Time Tracking is one of the hottest features that is being desired in corporate market nowadays. This is because one of the most dreadful task many companies, be it in IT sector or business firms, need to manage their employees and their time-sheets, conduct their payroll, adjust billing as per work records, etc.
- Ease of control in the entire setup.
- Easier to grasp timesheets and input time manually for non-clocked days.
- Calendar and scheduling options for marking important dates, events, and tasks.
- Account codes to manage the work-times.
- Decent Project management and event setup.
- Company wide announcement feature. Can be configured for individual employees too.
- Separate approval section to approve hour and project times.
- Highly cheap given to the features they provide.
- Mediocre from the standards of other time tracking tools.
- No employee monitoring or productivity
- Time tracking is not automatic. Need to clock-in everyday manually.
- No desktop setup to begin with. Limits it to cloud and mobile
- No screenshots feature, which even basic time trackers provide.
- Mediocre report section. Only data and no visual graphics like bar graphs, pie charts, etc.
- Negligible payroll options. Can only track vacation/leaves in it.
- No billing and invoicing feature. No payment gateway collaborations.
- No offline time tracking, or idle time tracking. Need to manually set time for lunch breaks and other similar stuff.
- No skill tracking or productivity alerts for employees.
For that reason, the best way is to use a time tracking software to manage things for you. These tools are equipped with many essential features of time tracking, like time recording, break recording, payroll calculations, etc. They have become much sophisticated now to give other features of employee monitoring like screenshots, app monitoring, idle time, etc.
For this review, we are evaluating a very elementary time tracker tool Timesheets.com. This tool was founded in the year 2004, in San Jose, USA. This company has 15 years of experience in this field and a decent customer base. They are part of parent company TimeClockOnline.com.
This product, apart from standard time tracking, can also do project tracking, cost tracking, time offs, attendance tracking, and so on. For this review, Timesheets.com needs to be assessed meticulously, and only then we can write a complete review on it.
Testing Features in Timesheets.com
To begin with tracking features, companies need to set up their account on Timesheets.com. For that, just go to the website and create a new account. They have allowed freelancers to use their services for free, while the organizations can set up their plans on as low as $4.50.
The lower plans indicate that unlike other time trackers Hubstaff, Time Doctor, Time Camp, etc., we won’t see any advanced features for employee monitoring. This product is similar to eBillity Time Tracker, only meant for Time tracking and lacks any employee monitoring features.
After the signup, admins are prompted for setting their company standards. In this setup, they adjust various things like name of the company, work shifts, salary structure, billing rates, payroll time, and more details of employees. The entire setup can be skipped, but that is generally not advisable.
It is better to setup some elementary information here first. Once the initial wizard is done, you can see the main console. Over this panel, there are few useful information of the work shifts. It has basically four tabs viz., time & expenses, time-off, human resources, and inactive users.
The first tab time & expenses, shows user names, clock in status, total time, project timesheets, and net cost. There is an accomplishment field on the top of it. Users can update their achievement here and choose to show it on the company wall. Unlike other tools, this feature is not automatic and so it can be used as a play-thing by employees.
The second tab is time-off tab. It has info on all the time-off activities by you. They have given various choices for time-offs like sick, vacations, PTO, holidays, meetings, etc. You can manually set the limit for sick, vacation and PTO leaves. The dashboard will also show the remaining leaves of these three.
Then comes the HR section. In this, admins can view a list of all the employees. There are filters and search button given too. They have displayed some basic info for each employee like their identity, date of joining, annual review, overtime policy, hourly rates, performance documents, etc.
You can also input photos of the employees here. The last tab is to display inactive users. This includes those who have not clocked-in or have their accounts closed. Other than this, Timesheet.com has no graphs or any other extraordinary data on their main panel. This can feel a bit disappointing to some pro-users.
When it comes to timesheet generation and management, they have once again used the elementary setup. Now, we move on to the main setup that elaborated the timesheet data.
Viewing Timesheets & Time Tracking
Timesheets are the primary focus feature for these tools. In general, these timesheets help you determine work shifts, total work time, breaks, leaves, inactivity, etc. Depending on the software, they can have advanced features or basic ones.
In Timesheets.com, they have tried to keep things remarkably simple. This means that there is no graphical representation, no timeline feature, no separate calendar-based visual interface. Not to criticize the product, but things are more comfortable to grasp with graphical data, and Timesheets.com must adopt that policy, even if they want to keep it plain and simple.
Nevertheless, time-sheet in this tool has a separate panel. On it, users can view some primary tabs viz., hourly time, project time, expenses, HR docs, and settings. In hourly time, they have displayed general data of users related to work shift. This includes total time, leaves, total expenses, clock in and clock out time for each day, and so on.
They have used some specific sign language for each type of time-related activity like leaves, salaried leaves, alerts, approved sheets, manual clock out, split times, etc. To get the details of time period of a particular day, you can just clock-on that time.
You can add manual time from this menu itself. For that, use Time Entry Tab here. In manual time entry, admins can setup things accordingly if they want their employees to add it or not. To add this time, they have to input it in one of the time classifications.
