Timesheets have played an important role in the workplace for a long time. For instance, in the 1950s, they were used by law firms to charge their clients an appropriate amount of money.
Lawyers started tracking time shortly after the American Bar Association noticed that income for lawyers was falling behind income for doctors and dentists. The ABA’s logic was that well-run factories operate on a unit basis (getting paid for each item produced) and law firms should operate similarly.
Nothing should be provided for free or at a discount, they reasoned. Every unit made, or every hour worked, would be paid for. This would increase income for firms and lawyers. Switching to billing for units of time, would also allow firms to manage their staff’s productivity.
Pen and paper no longer required
Flash forward to today and many companies—not just law firms—charge and bill on an hourly basis. If they don’t, they often use timesheets to get a sense of how often employees are working and how productive they are.
No one would deny that time is the most valuable resource in any aspect of business. That’s why it’s important to pay close attention to how we organize our time. Fortunately, time logging doesn’t have to be done with pen and paper anymore.
Today, an employee timesheet app automatically inputs employees’ work time and creates an organized deliverable. Business owners with clients can also use timesheets as an invoicing asset.
When you first start looking for an employee timesheet app, one of the first things you’ll notice is the wide array of choices.
This comes with both positives and negatives. The main positive aspect is the increased chance of finding software that suits your needs. On the other hand, the abundance of software solutions can easily overwhelm you if you’re not exactly sure what you’re after.
Characteristics & benefits of a good timesheet app
It may take some trial and error to find the perfect software solution. Not every timesheet solution will live up to its claims. If you know what to look for, rest assured that you’ll find the perfect software for your team.
Employee timesheets are used by companies of all sizes for a variety of reasons. However, the secret to excellence lies in the details.
Improve overall time management
Timesheets used to help determine payroll, but not much else. Nowadays, they’re used for detailed time organization as well. They provide data that can be used for invoicing, billing, measuring performance, and pinpointing time-hogging tasks.
Modern employee timesheets software solutions have advanced time tracking features. This will help your team work at its best. No matter how complicated things get, you’ll always remain in control of the situation.
Get the big picture
A timesheet app can offer automated billing and invoicing, as well as make payroll processing much more efficient. These features are not only efficient in terms of financial costs.
Automated timesheets will eliminate the focus you would put on things that are now done manually. As a result, you’ll have more time and energy to tackle issues that actually require attention.
In fact, timesheet data can also help you get much better insight into the working process. It’s easier than ever to keep all facets of projects in perspective. Data provided by timesheets will make also it much easier to plan your next steps.
All modern employee timesheet solutions include employee monitoring features. You can see which of your employees is working on a specific task at any time. Some software solutions can even provide you with screenshots while they’re tracking the time.
Employee monitoring features are especially handy if you’re working with a remote team. But even if your team is located in an actual physical office space, this feature will boost employees’ focus.
In this post, we’ll review some of the best options for automating timesheets.
Best employee timesheet software solutions
Whether you’re about to start using an online timesheet for the first time, or you’re thinking about switching from your current software solution, you should research your options. To help you with this, we’ve collected the five of the best solutions.
The idea to create the Hubstaff time tracker came from the personal needs of the founders. In 2012, Dave Nevogt decided he needed a better way to monitor and manage his remote teams with automatic employee timesheet software.
One of the best things about Hubstaff is its operating system compatibility. As a desktop time tracking app, Hubstaff can run on Linux, Windows or Mac devices. It also has an iOS app and Android app that can track locations and GPS while your employees track time from a mobile device.
You can set up Hubstaff to take screenshots and record mouse and keyboard activity levels while employees are tracking their billable hours. Among other benefits, this reduces the amount of catch-up meetings you need to have each day. Or, you can turn this feature off altogether.
Hubstaff allows for manual and automatic timesheet entries. Managers can review timesheets through calendar, daily or weekly views. In-depth reporting gives businesses a clearer view of how much time is tracked toward a project, which allows you to better estimate projects in the future. Built-in approval processes allow you to see every timesheet and approve it, saving you time and allowing you to make payments directly through Hubstaff.
Hubstaff’s premium plan offers a full suite of time-saving features, and starts at under $10 per user per month.
Founded in 1996, Journyx is one of the first companies to release a web-based timesheet system. The products offered by Journyx today work with QuickBooks, Microsoft Dynamics, Microsoft Project and more.
The web-based Journyx app provides time tracking, expense tracking, report generation, automated billing, and payroll. There is a business version and an enterprise version. The enterprise version, called Journyx PX, is aimed at businesses tracking larger time periods and includes additional features like forecasting.
Journyx pricing depends on the features and solution you choose so the company recommends contacting them for details.
This employee timesheet software was created in 2004 as TimeClockOnline.com. Timesheets is a web-based service. It can be used on any operating system of your choice because it only requires a web browser to run. However, this means you can’t track time while offline or from a simple app.
