I have a problem with timesheets and was hoping an HR pro may be able to help.
We have teams of editors who work on lots of different projects, and they have to keep timesheets to record the time spent on each job. The timesheet needs to be quite detailed, and it takes a lot of time to write up - so much that the timesheets they submit always have an entry "creating this timesheet" or similar.
My job mostly involves analysing these timesheets and subsequently billing the clients. I also have to keep a detailed timesheet, and so the timesheets I submit also have an entry detailing the time taken to create them, as well as the time I spend on each of the editors' timesheets. So far so simple.
But my manager has decided that this timesheet keeping might be unnecessarily time-consuming, so as a test, he's asked some of the teams of editors to keep much more simplified timesheets. They are so quick to create that they no longer have to record the time spent on creating their timesheets.
But it's a pain for me. I now have to keep two separate timesheets - one for the time I spend analysing the old-style, complicated timesheets (the ones which record their own creation), and a separate one for the new, simplified-style (which do not record their own creation).
So my question is about my timesheet which has to records the time I spend on the new timesheets which do not record their own creation. It takes me ages to create, several days at a time. But should these hours be recorded on the timesheet? It's a timesheet which records all of the time spent on timesheets which do not record their own creation. So it should be on there. But if I put it on there, then it shouldn’t be there. And if I don’t put it on there, then it should be there.
How should I account for the hours spent on this timesheet?


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  • Hi Max -- this sounds a little confusing. But, it seems to me that the reasons the editors don't have to record the time they spend preparing their timesheets is that is doesn't take much time now that they are simplified. Since your process isn't simplified and you spend alot of time on the sheets, I'd think you would still want to document the time on your own timesheet. Might help to bring this to your supervisor's attention too--does he or she know how much work this created for you? Maybe the trade-off is worth it because they all aren't spending hours on timesheets.  Good luck.

  • Hi Max - since you are the person charged with analyzing time sheets as part of your job, it seems that accounting for the time spent to perform your job would be allowable -- regardless of which type of time sheet you are filling out - no?
  • Hello Max


    I think that the time spent timing your timesheets would be best used inplementing a new time management system which you could record on a time detailed graph not too dissimilar to a timesheet. The only problem is that this would take a lot of time. What amount of time do you have to spare each day? Perhaps you can economise on your lunchbreak?  Perhaps replace a hot dinner with spam. And rob somebodys food from the fridge (but not if its in a blue plastic bag).

  • By the way max what will happen if you do not submit your timesheet on time? Will your pay not be inputted properly?
  • Thankyou all for your help on the tricky subject of where I should record the time spent creating the timesheet which records the time spent on all timesheets which do not record the time spent on their own creation. I tried it both ways. If I don't record the time spent on the timesheet on the timesheet itself, then it is incomplete (and of course I can't bill for it, and it looks like I've been doing nothing all day while the timesheet creates itself). And if I do, then it is no longer a timesheet which records the time spent on timesheets which do not record their own creation, because if it does then it shouldn't, and I've been specifically asked to make one that doesn't.

    So I took your advice and went to my supervisor,  who is a difficult man at the best of times, but much wrse when he has a thorny problem of his own as he does now. You see most of these editors are autonomous, and have no supervisor as such. They supervise themselves. Whereas regular admin people like me do have a supervisor, and it is my supervisor- he supervises everyone who doesn't supervise themselves. So when I asked him about the timesheet which records the time spent on all timesheets which do not record the time spent on their own creation, with a great wailing and gnashing of teeth he posed to me a baffling question of his own; the answer to which which, if I can help him deduce it, he has promised will help in the reslolution of my own dilemma. The question is - who supervises him? If he is automonous, ie his own supervisor, then he shouldn't be. But if he does have a supervisor, then it should be him, as he supervises everyone who doesn't supervise themselves.

    An intriguing development. How should I answer?

  • Sounds like you need an org chart and an organizational overhaul.  Also sounds like you guys are spending a lot of time on issues that really don't go to getting work done. No offense, but maybe a little help from an outside consultant (or at least a voice of reason) could help straighten you guys out.
  • Max--Your issues seem a little strange--Such as a Surprise Fire Drill and this Timesheet issue. If I may inquire, what is your position at your company exactly? It seems as if you may have two issues that involve totally different job positions...
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