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Timesheets for employees added to Payroll (UK & NZ)

Posted 7 years ago in Product by
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Timesheets for employees has been an anticipated feature for quite some time. We’re excited to turn this on for all UK and NZ payroll customers.

There are tens of thousands of employees being paid through Payroll in Xero. Many of these already have access to My Payroll. This allows them to view their details, apply for time off and view their payslips. Adding Timesheets into My Payroll is another big step towards bringing payroll out of the back office.

Timesheets for employees

Timesheets in My Payroll allows staff to enter their own hours and submit them for approval. This is a great timesaver for administrators and an easy job for staff to do on their way to work or during downtime. Approved timesheets are then automatically passed into the relevant pay run for processing.

timesheets in xero payroll

Timesheets for payroll admins

Payroll admins can create, approve, decline and even edit any employee-created timesheet. This is for all employees, for all pay-periods. Every timesheet, whether created by an employee or admin, is visible to admins.

payroll admins in xero timesheets

Seamless payrun integration

Xero provides seamless integration between timesheets and pay runs. Once the timesheet has been submitted, the data is used to calculate an employee’s earnings when a draft pay run is created.

If a timesheet is created for a pay period but not approved, a message will appear on the payslip for that employee. An admin can approve it and the payslip will be automatically recalculated with the data from the timesheet.

Once a pay run is posted, the status of the timesheet is changed to “Paid”. After that it cannot be changed by either the employee or the admins. Tracking categories, if used, are reflected in the journal report.

Reverting a pay run changes the status of the timesheet back to “Approved”.

payrun in payroll timesheets

More to come (and you can help)

This is just the first release of Timesheets. We would love your feedback on what we can do to make it even more efficient for your business. Employees will shortly be able to create and enter a timesheet from their mobile phone. Xero Me is now available from the Apple and Google App stores. Timesheets will be added to the app in the near future.

As always your feedback is very important to us, feel free to send it to me at bindu.gakhar@xero.com.


Alana Cuthbert
February 10, 2016 at 12.07 pm

Looks great! However we still need to record the employee start and finish time. We also need to be able to allocate their time against a job tracking number, and breakdown their hours over the course of the day to allow different tracking codes. Is this something you intend to look at?

Bindu Gakhar in reply to Alana Cuthbert
February 10, 2016 at 1.22 pm

Employees will be able to record the start and end times using our mobile app which is being released soon! We may add start and end times to our web app in a later version.
As far as recording time blocks in a single day for different tracking codes is concerned, we already support that. If you have a tracking category set up, you can assign it to timesheets by going to Payroll Settings and then to the Organisation tab. Once this is done, the tracking categories show up in the timesheets details page and you can add them to different time blocks within the same day. Refer to the first screen shot in the article.
Feel free to email me at bindu.gakhar@xero.com if you need more information.

February 10, 2016 at 12.14 pm

Timesheets are a brilliant addition. I know you have workflow max to integrate project managing, job costing/timekeeping and invoicing, but for us smaller businesses that don’t need the extra cost and work of workflow max, the ability to create an invoice directly from a timesheet would be extremely welcome – that’s all that’s missing from your perfect solution.

Any chance ?

Bindu Gakhar in reply to Emma
February 10, 2016 at 1.24 pm

Thanks for feedback! Currently there is no plan to add the ability to invoice from timesheets but I will add it to our backlog for possible future versions.

February 10, 2016 at 1.42 pm

Hi There
Is there any thoughts about being able to import the time sheets done in workflowmax across into this function? We record all our time sheets in workflow as that’s we we invoice from – it would mean that our employees would have to enter data in twice if we used this function…

Bindu Gakhar in reply to Sarah
February 13, 2016 at 10.54 am

Thanks for your feedback. At this time there is no plan to integrate with workflow max but I will add your suggestion to our backlog for future versions.

February 10, 2016 at 1.58 pm

I am sure this is helpful for someone, but for us, auditing timesheets is going to be more work than simply putting correct hours into payroll.

Having a function to import correct hours, negating the need for manual entry would appear to be an easier win for users? Certainly in our case.

Bindu Gakhar in reply to Paul
February 13, 2016 at 10.55 am

Thanks for the feedback. Will keep this in mind as we plan additional features.

Sarah Rice
September 19, 2017 at 11.42 pm

I really agree with this – this is what I need for my company so we can break it down by client and activity – i.e.: billable and non-billable hours

February 10, 2016 at 10.27 pm

HI Xero,

This could be a really great feature for my company to use – thanks!

Quick question – the most helpful element of tracking time, would be to track time spent on a per project basis. We have this set up within our sales/bills, so that we can correctly allocate money to the right project. Will we have this function in time tracking, so I can measure our work efficiency by project? That would *really* make a big difference!



Bindu Gakhar in reply to Mark
February 13, 2016 at 10.58 am

We don’t support job costing but there may be a workaround where you can use tracking categories to get what you want. Email me at bindu.gakhar@xero.com and I can help you. Thanks for the feedback.

February 11, 2016 at 7.53 am

Excellent! I’m hoping for some good reporting for time entered. We currently track time against customers or jobs in Reckon Accounts, and the reporting for Unbilled Time is really strong. Hoping that Xero will introduce similar reporting functions.

