Since most timesheets have columns for the days of the week and rows for the projects or tasks, you can follow the simple steps below to quickly and easily check timesheets yourself.
- Pick a direction
You can start by checking either the rows or the columns. Since the columns represent the days of the week, it is more common to start there.
- Check the projects or tasks
The left most column is a list of the projects/tasks worked on, the client worked for, or other account to be charged. Make sure that those listed are appropriate for the individual who submitted the timesheet. For instance, some one in sales should not be charging the account for "software design". Send the timesheet back to the supervisor, or discuss it with the person directly, if there are questions. Otherwise, continue to check.
- Total Monday's column
Add up the numbers of hours listed in the Monday column for all the projects/accounts charged. The total should equal the total the employee put at the bottom of the column. This is know as "footing" the column. That total should not exceed eight hours unless the individual was authorized to work overtime. If the totals don't match, or if they show unauthorized overtime hours worked, talk to the individual. Otherwise, continue to check.
- Total the columns for Tuesday through Friday
Check the columns for the other days as you did Monday's column. If time is charged for the weekend, that should be checked as well. Again, if the individual is not authorized to work overtime, there should not be time entered in the weekend columns.
- Total the totals on the right
The last column to the right is usually a total of all the days worked for that project/account. Total that column as you did each day's total for Monday through Friday. If the employee recorded 10 hours on Project A, 20 hours on Project B, and 10 hours on Project C, their total at the bottom of the "totals" column should be 40 hours.
- Total the totals on the bottom
Now that you have verified the total for each day, you need to total the totals across the bottom. This is often called "cross-footing". Usually, you can do this visually. If the employees time for each day totals 8 hours, then the total of all those 8's should equal 40 hours and it should match the total from the step above. If the total of the totals match, the timesheet is correct and you can continue. If they don't match, you need to check each row.
- Total each row
If the total of totals didn't match, you now need to check each row, just like you checked each column in steps 3 and 4. Add up the hours the employee has entered on each row for a specific project/account to make sure they equal the total at the far right. Change any that are incorrect, or send the timesheet back to the individual to correct if this is a recurrent problem.
- Check the timesheet form
Make sure all required information has been filled in on the timesheet in addition to the hours. This could include:
- Full name
- Department number
- Employee number
- and employee signature
- Approve and Submit
Now that you have checked and verified the accuracy of the timesheet, you can sign it and send it to payroll knowing that no one can question the accuracy of your approval.
- Note: Many companies use software programs for timesheets that automatically total the rows and columns as the employee fills out the form. If you have such a program, you do not need to do steps 3 through 7.