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October 28, 2022

How to Fill Out a Timesheet Correctly In 7 Simple-Steps


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Tired of paperwork?

Knowing how to fill out a timesheet for work is crucial for any employee that wants to be paid for the work they do. It’s also very important for employers to have accurate records for payroll, taxes and auditing purposes. In this article we’ve answered questions like “How to fill out timesheet?”, “How to fill out time cards?” and “How to fill out a weekly timesheet?”.

Interested to learn more? Let’s dive right in.

The importance of filling out a timesheet correctly

Because a timesheet is a document that records the number of hours an employee has worked for a given period of time, it’s incredibly important to fill it out correctly.  Besides being fair to the employee, there are a few other reasons why you should be paying close attention to a correctly-filled timesheet. And of course, a big help would be the use of a timesheet app.

Track project costs

Being a business owner means you know how much money your projects make or cost. Timesheets allow you to track this at a glance and make the necessary adjustments if needed. You can streamline your project planning by with accurate timekeeping and complete timesheets. They can be used to ensure that you're billing your customers fairly too.

Help with payroll

It is important to be on the same page as your employees when it comes to paying them. Timesheets can help with this by making sure you are paying them for all the hours they have worked, including double time and extra hours. They are also great for setting up a remote payroll - you can use time tracking software from any location and export it to the payroll system.

Measure employee performance

With timesheets, you can measure and improve employee performance and workflow at work. You can track what amount of time your employees spend on various tasks and use this information to better understand their work habits.  By looking at their regular hours, you can identify areas of improvement, while still finishing projects on time.

Bill accurately 

Recording employee timesheets is a great way to bill all your clients accurately. Timesheets can also help provide perspective on the time spent on a project. When used in conjunction with project management tools, they can offer an accurate snapshot of the time that was put into this particular project. This way, clients know that every single dollar is being spent wisely.

Save money

You can save your business money by optimizing your spending and keeping track of budgets with timesheets. You’re able to see which projects your employees are working on and how much time they spend working on them to minimize unproductive time. They’ll also help you better allocate your resources so that you know where to spend more money and where to cut back.

Different types of timesheets

A salaried employee timesheet shows the amount of hours an employee has worked for any time period. Employees track their working hours based on a set company practice, and are usually paid by the end of this period. In some cases, however, employers may request detailed daily timesheets and calculate payroll for these at the end of a month. 

Let’s take a look at the main types of timesheets:

Monthly timesheets

Monthly timesheets record the working hours an employee gathers over a month. These usually show up to 160 hours.

Weekly timesheets

Weekly timesheets record the working hours an employee gathers during a week. A normal week would include around 40 hours of work.

Biweekly timesheets

Biweekly timesheets show how many hours an employee worked over the course of two weeks. These would show about 80 hours of work.

Daily timesheets

Daily timesheets record the number of working hours an employee gathers during the day. You can expect to see about 8 hours per day tracked in these timesheets. 

Project timesheets

Project timesheets cover the entire time worked on a single project. These can record anywhere from a few days to months, depending on how long the project takes.

How to fill out a salaried employee timesheet in 7 simple steps

Knowing how to fill out a timesheet is incredibly important. You need to have correct data included in these timesheets for payroll, audit, and tax purposes. Any incorrect data could result in

  • Inaccurate pay,

  • Unnecessary penalties,

  • Fines,

  • Decreased employee satisfaction, and more.

If a worker submits the following data on a timesheet, then they’ve handed in a correctly-filled timesheet.

Step 1 - Enter the employee’s name

Each timesheet should include the employee’s full name. This name should be the same as it is written in your contract and other employee documents, so try to avoid any nicknames. Furthermore, full names help avoid confusion among employees who have the same name.

Step 2- Add a date range

After you’ve entered a name, you should add the date range. Most companies will either expect daily, weekly or monthly timesheets, so depending on what pay salary an employee has, that’s the date range that should be written in a timesheet.

Step 3 - Add project details

When filling out a timesheet, add the project details after you’ve written a date range. This should include all of the relevant information like the type of project, location, the team you’ve worked with, and more. Since many employers group tasks by a project for better tracking of progress, this section helps you accurately track and bill clients for the time spent on a certain project.

Step 4 - Include working hours for workdays

Afterwards, write the working hours for each day that is considered a working day. Depending on whether you’re working part-time, full-time, or working on the weekends, you should add all of the clock in and out hours in this section. Not only does this help keep better track of your working hours, but it also helps to spot any problems like coming in late every Monday, or leaving early on a Friday.

Step 5 - Determine total hours

After you’ve written all your daily clock in and out times, it’s time to calculate the final number of office team timesheet entry hours. This gives employers an overview of how many hours a non-exempt employee has worked during a given period. If they’ve worked overtime or taken an extra shift, they can calculate these into payroll and taxes.

Step 6 - Add notes

Usually timesheets have a notes section, and here you should write anything that employers should know or be aware of. This can include overtime, reasons for being late or changing the schedule, missing a day due to sickness, and more.

Step 7 - Submit your timesheet

Finally, after filling in all the details, you’re ready to hand your timesheet in for approval. If you have a company software that you use to fill in timesheets, then all you have to do is click “Submit timesheet” and you’re good to go.

How to fill out a timesheet for hourly employees in 7 simple steps

Knowing how to fill out a time card for hourly employees is crucial for those who are employing contractors or freelancers. Such employees don’t have a fixed schedule or working days, so they usually work by the hour. This means that you might have to learn how to do a timesheet in an hourly format.

