Today’s timesheets are adaptable digital tools: Here are the features that can make them truly useful.

Are your timecards still languishing in the last century? Do you have troubles with timesheet consistency or accuracy? Companies that want more out of their timesheets and tracking solutions have a lot of options to choose from, but many don’t know what they are missing. Today’s timesheet services have advanced compatibility and a host of new features that allow them to function in nearly any scenario. When the time comes to update your software, here are the top capabilities to watch for – and how they can help.

TimeSheets

Multidevice Compatibility

Today’s time data solutions need to be compatible with mobile devices: End of story. Find a tool that works just as well as an app on a phone as it does on a desktop computer. Modern employees are on the go and tend to have more flexible schedules than ever. Fewer and fewer are actually sitting down at their desks, especially when it’s time to clock out. More often, they may even be working from home or at the café. It’s important to make time data entry easy for them.

Also note that “mobile compatibility” isn’t the end-all of this tip. It’s important to test out the mobile capabilities of the software before making a decision. Some “lite” versions can’t really perform many complex tasks, and it’s important that mobile timesheets offer full capabilities.

Multiple Sign-In/Sign-Out Methods

Newer time data solutions are very good at offering multiple ways to update the system, and it’s a good idea to take advantage of this. Like including mobile compatibility, this ensures that employees have ways to add timecard information no matter where they are or what they are doing. Some systems let you sign in or out with a tweet; others let you send a text or an email to the system. These methods are useful for those who are short on time, busy on other projects, or are off-site where Wi-Fi connections may not be available or dependable.

Entry Via Project and Task

Logging hours in a closed system can be very limiting. A better solution is the ability to log time or expenses and customize the report based on projects and tasks that employees worked on. Since many organizations are focusing more on projects and team efforts, this is a great way to keep track of exactly where resources are going. It may also be helpful to allow employees to change their employment type (hourly vs. contract, etc.) as needed to accurately show their involvement in particular efforts. More flexibility is usually a good idea!

Room for Calculating Other Types of Data

Chances are good that employees aren’t just getting paid by the hour. They are also accruing bonuses, commissions, time off and more (sometimes all at once). And that’s just the start: If you’re working with equipment, that equipment is also accruing work hours that can affect its maintenance schedule. Is there a software option to record this information or automate it so that it corresponds with hours listed? Take a look at your HR system and make sure everything works together.

Data Sharing With Scheduling and Team Software

Speaking of working together, timesheets should also allow data sharing with several other business operation segments. Scheduling is an important inclusion in flatter, more flexible companies, because it allows managers and employees to quickly match their hours or rearrange their schedules based on where others are working, personal goals and time needed on particular projects. Of course, this works much better if timesheets can be connected to more advanced team data or communication so that everyone can stay on the same page. When possible, timesheets shouldn’t be siloed off from other business systems, as that tends to do more harm than good.

Team-Based and Freelance Entry

There are a couple of other scenarios where time data needs to be flexible. The first is team records or crew-based recording: In some industries, the time worked by a crew needs to be recorded as a whole, so it’s important that there are options for more than just individual employees. Second, if your company uses temp workers or freelancers, make sure the system can handle them. There’s no reason to use a secondary tracking tool just for gig jobs when one solution can handle both.

Resource Analysis Tools

Look for a system that supports spot reporting and allows managers to track projects, budgets and resources spent based on current time data. A good solution will be able to give an at-a-glance view of how time data compares to a variety of goals. This option can also be employee-facing: Many employees appreciate the ability to watch their vacation accrual or progress to a bonus in real time – and it’s not bad for productivity, either.

Alerts for Time Off, Schedule Clashes and More

Irregularities are the bane of timesheet management, but today’s software can do a lot to help out. Look for automation features that send alerts in case of schedule clashes, inconsistencies, or any request for shift changes and time off. Systems shouldn’t force managers to do the brunt of the work when it comes to these scenarios. Instead, data should be analyzed, packaged up, and sent in for a quick response or resolution that doesn’t require any head scratching. The ability for managers to create their own alerts is also useful for goal creation and managing strict scheduling parameters.

Compliance Compatibility

Here’s another area where automation can prove invaluable: If your company faces significant hiring and HR regulation, compliance issues can be a headache when managing different employee categories and hours worked. Get a solution that understands these needs and manages compliance for you, preventing any illegal scheduling or improper recording before it becomes a problem.

So, how does your time data system measure up? If you believe you need new features for managing your Nationwide employees, let us know! Alliance Technology Partners can help you find the data solutions that work. Contact us for more information at (888) 891-8885 or sales@alliancetechpartners.com.