Timesheets Trashed

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After a few weeks  of using timesheets I have decided not to use them anymore.

The key reason for this is my one member staff’s motivation just went down during the period we used timesheets. He felt his every minute had to be accounted for. This is even though I had explained to him very clearly that the purpose of timesheets was to see realistically how much time we spent on each client. It was not to monitor him. That just did not work.

Furthermore, during the period of using the timesheets causal chats we use to have just stopped. These are important to have a good working relationship.

There are huge benefits of maintaining timesheets. For me the cost of reduced staff motivation does not justify the benefits.

It may be that I was not very good at selling the timesheet concept to my staff.

If you have staff have you maintained timesheets without a negative impact on staff motivation?  It would help me if you if you can let me know how you are successful at doing this. 


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05th Feb 2013 08:56

We use timesheets for jobs

We don't have the normal timesheets where you record your days work on the one sheet.

Each of our client jobs has a tasklist, and we record the date the tasks were completed on the checklist, and then record the time spent on those tasks, entering just one total time for the tasks completed in that phase.

As the job goes along, the checklist automatically calculates the cost and compares it to the fee, but if more time is spent than anticipated, we can see which part of the job caused the problem, and act accordingly to put it right.

I only have one employee, but she is really keen, as she wants to know we are profitable just as much as I do.

It may be that recording the time of the job, rather than the person, takes away the feeling of being monitored.

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05th Feb 2013 09:04


Shirley I think you have really good systems.

 If you offer systems consultancy services, please put me on your list.

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05th Feb 2013 09:15


Thank you. I may do that when I finally retire :)

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05th Feb 2013 12:15

My view

It's not good if it has a bad effect on your staff.

Why don't you keep a record for both of you? You could just give your staff work to do and keep a record of when they start and when they finish. It's not like you have to know to the minute. I would have thought the nearest hour is sufficient if you are not charging on time.

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05th Feb 2013 12:46

Your staff

It is a great worry that something like completing a timesheet can have such a negative impact on somebody. If they worked for me I would be very concerned.

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05th Feb 2013 20:18


To know that you would care so much about the person who works for you. People like you are rare. 

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06th Feb 2013 09:27

Like the wind you are....

You have only used timesheets for a couple of weeks and then decided against them? I echo the above though that there is clearly some bigger issues here with your member of staff and their motivation.

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06th Feb 2013 09:42

Miss accounting
Please think before commenting.

Here is my previous blog on time sheets https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/blog-post/timesheets-keep-them

It has more than a couple of weeks..

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06th Feb 2013 09:49

Two weeks or two months

Whichever it is there is clearly a serious problem. Take them for a meal on the 14th and sweet talk them.

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06th Feb 2013 10:01

Just sack them!

I'm not being serious, but you really need to get to the bottom of this. I would be mortified if an employee ignored my instructions, and ignored the wellbeing of the business.

Once you start letting employees dictate what they will & won't do you may as well close the door, and I speak from personal experience! I went through a horrendous experience with an employee who had that attitude and I later wished that I had tackled the problem much sooner.

I agree with Peter, and Miss Accounting, there is a problem, try to get to the root cause, and if it can't be resolved then get rid of that employee and get someone who does care about the success of your practice and respects your instructions (without sulking!)

I'm sorry to sound so harsh, but I go out of my way to make my current and past employees happy in their work and I will accommodate all requests (if possible). Some employees will appreciate this, and others will take advantage of it but give nothing back in return.

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06th Feb 2013 10:04

I leave that to experienced and experts like you.

I really am in no mood today for the crap!

Shirley - bear in mind I have managed people in my career. Thanks anyway.

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06th Feb 2013 10:06

fair do's

I didn't realise you knew it all, else I wouldn't have wasted my time!

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06th Feb 2013 10:17

I have never said I knew it all.

It is you assuming that.

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06th Feb 2013 10:27



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06th Feb 2013 10:55

Please think?

I thought long and hard about posting in this "blog" and in fact deleted an entire response because I thought it was perhaps too critical for your sensitive nature!!

However to copy a section from your opening post in this blog entry

After a few weeks  of using timesheets I have decided not to use them anymore.


Perhaps you should review your posts in a better fasion before posting them and then criticising other peoples responses!

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06th Feb 2013 11:38

Miss Accounting

Thank you for reading my "blog" and commenting. 

There is a confusion about few weeks. The meaning is not very clear. Though I thought when few weeks is said it is not a couple of weeks. 

I will be a lot more precise in my future blogs. Though critcising other people post that depends on the day and the sort of mood I am in.

I am now in a better mood and I will ignore all that follows from this post.  

Also time ... I need to put in the hours! 




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06th Feb 2013 11:53


It doesn't seem very sensible to write your blog and then criticise people when they make valid comments. You may have had experience of managing people but it certainly doesn't look that way by your response to your employee's behaviour.

Labelling criticisms as "crap" does yourself no favours.

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06th Feb 2013 11:58


Maybe your employee can't cope with your constant changes of mind, and moods, either!

I know I can't, so I will bid you good day.

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By Old Greying Accountant
06th Feb 2013 13:52

My friend ...

... you are in a harsh and lonely maze - there will be many dead ends and wrong turns, but you will reach the daylight again: just be strong and be patient. Take small steps not long strides, and remember the wise words of Lao-Tzu:

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

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to Locutus
21st Feb 2013 06:06

Two stages

But if you did the journey as 500 miles then 500 more, that would be The Proclaimers ...

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06th Feb 2013 14:00

a thousand miles!?

that's enough to make you want to stand still.

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By Old Greying Accountant
21st Feb 2013 09:10

Ah ...

... now you're havering!

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