Employee timesheets

Employee timesheets are a record of the hours an employee works, typically used to calculate their pay and ensure they’re compensated for their time.

With Payroller, your employees can submit their timesheets through a timesheet app where you or your HR team can approve and review them for payroll runs.

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What is a timesheet?

A timesheet is a document or software program used to track the amount of time an employee works. It typically includes:

  • Employee information: Name, ID number, department, etc.

  • Date and time: Records the days and hours worked by the employee. This may involve start times, end times, and break times.

  • Hours worked: Length of time on shift.

  • Hours on break: Length of time on break.

  • Tasks or projects: Some timesheets allow employees to specify the tasks or projects they worked on during their shift.

Timesheets can be paper-based or electronic. Many businesses now use cloud payroll software that integrates with timesheet functions, allowing employees to submit their hours electronically.

Why use a timesheet?

Timesheets make it easy for employers to see data on employees’ productivity and work patterns. This information is used in various ways:

Accurate payroll

Timesheets ensure employees are paid correctly for the hours they work. They provide a clear record of attendance, overtime, and breaks, minimising errors in payroll calculations.

Project management

By tracking time spent on specific tasks or projects, timesheets help managers understand how long tasks take and how resources are being allocated. This allows for better project planning, budgeting, and resource allocation.

Employee productivity

Timesheets can be used to monitor employee work patterns and identify areas for improvement. Analysing timesheets can reveal inefficiencies or areas where employees are spending too much time on certain tasks.


In some industries, timesheets may be required by law for record-keeping purposes. They can also be helpful for demonstrating compliance with labour regulations regarding minimum wage and overtime pay.

Legal documentation

Timesheets can serve as legal documentation in case of disputes over pay or work hours. They provide a verifiable record of employee attendance and time worked.

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Benefits of using an electronic timesheet system

Timesheets on spreadsheets can be a viable option for very small businesses with a limited number of employees and a simple pay structure. However, for most businesses, the limitations outweigh the benefits. Payroll software specifically designed for timesheet management offers greater accuracy, efficiency, security, and functionality, making it a worthwhile investment in the long run.

Online timesheets with

  • Free employee time tracking that lets your staff clock in and out of rostered shifts. Employee work hours and attendance information are stored securely in one space to access from anywhere.


  • Enjoy real-time data syncing to make employee timesheets from anywhere on a mobile or web app. Get things done at the workplace or when catching up on admin at home.


  • Save time communicating with staff and allow them to accept rostered shifts from the mobile app. Enjoy improved visibility over actual hours worked by employees.


  • Go from approving timesheets to running payroll in a matter of seconds. Our cloud software uses data mapping from timesheets to ensure employees are paid correctly.


  • Manage all things payroll and timesheet reports from one easy-to-use solution crafted specifically for small businesses. Timesheets and rosters are available under Payroller’s full feature version, which you can try for free.


  • Back up and protect your timesheets on the cloud in case of unforeseen events that can lead to data corruption.
timesheets on spreadsheet

Manual timesheets on spreadsheets

  • Generally cost-effective since most businesses have access to spreadsheet software but are prone to inaccurate manual data entry.


  • Highly customisable, allowing users to add or remove columns or rows and apply branding aspects.


  • Easy to learn but hard to master, as tracking timesheets for multiple employees can be time-consuming for both employees and payroll administrators.


  • Accessible online and offline, which can be helpful for employees who don’t always have internet connection. This option may not always provide automatic data syncing.


  • Lacks features like automated calculations, overtime tracking, and integration with payroll software, leading to more inefficiencies and manual work.


  • Sharing spreadsheets with multiple users can raise security concerns regarding accidental editing. They can also threaten data privacy, as timesheets can contain sensitive information pertaining to employees.

Free employee timesheets with Payroller

Payroller for employers & accountants

Easy-to-use timesheet management, payroll management & STP reporting.

Payroller Employee app

Employee portal for payslip access, rosters, time tracking & leave requests.

Bookipi People

All-in-one scheduling and time-tracking app for employers & employees on the go.

Free employee timesheets to streamline payroll
and workforce management.

Made by & designed for Australian small businesses.

Frequently asked questions about employee timesheets

Employers can add employee timesheets by signing up or logging into their Payroller account.  Streamline the payroll process when you follow the steps below:

  1. Click on the Timesheets section and then click the ‘Add Timesheet’ button
  2. Select the relevant employee 
  3. Enter the employee’s start and finish times for each day worked
  4. Add any meal or rest breaks
  5. Review and confirm the accuracy of the created timesheet
  6. You can save the timesheet or approve it. 

You can automatically make pay runs direct from approved timesheets.  This saves time and ensures accurate payment of wages.

Employers can view and manage employee timesheets in one place. 
Log in to your Payroller account and navigate to the Timesheets section.  Here, you can view timesheets submitted by your workers and
edit timesheets
You can also make employee timesheets
using our free timesheets app

Your employees can easily clock in and out of shifts using our free time tracking app for employees. 
You can make sure that your staff are working their agreed upon hours and within overtime limits.

Yes, employers and managers can view and make employee timesheets from anywhere. Remote access saves your business time and provides your management flexibility.

Payroller timesheets integrate seamlessly with Single Touch Payroll reporting and staff scheduling.

You can allocate and schedule shifts for workers using our rostering system.  As an employer, you can make timesheets. Employees can also submit timesheets based on tracked hours in the free timesheets app.

Then, generate pay runs based on approved timesheets with our automated features.  Payroller helps your small business from scheduling to payroll in one solution.

How often you fill out a timesheet depends on your business’s payroll process. Some do it weekly, which is the most common, bi-weekly for pay periods occurring twice a week, and monthly for salaried employees. Hourly workers might submit timesheets more often than salaried ones. Smaller companies may be more flexible, while larger ones have set deadlines.

From an employee’s perspective, they need to notify a supervisor as soon as possible with a written explanation and supporting evidence of worked hours. Employers would consider the explanation and any available documentation, then edit the timesheet affected. If the reason is found invalid, the employer may deduct payment for the missed time.

In Australia, there’s no blanket legal requirement for businesses to use timesheets specifically. However, the Fair Work Act 2009 mandates that employers keep accurate records of employee hours worked for payroll and compliance purposes.

Clearly communicate timesheet policies and procedures to your employees. This includes explaining what information needs to be recorded, submission deadlines, and how to handle missed punches. Consider providing training on how to properly fill out timesheets.

While immediate managers should regularly validate timesheets, conducting occasional random audits of timesheets can help deter time theft or inaccurate entries. Implement a system where timesheets need approval from a supervisor before being submitted for payroll processing. This adds an extra layer of verification.