Skip to content
Home » Pros of using spreadsheets to track time

Pros of using spreadsheets to track time

The time tracker in an online spreadsheet the best choice for a company who hasn’t done this before. There are positives and negatives of this option.

Monitoring working hours is an essential part of a variety of business processes. It aids in invoicing, assists to monitor productivity, and gives information that is vital.

The main challenge in keeping track of the time spent working is in finding the right tool. For example:

Paper, pen and other solutions that are low-tech The basic fundamentals, often accompanied by a handheld stopwatches when they go full-vintage. This method is probably best for highly motivated individuals and smaller teams.
Online spreadsheets – the obvious choice considering that the majority of firms use spreadsheets for their everyday work
Time tracking software is the software piece created to only track and provide reports on the working hours. The software can be cloud-based or installed onto the mobile device or offered in a hybrid version of both.

From the perspective of a small and medium-sized business owner The second choice appears to be the best option. In fact, it does have some advantages, but it also is not without shortcomings that are not to be ignored.

Benefits of using spreadsheets to keep track of time

Spreadsheets and in the future, spreadsheets that are online have become an insidious revolution in business providing countless automated tasks for a vast number of white-collar employees. A spreadsheet that is powerful enough could be utilized to oversee the entire company as well as smaller ones can be utilized to manage processes, monitor funds, manage resources or to analyze and visualise information.

So, it’s not surprising that the use of a spreadsheet to monitor the duration of work has several advantages.

Business intelligence

A spreadsheet, whether Excel or Google Sheets, deliver a lot of business intelligence and analytics functions. This isn’t a surprise since that’s what the tools created for.

If they are capable or tenacious enough, it is possible to automatize a variety of tasks that involve keeping track of time, as well as adding the extra time, invoicing and many other tasks that are usually related to payroll.

Promotion of productivity

Utilizing the Excel time tracking template to record the duration of time is often the most popular choice for companies that require or wants to set up any kind of time or productivity tracking system. Therefore, it’s plausible to conclude that prior to the system of tracking employee hours in Excel the company had no such system and that all work was carried out in a way that was based on trust. In the end, it’s all about trust.

The implementation of this method is the very first step in determining and encouraging the performance of each of employees. This is why the mere display of the system may provide a surprising boost to overall productivity.

Increased accountability

On the other hand of the coin when you create a timesheet using Excel and implementing it into the business, it’s easy to determine who, and how long they’ve completed a specific project. Apart from making the invoicing easier, this solution delivers more detailed information on the effectiveness and who-and-when-did-what. This is the initial step in identifying problems with productivity or misallocation of assets.

Comprehensive view

It is certain that the vast majority businesses’ processes are performed or recorded in different kinds of spreadsheets. Therefore, it is possible to enrich the data on employee time tracking by adding any other data he thinks is appropriate.

Additionally, keeping track of time this way means the highest data portability as well as the ability to act on it – there’s no issues making data exports in whatever format as it has already been exportable to the Excel spreadsheet.

Easy to use

Not to mention, almost every white collar worker is familiar with Excel Google sheets, Excel or other kinds of spreadsheet. So it is not a yet-another-tool-to-learn, but rather a next spreadsheet to use. A spreadsheet isn’t something to be concerned about for the majority of people who use it.

These advantages are all fascinating and important to a certain extent. However, they have a few painful disadvantages one should be aware of.

The disadvantages that come with using spreadsheets monitor the time

The benefits discussed above are intriguing and can provide a significant boost to companies of all kinds. However, a spreadsheet, being an extremely effective tool, is not intended to record time. While it’s a wonderful tool for reporting on the time it tracks however, it has a number of negatives to be counted in.


Perhaps the biggest drawback of time tracking in spreadsheets is the it takes more time and energy than is apparent at first. It is important to keep track of beginning the clock, calculating minutes, adding the information into the spreadsheet and then delivering the annotations. Actually, capturing data this way can be so laborious that people are more likely to stay away from doing it, and then update their timesheet in the following time, but from memory. This is wrong and isn’t in line with the purpose.

Bloated and swollered

Another problem with spreadsheets is the desire to be the single-source of company’s business intelligence. It’s a great idea, but with a increasing complexity of the company, and dimensions of spreadsheets are becoming massive. In addition, the number of mistakes that are hidden within the spreadsheet is increasing and sometimes it creates a slow running beast that takes more time. Every update is accompanied by a small but annoying delay.

Error – easily made

The spreadsheet provides automation in numerous fields, but not the tracking itself. This is the most critical element of the system has to be performed manually, and as a result it is susceptible to human mistakes. The time tracking system can only be capable of being precise.

A Excel timesheet offers little or any tools that automatize the entire process, and in actual fact, it offers no benefits over the old pen-and-paper method. The person is required to use the stopwatch to transfer the information manually.

The mistakes made in errors in the Excel Project Time Tracker hinders the effectiveness of other business processes, like payroll or invoicing – it.

It’s not so flexible, as seems.

The spreadsheet is a fantastic instrument, but it’s not a master-of-all-trades and time tracking for employees is not exactly what it was created to serve. On the other hand it is possible to tweak your Excel workplace time tracking tool to make it more suitable for the purpose of tracking time however, it will require an extensive amount of knowledge and proficiency in the use of the spreadsheet.

When it comes to making some more sophisticated adjustments on the spreadsheet to make it into a time-tracking system, it requires an enormous effort to create a tool that isn’t yet suited for the job.

Additionally, Excel or Google Sheets are just spreadsheets, and any compliance with local laws on labor or regulations on data protection need to be handled within the company.

Inaccurate reporting

Although Excel excel excels (no no pun meant) in the delivery of data and reports, it’s only as good as the information collected. Without the right set of tools for gathering the data, the efficiency of the reporting subsystem can be slowed.

The application designed to track time offers a variety of automation and troubleshooting options, including automated reminders for starting or stopping the timer, automatic data transfer, or informing the manager of any disturbances in the pattern of work. Users of a time-tracking app can operate their clocks from the mobile application or the web-based application to ensure that the information is gathered efficiently.

Not to mention, more advanced solutions can be utilized to scan QR codes or coupled with beacons in order to automate the clocking further. This is how the most difficult task is the gathering of data is addressed.


The spreadsheet is a flexible and versatile tool that is able to be used for a multitude of uses. It is true that it is able to be used to monitor hours and even attendance. However, it’s not as effective as timesheet tools online designed specifically for this function.

It is a great option for freelancers with a hectic schedule and a person who is driven to keep track of their time and confident about the goals to attain. When utilized by more than several professionals, the tool could result in more tasks than it offers. If you are using the software time tracking software the quantity of issues that can be solved through design is a fantastic incentive for any company.