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Software applications designed for use in time-tracking or time-management, within a business environment, are the focus of topics in this guide.

This might include time-tracking functions relating to the tracking of employee work hours, including clock-in times, clock-out times, breaks, overtime, and so on. It might also refer to the tracking of job hours, for the sake of accurately billing clients.

Companies using manual timesheet reporting systems often experience delays and inaccurate reports, given that the timesheet reporting and payroll processes involve a large amount of data that can be tedious and time-consuming to encode. Through the use of well-designed time reporting software, savings can be enjoyed on processing costs since the process will be automated, quicker, and more accurate.

Prior to the common use of computers in business, manufacturing and service companies often employed an entire department that was responsible for timesheet reporting, time tracking, and related financial processes, such as payroll and invoicing. Department staff had to collate and summarize the numerous reports submitted by employees, evaluating and correcting any errors or miscalculations. Separately, department staff were responsible for tracking sick days, vacation leaves, and so on. Once they had completed the payroll figures for one pay period, the entire process was repeated for the next, so that employees were paid fairly and on-time, and clients were invoiced accurately.

The introduction of computer applications like spreadsheets improved the timesheet reporting process dramatically, as most of the calculations could be completed by the spreadsheets themselves. However, department staff still had to gather the individual timesheets from employees, reviewing them for accuracy, then entering the data into the spreadsheets, as well as gathering individual spreadsheets into a single document.

Additional automation was introduced by computer software specifically designed for time tracking and task tracking reporting. In many industries and situations, employees were able to log their hours and times into the system rather than doing so on paper. Particularly in the manufacturing industry, employee timeclocks were integrated into the system, allowing this information to be automatically recorded whenever the employee clocked in or clocked out.

Today, other formerly tedious tasks involved in time and task trackings, such as the submission and approval of work hours, vacations, and leaves, can be automated through timesheet reporting software. In most systems, supervisors or managers can log into the system to review the data submitted by employees they are responsible for. Approved hours could then be automatically updated in the system.

Businesses that primarily provide services, such as consultants, attorneys, accountants, programmers, web designers, and so on, can benefit from a software system that tracks the time they spend on various projects so that clients can be accurately billed in a timely manner. Depending on business models, billing may be in various time increments

I worked as a machine adjuster in a manufacturing environment several years ago, prior to the introduction of computers. A new HR manager established a policy requiring employees in my position to maintain accurate records of every maintenance task that we performed throughout our shift. As it turned out, on average, more than an hour of each eight-hour shift was spent filling these reports out on paper. That policy didn't last long. In a portable computing environment, it may have proven to be helpful.

With a well-designed time reporting system, management can receive timely reports that provide an accurate view of relevant data, allowing them to make timely decisions to control and mitigate and project management failures, spotting errors before they adversely affect employees, clients or the company itself.

Of course, an effective system should be intuitive, also known as user-friendly, reducing the amount of training required, as well as the amount of time spent entering data into the system. The system should also include a means by which supervisors and management can monitor data entered by employees, spotting problems before inaccurate data is entered into the system.

Several other features may be included in software designed for the tracking of employee time or the time spent on client projects. Any software applications designed for use in tracking employee time, task management, or related purposes are appropriate for this category.



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