Work tickets are continuously updated documents that are primarily used in the service industry to track the status of a project. For example, a work ticket could be used for automotive repair, shipping of an item, computer hardware or software repairs, or installation of phone service. In modern times, a work ticket usually is a virtual document, meaning that there is no actual paperwork that is generated. Rather, the tickets are created and updated through software databases.
The benefits of using a virtual work ticket are numerous. For example, a service provider can enter a query on a customer and find out the status of the project. Once a service is complete to the satisfaction of both the client and the service provider, the work ticket is often overwritten with new data for the next service. There are, however, a growing number of service providers that are saving a completed copy of the work tickets they generate to show exactly how a particular service was provided and how long the process took. Work tickets are then used to settle disputes by clients who felt the service was not provided either in a timely manner or not completed.
Work tickets should not be confused with work orders, receipts, or contracts. A work ticket is not legally binding, as it is simply an informational document that allows a service provider to know what has been completed and what is left to do. Personal notes can also be added, such as "client was rude and aggressive" or "client is hard of hearing, must use teletypewriter (TTY)" to let others know of unique challenges when dealing with a particular customer.
A work order is the initial request that defines specifically what the client and service provider think needs to be done. Contracts define the terms as to how the work is to be completed so both parties have a clear understanding of the terms. This usually includes a quoted price, work time frame, what is to be supplied by the client, and what the service provider is to have completed at the end of the contract. A receipt is the final tally of the service and the amount owed.