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Top 5 timesheet alternatives to consider for your business

6 min read
timesheet alternatives

Accurate employee timekeeping is crucial for organizational success. Aside from helping you keep track of workforce time and attendance, this data is also essential for payroll processing, project management, resource planning and allocation, and performance assessment. However, traditional methods such as timesheet templates and spreadsheets often fall short, causing frustration and inaccuracies. Recognizing the need for more efficient and reliable systems, many organizations are now looking for timesheet alternatives to streamline their time management processes.

So, what exactly is the problem with traditional timesheet templates and spreadsheets? And what alternatives to timesheets are there?

In today’s post, we are going to explore some of the most common issues that organizations encounter with timesheet templates and explain why many are now looking for more efficient and reliable systems to manage employee timekeeping. We will also explore 5 popular timesheet alternatives to consider for your business.

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The problem with timesheet templates and spreadsheets

Timesheet templates and spreadsheets have been the standard solution for tracking employee hours for many years. However, while they can be helpful in certain situations, there are some common problems associated with them.

This includes:

  • Human error. Employees may forget to enter their hours or make mistakes while filling out the sheet. These inaccuracies can result in payroll errors. In fact, a survey by Workforce Institute has revealed that 58% of employees have experienced a problem with their paycheck at some point during their employment.
  • Time-consuming. Filling out timesheets and managing them manually can be time-consuming and tedious for both employees and managers. This time could be better spent on more value-added tasks.
  • Lack of real-time updates. Traditional timesheets typically rely on manual data entry, which means they don’t provide real-time updates. If an employee forgets to update their timesheet promptly, it can make it difficult to track and manage resources effectively.
  • Limited accessibility. Traditional timesheets and spreadsheets are often stored locally on an employee’s computer. This can create inefficiencies and delays in sharing information and approving timesheets.
  • Limited functionality. Basic timesheet templates and spreadsheets are primarily focused on recording hours and basic calculations. As a result, they often lack features for capturing additional details like project codes, task descriptions, or overtime calculations. This can make it challenging to generate detailed reports and gain deeper insights into productivity and resource allocation.
  • Integration issues. Finally, timesheet templates and spreadsheets often operate in isolation from other business systems. As a result, it can be difficult to integrate them with tools like payroll, project management, or accounting software. This lack of integration can result in extra work, data inconsistencies, and potential errors.

Why look for an alternative to timesheets?

As a result of all the above limitations, many organizations are now seeking alternatives to traditional timesheets. Examples, which we will explain in more detail below, include time tracking and project management software, biometric time clocks, online timesheet platforms, time clock apps, and self-service portals, all of which provide significant advantages.

So, what are the benefits of these timesheet alternatives exactly?

For one thing, timesheet alternatives like these improve accuracy by minimizing errors through the precise recording of work hours and tasks. This ensures accurate data for payroll and resource allocation. They also enhance efficiency by streamlining the time tracking process, reducing administrative tasks, and enabling employees to address time management challenges and focus on more productive activities.

Another key benefit is that digital systems like these offer managers real-time updates on employee timekeeping. They can easily keep track of time and attendance through an automated employee clock-in system and gain much more visibility into individual performance and task progress. This makes it much easier to make informed decisions relating to time management and resource allocation. This is especially true if you pick a solution that includes advanced features such as project management capabilities, task tracking, reporting, and integration with other systems.

Scalability is another advantage of these solutions as many include features for adding users and managing multiple projects. Plus you get the added assurance of regulatory compliance and data protection with features like audit trails, access controls, and data encryption.

All in all, digital timesheet alternatives can help you overcome the limitations of traditional timesheets and create more streamlined workflows. As a result, you can gain valuable insights into your workforce, optimize resource management, and boost overall productivity.

Top 5 timesheet alternatives

Let’s explore some of these timesheet alternatives in a bit more detail now. That way, you can make an informed decision about the best solution for your organization’s time management needs.

Project management time tracking software

Project management time tracking software combines the functionality of employee time tracking and project management, offering organizations a comprehensive solution to optimize time and resource allocation.

So, how does it do this exactly?

Firstly, the software allows employees to accurately record work hours, breaks, and tasks through an electronic time clock, replacing manual methods like timesheets with automated tracking systems. Whether working in the office, remotely, or on the go, employees can easily log their activities at the click of a button.

Secondly, employees can use a range of project management features to plan, organize, prioritize, and monitor their projects. These features often include task assignment, deadline setting, progress tracking, and collaboration tools. Other common features include notifications for tracking milestones and tools for accessing insights into project timelines, dependencies, and bottlenecks.

Moreover, of all the timesheet alternatives that we are exploring today, this solution is the best for helping employees enhance their time management skills. You can identify time wasters through data analysis, track time spent on specific activities, and allocate resources effectively. Plus, you can easily implement time management techniques such as timeboxing and time blocking to reduce time anxiety and enhance efficiency, collaboration, and productivity.

