2nd January 2023

Speed up your Timesheet Processing with these 5 quick tips


What is a recruitment agency timesheet?

A recruitment agency timesheet is a document used by temporary workers, including contract and freelance staff, who are on placement at a job through a recruitment agency. The timesheet typically includes the worker’s name, the dates of the work week, the hours worked each day, and the total hours for the week. 

Timesheets are used by the recruitment agency to track the hours worked by temporary workers and calculate their pay. Each worker is typically responsible for completing the timesheet and submitting it to the recruitment agency for review and approval.

What is timesheet processing?

The methodology for processing recruitment agency timesheets varies depending on the specific agency and the policies and procedures in place. Generally, the process may be broken down into the following steps:

How long does it take to process a timesheet?

The answer to the question of how long does it take to process each timesheet depends on how much manual activity is required. Manual timesheet processing is invariably a paper-based system, where printed timesheet templated forms are completed by hand and each step of processing relies on human activity. A recruitment agency practising ‘fully manual’ timesheet processing would be hard to find today, because at some point data does need to be manually entered into a computerised system, at the very least to process tax and payments.

The period of time over which manual processing would be carried out could be hours, or it could be weeks. It depends on many variables, including completeness and accuracy of information and at what point the agency is in its batch processing cycle.

It should be borne in mind that paper form timesheet systems are prone to inaccuracies. Illegible handwriting and copy typing errors might well be unintentional. However, paper timesheets are also vulnerable to abuse, through timesheet fraud. Hours can be altered and approver signatures may be forged. Detecting and correcting inaccuracies increases processing time and costs.

5 tips for faster timesheet processing and approval

You can reduce the hassle of your recruitment agency’s timesheet processing with these 5 quick tips you can start implementing today. 

1. Adopt a structured, documented, auditable timesheet process

Whatever mix of software and manual steps you use to stitch your timesheet processing together, you may be able to speed it up by ensuring it is strongly structured and documented. 

This means setting out the process and describing the responsibilities of each stakeholder role, that is of workers, line managers and agency back office staff. Circulating this timesheet processing documentation as part of your agency’s onboarding process for new candidates and clients can help reduce some of the friction that characterises the manual processing of timesheets.

2. Optimise your timesheet approval process through workflow

Maybe you don’t have the time to completely structure and document your timesheet process and roll it out to every agency worker and client? In that case, why not just focus on smoothing out one part of the process that may take the most time and create the greatest hassle? 

For some, that is likely to be the timesheet approval process, where the line managers of employers need to sign-off on the days of attendance and hours worked by each temp or contract worker.

Introduce the idea of a workflow, and set out and communicate to stakeholders the sequence of simple steps that are needed to ensure that this part of processing timesheets creates as little drag as possible.

3. Introduce mobile time and attendance to the timesheet process

Punching the time clock has been brought into the modern age! Using mobile devices with time and attendance software logs the hours worked, allowing recruitment agencies to track the attendance of the workers they have placed, for the purposes of processing timesheets. 

Key features include clocking in and out, tracking the location of workers, and reporting on attendance and hours worked. As part of the timesheet approval process, this type of software improves the accuracy and efficiency of calculating hours worked and reduces the potential for errors. 

Some mobile attendance tracking apps also integrate with other systems that might form part of timesheet processing, such as payroll or scheduling software, to further streamline back office functions (see more on this below).

4. Integrate the timesheet process with payroll and accounting systems

Generally speaking, the integration of software systems is something that has become much more widely achievable without resorting to expensive IT projects.

The majority of today’s online apps support integration. This may be through the use of pre-built integrations which enable connection to another specific software app, or through an API that may allow connection with many different apps, including payroll and accounting software.

Integrating the multiple applications utilised within a recruitment business is termed as ‘building your software stack’, which ultimately enables the automation of processes and the exchange of data between systems to achieve greater efficiency.

5. Fully automate by adopting online timesheet software

Avoid shortcomings and eliminate the hassle entirely with automated timesheet processing. A digital online timesheet system is paperless and allows temporary workers, employer line managers and recruitment agency back office staff to carry out their required activities for processing timesheets quickly and accurately. There’s no paper form to lose, to be submitted late or to contain inaccuracies.

Using any compatible web-connected computer or mobile device, all stakeholders can interact with the system. The process is automated and typically, each person involved is alerted when they need to perform an action. Workers need to submit the timesheet, line managers perform timesheet approval, and agency back office staff monitor and manage the end-to-end process. The period of time for processing timesheets using an automated digital system in the cloud may be measured in seconds, not days or weeks.

Fully automate timesheet processing with ETZ

ETZ’s leading timesheet and invoicing solution, streamlines the back office processing of your recruitment agency. Our complementary solutions, ETZ Comply for onboarding and document management and Caspian for business intelligence give agencies further capability to streamline and uncover opportunities. To find out more call us on 0800 311 2266 or book a demo. 


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