Frustrated man working on Excel Timesheet
When is it time to ditch your Excel Timesheet? Now!

It’s natural to look to Excel or even Google Sheets for your timekeeping needs. Both options are relatively free and easily adaptable. The functionality within either spreadsheet apps lends perfectly to record and report time spent working on client projects. There are many free timesheet templates available all over the internet to give you a headstart on ramping up your timesheet solution.

So, perhaps you’ve already discovered the beauty of tracking time on a spreadsheet and since the dawn of time you’ve been tracking your billable time in a system of endless spreadsheets. It’s always been done this way.

As your company has grown, so has the pain of gathering them up and tabulating them. Let’s not even talk about trying to teach someone new to the company on how to use this mess of outdated files.

To accurately bill clients for the work that you and your team have completed, you need to have some form of accurate tracking system in place. You can’t afford to gain a reputation of over-billing your clients, and you won’t survive long if you don’t bill them enough. Guessing the billable time that you’re working is never the right way to go.

However, what happens when it gets to be too much?

Your business is growing, and more staff are jumping on board. All of a sudden, timekeeping and reporting becomes a dreaded task that you push off until the last possible minute. You’re tired from all of your other tasks, and you being to make mistakes or cut corners to get your clients billed. It’s a growing pain of success, but there are solutions out there to ease them.

So, when is it time to ditch the spreadsheet?

There are many reasons to ditch the Excel timesheet. Here are a few that you may be experiencing right now:

1. When you spend more time gathering, validating and creating billed time reports than you do working on productive tasks in a day.

It can be very time consuming to track down spreadsheets from all of your staff -especially if they are out of the office. Then, to copy them from an email or network drive only to find out you have the wrong ones. Even when you have all the correct timesheets, it takes time to tabulate them all into a report that you can use for invoicing.

Timesheet process management is now efficient, effective and reliable. No more proliferation of spreadsheet as everything is automatically managed in one software. 

Luca – Business Development Associate in the oil & gas industry (Review source: Capterra)

2. When errors in missed or incorrectly billed time cost you more than an online solution.

It doesn’t take much of a mistake to cost you precious money and time -let alone your reputation. If you are mistakenly under-billing your clients, think about how much even one hour of missed time can cost you per month and then compare that against how much a cloud-based timesheet solution will cost.

Even your reputation is at stake. It never feels good having to go back and fix the mistake of over-billing your client. Not only do you risk losing trust in your relationship, but you also risk looking like the company who doesn’t have their affairs in order. All it takes is one copy-and-paste error!

3. When employees work from home or are on the road more than they are in the office.

A mobile office is a prevalent option for many employees. Either being out on a job site, working from home or out of an airport, having tools to use that are just as mobile as they are is key to getting the timesheet job done.

Now, more than ever before, most employees work almost entirely off their cell phones. So, having to fill in a spreadsheet to file their time can be very cumbersome. Have you ever tried working on a spreadsheet on the phone? It’s awful. Remove the barriers of time entry submissions by considering a move to a more mobile approach.

4. When you’re having to spend the weekend doing timesheet work instead of having fun with your friends.

Often, the task you dread is the one you put off the longest. There are so many other more pressing things to be done other than tabulating a bunch of Excel-based timesheets.

If you are spending any part of your evenings or weekends gathering your billable time to invoice clients, think about the monetary value of that over time you are putting in. Compare that time cost to how much an automated process would cost. I think you will be surprised how much time, money and most importantly stress you would save after ditching the spreadsheet.

5. When you have better things to do with your time.

Managing a spreadsheet-based timesheet solution is just not scalable. The more your company grows, so does the nightmare of managing it all. It’s incredible how much you will adapt to the increasing demands of a task over time. As more employees come on board, you don’t notice just how much additional time you spend managing all of their billable time. All of this manual data-entry work can really easily be automated at a fraction of the cost.

Timesheets should never be a pain!

With centralized data, scheduled reporting, mobile apps and automatic email reminders, your timesheet solution should take care of itself. You don’t need to spend another late night or weekend battling an army of spreadsheets.

Since we started using Dovico we have cut back on admin time by over 40% and now we’re enjoying more time concentrating on other important stuff instead of figuring out where I stand at the end of the day with profits.

Bruce – Project Manager in construction (Review source: Capterra)

Compare the costs of your time versus the money it will take and you will quickly see, switching to a properly fitting online timesheet solution is the right way to go. There is help out there! Ditch the Excel spreadsheet and get some of your time back!


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For 26 years, Dovico has been helping thousands of companies around the world to deliver successful projects on time and on budget with proven project time and cost-saving tools: dovico.comTry 30-Day Free Trial


About the Author

Jeff Nagle is our wordsmith and blogger. When he’s not cooped up in his office with the door closed writing, he’s working out at the gym, reading, or training for a marathon. Sometimes he attempts to do all three at the same time!

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