With Timesheets.com, your employees can track time using timers or enter their data manually on a daily or weekly basis. Timesheets allows generation of customizable reports for any period of time. You can set your bill rates per employee, or on a global level.
You can try this tool for one full payroll cycle, free of charge. If you choose to continue using it, you can pay month to month on a per user basis. Flat rate pricing starts at $9/month for 1-2 users and increases with the size of your team.
Timesheet Xpress is a productivity tool that provides a timesheet system with project organization features and time tracking. This software s Windows-based, and can be run on one PC or across a network.
Project budgeting, reporting, and billing are easy to do with this software. Timesheet Xpress offers a simple way for Windows users to collaborate and keep the work process under control. You can customize and export timesheets in many formats including PDF, CSV, XLS, HTML, as well as create invoices.
Timesheet Xpress offers a 35-day trial version. Yearly licenses for this software start at $102 for up to four users. There’s also a 50% discount for academic institutions and charity organizations.
Toggl is project management and time tracking software that started out as a software solution for internal company use. Now, it’s used by teams all around the world.
Toggl can be used as a web application across all operating systems. You can also download apps for iPhone, iPad, or Android. Toggl lets you track time offline, as well as generate, export, and share timesheets and work reports that can be used for billing.
Toggl’s free user plan is available for teams of up to 5 members. The Premium and Enterprise plans have some additional features, including unlimited users. Toggl’s Starter plan costs $10 per user on a monthly basis.
ClickTime is time tracking software that prides itself on ease of use. The software started as a division of a IT consulting firm in San Francisco in 1997, and broke into its own company in 1999.
Their timesheets are designed primarily for agencies, nonprofits, consultants, universities, architects, IT, and healthcare companies. Time can be tracked online, on mobile devices, through Google Calendar and Chrome.
The Starter Plan is $12 monthly, with features and plans going up from there.
Best employee timesheet apps summary
|Software||Description||Pricing||Free Trial||Free Plan|
|Hubstaff||Automatic online timesheet to easily pay employees for work completed||$5/employee/month||14 days||Yes (1 user)|
|Journyx||Timesheets and expense tracking for your business||Not listed||30 days||No|
|Timesheets.com||Cloud-based timesheets, human resources, scheduling, and expense tracking||$9 for 1–2 users||1 payroll cycle||Yes (1 user)|
|Timesheet Xpress||Enterprise solution for timesheets, time tracking, and employee attendance||$120 for 1–4 users||35 days||No (but schools and charities get a discount)|
|Toggl||Have remote workers track time with one click and see what’s being worked on||$10/employee/month||30 days||Yes (basic features only)|
|ClickTime||Simple timesheets built on ease of use for teams||$12 per month||30 days||No|
The best choice
Choosing a timesheet app for your organization is a complicated task and that goes for small businesses as well as for medium-sized and large companies. Basically, you’re facing an overwhelming list of possibilities. In this case, the best you can do, is to insist on a software that meets all the aforementioned criteria.
It’s safe to say that Hubstaff is the app that meets all of these standards.
Founded in 2012, Hubstaff has developed the most complete employee timesheets tool, with one goal, to make work a lot simpler for both employees and employers.
Some of the key features of Hubstaff include:
Increase Productivity with Hubstaff
Free for 14 Days
How Hubstaff can help you and your team
The project management features of Hubstaff allow you to organize your projects in the most efficient way. Assigning user roles, delegating tasks and tracking the time spent working on all your tasks and projects are only some of Hubstaff’s many handy features.
You can ask your employees to add time manually, or use the automatic time tracker. The Hubstaff time tracker can provide the most accurate insight into how billed hours are being spent. You can adjust the screenshot frequency to one, two, or three screenshots every 10 minutes. You can turn this feature off altogether, or blur these screenshots for privacy or other reasons..
The app can automatically generate work reports, which can be customized to fit your specific needs. You can export reports as PDF, download or email them. Work reports are very useful for keeping track of progress over a longer period of time.
Timesheets can provide a very convenient overview of the work you and your team have been doing in the longer run. You can easily see what every billable hour has been spent on. Billable hours can be exported to CSV, Quickbooks, Paypal MassPay and Payoneer.
Compatibility and integrations
The Hubstaff solution works equally well on any operating system. Whether you and your employees prefer using Windows, Linux or macOS, Hubstaff will do its job. Hubstaff also has iOS and Android apps so you can track time from anywhere.
Another great feature of Hubstaff is the ability to integrate with a number of other software solutions and apps. You don’t have to worry if any of your collaborators or partners happen to have different preferences when it comes to software of this kind. Here’s a full list of the software apps integrable with Hubstaff.
Why choose Hubstaff?
There are numerous employee timesheets software solutions. However, Hubstaff is the only software solution that helps you and your team every step of the way. Try Hubstaff for 14 days, free of charge, and see for yourself.
This post was originally published January 20, 2017, and was updated July 2018.