Contractor timesheet templates are a simple way to track a contractor’s working hours.
Since contractors usually don’t work set hours each day, timesheets can help you record their work hours and pay them accordingly. And with a customizable template in hand, you won’t have to create timesheets from scratch every time you need one.
Finally, we’ll highlight a better way to track contractor work hours.
This article contains:
(Click on the links below to go to a specific section)
- 4 Free Contractor Timesheet Templates
- What are Contractor Timesheets?
- 3 Key Advantages of Using Contractor Timesheet Templates
- 3 Disadvantages of Using Contractor Timesheet Templates
- A Better Way to Track Contractor Work Hours: Timesheet Software
Let’s get started.
4 free contractor timesheet templates
Timesheets are data tables containing employee or contractor working hours for a particular period. Companies use them to record work hours for attendance purposes, payroll, etc.
Note: if you want to know more about contractor timesheets, skip ahead to this section. You can always scroll back here when done.
Here are four different contractor timesheet templates that you can download in PDF, Word, Excel, or Google Sheet formats.
You can choose between the daily, weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly templates, depending on your company’s pay period.
1. Daily timesheet template
If your contract employees charge an hourly rate, you may find the daily timesheet template handy. The daily timesheet template highlights key details like the daily tasks done by the contractor.
2. Weekly timesheet template
You can use this weekly timesheet if your payroll runs every week. This timesheet template is particularly helpful if you make weekly payments to trade contractors.
While it doesn’t offer as many details as the daily timesheet, the data is more straightforward and easily readable.
3. Bi-weekly timesheet template
A bi-weekly or fortnightly timesheet shows the time a contractor works over a two-week period.
You’ll find it helpful if your company’s payroll runs every two weeks.
4. Monthly timesheet template
The monthly timesheet template is one of the most popular because it shows how many hours a contractor completed over an entire month.
While this timesheet is less detailed than the others, it makes monthly payroll a lot simpler.
Want free printable construction timesheet templates instead?
What are contractor timesheets?
A contractor timesheet is a written record of a contract employee’s working hours.
Unlike salaried employees, contract employees often have flexible schedules, determined by the urgency of specific jobs or callouts.
Most contractors don’t work regular hours and work for an hourly rate, so a written record of their hours is vital. And one way of keeping this record is using a timesheet, worksheet, or time card template.
By filling in a timesheet, managers, human resource professionals, and supervisors can keep track of working hours and pay their contract employees accordingly.
Additionally, you’ll have to track time daily for DCAA (Defense Contract Audit Agency) compliance if you’re a government contractor in the US. You’ll also need to keep these records in case of a government audit or floor checks.
But why use a timesheet template?
Creating a new timesheet for each employee or contractor is too much of a hassle.
It’s more convenient to enter data into a preset timesheet template, like the ones we’ve provided above — that you can customize to your needs. Using templates is also a more organized way of recording employee hours.
3 key advantages of using contractor timesheet templates
Here are the main advantages of using contractor timesheet templates:
1. Simplifies attendance and payroll management
If you’ve been working with pen and paper timesheets, you’d be surprised how much time you can save with an Excel or Google Sheets employee timesheet template.
You won’t have to create a new timesheet for every person you recruit. You’ll also save time calculating totals like sick leave, pay, overtime hours, reimbursement, etc. — all the information you need is present in one document.
If you use a Google Sheets or Excel timesheet template, you can also use formulas to calculate total hours quickly.
2. Affordable to implement
Rolling out a timekeeping system like biometric time clocks or manual punch-in systems can be costly. In contrast, the free timesheet templates we’ve provided here won’t cost you anything to start using today.
All you need to do is email them to your contract employees. They can save these templates and fill them in each day, week, or month. Then, the employees can email the completed timesheets to you or print out a copy and deliver them in person for each pay period.
3. Requires no training
The timesheet templates we’ve given you are simple to understand. Your team won’t require any training or instructions to use them.
Even employees with basic computer skills already know how to use Microsoft Excel, Word, etc., so they can quickly fill the data in.
For example, let’s say you’re an independent contractor that bills clients on a project basis. You won’t need any special knowledge to customize contractor templates and create your own project timesheet template.
3 disadvantages of using contractor timesheet templates
Here are three main downsides of using contractor timesheet templates:
1. Discrepancies between actual and reported times
If you have a government contract or just want to ensure payroll and billing accuracy, your timesheets need to be precise.
Unfortunately, timesheets are only as accurate as the information your employees and contractors manually enter. If employees enter the wrong working hours, either by mistake or on purpose, these errors can lead to incorrect payments.
So while timesheet templates are free to download, they can end up costing your company in the long run due to incorrect payment calculations.
2. Lacks productivity assessment features
With timesheet or time card templates, you can record your teams’ start and end times for every shift. However, the number of hours worked isn’t necessarily an accurate reflection of productivity or progress.
