Cracking The Code On Time Entry Policy: A Step-by-Step Series (Part 3)

  • Sierra Pacific Group Team
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    Sierra Pacific Group Team

  • May 31, 2023
  • 2 minute read

Accurate time entry is a major obstacle at many MSPs. In past decades, industries have radically evolved — but the issue of time management has remained. Clearly, the solution for consistent employee-motivated time entry isn’t at large.

That’s why Sierra Pacific Group (SPG) hosted a webinar unpacking how MSPs can conquer time entry once and for all — for long-term results. 

In Part 3 of this recap, we cover:

  1. Why bad timekeeping harms processes
  2. What happens when employees learn to value their own time
  3. How to handle an employee consistently fudging their timesheet

Let’s dive in. 

The trickle-down effect of bad timesheet practices

When employees consistently enter their time during work hours, it streamlines everything. 

  • On one end, employees aren’t coming in after work or on weekends to close tickets when failure to enter time hasn't kept them accountable. Rather, they understand the value of their own time and don’t want to be working after hours. 
  • On the other end, when work is consistent, clients get time entries and invoices on time. 

After all, the thing about time entry is: 

  1. When you put your time in, that goes to an agreement. 
  2. That agreement goes to a ticket. 
  3. That ticket is attributed to a project. 
  4. Finally, the client gets billed. 

SPG has had clients with engineers who haven’t put time in for months – if you sent a belated invoice like that right now, 2022 books are already closed out. Clients will literally refuse to pay. 

You’ve created a collections problem, and that cycle keeps building on itself and trickling down to other levels. 

To avoid serious situations like this, ensure you communicate the value of time entry to your whole company. With that tenet established, it’s easier to announce new standards and trainings. Setting honest expectations is akin to gently putting the hammer down. 


How to handle ongoing timesheet training

Here are some tips to follow as you continue to streamline and enforce time entry: 

  1. Have rockstar employees demo their processes – Demonstrating how they personally built habits is a great example for others. 
  2. Focus on ease and efficiency – The issue at hand isn’t putting in time for lunch or going to the bathroom up front. (We cover shortcuts for this later on.) 
  3. Modify your training handbookWrite down whatever you’re doing differently in the handbook so new employees don’t have to catch up. It’s just part of onboarding. 

Ultimately, time entry takes time. 

But, it can be rewarding to see your wrapup at the end of the week. The organization and efficiency that result from an easily-formed habit are integral company improvements.


What to do if an employee is fudging their timesheet

If you notice someone is consistently entering giant blocks of time (say, eight hours straight) when you know they took breaks, here are some tactics you can employ: 

  1. Require notes on rejected timesheets – When you reject the timesheet, instruct the employee to remove the admin entry and put in time against the ticket. 
  2. Screenshot their calendarSend the employee an image of their schedule vs. what they’ve entered in the timesheet, and ask them to weigh in. 


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