Biometric time clocks

Biometric time clocks are advanced devices that use unique physical characteristics to accurately record employee attendance and work hours. This includes fingerprints, facial recognition, or palm prints.

These clocks provide a secure and efficient method of tracking time, eliminating the need for traditional methods like paper timesheets or swipe cards. By capturing biometric data, these clocks prevent time theft, buddy punching, and other fraudulent practices. Employees simply need to authenticate themselves using their biometric information, and the time clock registers their clock-in and clock-out times automatically.

Essentially, biometric time clocks offer organizations a reliable and tamper-proof alternative to timesheets, ensuring accountability and improving overall workforce management.

Online timesheet platforms

Online timesheet platforms are web-based tools that enable organizations to streamline the process of recording, managing, and analyzing employee work hours.

These timesheet software solutions provide a centralized and accessible system for employees to enter their time worked, breaks, and project details from any location with internet access. They offer features such as customizable timesheet templates, automated calculations, and options for tracking project expenses. Managers can then review and approve timesheets, generate reports, and integrate data with other internal systems.

The biggest benefit of this timesheet alternative is that it can enhance time-tracking efficiency, accuracy, and transparency, which are all essential for effective workforce management and payroll administration.

Self-service portals

Self-service portals are online platforms that provide employees with direct access to various HR-related processes. The aim here is to empower employees to manage their own employment-related tasks and inquiries.

For example, these portals often offer a user-friendly interface where employees can access and update personal information. They can also view and download payslips, and access company policies. Moreover, with some solutions, employees can also log their work hours, request time off, and manage their timesheets independently. All this makes them a valuable timesheet alternative.

Ultimately, self-service portals streamline administrative processes by reducing the need for manual paperwork and constant communication with HR personnel. Plus, because employees can access their own time-tracking data, they can better manage their workloads and schedules.

Time clock apps

Time clock apps provide a convenient way for employees to record their hours using their smartphones or tablets. These apps replace traditional physical time clocks and offer a range of features to streamline the time-tracking process.

Employees can use this alternative to timesheets to easily clock in and out directly from their mobile devices. Time clock apps often also leverage location services or geofencing technology to ensure accurate time stamps and prevent time fraud. As a result, they provide real-time visibility of attendance data. They also allow for quick edits and approvals. Plus, some solutions can sync with other systems, such as payroll or attendance management software. All this simplifies the time-tracking process and empowers employees with flexibility, mobility, and convenience.


Our hassle-free time management solution

Our hassle-free time management solution provides a superior alternative to traditional timesheets and spreadsheets, transforming how organizations track and manage employee hours. Factorial’s comprehensive time management software combines an electronic time clock, a time clock app, project management features, and an employee self-service portal to deliver a seamless and efficient solution to organizations.

For instance, with Factorial, manual data entry and calculations become a thing of the past. Our intuitive software allows employees to log their work hours, breaks, and tasks in real time through our user-friendly web platform or mobile app. This streamlines time tracking, ensuring accurate automated data with minimal effort.

Moreover, thanks to the biometric technology included in Factorial’s electronic time clock, employees can effortlessly clock in and out straight from their mobiles using facial recognition. This completely eliminates the risk of buddy punching and time theft. That way, you can capture real-time attendance data for payroll and compliance purposes. Plus, this is an excellent solution if you have a remote workforce as employees can log their working hours from any location thanks to the app’s geofencing technology.

Another huge advantage is that Factorial’s time management software goes beyond basic timesheet functionalities. It offers advanced features like project tracking, task management, and reporting. This provides you with valuable insights into employee productivity, project costs, and resource allocation. Plus, you can easily integrate all this data with the platform’s other modules to ensure seamless data flow and consistency across all your systems.

Ultimately, Factorial’s hassle-free time management solution provides organizations with a valuable solution that harnesses all the benefits of the timesheet alternatives that we have explored today. As a result, you can use it to streamline your time management processes, improve productivity, and make informed strategic decisions based on reliable data.

Cat Symonds is a freelance writer, editor, and translator. Originally from Wales, she studied Spanish and French at the University of Swansea before moving to Barcelona where she lived and worked for 12 years. She has since relocated back to Wales where she continues to build her business, working with clients in Spain and the UK.  Cat is the founder of The Content CAT: Content And Translation, providing content development and translation services to her clients. She specializes in corporate blogs, articles of interest, ghostwriting, and translation (SP/FR/CA into EN), collaborating with a range of companies from a variety of business sectors. She also offers services to a number of NGOs including Oxfam Intermón, UNICEF, and Corporate Excellence - Centre for Reputation Leadership.  For more information or to contact Cat visit her website ( or send her a message through LinkedIn.

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