What Is a Work Ticket?

A work ticket is a form that shows the time spent by an employee working on a particular job. It is used as a basis for billing the costs of direct labor to customers, and may also be used for calculating wages of employees who are paid by the hour. In the context of accounting for the hours an employee works, a work ticket is also known as "time card" or a "timesheet," which are more commonly used. In the context of recording how many hours a worker has put into a specific task, the term "work order" may be used as well.

Understanding Work Ticket

Work tickets are used not only to ensure that hourly or temporary workers are paid for their labor. They may also be used to ensure that clients are billed for work performed on their behalf but supervised by the employer. Work tickets may also be used to calculate labor costs, track productivity, create budgets, forecast future labor needs, keep an eye on projects, and determine profit (and loss). 

Work Ticket vs. Timesheet

Work tickets used for tracking the hours of an hourly or temporary employee may be on paper or exist digitally. Hours worked, leave time, accruals, and adjustments may be made on such work tickets. They tend to be filled out weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or bi-monthly depending on the employer's pay period. Such work tickets are submitted to a supervisor who then approves or amends them, at which point they are sent to payroll so that payment may be made. Work tickets used as timesheets (or "timesheets") that are digital, such as with punch clocks or electronic timecard readers, may assist in the automation of the billing or payroll process. Such devices may even use biometrics for added security.

Work Ticket vs. Work Order

A timesheet used to track work performed for a customer, otherwise known as a work order, tends to be for services. A work ticket in this context may contain instructions for a given task or some description of a problem, cost estimates, any applicable forms to authorize work, the date and estimated labor time and costs, who has made the request and who will be billed, and the name of the person requesting the work.   

For example, a person who has given his car to an automobile shop for several repairs or maintenance items will receive a bill that shows the amount of time spent by different mechanics on various parts of the car, as well as their billing rates. The time spent by each mechanic on the car is derived from the work ticket.