After that, select date and time you like to make an entry for, add the category of work and then select if the time is payable or not. There is an approve radio button on admin’s panel to validate this entry. Save the records and move on.
Next section in timesheets is the project timesheets. Like its other counterpart, users can view a terribly similar setup here. Based on the selected project, users can view their own data on each project.
Admins can manually add project time for users. The rates and other items can be adjusted, which we will review in project management system. For now, this panel gives essential functions only for these projects.
Later on, there is Week View in it. This is used to access project time for any week. Suitable for manually assigning long projects rather than selecting them every day. Even if someone forgets to register these long week projects, admins can directly assign them from here.
The next tab in time-sheets view is Expenses. This is used to calculate expenses of different employees. It has all the details like day, date, time period, event, customer, project, net amount, etc. to generate a summary sheet of expenses. For further settings regarding expenses, you can edit it based on an individual project, or company, differently for every user.
Overall, this was the main content in time-sheets reports. Going through it wasn’t an easy task. It does require a considerable learning curve. Unlike other tools Hubstaff, Time Doctor, Time Camp, or even eBillity, they have not given smoother navigation through these reports. Things can become very dull in first use.
Unfortunately, Timesheets.com had not offered anything superficial. These features are easily replicable in most time-sheet tools. However, given the pricing they have for it; we will not expect anything more than this.
Calendar & Schedules
One of the most common features to be used in many time tracking tools is calendar and event scheduling. With both these, admins are capable of viewing many time entries in one go and also view reports of multiple employees.
Timesheets.com has given Calendar & Schedule tab for these resolves. This can be accessed in left side navigation pane. Things may seem once again a bit complicated here. It does require some learning in almost each and every feature of it.
The UI of this section has an outdated look and needs to be updated. Initially, the panel seems empty. There are further options in sidebar of this section. These options are used to select the users, calendars, and their types.
They have given two calendars that can be filtered here, viz., company calendar, and the HR calendar. So, how are they different? Well, company calendar can sort the payroll periods whereas HR calendar is used to track annual reviews, birthdays, hires, anniversaries, and terminations.
You can also add your own calendar from here. There is no special provision for adding your own calendar. You can only add name and other details of desired days. You can either make it private or public. While selecting the list of calendars from main menu, you can manually add entries in this calendar.
This makes custom calendars helpful. To add your own entries, just go to a specific date and click + button. In this, you can add time period of the event, its title and description. However, there is no provision for setting alarm or notifications for future events here.
This must have been given by them in the event entry tab itself. Other comparable products have given an additional feature of timeline view in the calendar itself for a better view of daily stats.
Project Management and Event Setup
Although more of a CRM software task, project management in time trackers helps to manage time entries for specific tasks. This allows users to precisely track many activities in it.
In Timesheets.com, there is a fundamental project management tool. This tool is used to add, remove, or edit existing projects. There are specific criteria that can be weaved in with time tracking.
To add new projects and tasks, we need to access the Projects Tab in it. The main setup of this tab is used to view and add projects. To add new projects, you can input many other information in it.
Primarily, you must input name, description, time increment, default billing rates, project access permissions, and archive project button. As you see here, users cannot add subtasks to it.
In other product viz., Time Doctor, Time Camp, Hubstaff, etc., users can customize the project in much better ways. They can add multiple subtasks to it. Coupled with employee monitoring, you can input keyword in them too.
Using these keywords, the projects can be switched automatically. Such advanced features are not in Timesheets.com. Other than above, you can only merge two projects.
To select a project, you need to access this section and then start the timer. This choice must be given in clock-in and clock-out section itself. This shows that the product has ordinary project management features. There are much better free options in market for CRM tasks and with better features.
Event List is another similar function. Like you can add projects in Timesheets.com, events can also be added. These events are once again used as tags to filter out various expenses. Users can either add or remove them.
This is bad since there is no choice to schedule an event at a particular time and send notifications to the employees. This must be added in it. They have not given provision to import event calendar from other sources.
Not to totally discredit their work, but Timesheets.com needs to up their work in all these sub-sections. They can increase their product price, but the lack of even basic amenities is likely to create more frustration. We hope that they make these things more professional.
Customer List & Vendor List In Timesheets.Com
Another useful thing we often notice in time trackers is client management. Many organizations rely on client projects, and so they need to keep records of data they indulge in during this interaction with clients or customers.
For that reason, we have a Customer List Section in Timesheets.com. Do not mistake it for new employee system. This section is used mainly to link people with different projects which can be helpful in monitoring things.
In the Add New Customer menu, you can input necessary details of them viz., name, contact information, description, address, and business details. You can also allow other employees to deliver services to these customers.
To add many customers, you will need a CSV file and use the import button from here. For individual customers, admins can view which employees are assigned to them. Like the projects, admins can merge data of two customers.
Sadly, this is only limited interaction with the client/customer management system. They need to add more advanced option here. This includes adding a budget of each customer, billing status, and other such things. There must be a direct payment option too for clients.
These features can be added to aid the owners in directly managing and overseeing their customers. Another similar setup given by them is the Vendor List. They can be added in the expense report. Like above, you can add more details in here.
