This article is an extract from the book 'Everything you need to know about Xero Practice Manager'
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How do we know when time sheets are completed? There are two methods: time sheet submission or weekly review. As a job manager you will want to ensure that all of your team have submitted their time sheets either daily or for the prior week. The best place to view this is via ‘Business > Time Sheets’. You can quickly see the hour totals for each day and follow up the people who have yet to complete their time sheets.
If you frequently generate invoices throughout the month either on job completion or on the actual time and cost basis, you may consider having your team use the ‘Submit Time Sheets’ button found at ‘Dashboard > Enter Time Sheet’. By submitting time sheets each week, the team are communicating that their time sheets are complete and that they are available for invoicing. Submitting a time sheet will lock the time sheet from further editing by the team member for the week they have submitted. If you’re doing this monthly, each week must be locked separately.
This allows the invoicing team to ensure all the time is submitted prior to preparing an invoice. While a job may be marked as ready for invoicing, there is nothing worse than finding WIP sitting on a job, due to late or updated time sheet entries, after the final invoice has been generated.
While submitting time sheets is helpful in communicating time sheet completion, it is an extra step your team has to do at the end of each week. It’s a habit they have to form, and one you may need to remind them of. Therefore it comes at its own cost. Locked time sheets need to be unlocked if time needs to be moved between tasks inside a job, or between jobs.
There are situations where you might forgo submitting time sheets as part of your process, for example:
- You have a smaller team
- Late time sheets are not a problem for you
- Job managers prepare their own invoices.
If you have a larger team with monthly billing cycles, it can be a good habit to get your people into submitting time sheets to speed up invoicing. This is because it will remove the need to walk around the office checking with everyone at the start of each month to see if their time sheets are up to date.
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