Why the Hell Should I Do My Timesheets – 5 Reasons Time Sheets are Critical to Agencies

Posted by Shari Moehlenkamp / January 11

Timesheets.  Just the mention of the word sends chills of dread down our spines.  Why would an agency want a record of every step of my day? Man, they sure are nosey.  With all the travel and fire drills that arise in planning and executing events, ain’t nobody got time for that.  And why doesn’t the agency hire some more staff so I’m not so busy?  That’s a really great question and it leads us nicely into the first of 5 reasons that time sheets are so critical to agencies.

Staffing.    You and your team are really chalking up the hours.  You have more airline miles than you could ever use.  You’re exhausted and need some help (and, probably, some sleep).  How do you make the case for hiring more staff?  Well, if you and your teammates are keeping accurate time sheets, they can speak volumes for you.

Profitability.  At the end of the day, the agency sells a service.  That service is measured in – wait for it - TIME!  If a program has a fee that is based on a certain number of hours for various positions, looking back at timesheets after the program is complete allows the agency to asses if the fee was appropriate.  Monitoring time throughout the program lets you know if you are on track against budgeted hours or need to find a way to course correct. Perhaps the agency bills by the hour.  In that case, it’s a no-brainer why timesheets are important. 

Accountability.  Clients may call you up and ask for a detail of the time spent on their program or event.  Will you be ready to provide this upon request?  Many client contracts give the client the right to audit and review time whenever they want.

Budgeting.  You are about to start planning a program or event that occurs every year. With good time data, you can look back and see how much effort it has historically taken to pull it off.  It will give you data to share with the client to negotiate the proper fee.  Since clients demand efficiencies on recurring programs, time data is crucial in demonstrating if that goal has been met.

Preparing a budget for a new program or event?  Not sure what the fee should be?  If there is a similar program or event that the agency has executed in the past, that time data will give you a baseline to building a new budget. 

Because you want to make your Finance department happy.  Ok, so maybe this is a self-centered reason.  But making friends with finance people never hurts.  Not having to be hounded for your time sheet really goes a long way when you ask for that rush check to pay that caterer who is holding your fancy pigs-in-a-blanket hostage until they get their deposit. 

Shari Moehlenkamp's picture
Real name 
Shari Moehlenkamp
Shari Moehlenkamp
Director of Finance
Shari.Moehlenkamp [at] Legacymp.com