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Twitter your TSheets
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TSheets iPhone App
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TSheets Spreadsheet Time Entry Option
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Supervisor Time Approval for TSheets
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Sync Your TSheets with QuickBooks
This article is a bit of a ‘tag-team approach’ between me and Caren Schwartz who has been writing a series of articles for Intuitive Accountant on Software for Law Firms. We started out writing independent articles on TSheets, but I chose to combine the two articles into a single offering. So while parts of this article may sound muchly ‘Murph’, other portions will be clearly ‘Caren’. One further note, because both Caren and I write from a ‘professional firm’ standpoint, we tend to use the word ‘client’ in lieu of ‘customer’, but just remember you can substitute throughout this article if customer makes more sense for you or your clients.
TSheets Time Tracking
When it comes to tracking time, there are many choices. You can track time as a part of QuickBooks, practice management and/or billing software, or you may choose to use any of a number of stand-alone time tracking applications.
Why might you, or your clients, use a stand-alone time tracking application? Perhaps you have a lot of people working outside of the office and you want them to capture time as they work, from wherever they are. Another possibility is you want more limitations on the data seen by the employees than offered by your billing accounting software. You may even want to limit the number of user licenses for your office-based programs.
Another reason you might want stand-alone time tracking is the need for time approval and adjustment processes that your other software doesn’t offer. Perhaps you need better reporting of time for cost control or job costing purposes.
While you could perhaps change billing software, that may not be the best option. If you have time, history and training invested it might not make sense to change. Or maybe the software you are using is really the best choice with the exception of time tracking. To meet that exception or to avoid expensive changes, an add-on solution may make sense.
TSheets is definitely an application you should consider. If you are using QuickBooks for your billing, then TSheets will easily synchronize with QuickBooks. In fact, TSheets works with both the online and desktop versions of QuickBooks and exchanges clients, tasks and time, including payroll information.
Even if QuickBooks isn’t the billing solution for your firm, TSheets is still a very useful time tracking program that even offers some simple invoicing capabilities. (Note that since payments are not “processed” in TSheets, this doesn’t resolve the accounting issue of applying partial payments to invoice.) TSheets can import job codes (clients/customers) from an Excel CSV file and TSheets can export time to an Excel CSV that can then be imported into a billing program, like Timeslips, that will accept Excel CSV format. This allows your timekeepers to have the advantages of tracking time with TSheets, while managers have a time approval process, and then billing can be done where desired.
TSheets offers numerous data entry options including web time cards and time sheets, iOS and Android devices, as well as the ability to text, tweet, or call in time. [See Picture 2] You can clock in or out in real time. Whenever and wherever work takes you TSheets mobile applications allow you to start your own personal ‘time clock’, and then update that clock with the current client/job, tasks and activity details. When the client, job, tasks or activities change, simply update your time entry. All of your ‘time off’ activities, both paid and unpaid, can also be included in your TSheets time records including paid-time-off, vacation and holiday pay, even lunch hours.
TSheets Apple iPhone native App [See Picture 3] offers a variety of features including the ability to clock-in/out with one touch, add/delete/assign time to job codes or tasks, map GPS coordinates with every stop/start of the time or job code change, and even work ‘off-line’ when cell-service isn’t available. Of course when you are ‘connected’ your time events and GPS data can be reported in real time. My own tests of TSheets involved the iPhone App, but TSheets also offers a new totally redesigned Android App with essentially the same feature set as the iPhone App but with the ‘Android feel’ that most Android users prefer.
For some applications an alternative to the traditional ‘one user, one time-clock’ data entry methodology is TSheets’ Crew App. Instead of wasting time managing time cards for each member of their crew, this functionality permits a Crew Boss to easily group employees into crews and then clock time for either the entire crew or individual members. They can easily move the entire crew to a different project, or allocate different crew members to different projects. Back at the home office supervisors can view the locations of entire crews and crew members via GPS as well as review comprehensive time reporting for the crew in real time.
During my own testing I realized that I am not the type of person who likes clocking in and out, and having to remember to change the Client/Job and task, as they actually happen. Fortunately TSheets gave me alternatives when entering time or I probably wouldn’t have stuck with the entire ‘trial period’. [See Picture 4] For much of my trial I used TSheets spreadsheet-style manual time card that allowed me to enter a specific number of hours and minutes for each client/job, and pick the tasks and record activity details in the notes for each entry. Because I would normally do this at the end of each engagement, I found this option as the best approach for my own practice.
Personnel using TSheets can submit completed timesheets to managers or supervisors for easy approval or adjustment(s) if needed. [See Picture 5] Back at the office, managers and payroll personnel can get detailed reports, and manage labor expenses. A variety of customizable filters make it possible to get the exact reports you need and want sorted by date(s), payroll period(s), employee(s), group(s), job code(s) and a multitude of other options. I enjoyed seeing my time data displayed in a variety of graphs and graph styles.
In addition to security and approval processes, TSheets provides employees and/or managers with reminders. These reminders include
- Remind managers to improve time each week
- Remind managers who haven’t approved their employees time by a certain date/time
- Notify managers when timesheets are submitted
- Remind employees to submit time
- Remind employees who haven’t submitted their time
So all your firm’s time has been tracked and the required approvals are in place! In just one–click, it is possible to sync all the data from TSheets to QuickBooks. [See Picture 6] With all your timesheet data synced, you can use QuickBooks to process payroll, do job costing, or create invoices...but, in record time!
In preparing for my TSheets trial, I spent a bit of time talking with several TSheets officials who started by telling me that, “People love to use TSheets.” According to their statistics employees love it because it's easy to use. Supervisors and managers love it because their employees quickly adopt it and don't need to be nagged about tracking their time. And, it makes the payroll and client invoicing functions easier and more accurate especially when time is imported into QuickBooks.
Caren and I agree, TSheets offers power and flexibility, at an affordable price. What impressed me during my testing of TSheets was its’ simplicity, flexibility and speed. Their reports provided both metric and graphic data that I really liked. And the transfer of data to QuickBooks was hardly more than a click. For a business with heavy client turnover that is using a system other than QuickBooks for billing TSheets may not be ideal; but for many firms, TSheets is a great time keeping choice.