Digital Timekeeping in 2024

Author: Eugenija Steponkute
Published: 23/08/2021
digital timekeeping

In this article, we will be exploring the benefits of digital timekeeping. We will also talk about why timesheet software is a better solution than traditional Excel spreadsheets. 

It’s no secret that staying organised is crucial for any business. If your internal structure is falling apart, it will reflect on how you’re servicing your customers. For example, a lack of organisation may lead to issues regarding employees' clock time. It can then result in delayed payment, dissatisfaction and worse performance. The customer will suffer as a consequence. And this will make them lose trust in your business.

Timekeeping is one of the oldest and core ways to handle business maintenance. Long before the digital era, businesses relied on paper time sheets. As technology advanced, the common practice of keeping track of expenses and employee time allocation shifted to the use of Excel sheets. Nowadays, there is a new best way of achieving seamless internal management. It is through investing in designated SaaS timekeeping software and mobile apps. 

In this article, we will explain what makes the modern approach the best and how to make it your own.

What Makes Timekeeping So Important?

Timekeeping opens many doors when it comes to improving your team’s overall efficiency. It nurtures an environment in which you can support each worker individually, bringing their best abilities out. It also gives you a general oversight of how your business is performing and where the potential gaps are.

Some argue timekeeping is a way for the upper management to micromanage the salaried staff. Others speculate it’s a way to keep an eye on hourly and contractor workers. We insist none of this is the case.

Visibility of what the workers do is not about a lack of trust. It enables the management to help their staff build more efficient and smoother day-to-day schedules. Through monitoring employees’ time spent via timesheets, you get insights into your workers’ strengths and weaknesses. This will help you identify training opportunities as well as what business areas your employees excel at.

Additionally, maintenance of time entries enables efficient allocation of time and budget across different projects. This leads to better use of resources available and serves as a valuable data collection tool. In the long run, it will enable the business to make better, data-driven decisions.

While timesheets are primarily a solution to keeping track of everything going on across the business, they have much more to offer. Digital timekeeping in particular sheds light on the efficiency of business processes.

Swap Excel for Timekeeping Software

Microsoft Excel is the oldest and most widely used digital timekeeping system. However, its relevance is beginning to fade as technology is leaping forward. Once a revolutionary tool that made time management of small businesses easier, it’s becoming a hindrance to business growth.

To put it very bluntly, Excel is too simple to cater to the needs of businesses today. It has multiple security issues that are easy to walk around. The formula-based system is prone to human error which can cause serious financial damages. Finally, if the spreadsheet becomes too big, opening it can take well over an hour.

On top of those inefficiencies, you can’t do effective reporting through Excel either. To analyse the numbers in your spreadsheet, you need to export them manually to other software for more digestible data displays.

But don’t worry. There is now a more efficient and secure alternative to the outdated spreadsheets. SaaS technology has been created by people who grew frustrated with Excel’s shortcomings. Our timekeeping solution, for example.

Centralisation via Integration

The SaaS software market is blooming. There are millions of solutions for every challenge you may face. It makes perfect sense - every business has different needs and demands. Therefore there’s no one-for-all tool. But when there’s demand, there’s supply. And so we have a very diverse catalogue to choose from.

SaaS technology is usually hyper-focused in a particular area. It physically cannot service every need you have. For example, time-tracking software isn’t going to include tools needed for e-commerce development.

This issue, however, is easily addressed by multiple SaaS providers by offering their users integrations with other tools. While your timekeeping software may not have the particular functions you’re looking for, you can sync it with another piece of software that does.

Integration of different solutions enables seamless data collection and visualisation. It also reduces the risks of human errors when data transferring is handled manually. In other words, SaaS integration enables alignment between different business areas by building a time-efficient, accurate and centralised data transmission.

Team Alignment

When using Excel, if there was more than one editor, you’d normally end up with multiple versions of one document. This approach is a breeding ground for human error and data inconsistency,

As information travels from department to department, it becomes less relevant with each transfer. Many companies have simply given up on trying to keep everyone in the loop and only focus on sharing data within departments they see fit. This mindset is harmful to a business. Without visibility of one department, other teams may take actions that are opposite of what’s been done prior. They may potentially reverse any progress that’s been made or waste time repeating the task.

SaaS technology addresses this issue by enabling multiple users to work on a project simultaneously, in real time. Most SaaS solutions are cloud-based, meaning they are accessed through an internet browser from any device. Any changes implemented by one user become immediately visible to others, creating full transparency across the departments.

