To answer your question shortly, if you can no longer manage the hours in your head because there is too much detail required, you need a better system. If the work can be accomplished on a napkin or in a single Excel file then you need to think about a better system.
For most organizations, once they exceed 10 to 20 employees, the data becomes too hard to manage manually but your own situation may vary depending on how much detail you require for each employee.
If you are 2 or 3 people all working in an office small enough that you can shout down the corridor and find out everyone’s hours, you probably don’t need a timesheet. If you are 30 or 40 people or more and shouting down the corridor as a method of getting data is frowned upon, then you should be thinking about an automated system.
We have successfully deployed our own TimeControl timesheet system for organizations with as few as 10 employees and it has delivered great value.
We’ve deployed TimeControl for as many as 10,000 employees and, again, it has delivered great value. So, while each situation is different, the idea of standing back to look and see if the complexity of the challenge warrants an automated system is a good one.
If it isn’t clear that you will get a positive return on your investment of time, money and resources, then it might be better to wait.
That’s true for a timesheet, but it’s also true for any other enterprise system.