To get a clear idea of employee productivity, you would need to know how your team spent those hours.
But the data you get from a timesheet won’t reflect how productive your contractors and employees are when working on your projects. This is particularly true for contractors that work remotely or move from one job site to another.
3. Tedious and time-consuming
Your team will need to manually fill in their working hours, which can be tedious.
Then, depending on your company’s approval process, the employee will have to submit the timesheet to you, a manager, or the HR department.
You’ll also have to calculate the total hours for each pay period manually. If you’re using a spreadsheet app, you must know the right formulas to perform the calculations.
And when you’re managing numerous employees and contractors, checking every individual timesheet will also take a lot of time.
If you’re a small business owner, you could be wearing many hats already, so manual calculations will just add to your workload. You could hire someone to handle your payroll for you, but it will only add to your expenses.
Fortunately, there’s a better option.
A better way to track contractor work hours: Timesheet software
Timesheet templates can be helpful to track contractor work hours, but there’s a more efficient way of tracking time — using online timesheet software.
Time tracking software provides accurate timekeeping data that you can use for payroll, billing, and productivity assessment purposes. The best time tracking apps like Time Doctor help employees and contractors assess productivity and improve their personal time management.
What is Time Doctor?
Time Doctor is a feature-rich time tracking and performance management solution.
It’s used by market leaders as well as SMBs to manage employee productivity.
Here’s a quick look at how Time Doctor overcomes the limitations of traditional timesheets:
1. Manual and automatic time tracking flexibility
Unlike spreadsheet-based timesheet templates, Time Doctor makes time tracking accurate to the second.
Here’s how simple it is to track time manually:
- Open Time Doctor and enter the task name or project you’ll be working on.
- Click Start to begin tracking time. Time Doctor will track time quietly in the background as you work.
- Click Stop when you’re done or to go on a break.
You can also track time on the go with the mobile app for Android devices.
This way, contractors can focus on their work instead of worrying about filling in timesheets.
Note: You can also choose to track time automatically. Time Doctor will start tracking time automatically in the background as soon as you turn on your computer.
2. Detailed timesheet reports
In addition to tracking time, Time Doctor gives you several detailed reports to help measure productivity, schedule shifts, manage attendance, etc.
Contract employees won’t have to submit their hours to you for timesheet approval; you can generate whatever report you require.
Here’s an overview of Time Doctor’s accurate reports:
- Timeline reports: The daily report shows you how much time contractors spent working and on breaks daily. On the other hand, the weekly report shows you the time tracked in a week.
- Activity summary report: See the active minutes, active seconds, unproductive, manual, and mobile time for each team member over a selected period.
- Attendance report: Know when a team member is present, absent, partially absent, late, and attendance information in real-time.
- Hours tracked report: View the time contractors or employees tracked daily, weekly, or for any date range you choose.
- Projects & tasks report: Know the time your contractors spent on specific projects and tasks.
- Custom export report: You can customize a report to see what you want without downloading multiple individual reports from various pages.
- Web & app usage report: Shows the time each team member spent on various websites and applications.
3. Better payroll management
Once you enable the payroll feature, Time Doctor lets you easily pay contractors, freelancers, and employees.
With Time Doctor, you can:
- Specify a payment rate for each employee or contractor.
- Select the required payment currency and payment method for each user.
- Save all the information entered for employees (payment rate, currency, and payment method) for your next payroll.
4. Reduce idle time
If you’re concerned about a contractor including idle time in their timesheet, Time Doctor has an idle time tracking feature to help avoid that.
The app tracks each idle minute and idle second — it’s the time when it detects no keyboard or mouse activity. A message will pop up on the user’s screen, prompting them to continue working or stop the timer.
This monitoring feature ensures that contractors and employees only log their active hours as hours worked. This way, the app won’t include idle time on their timesheet.
Note: Time Doctor isn’t a keylogger. To protect user privacy, it only checks if there was any activity to calculate idle time.
5. Multiple integrations
Time Doctor’s powerful Chrome extension lets you integrate with many apps to help streamline your workflow.
Once enabled, the Chrome extension inserts a start and stop button into popular project management tools like Asana, Trello, Jira, etc. This makes it incredibly easy to track a contractor’s productivity during work hours.
Contractor timesheet templates certainly help with payroll and billing if you don’t have a timekeeping system in place.
However, using manual timesheet templates isn’t a reliable way to calculate payments or assess progress because the chance of error is too high.
If you want a reliable solution, consider a more efficient timesheet app such as Time Doctor.
Time Doctor has all the features to help you record and calculate billable hours accurately and improve productivity across the board.
So why not sign up for Time Doctor today and track contractor hours with ease?
Carlo Borja is the Head of Content Marketing for Time Doctor, a productivity analytics software for distributed teams. He is a remote work advocate, a father and a coffee junkie.