Speed, Reliability and Automation

While the elimination of human error is a big selling point for SaaS, it’s not the main one. The ability to save time by taking over tedious tasks and completing them within minutes - that’s the benefit that takes the crown.

For example, a digestible report based on spreadsheet information requires manual data export and arrangement. It is time-consuming and not immune to errors. Whereas if you use a timesheet software, you have a customisable dashboard that provides you with visual reports as soon as you inquire.

Timekeeping SaaS in particular stands out for its automation features. At Timesheet Portal, we have a widely used payroll service automation tool. It sends out invoice reminders to both the approver and the contractor. This is one of many features we offer to take away manual labour that doesn’t drive progress yet needs constant maintenance.

This is just a snippet of what our platform does. If you’d like to explore what else we’ve got, we encourage you to get a free 30-day trial

How to Choose the Right Timekeeping SaaS  Vendor?

With each product being similar yet fundamentally different, it can be difficult to find the right one. Most solutions also come with 3-month or annual contracts. Since prices often climb into the thousands, investing in a tool that’s not right for your business carries the risk of financial losses. Not to mention the time wasted on being committed to an inefficient approach.

In the following section, we want to share some advice on making a good, educated decision when choosing a SaaS platform for timekeeping.

Long-Term Goals Over Quick Fixes

Purchasing a SaaS solution is a long-term commitment. You should therefore think ahead. Even if it’s a solution to a nagging issue that needed to be sorted out yesterday. Be patient - it pays off in the end.

For guidance, revisit your long-term goals and what you need to achieve them. Next, think about the features you prioritise in software. We suggest you write them both down. Once done, compare them - is there an alignment?

If the software solves your immediate problem but nothing apart from that, it’s not a good investment. The right tool is meant to become a trustworthy ally in your business growth journey, supporting your efforts in more than one area. In other words, you are looking for versatile software that serves multiple purposes and will remain useful even after the main issue is sorted. 

Technical Requirements and CRM

Integrations should also be one of the deciding factors when shopping for a SaaS. Every business, inevitably, is working with some sort of software already. Be it accounting, CRM, or something else. More often than not, companies are looking for an addition to their existing tools as opposed to replacing the entirety of it.

It’s crucial to explore integration options for the SaaS platforms you’re interested in. If you have a long list of potential candidates, this can be a great way to filter the unfit ones out. There are no rights or wrongs when it comes to integrations. Because, ultimately, it’s your business and its needs at the core.

Sometimes, the software may not have a specific integration you need, but its overall value proposition is perfectly aligned with your goals. In that case, you shouldn’t write it off immediately. Consider contacting the vendor - there might be a chance of creating a custom API.

Support and Additional Resources

Get your hands on the supplier’s SLA as soon as possible. If the policy suggests you’re not entitled to receive that before signing the contract, it’s a red flag. Often that means the supplier is hiding something. SLAs are meant to outline the downtimes of the servers, customer support availability and other things that are big deciding factors.

The level of support and communication with the vendor depends on your needs and expectations. Some companies like to be handheld throughout their onboarding and after. Others prefer a hands-off approach. And both of them are perfectly fine. It’s wise to have your preferences outlined before you commit to a SaaS platform.

Timekeeping is a Synonym of Success

We cannot emphasise enough how important timekeeping is. With data stored on timesheets being a cornerstone of many business decisions, the prospect of eliminating potential human error cannot be walked away from.

The ways of ensuring better timekeeping have evolved alongside technology. We now have cutting-edge solutions to replace outdated, flaw-ridden practices. Take this opportunity and you will be astounded by the results.

Key Takeaway

The ever-growing SaaS market was created by people who saw problems within existing solutions. For example, how inefficient Excel is for timekeeping. Their frustrations with software-based roadblocks and potential risks paved the path to where we are today. A modern world filled with improved and highly personalised ways to help businesses be more efficient in their timekeeping efforts.

At Timesheet Portal, we recognise how impactful good timekeeping is. From creating healthier internal environments to perfecting your product and messaging to build a relationship with the consumer, information collected and utilised through timesheets is at the heart of everything. It should therefore not be taken lightly.

Do you have any other questions or inquiries? Feel free to get in touch or book a demo.

Free trial

See for yourself how you can save time and money. Enter your details below for a free 30 day no-obligation trial.
Cyber Essentials logo Cyber Essentials Plus logo

Timesheet Portal online software provided by Anfold Software Ltd, a registered company in the UK.