Payroll and project time-keeping paperwork is arguably the least favorite task for most owners and managers. Yet, if you don’t keep up with it daily, the paperwork simply piles up and becomes an even bigger chore.

The reality, however, is employees sometimes forget to clock in or out of a job or for the day. When this happens and goes unchecked until it’s time to process payroll, much of the time you thought you were saving is spent dealing with the headache of correcting inaccurate billing and paychecks.

You can avoid these paperwork headaches by adopting a simple best practice used by some shops to ensure correct timekeeping records. If you have a timecard machine, simply require employees to punch out for the day and take the timecard to the manager before leaving or when working on a billable project. The manager verifies clock-in/out times at the scheduled time, and corrections are made immediately, instead of being left to pile up until being processed.

This best practice has the added benefit of increasing awareness of employees who constantly clock in and out either earlier or later than they should. By addressing these issues daily, you are more likely to hit budgeted labor hours and reduce labor cost.

One of the most significant paperwork- and time-reducing tools used by today’s screenprinting shops are the online timesheet services. However, these come with an ongoing monthly cost of service that may be prohibitive for smaller shops with fewer employees. With the online timesheet services, all that is needed is to press a few buttons and run a report to initiate the journey from clock-in to paycheck. And, they can be checked daily by a manager to assure those staff members are not clocking in early or later than they should be. If that sounds easy, it is.

You can use your smartphone or tablet to access internet services devoted to small-business time tracking and billing, such as TimeDoctor, eBillity, Paymo, Toggl, and Yast.

One of the best online services is TimeDoctor, which is an accurate time clock software for your team and more. Y0u can find out not only when the staff members started and stopped each day but what they did in-between. It is a web-based solution that provides time tracking, computer work session monitoring, reminders, screenshot recording, invoicing, reporting tools, integrations and so much more, such as:

  • Attendance Tracking
  • Employee Scheduling
  • Flextime Tracking
  • Hourly Employee Tracking
  • Project Time Tracking
  • Salaried Employee Tracking
  • Sick Leave Tracking
  • Vacation / Leave Tracking
  • Workstation Tracking

The Project Time Tracking option is great for keeping track of time spent on each job. You can use it for billing for artwork, for knowing when a job is started and finished to allow for better estimating practices and more. It is available for online Cloud, SaaS, Web use, can be installed on both Mac and Windows, or on Android native and iOS native devices. The service gets a consistent 5/5 star rating from their users. The cost is $9.99 monthly per user, with a discount offered for 10 or more users.

But even if your company isn’t committed to an online time sheet or billing service, your mobile device can be a valuable aid for logging billable hours, employee hours, or client-related expenses. Here are six mobile apps to help you do just that.

Phone Apps

If you are a smaller operation with fewer employees you can solve your problem with one of the many phone apps that are available. This is often less than purchasing a timecard machine and the necessary cards.

IOS Devices

ClockedIn 2 – If you need to track tasks that span multiple days for billing purposes, this app can handle it. ClockedIn can push tasks onto the iPhone calendar for scheduling purposes. It doesn’t have built-in invoicing or billing features, but it can create customer and project summary reports by day, week, or month. $4.95

iPunchclock – If multitasking and managing multiple people is your challenge, iPunchclock manages multiple independent time sheets. The app uses the iPhone’s location awareness to add another dimension to your billing records. Data can be exported in different formats or uploaded to Google Docs. $4.99

Timewerks – The Timewerks timer keeps running even when the application is closed! The app integrates with your iPhone address book to create new client records and may be customized to accommodate different rates for different tasks. Invoices may be created within the app and sent via email. Timewerks also can be integrated with a separate piece of software to accept credit card payments. $2.99

Android Devices

Android Time Card – Need a simple yet automated method to keep tabs on employee hours? Android Time Card offers basic check-in and checkout features. Completed time cards can be emailed in CSV format for processing in spreadsheets or payroll application. Android Time Card also supports multiple languages. $3.95

TimeCatcher by Intuit – Intuit’s own timesheet mobile app tracks time through a simple timer. The data can be exported as a CSV file, email, or text message; a future version will integrate with QuickBooks or QB Time Tracker. Free

TimeClock — Time Tracker – This app caters to those who bill by the hour. You set different hourly or incremental rates for each client, and TimeClock calculates the earnings. Data can be exported to a spreadsheet for invoicing and so that you can use an invoice generator, or you can opt for the company’s $5 per month invoicing service. $3.99

There are many other apps available either at the Apple App Store or Google Play. Check them out.


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