Managing Different Work-Time With Account Codes
While using a time tracker, we often come across options where we have to set up the clock distinctly for different tasks like work, lunch, meetings, etc. For that, all time trackers come with different time assignment features.
Some of them include it in the setup itself. For inactivity, users can opt to add that time either as coffee breaks, general discussions, meetings, etc. This helps to keep an eye on the productivity of product.
Timesheets.com has given a separate setup to choose using which admins can categorize the work shifts. To access it, you can use the Account-Code Lists Tab.
In this tab, users can add as many as account codes. These codes are used to properly categorize time and then expenses. The admins can also set permission for these codes to be used by only specific employees or all of them.
The various set of codes that we can input here are lunch, breaks, tea breaks, meetings, discussions, etc. This way, while editing the time-sheets, you can organize the time accordingly with this.
However, there is a fault in this system. They have not given a choice to categorize these added codes as productive or unproductive. This can make the report way too tedious to read if you keep seeing the same tags repeatedly.
Other than that, each of them has cost rate input too. Since the productive, unproductive category is not given, we can assign some monetary rates to the assigned account-codes. This can differentiate them as paying and non-paying jobs, for now.
Regardless, when compared to other product as in Time Doctor, Hubstaff, Time Camp, etc., they have mediocre setup here too.
Hourly and Project Time Approval
So what is the use of separate approval of hourly and project time? How does this approval help?
In the explanations given by Timesheets.com themselves, this approval is used to confirm the timesheet of employees. This is to be done before closing payroll sheets. For this, use Approve Hour-Time Button on the sidebar.
In the given setup, you can input the starting and ending date that you want approval for. Then select the users and department codes. There is a selection box for various times like standard, sick, vacation, PTO, holidays, lunch, meetings, and salaried.
You can group the reports based on the number of employees, job title, date, account records, etc. When you press the approve button, it will generate a report just below it. This report will have all the details like net hour summary, total leaves/vacations, work category, and notes for the time of each employee.
After reviewing this report, use Approve Time Button to finalize it. Moreover, we can see how simple it is to manage the sheets. You can also remove or archive this time.
Next comes Project Time Approval. Like above option, this time is used to categorize approval time based on individual projects. This is an excellent way to see the contribution of different employees in projects.
Contrary to earlier reports, they have included the billing cost for each project rather than time period for them. The budget is totaled at the end. In this way, you view the project report and its cost and then approve it.
When we compare it to other equivalent products, both these are quite decent. Both reports had collected appropriate information. The more details, more it’ll be better. Lack of any links with productivity features make these approval sheets a bit old school. In future, when they add such features, we can see these section getting better.
Going through the Reports in Timesheets.com
We have assessed many time trackers, and one of the things we never forget to weigh high in our reviews; and that is the reports section. So, what is so special about these reports section?
This is because it is a critical part of managing and reviewing things in your company. In Timesheets.com, Reports Tab is present on the primary sidebar. The central panel of reports has the list of company summary, payroll reports, hourly reports, project time reports, mileage & expense tracking, and HR performance documents.
As said earlier, we have gone thought most of these reports. Among them, some unique reports were present too. These were location & tardy report, record history reports, processed timesheet reports, and so on.
The HR report can be accessed for each worker, which is used to input ratings for an employee. The top categories in the HR report are performance, discipline, incident report. This also contains a commendation letter and termination letter. This HR report was unique to Timesheets.com.
This may seem overkill for some users. However, this helps to formulate correct ratings for all of them. All the reports are exportable in pdf and text format only. This can be increased to many more formats like CSV, XLS, etc. for better accessibility.
Overall, the report section is decent to give you all the essentials that they monitor in Timesheets.com. Advanced users may see some things lacking in it. This is probably because they lack employee monitoring and productivity reports.
We believe that when they will add them in it, we will be able to access them here. For the current functionalities and pricing, the features in it are passable. Our recommendation to Timesheets.com is that they need to get up in this game. With more than 15 years of experience in this field, we believe that they can get on par with other top products like Hubstaff, Time Camp, Time Doctor, etc.
Apart from these, there are some other mentionable features in it like reconcile expenses, announcements, and mobile application. The mobile app is also very elementary and similar to the web version, but relatively easier to accomplish.
There is a competitive product with similar setup named eBillity. Both are having only cloud-based time clocks. However, eBillity has evolved a bit farther, and details on it are much better and robust than Timesheets.com. Nevertheless, Timesheets.com really must try to accelerate their growth to make sure they keep in the market.
Although quite limited, fortunately, features in Timesheets.com work. This means they work flawlessly and never in our testing we encountered any bugs or glitches. The UI was straightforward, and navigation was plain. This makes it novice-friendly.
The only con we saw is that lack of advanced features makes them fall behind in this race. The pricing is still fantastic given the features in it, and they do not seem to overcharge for things. This shows their honesty, and that’s a good thing.
Our final verdict is that if they somehow revamp the entire services along with many latest time tracking and employee monitoring tools, we can expect their growth further. Otherwise, other products with such advanced options are under high demand and will eventually over-shadow them.
If you feel the same, feel free to review what else is needed in Timesheets.com to up their services?