We’ve compiled 7 steps to help make this easier. Most of these steps are identical to full-time and regular employees, but differ slightly in their function. Let’s get into them.

Step 1 - Enter the employee’s name

The first step is always writing the full name of an employee. Nicknames and stage names should be avoided unless that’s the name they legally operate in or have signed a contract with.

Step 2 - Write working days

Note down the days which an employee worked. These can either be the usual Monday-Friday, or more or less than 5 days, depending on whether the person is employed by the company or is a contractor.

Step 3 - Add project details

Project details, like the type of project, location, duration, etc. are the same requirement for all types of employees. This is important for a macro view of project management within your company.

Step 4 - Write working hours for workdays

For each day that a person has worked, all of the working hours for that day need to be tracked in the timesheet. Employees who are paid hourly can also record their activities and tasks done every working hour for more transparency.

Step 5 - Calculate total hours

After noting down the work time, it’s time to calculate them. Hourly employees need to calculate the total number of hours worked on a project or job during a normal workweek.

Step 6 - Add notes

Similarly to regular employees, hourly employees or freelancers can add any important notes to their timesheets. These can be anything from vacation, sick time, or overtime hours. 

Step 7 - Submit your timesheet

Finally, after filling in your entire timesheet, it’s time to hand it in for approval. Depending on how a company tracks working hours, you can either hand it in personally or send it electronically.

Get the Atto software and avoid timesheet mistakes

Still a little unsure of how to do timesheets? We’ve got the perfect solution for that - Atto.

Atto is a time and GPS tracking software that automatically converts your employees working hours into detailed timesheets. All your employees have to do is clock in and out with a tap of the finger, and they’re good to go. When you set up pay rates, Atto’s timesheets automatically calculate the total number of hours worked and what you need to pay your employees’ salaries. 

You’ll completely avoid common timesheet mistakes such as

  • Missing timesheet data,

  • Incorrect typing of names,

  • Inadequate clock in and out times,

  • Losing your physical paper timesheets and time card, as well as

  • Wrong working days.

With Atto, you’ll not only avoid human error when filling in timesheets, but you can also:

  • View precise and instantly-generated timesheets,

  • Save lots of time from the payroll process every week,

  • See how productive your employees are, and 

  • Analyze every hour your employees spend working.

Atto software to avoid timesheet mistakes

Key takeaways on how to fill out timesheets

Knowing how to calculate billable hours sometimes isn’t enough, and you need more data with your timesheets to ensure transparent tracking, payroll, and billing. In order to fill out a timesheet correctly, it is important to include important details, such as

  • Your full legal name, 

  • The days and hours you have worked in a week,

  • The project or job details,

  • Any overtime hours, vacation days, or sick days you’ve taken that particular week,

  • Any additional comments that might be needed,

  • A final calculation of all your working hours.

All of these help make your payroll and time tracking as transparent as possible, while also ensuring that employees are being fairly paid for the work they do. To make this process easier, we recommend using Atto to help track time, reduce human error and maintain accurate records.


Should employees fill out their timesheets?

Yes, they should. Each employee should fill out their timesheets and hand them in for approval. If you use a time tracking tool or timesheet software, employees should clock in and out every day to automatically fill out their timesheets. One person can also clock in and out for all team members.

Should employees approve their timesheets?

Employees can sign their timesheets, but someone else (like a manager) needs to approve them for payroll. There is no legal requirement for employees to sign their timesheets before they hand them in, but many do so to show transparency. Employees are only required to fill in and submit timesheets.

Can employers edit timesheets?

Yes. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers are required to keep accurate records of employees. This is why they are allowed to edit timesheets, but must only do so while reflecting the actual number of hours an employee worked.

Can employees ask for a copy of their timesheet?

Yes, they can. Employees can ask for a copy of their timesheet to make sure they are being paid fairly or for personal accounting reasons. It is also common practice to make a copy of your timesheet before you hand it in.

How to fill out ShiftKey timesheet?

To fill out a ShiftKey timesheet, you need to upload your work log. In your app, you should go to Manage Schedule, click on the shift you worked and follow the directions to upload your work log.

What is a timesheet attestation statement?

The timesheet attestation statement is a sentence or clause that improves the defensibility of a timesheet. This is included to reduce liability and the chance of getting fines or penalties, mainly on the employer’s side. This statement is usually at the end of a timesheet.

How to fill out a paper timesheet?

To fill out a paper timesheet, you need to write down important information such as your name, days worked in a week, hours worked on each working day, type of project or work done on those days, and any other notes. You should have all of these details separated by columns or rows.

How to fill out a timesheet in Excel?

To fill out a timesheet in Excel, create a column for each section, such as name, days worked in a week, working hours, project details, and notes. At the end of your working hours column, you can use the last cell to sum up your total working hours for a better overview.

How to fill out a payroll timesheet?

To fill out a payroll timesheet, include an employee’s full name, working days, hours worked on these days, project or job details, notes, and a final calculation of all working hours. If you’re a manager or work in Human Resources, you may also fill out tax and insurance columns.

What is the difference between a time card and a timesheet?

The difference between a time card and a timesheet is that an employee enters their own working hours in a timesheet. A timesheet can be either digital or paper. A time card is a physical card (usually made of cardboard) that employees have to punch in and out during a working day.

How long do you need to keep your employee timesheets?

The FLSA requires employees to keep their timesheets for at least two years. Employers, on the other hand, are required to keep employee timesheets for at least three years together with other payrolling and accounting records.

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