A time ticket is a document used by an employee to record hours worked. The purpose of a time ticket is to accumulate the hours that an employee will be paid in the next payroll. Once a payroll period has ended, employees have their time tickets reviewed and approved by a supervisor, after which they are used by the payroll staff to compile hours worked, which is the basis for the calculation of gross pay.
A common format for a time ticket is for it to be printed in an oblong heavy paper format, which is then inserted into a time clock when an employee clocks in or clocks out. The time clock stamps the current date and time on the ticket.
Once a payroll has been completed, the related time tickets are archived for several years, depending on the applicable payroll regulations. Once the legal retention period has ended, time tickets are authorized for destruction and removed from the archives.
A significant problem with time tickets is that fellow employees can engage in "buddy punching," which occurs when an employee clocks other employees in and out, even though they are not really on the premises. This issue can be eliminated by switching to biometric electronic clocks.
Time tickets are less common now, since many companies have moved to electronic time keeping systems that allow for the entry of hours worked from smart phones, computer workstations, and electronic clocks that accept employee swipe cards.
A time ticket is also known as a time card.