In their 2019 Payroll benchmarking survey, Deloitte found many companies who formerly outsourced at least part of their payroll processes, were returning to do it in house.
The processes most often done in-house include:
- Pay data collection
- HR system of record
- Time and Attendance/Workforce management
A good guess for why this trend is happening would be the availability of simple, easy-to-use programs that help streamline processes and eliminate the need for outside services. Before spreadsheets, there were old-fashioned time clocks used to keep track of employee hours.
Then came technology, allowing us to enter numbers into a database to be automatically calculated. But with the huge number of laws and regulations around payroll, even that is a challenge.
Still, if you are using paper timesheets - or just getting started with new employees - you might benefit from using a timesheet or time card template.
For construction and field service companies, keeping track of your workers’ hours is challenging because you can’t be everywhere all of the time. It’s also not likely that you enjoy paperwork. Who does, really?
You didn’t start this company so you could sit behind a desk, right? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. You’ll have to spend a lot of time calculating figures and hours. That’s why we have put together this all-in-one free timesheet template to help simplify things a little for you.
Why Does It Matter?
Having an accurate record of your employees hours not only ensures they are getting paid the right amount, but protects you in the case of an audit. You will need to be familiar with not just federal payroll guidelines, but each state has different labor laws as well.
With an accurate account of their work day, you can also use this record to compare against any customer complaints. For example, if you have a customer who claims a job was not done, you can look back at your timesheet and see when the employee(s) were at the site. This helps you improve customer service as well as protect your employees and your reputation.
Mistakes To Avoid
We can’t all be accountants but, when you own a business, it’s a hat you must sometimes wear. When it comes to processing your payroll, be sure you familiarize yourself with as much as possible. Some common mistakes that can trip you up include:
- Misclassifying employees
- Miscalculating overtime
- Paying the wrong tax rates
- Entering the wrong information
- Missing payroll deadlines
- Failing to keep accurate records
- Failing to send out tax forms
Before you start doing payroll yourself, make sure you understand each of these things to avoid making these common mistakes that can cost you a lot in the end. Be sure you also have a system in place to keep track of your subs so you can refer back when needed.
ClockShark Timesheet Template
We make tracking your time in a spreadsheet as easy and straight forward as it can be. In this timesheet template, you can view a simple summary of both regular and overtime hours in the ‘Summary Timesheet’ tab. This makes tracking all your employee’s time easier and you can keep an eye on any potential overtime hours.
You will find a template for all four different payroll schedules, for your convenience.
It will be time-consuming to gather all of the data from your employees - particularly if you have multiple crews in multiple locations - so you will need to make sure you are allotting the right amount of time for you to get the job done.
Weekly Timesheet Template
For weekly pay periods, you need a seven-day timesheet. Most companies that pay weekly, do so on Friday but you can choose any day you like. A weekly pay period results in 52 paychecks per year, per employee.
Download ClockShark’s Weekly Timesheet Template
Bi-Weekly Timesheet Template
Bi-weekly pay periods are the most common among US businesses and results in two extra paychecks per year, per employee because you can’t divide 26 [paychecks] into 12 [months]. It’s a good option if you have a lot of hourly workers.
Download ClockShark’s Bi-Weekly Timesheet Template
Semi-Monthly Timesheet Template
Semi-monthly pay periods are a less common option for small businesses and has its pros and cons. Semi-monthly pay is paid twice per month, every month. Employees receive the same amounts, usually on the 15th and last day of the month. With semi-monthly pay, you will be distributing two checks per month, resulting in 24 checks per year. If the payday comes on a holiday or weekend, most companies pay on the business day before the holiday/weekend.
Download ClockShark’s Semi-Monthly Timesheet Template
Monthly Timesheet Template
Monthly payroll is the least common form of payroll. It might be easier in terms of the amount of time it takes to do it since you’re only doing one payroll per month. However, you will need to keep very good records of employees’ hours and time off to do it accurately and your payroll expense will be a larger, monthly lump sum.
Download ClockShark’s Monthly Timesheet Template
How you choose to structure your payroll depends on a few things. Experts suggest if you have a large number of hourly employees, a bi-weekly payroll system might be best. However, those with salaried workers could use the semi-monthly option to keep their accounting simpler while yet others, can keep hourly works on a bi-weekly payroll schedule and salaried employees on a semi-monthly schedule.
Whichever way you decide to structure it, make sure you are prepared to do it consistently and accurately.
Collecting Timesheet Data
One of the greatest challenges many of our customers face is collecting accurate timesheet information from their employees.
From damaged or illegible timesheets to inaccurate or missing timesheets, collecting data is often a headache, particularly from those who are working in the field. Phone tag, sticky notes, coffee stains… you name it! So many things can go wrong when collecting your employees’ hours.
That’s why it’s important for you to have a system in place to ensure your employees are recording their time accurately, and that you can use to consistently run payroll.
Tips for doing this include:
- Set a deadline for turning in time
- Assign a supervisor responsible for collecting everyone’s time.
- Establish a specific day you can dedicate to preparing and doing payroll
- Be sure you collect all of the information from each job site, along with job costing
Make sure you incorporate a system that is easy to use so you will be more likely to continue using it. Don’t set yourself up to fail. The goal here is to make your payroll and time tracking easier for you.
Having a timesheet template won’t do you much good if your workers are not entering their times. If they don’t use the template - or report their time to you on a regular basis - you risk either overpaying them or underpaying them and being fined for FLSA violations.
Finding a Timesheet Alternative
The truth is, no matter how clean or easy a spreadsheet is to use, it’s still a spreadsheet. And paper timecards? Those are still paper timecards. They can easily get lost, destroyed, or even delivered too late.
Keeping accurate employee timesheets or job-costing is a delicate process.
When you track time incorrectly it ends up costing way more than it is worth. You know how difficult organizing and staying on top of paper time tracking is, and it’s time for a solution.
ClockShark offers portable time clock software for your employees that is so robust, it will do more than just save you time and money on payroll. You can get accurate job costing, keep track of job stages, have accurate GPS records, integrate with your favorite accounting platform, and more.
Say goodbye to stacks of paper timecards that have coffee spilled on them, turn up late, or are illegible. It’s time to say hello to all the free time you’ll have after simplifying the time tracking and payroll processes.
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