Bindu Gakhar in reply to Toni
February 13, 2016 at 11.01 am

Thanks for the feedback. I will add this to our backlog for future versions.

Kelvin Clayton
February 11, 2016 at 8.08 am

Need to be able to allocate time against a job tracking number.

Also, being able to import (or copy paste) data from a spreadsheet or other system to Xero would be handy as well

Bindu Gakhar in reply to Kelvin Clayton
February 13, 2016 at 11.07 am

We do support allocating time against a tracking category. The tracking category can be set up under General Settings and can be associated with time sheets by going to Payroll Settings. Once that is done, they show up in time sheets and can be associated with the hours entered.
Hope that helps!
We will look into the ability to import data in a future version.

Jim Morrison
February 11, 2016 at 3.27 pm

Sounds great… but would be good to see focus on the missing fundamentals and bugs in Payroll before releasing new features; tax/bens calculations, HMRC submission errors, more grown-up and transparent journaling and reporting.. etc..

We love Xero, we’re a massive advocate.. and we like Payroll… but it’s still just a little ‘beta’.

Bindu Gakhar in reply to Jim Morrison
February 13, 2016 at 11.08 am

We are working on a lot of different initiatives to make your payroll experience better! Please stay tuned!
Thanks for your feedback!

February 12, 2016 at 4.41 pm

Am i correct in understanding that there is no link between the new timesheet function and invoicing?
Having a fully integrated timesheet, payroll, invoicing and accounting package would be an incredibly strong package in the small to medium business market place – I don’t see us adding payroll to our xero package until that integration occurs.

Bindu Gakhar in reply to iain
February 20, 2016 at 11.14 am

Yes – we do not support invoicing in this version. Thanks for your feedback & stay tuned!

February 15, 2016 at 10.44 am

I am finding it hard to enter in the stat day not worked but is paid…Do I need to be adding this as a tracking code??

Bindu Gakhar in reply to Natasha
February 20, 2016 at 11.15 am

Can you email me at bindu.gakhar@xero.com with more information about what you are trying to do? Thanks

Tina Jarvis
March 31, 2016 at 1.44 am

Just been creating timesheet for the first time this month, a great start but data entry is time consuming.

The list you select from does not default to the pay item linked to the employees employment tab or payslip template. So each time I make an entry I have to scroll down the list just to record the regular hours. it would save a great amount of time if it defaulted to the employees linked regular hours item(see employment tab) or make it the top item in list. A work around would be to organise list alphabetically so that the list could be manipulated by the text i.e sort list alphabetically.

Also it would help if the time sheet automatically displayed recorded time off elements like A/L sick days, stat leave etc in the relevant days. I am bulk entering for my employees and have to keep flicking back to the time off tab to cross check there are no double entries.

The summary in the top right is really helpful but it would be greatly beneficial to show a complete picture of someones time that month including A/L, sickness etc.

Lastly – how can we print timesheet. I have to compare a few and am finding it difficult flicking between employees.


Anthony Webster
May 17, 2016 at 10.11 pm

Come on Xero, this is only a timesheet in the loosest sense of the definition. How long did it take to come up with this? Did you paper prototype it? Did you user test it? Or did some devs come up with it in a room without talking to your customers. My money is on the last one…

It simply records hours per day, not even the exact hours worked. I can imagine your response is “well that’s not needed from an accounting point of view” but this is a business tool, and what it says to our employees is “we don’t track time properly”. From a management point of view that is an appalling message to send to staff.

Ok its v1.0, but I am very underwhelmed by this and I think it needs to more work before it can be considered “good enough”.

Amy Smith
September 13, 2016 at 11.01 am

If you added a field to make each time entry essentially a ‘billable expense’ I’d be sold on Xero and My Payroll. It would be the perfect package. Please advise when you’ll be doing this? It seems like a pretty basic feature…

Thomas Hanson
April 6, 2017 at 10.30 pm

Please can you add the logging of GPS location, date and time when Users log their time in and out on the mobile app? Even enable clocking in automatically when the user arrives/leaves a given location? That way, timesheets can replace any clocking in systems, because there is proof of time worked at any location. This would be extremely useful.

Taher Khokhar
March 24, 2021 at 3.55 am

When can we have Timesheets for Xero Global.
We are using Xero Projects and time turns up fine but just need it in Timesheets format and to be able to link it to Payroll Timesheets.

I have search high and low and there is nothing in the market that works for us.
Would really appreciate a response from Xero.

Beeny Atherton in reply to Taher Khokhar Xero
March 24, 2021 at 9.01 am

Hi Taher – thanks so much for your message. Can I please ask where abouts you are located? Thanks!

May 3, 2021 at 9.26 pm

I would really appreciate preloaded hours. For our regular office staff who only fluctuate a little, it’s a pain for them to have to enter total hours every day, as opposed to just confirming or editing their normal roster.

Beeny Atherton in reply to Shonagh Xero
May 5, 2021 at 12.53 pm

Hi Shonagh, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us. I have passed on your feedback to my team.

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