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TSheets Solves A Problem in Payroll Time-Tracking

 

Matt Rissell was a successful business owner, employing over 35 personnel between his four company locations, when he stumbled upon a problem within his payroll.


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Rissell discovered one of his employees was not accurately reporting her time, and was subsequently being overpaid.

“One of our most honest employees was fudging on her time sheet by like 15 minutes,” Rissell said. “Which doesn’t seem like a big deal, except that I had 35 employees doing it 6 times a day.”

 

According to Rissell, for 90 percent of all businesses, especially small and midsized companies, the number one largest expense on their profit and loss statement is payroll.

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Alarmed by the amount of loss he was experiencing from inaccurately reported employee time, Rissell came up with a plan of action.

“I wanted to go find a time tracking system that would solve the problem for four locations and mobile employees and nothing existed,” he said. “So, I had one built, never intending it to become a company.”

When Rissell’s bookkeeper used the new program to run payroll for the first time, she was so impressed by its ease of use and accuracy that she brought up the idea of selling it.

In 2005, Rissell and Brandon Zem took the basis of the program and cofounded the time-tracking system, now known as TSheets.

“I wanted to go find a time tracking system that would solve the problem for four locations and mobile employees and nothing existed,” he said. “So, I had one built, never intending it to become a company.”


How TSheets Works

 

TSheets is a cloud-based payroll time tracking system, hosted completely on the web.

“We do some applications that download to specific devices, but everything syncs real time with their main account online,” Rissell said.

With TSheets, managers and business owners can track their employees’ time whether they are salary or hourly. Employees working from outside of the office can track their time from iPhones and Android devices.

unnamed-2“It’ll pin the GPS coordinate so an owner or manager can see who’s working and what they’re working on, how long they’ve been working on it, and where they are from anywhere in the world,” Rissell said.

TSheets fills two main market needs. First, the system makes up for loss many companies experience in their profit and loss statement having to do with payroll.

“We are a tool, and probably the best tool in the world, that helps them manage their single largest expense,” Rissell said.

Additionally, TSheets is specifically designed for payroll. According to Rissell, most other software-based time tracking systems are designed only to track and bill hourly.

“We go to the extreme in Department of Labor compliance, so we help customers stay compliant with the Department of Labor standards,” Rissell said. “There’s different overtime calculations that can be driven, it’s an engine that they can set up on their own that’s done varied by state, if they have employees in multiple states.”

“We are a tool, and probably the best tool in the world, that helps them manage their single largest expense,”

Outside of closely and accurately tracking time for payroll, TSheets can be used to track time for efficiency, project costs, overtime and more.

TSheets integrates with nearly 100 different payroll companies, is currently the number one add-on for QuickBooks globally and is used by a customer-base of tens of thousands of consumers spread throughout 70 countries worldwide.

While TSheets is seeing significant industry success now, it took many attempts and failures leading up to the winning product.


 

The Path to Success

By the time TSheets was being built into a full-time company, it had already seen multiple market failures.

“We failed fantastically,” Rissell said. “Our original vision of what we thought TSheets would be is completely different than what it is today.”

According to Rissell, the first market unnamedfailure TSheets faced was due to taking bad advice.

“It was a great learning lesson; I take full responsibility for it,” he said.

Bouncing back from this first failure, Rissell said, was generally easy because there was still money in the bank and optimism in the company. The second failure, however, was much harder.

“We received some publicity and then we got hammered from people,” Rissell said. “Even people in local market were saying things like ‘Rissell, time tracking? Can’t you come up with something better than time tracking?’”

After being faced with the second failure, Rissell and Zem contemplated giving up on the company.

“There were days we saw the end of the runway, and there was a day when we thought ‘Maybe this is the wrong thing for us,’” Rissell said.

But the duo still believed in the company, and pushed forward.

The third failure, Rissell called deliberate, with the company essentially selling customizations of their product on a one off basis.

“We knew it wouldn’t last, but it got us through the hump,” he said.

During the time of the third failure, Rissell took a short-term job as executive vice president of the technology company.

“Then I came back and we read the book, “The Lean Start Up,” and that was one of the biggest turning points for our company,” Rissell said.

At that point, Rissell and Zem began leveraging analytics and using the minimum-viable product idea to start proving what works and what doesn’t work. From there, TSheets began to grow.

“Then I came back and we read the book, “The Lean Start Up,” and that was one of the biggest turning points for our company,”


 

TSheets Expands Internationally

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While TSheets got its start in Boise, the company is now internationally recognized and recently opened a new location in Australia.

Because of this Rissell feels optimistic the company will double every year for the next five years.

“I really can’t see past five, but I think with the trajectory that we’re on and the plan that we have,” he said. “It’s very exciting.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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