A critical part of running your agency, managing your timesheets can be as laborious as it is essential. However, it can be difficult to know how long to retain your timesheets – especially when other elements of your work require attention.

With that in mind, how long should you keep timesheets for and how can software help make the process clean and simple?

Let’s shed some light on the subject…

Why are timesheets so important?

Simply put, timesheets are an essential tool when it comes to monitoring whether you are making or losing money with your business.

Tracking the internal time spent on a project against the formally tracked hours lets you instantly get a sense of how projects are being managed.

That can then empower you to make the long or short-term adjustments necessary to maximise internal efficiency and avoid issues.

What are the regulations?

When it comes to keeping timesheets for your business, it depends on the region that you are operating in.

For the UK, you are legally required to keep your timesheets for three years.

It allows HMRC to carry out full audits, confirming your employees are being paid correctly and you are contributing the right amount of tax.

If your business has offices in different geographic locations, it is essential that you take the time to research where you stand with regards to the law and remain fully compliant.

Any reliable professional provider will be able to advise you on how to configure your system and what the law dictates.

That is increasingly essential in a post-GDPR world and choosing a software solution is steadily becoming a popular way for companies to help future-proof themselves against forthcoming change.

How can timesheet software help?

Whether you are moving from paper processes or struggling to administer large numbers of information, deploying a technical solution can help make your timesheet management clean and simple while saving money and time where it matters most.

Some advantages include:

Online Remittance and Approval: Any reliable platform will use a secure cloud-based solution that allows for tiered access by your key team members. This enables you to have full sight of your processes, enjoy detailed version control, and set up an approvals process to help streamline your work. It can be accessed by staff, teams and contractors as required – giving you to access their historic timesheets for as long as legally necessary.

Automated Actions: If you are moving from a physical solution or have need of a hybridised process, selecting a reliable software solution can allow you to make your work much more efficient. As a minimum, it should involve the creation of templated timesheets, the uploading of data in bulk and the removal of repetitious actions. It can also help add value by bringing validation into the process, ensuring timesheets are completed in full. It can help prevent complications further down your pipeline and also avoid legacy issues from the long-term care of data.

Reporting Options: Digitising your historic data allows it to be easily reported on. This can help you spot trends, drive for efficiency, and drill down into the data on a case-by-case basis. You ‘take the temperature’ of your workforce and ensure hard-working teams are properly rewarded. It can also be used to track the progress of timesheets, set automatic reminders for late submissions and much more.

Of course, it is important to remember that software is simply a tool and cannot be the sole source of your success. Looking at your internal practice is essential and choosing a seasoned technical provider that can help add value will take the pain out of the process while bringing the additional expertise you need.  

What next?

If you want to learn more about how a digital solution can help improve your professional practice, Practical Software is here to help.

With a dedicated module for managing timesheets, our team can help ensure you are fully compliant for 2020 and beyond – allowing your platform to grow and change alongside your business.