The topics below are the biggest complaints people have against Excel timesheet templates. (We've been in business to hear them all.) Excel timesheets are certainly easy to put together, especially if you find a "good" template with all the totals you want. Just plug in your projects and employees, and you instantly get weekly totals! How can that be bad? Maybe not bad at all... or maybe the worst business decision you've ever made! The biggest issue is the first one below. If that one doesn't bother you, then you probably don't need to read the read. So just read that one and determine if you have anything to worry about.
Issue #1: Lost Hours
Here's the biggest and most common complaint by companies coming to us for a professional timesheet: THEY LOSE BILLABLE HOURS! Now I'm sure you're asking how a spreadsheet can lose hours... Do the numbers change? Does the file revert to earlier versions? No, that's not the issue. There are scenarios where hours are not accounted for. The video describes one where an employee enters hours after the bookkeeper has already submitted the invoice to the client. So those hours will never be billed. They are effectively lost. There are other scenarios like this. The horror story is this: your company loses money and nobody know about it! Professional timesheets have been around long enough to resolve these kinds of issues.
Issue #2: Reentry Errors
What if your bookkeeper transposes a number when reentering it into the client invoice? Again... you'll loose money. Any time you have manual processes (that could easily be automated) you risk human error, which leads to revenue loss. It happen all the time! Nobody is immune to it. Just count the typos in this article, and you'll realize that!
Issue #3: Sharing Conflicts
When one employee opens an Excel spreadsheet, others have to wait until they can open it. So what happens Friday afternoons when everybody's timesheets are due? You know! And what happens if one employee leaves the timesheet open on their desktop? Again, others cannot get to it. That's a small issue, but an annoying one nonetheless.
Issue #4: Incomplete Solution
You don't really get a complete solution with Excel timesheets. You can't easily break projects into tasks. You can't easily track expenses and mileage along with your timesheet hours. How about PTO accruals for vacation, sick, personal? What if you want to see projected revenue for the months to come? All that comes in a professional timesheet like Standard Time.
Issue #5: Poor Reporting
Getting reporting for all your needs is nearly impossible with a spreadsheet. You have to write special Excel formulas. And they only apply to special purposes. There are rarely single-click reporting solutions that crunch the numbers in different user-configurable ways. You don't get the benefit of decades of customer input that yield creative reporting. Instead, you just have your totals, and that's it. Uggh.
Issue #6: Not Free
If you think Excel timesheet templates are free, guess again. Yes, you can download them for free. But their ongoing use will cost you money in programming time, spreadsheet rework, human error, lost hours, and incomplete solutions that don't benefit your company. Excel timesheets are not free!