We are continuing our column on the different tools that will help you improve your project management practices with Excel. Today, we are going to focus on Timesheets and how this simple time tracking tool is crucial for the management of your firm.
How To Create A Timesheet?
Now that you understand the purpose of a timesheet, here's how to actually create one.
Note: Microsoft Excel version 2011 was used for this tutorial. If you are using a different Excel version, or Google Sheets, the process remains the same.
Here's the example of the timesheet that we have created and filled for you. It's crucial for you to be able to track and measure the data that is most important to you and your business.
Here are the essential categories for firms in the professional service industry:
- Name of the employee who entered his/her time
- Project category also known as "project type"
- The client who hired you for this project
- The activities your employees have been working on for this project
- The tasks/deliverables your employees have been working on
- Job function of the person entering their time
Regarding the data itself, you'll be able to find:
- Time in hours, % of time per day or per week
- Bill rate or hourly rate (The amount that a company or professional charges per hour of work)
- Cost rate or hourly cost (what an employee costs you as a business, their salary and overhead)
- Amount billed (product of the bill rate of an employee and the amount of hours worked on a project)
- Billable hours "Yes/No" (essential for all firms in the professional service industry, it refers to the time worked on tasks, activities or projects that will be charged to your client)
- Comments section (could be required for certain tasks that will be audited later, such as tasks eligible for tax credits)
To learn how to create and analyse pivot tables, please visit our article: How to Create An Excel Pivot Table?
Why Excel Timesheets Might Not Be Enough for You
Excel is a handy tool that's often used for time management, even though it's far from being the most efficient tool for that task.
Did you know that 47% of companies use spreadsheets for planning and budgeting? These spreadsheets can be particularly important, since 93% of them lead to decisions that have an internal or external impact for the company.
Here's the problem: 88% of Excel files contain errors. That's right. 88%. And that's just for major errors.
It has become such a well-recognised problem that there even exists an interest group dedicated to spreadsheet errors (you can have a look at their horror stories here).
Every day, managers make decisions based on arguably unreliable data. If you don't want to make the same mistake, find out how Beeye can help you keep your data (and your mind) sane.
To go further, here are 7 more reasons why you should quit Excel.
Get Help with technology
As mentioned earlier, a large number of managers use Excel to manage complex information related to their activities and their employees. However, a lot of time has to be spent looking for information, gathering it, analyzing it, and so on. And you're most probably going to come across MANY errors.
Which is why Beeye, a smart planning tool was created to assist project managers in their day-to-day operations. Using Beeye's timesheet will help you properly & accurately track your employees time and effort spent on tasks/activities. It will also allow you to gain visibility on all the different ways resources spend their time (billable vs. non-billable) and how that affects your firm's profit and revenue, all of this in real-time.
Moreover, it will allow your employees to become more aware of their time management thanks to our feature that allows you to compare and analyse planned time vs actual time.
For more information, here are the 5 main tips to keep in mind when implementing a timesheet.