Timesheets are the basic stuff business. They document your activity, help you prove your worth to clients, and define how much money you make each month. But, as far as important records go, the majority of timesheets created today are fundamentally flawed. Too many businesses use error-prone manual methods to bill and report on their work, which in turn introduces a hefty administrative cost to their business. So what's the solution? How can we improve the timesheet creation process, to objectively document our labor without excessive overhead?
The problems with manual timesheets
Timesheets are riddled with problems, and these are some of the biggest offenders:
💨 They’re inaccurate
Few people meticulously remember to start and stop timers and take notes throughout the day. Instead, they log hours after the fact from memory, leaving timesheets vulnerable to expensive inaccuracies.
🤸🏿♀️ They’re inflexible
Work that takes place outside normal working hours often isn’t recorded, and time spent on daily communication (like email and meetings) are serially overlooked. As such, you often miss out on hidden billable hours.
😴 They’re boring
Have you noticed how much people hate filling out timesheets? It's a textbook low-value, repetitive task that doesn't advance us towards our goals or offer any reward. As a result, we often put off doing it completely.
The single underlying reason responsible for all of these problems comes down to the fact that timesheets manual documents. Humans can't satisfy the machine precision timesheets require: we’re often inaccurate and make mistakes; we’re socially-conscious and want to project a productive self-image at work; and we simply don’t have the attention span or cognitive power to recall a huge series of actions in great detail. So wherever you have a timesheet that’s created manually, you have a business whose means for profit is completely dependent on human nature. And that is a wildly inconsistent and unreliable thing.
Introducing automatic timesheets
Thankfully, there’s a much more accurate and efficient alternative: automatic timesheets! Automatic apps like Timely can now draft accurate timesheets for you while you work. There's no need to start and stop timers, or take notes - these apps capture and process all your work activity automatically – from time spent in work apps and browsers, to GPS locations, calendar events and emails.
They then use AI to translate you work activity into an accurate daily timesheet. You just need to review its groupings and approve it to make it public to your team.