Most organizations that provide services to their clients would break down their service charges either by the hour or by the day.
Because of this, it is important to know exactly what each employee has worked on every single hour of the workday in order to calculate the costs and earnings made for a particular project.
The best way for the accounts department to find out exactly what each employee has been working on every day is through TimeSheets – a method for recording the amount of workers’ time spent on each project/job.
In my previous employments, I’ve had several experiences submitting timesheets.
With one organization, we were required to submit a timesheet every month, and with another, every 2 weeks.
Personally, I felt that it’s better if we’re required to submit every fortnight so that we won’t have much trouble remembering what we’ve done within this shorter period.
The best practice for every employee is to record what he has accomplished by the end of each day. But sometimes, we tend to procrastinate and leave things to the next day and so on.
If you’re like me, you would have difficulty remembering what you’ve done in the last 30 days.
There are times when you would be working on the same project for 3 months. Your timesheet would be very easy to fill up. But if you’re working on different projects every single day, then it’s really important to log that down at the end of each day.
Some organizations would just provide a timesheet template in Excel format for all staff to key in and submit by month end. The problem with this is the reconciliation by the accounts personnel becomes a hassle. Imagine having to open up 50 Excel sheets and summing up the total number of hours spent on a particular project. This process itself could take days to complete, depending on the number of employees and projects you have.
If your organization is still managing worker timesheets using Excel, then you might want to consider implementing a web-based online TimeSheet Software.
One that I can recommend, which is free and open source is Achievo – a Project Management Software.
Achievo is not meant for just tracking time but includes other Project Management related features as well, such as:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Human Resource Management (HRM)
- Calendar of Events Scheduling
To allow your employee to enter their daily time registrations, you’ll first need to add in their details.
Once all employees have been added, you can now proceed to create all the projects that your organization is currently working on.
In case you’re wondering if the above 3 fields are the only fields to enter, well not really.
Before you add a new project, you can predefine a project template where you can set common phases to a project.
For example, if your project is related to software development, then you could define the following SDLC Phases:
And within each phase, you could also define its activities.
Other common project phases include
- Business Development (BD)
- Research and Development (R&D)
- Customer Support
Now that projects have been added, an employee can begin to log in the time spent on a particular project using this web based online timesheet.
At the end of each week, an employee would finalize and confirm his entries by locking the week. Once a particular week is locked, a manager can look through the details before deciding whether or not to approve the entries. So yes, there’s some sort of approval routing available within Achievo.
From the perspective of an accounts person, she can log in to Achievo’s reporting functions to generate reports showing the number of hours spent on each project so she could perform the necessary accounting functions.
Achievo is a web-based software based on the LAMP (Apache, MySQL, PHP) environment. If you have workers who are not based within your office, then this open-source software is great as it can be installed on the web and accessed via the Internet.
For more details on how to set up and give this free and open source web-based online timesheet software a try, check out Achievo today.
If you simply prefer to install a Windows desktop application for personal time management, check out Free Time Management Software.
Some other tools for timesheets include: