I have worked in the government sector for the majority of my career where timesheet recording has extremely strict guidelines. Many privately owned businesses do not have these strict requirements, yet in order for payroll to be processed, some documentation is necessary.
Many software programs have timesheet modules, where employees have the ability to enter their own daily timesheets; however, smaller businesses might use a program such as Microsoft Excel or Word. No matter which method is used, as an Accountant, I have always found timesheet collection to be a major thorn in my side.
Employees want to receive a paycheck, yet they somehow disregard the fact that in order to be paid, a timesheet must be submitted. No matter how many threats I have made about withholding pay (which is not allowed and employees know it) I always seem to have the problem children who push me to the final moment before payroll. Disrespectful? Absolutely.
Solution? Daily Emails along with a little public embarrassment, and a minor fine will add make things worthwhile, and take away from some of the accounting stress!
Set up a daily email notification for timesheets. Have the email go out at 8:30 a.m. and by 9:00 a.m., all timesheets must be completed. There is no doubt that timesheets must be entered daily, no matter what type of business you are in. Imagine waiting until the end of the week then trying to figure out what you worked on all week? Impossible! For every day that the timesheet is not submitted by the 9:00 a.m. deadline, charge $1.00. At your weekly staff meetings, have employees pay up. (Of course this is based on employee honesty because in most small businesses, the payroll person is not going to go around daily to see if timesheets are up-to-date.) Purchase some type of jar for this exact purpose. We have a jar that has the word “mistakes” upside down written on it. Use this money for good causes — to plan a picnic, to donate to an employee who is injured or sick, whatever. I´ve used this method and it definitely works! Another suggestion: cellular phones that go off during meetings also warrant a $1.00 fee. Have fun with it and employees will be more likely to do what is necessary, without waiting!
"Whatever you do may seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it." ~ Mahatma Gandhi