whether a bi weekly or monthly timesheet is used, employee time data reveals valuable information. For example, a daily timesheet or biweekly timesheet could indicate a project management issue in nearly real time speed. Alternatively, a monthly timesheet or weekly timesheet could indicate more long term workflow issues.


Needing to manually track hours and keep track of tasks completed can quickly become a labor costs nightmare. Thankfully, tracking time for multiple employees can be accomplished with easy use employee time tools. Employee time tools help make sure businesses are utilizing employee time optimally which directly translates into increased bottom line profitability.

When human resources can keep track of employee hours worked effectively everything from hiring decisions to career development is improved. For example, many businesses will hire new employees before developing team members currently on staff. Unfortunately, this can easily result in many ineffective workers instead of fewer effective workers.


management 1622143238 9730

The ability to track hours and keep track of tasks completed in real time supplies valuable perspective. Management professionals can review on a monthly timesheet or weekly timesheet if work hours are being best utilized. Businesses can use timesheet data to easily identify which team members are top performers to reward and recognize.

Employee time tools like a simple timesheet can be supplemented with other time tracking tools. For example, time card or time clock data can help indicate underperforming employees to keep track of. For underperforming employees, management may track hours worked more carefully ranging from start time to lunch breaks recorded. If an employee continues underperforming on a semi monthly or monthly basis management may intervene to address issues.

How to Use a Timesheet Template

Whether a daily timesheet or a monthly timesheet is used there are helpful tips available. Factors like employee hourly rate and lunch breaks are important for businesses to keep track of and account for correctly. Additionally, some employees may have different pay period dates or overtime pay protocols.

Thankfully, timesheet templates are designed for easy use in order to provide simple timesheet accessibility to businesses. It is critical that businesses understand how to use a timesheet template properly. Without proper utilization, timesheet templates are not effective employee time tools. Basic steps for using a timesheet template include-

1. Template Choice

There are various timesheet template options available for businesses to choose from. An organization should make sure to choose a timesheet template that best suits business needs. Factors ranging from pay period length to hourly rate variations are important to consider during this step.

Although timesheet templates are designed for easy use and accessibility before templates download they are worth investigating. While one timesheet template may be appealing for one business, another business may prefer an alternative option. Whichever timesheet template is chosen should be utilized across employees for organizational purposes.

2. Schedule Establishment

2 schedule establishment 1622143239 7358

Once a timesheet template is selected, an employee timesheet protocol should be established. Some businesses require employee timesheet updates each day with employee start time and lunch breaks clearly annotated. Other businesses may require a bi weekly or weekly timesheet completion. Establishing a schedule for employee timesheet completion helps make sure everyone is on the same page. When everyone is on the same page, pay period processes are easier to streamline.

3. Double Check

Encouraging employees to double check their timesheet entries increases accuracy levels. A time card or time clock is a great reference for employees to confirm entries. Fewer errors save time on correcting mistakes down the line. Payroll can avoid needing to catch errors on a semi monthly or monthly basis with consistent employee double checking.

Businesses should remind employees that their total pay depends on their employee timesheet accuracy. For employees with benefits, hours worked in a pay period can also influence their benefits administration. For hourly rate employees, any hours overtime worked must be checked thoroughly as they have heavier labor cost implications.

4. Consistency

Just as the same timesheet template should be used for different employees across an organization, consistency in entries is crucial. Inconsistencies can easily be misinterpreted which influences everything from regular hours to lunch breaks recorded. Consistency helps make sure that timesheets remain both organized and clear.

Employees must make sure that both dates and times are kept uniform in format. For example, a start time of 8-00 a.m. could be noted as 8, 8-00, or 8-00 a.m. Whichever format is decided upon should be applied from start time to lunch breaks taken.

How to Make a Timesheet Template in Excel

how to make a timesheet template in excel 1622143239 7669

A free timesheet template may be an option for businesses not yet ready to invest in paid time tracking software. Businesses may use a Google Docs or Excel timesheet for time tracking needs. Some employees may prefer Google Docs or Google Sheets due to familiarity with the suite. An Excel timesheet may be preferable for other employees especially those familiar with the Microsoft suite. Steps to make an Excel timesheet template include-

1. Select the Excel View tab and then select the Freeze Panes tab. From the drag drop menu, choose Freeze Top Row to hold the row while scrolling.

2. Assign column headings with categories annotated. Categories can range from start time to lunch breaks and overtime hours if applicable. End column headings by listing daily hours worked and hours worked weekly.

3. Select the favored date format for tracking time by clicking the column A header and selecting all cells. After selecting all cells, open the dialog box at the bottom of the Number group to click the Date item.

4. Select the header for column B and then use Shift click on the header of the previous time tracker column. Select the Time dialogue box from the Number group option. Apply the format listed as 1-30 p.m. to display employee hours with daypart indicators.

5. Click the daily time total column and Shift click to weekly total hours to select all column cells. Click the Number dialog, select the Custom item, and enter in the Type field- [h]-mm. This step allows employee hours to exceed beyond 24 hours for total hours worked weekly.

6. Select daily hours time tracker cell and insert an equal sign to insert a formula. Click end of day clock out cell to add location to formula using the - sign. Click the clock in cell, select Enter, and complete the formula to automatically deduct clock in and out times. Make sure to remember lunch breaks necessitate further calculations executed.

7. Select weekly timesheet hours worked row and type =SUM. Click daily time tracker and drag down until hitting cell in row 6. Make sure to enter a closing parenthesis to finish the formula to avoid issues.

8. Click and drag the first row 2 cell through the weekly timesheet total in row 6 and place the cursor over the lower right corner of the end cell. The cursor should eventually display a black plus symbol. Once the cursor changes, drag until row 261 is reached to establish a year of rows.

9. Double click the Excel timesheet title table and label it appropriately. Enter the first employee's name to begin to keep track of employee hours worked.

10. Select the intersection of employee timesheet numbered rows and lettered column headers in order to select all data. Copy to the clipboard and select plus sign next to the current timesheet to insert a new timesheet template.

Some businesses prefer to track employee total hours worked using Google Sheets or an Excel timesheet template. However, there are preferable time tracking options available for businesses to utilize. Time tracking software can provide easy use accessibility and make sure employee time is as accurate as possible.

Conclusion for Timesheet Template

conclusion for timesheet template 1622143239 9681

  • Free timesheet template options are available on Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel.
  • A free timesheet template is not as comprehensive as paid time tracking software programs.