Top 10 Things Timesheet Software Can Do That Excel Spreadsheets Can’t

by Deputy Team, 6 minutes read
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You’re trying to make deals with your regular vendors. You’re instituting new social distancing requirements. And on top of that, you’re also trying to keep up with the latest business regulations.

So you need a time tracking system that will make scheduling easier. Some free Excel spreadsheet templates definitely speed up the process.

If you want a little more help — and more flexibility to adapt to last-minute shift changes, new hygiene protocols, and remote working — you need employee scheduling software. Not ready to commit? Here are the top 10 things timesheet software can do that Excel spreadsheets can’t.

1. Give full visibility into employee scheduling in real-time

Whether your business is struggling to keep up with changing operational requirements or straining to meet dynamic demand, you need access to real-time data. And with that, you need to see where your people are, who is doing what, and when they’re scheduled at all times.

Spreadsheets, while handy sometimes, can’t give you that clarity. Here are three tips to using time tracking software for real-time insight.

  • Worried about sick employees? Use pre-work checks to make sure you know the health status of your team at all times.

  • Use a tool with alerts so you know any time an employee requests time off and your employees know any time you make a schedule change

  • Adapt tools with apps so you — and your team — can see schedules from any device.

2. Allow employees to swap shifts and fill scheduling holes

Perhaps the best part of switching from Excel spreadsheets to employee scheduling software — easier shift replacements.

If you’ve struggled when employees call in sick or have a last-minute emergency, you’re not alone. On top of managing the storefront, you’re faced with calling, texting, or emailing every employee to see who is available to come in. Then, once a shift is filled, you must text back employees, notifying them of the shift change.

  • Use employee scheduling software that empowers employees to swap shifts and claim open shifts.

  • Let automated tools help you fill open shifts with the most suitable employees.

  • Tap into your workforce management tool so you can automatically approve shifts based on employee shift cost or those that were first to bid.

3. Create a 360° view of cash flow

For small business owners, you need to see your company’s financial performance in real-time. With Excel spreadsheets, your ability to view total cash flow can only be done at month’s end reporting, leaving you in the dark from day-to-day on the realistic revenue you’re bringing in.

Thankfully, timesheet software can give you an up-to-date look at money coming in and money going out of your business — in real-time.

4. Automate employee scheduling changes for accurate payroll processing

Shift happens and you need to make changes to your schedule. But if you’re stuck behind a desk updating employee schedules and ensuring the changes are reflected in payroll processing systems, you could be missing out on sales.

Time tracking software does that all for you — even when your simple spreadsheet can’t. Get the most out of your automation with these tips.

  • Use drag and drop features in your employee management software so you can make schedules in just a few clicks.

  • Enable GPS location verification or facial recognition to make sure staff are in the right place at the right time for accurate payroll.

  • Approve multiple timesheets at once when you choose the bulk approve option in your tool.

5. Manage employee schedules for multiple locations with ease

For owners who operate multiple business locations, like construction or at-home care, managing employee schedules can be a nightmare. Keeping track of where and when team members are scheduled to work using Excel is nearly impossible. So many spreadsheets. So many mistakes.

Your timesheet software can do all of that at once so you don’t have to.

  • Assign a remote job site in your app and quickly schedule employees to do work at that job site to reduce the operational workload.

  • Use the data in your workforce management system to dispatch your employees to each site given their skills and availabilities.

  • Use your mobile app to send schedules straight to your team’s phones and inboxes — with shift confirmation and reminders.

6. Track employee clock-ins and clock-outs in real-time

How do you track clock-ins and clock-outs? A manual process leaves room for a lot of mistakes — and even wasted money.

The right employee management system has guardrails to make sure that every clock in and clock out is authentic. Here’s how to get it right.

  • Enable features like geolocation capability to ensure the right person is clocking in and out on time, every time.

  • Use touchless features like facial recognition and voice commands to reduce queues, and support hygienic workplaces, and record accurate time.

  • Require and automatically capture attestation from your employees for break compliance.

7. Streamline communication among teams and staff

Much as you try, spreadsheets can’t talk back. Though, that might make it easier to figure out why your numbers aren’t adding up.

Using an employee scheduling software allows for instant communication with your team so you are always aligned. With the right app, you can:

  • Request a confirmation to ensure staff read important posts and attachments so no messages get lost in the shuffle.

  • Keep your team engaged and allow them to share updates, comment, collaborate, and reach out with questions.

  • Replace multiple messaging apps, sticky notes, and lost texts for a single, clear source of company updates., whether it’s an employee performance issue to be addressed one-on-one or an important memo that entire teams need to read.

8. Manage employee performance instantly

Few moments cause more anxiety and agitation for an employee than a performance review. For weeks leading up to it, employees work harder than usual, hoping managers take notice. Once the review is complete, employees are easily left discouraged at the fact that they’ve done something wrong for months. Worse, an employee’s bad habits may be tough to break, so they revert back to the old way they’ve completed tasks.

For the manager, performance reviews bring added pressure to create a list of multiple things an employee is doing wrong over the past months or year and wracking your brain to find supporting examples. This takes time, frustration and in the end, rarely accomplishes the goal of improving employee performance.

  • Use a journal feature in your app so you can quickly make notes of an employee’s performance in real-time.

  • Assign and review tasks to make sure you (and your staff) always know what they should be working on.

  • Make feedback an ongoing process so you never wait until the end of a review cycle to give feedback.

9. Manage employees from anywhere

One of the biggest pain points for business owners who use Excel to track employee schedules is being stuck behind a desk. Instead of growing the business and brand in the community or building relationships with suppliers and other local businesses, you are trapped making calculations at a computer.

Thankfully, you can speed up some of those more tedious tasks — and you can do it from anywhere.

  • Use employee scheduling software that enables you to securely communicate and manage employees from anywhere using a laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

  • Find replacement staff directly in your app instead of having to sort through phone calls, text messages, and leave calendars to fill a shift.

  • Send timesheets directly to payroll in one tap — instead of doing it manually on your computer. This kind of flexibility will give small business owners peace of mind that your business is running smoothly, no matter who is on staff.

10. Keep your employees engaged

You may love your Excel spreadsheets. It’s how you’ve always operated, and maybe you don’t see the point of switching to a new system. Sure, it may take a few hours to create a new schedule, but learning a new program would be costly and take even more time than just sticking with what you know. But what about your employees?

Keep your team happy — and engaged — when you move away from spreadsheets and use a timesheet software that’s interactive.

  • Let staff request time off and pick up extra shifts directly from their phone.

  • Onboard your team in minutes so they can get to work without the hassle.

  • Enable your staff to more easily communicate with you, other managers, or their team.

Say goodbye to Excel

Why would you input your schedule into a spreadsheet, then click over to another spreadsheet to track costs and revenue, if you can do it all in one place? And do it automatically?

It’s time to make the move to an employee scheduling software that frees up your time, integrates with your payroll, and keeps your staff happy. Sign up for a free trial of Deputy to get started.