Every manager wants to know the same thing – that their employees are working productively without wasting company resources.

late timesheets

But keeping track of what everyone is doing can be difficult without a system in place. Instead, you can only make assumptions as to how people are spending their time. This can lead to wasted time and teams operating at a low level of performance.

The Value of Timesheets

Timesheets offer a viable solution. These show a record of how much time an employee has spent either at work or on a project. Employees can record their time either on paper or through a shared online document that everyone else fills out. As more work becomes project-based, detailed records that show the amount of time spent are important to bill accurately and track costs.

For larger projects clients want to know that their money is not being wasted. Reports can easily be generated so that clients can check on a project’s progress. And as a manager, seeing how time is spent allows you to make better business decisions and allocate resources accordingly. For example, you might notice that a certain team performs poorly on one part of a project while another team excels at it. With this information you can make refinements to your workflows to maximise productivity.

Timesheets are undoubtedly valuable, as they provide a deep level of insight. But what happens if an employee submits them late or worse, not at all?

The Costs of Late Timesheet Submissions

Mistakes happen. Employees become too busy or simply forget to fill out their timesheet. While such mishaps are easy enough to correct, constant late submissions can have a serious impact to your bottom line.

Problems are intensified for larger organisations that manage hundreds of employees. Just one late submission of a timesheet can create a massive bottleneck. You would need to locate the employee responsible for the delay. That’s wasted time that could have been spent more productively elsewhere.

Late timesheets create another potential problem – missing payment windows. Large companies often follow strict billing periods for when invoices are paid. Any delays in getting the right paperwork sent out due to late timesheets could mean missing a payment window. Then you would have to wait for the next cycle for your client to settle the invoice.

For larger organisations this may not present an issue. But if you’re a new startup, missing just one payment window can create serious cash-flow problems. That could mean not having enough funds for inventory or paying salaries late.

While timesheets offer numerous benefits, their value only comes from proper implementation and timely submissions. If employees submit timesheets late, it defeats the whole purpose of having them in the first place.

The solution is to mandate timely submissions of timesheets. Incentivise your employees with rewards to make timesheet recording second nature. This could be something as simple as giving out extra comp time. To ensure that timesheets are always kept up to date, consider using time tracking software to streamline and automate the process.