Whether you are a contractor, an independent consultant, a small business, or a large corporate entity that pays its employees by the hour or bills its clients based on time, investing in a system that tracks all your billable hours is exceedingly essential.
Well, here, we are not talking about the inept, manual tracking systems that some organizations still insist on using. You are clearly aware that, manual tracking of time is awfully unreliable and inefficient: it’s tedious, error-prone and most notably, time-consuming.
You need a modern online time tracking and billing software that can effectively prevent any leakage of revenue, as well as wastage of resources. In other words, you need a reliable time and billing software that will help you spend less time managing your employees and consequently, free up your vital resources for more profitable ventures; eventually, boosting your bottom line.
As a rule, a modern time tracking system is able to:
• Automatically track time
• Automatically track billable hours
• Automatically take screenshots of your staff’s device screen
• Automatically generate reports relevant to time tracking
Some people, however, may claim that tracking time lowers employees’ morale. That is far from the truth. Actually, when employees see a time tracking and billing software that is easy to use and one that reduces unnecessary bottlenecks, redundancies, and needless hurdles, they normally warm up to it very fast.
That’s aside; there are quite a number of reasons, why organizations should invest in time tracking and billing solutions:
1. Online time tracker software gives your employees a better focus
Do you always find your employees unsure of what they should be working on next? Do you find them taking things casually even at a time when there is a pressing deadline to beat?
Sometimes, it’s not that your workers are slacking off. Might be, they just don’t get any sense of urgency around the set deadlines. Or possibly, they do not have a clear guideline of what they are supposed to do at a particular time. So, what’s the way forward in such a situation?
Enable your employees to take ownership of the project they are working on by introducing an online time tracking tool. Team members can enter the time taken to complete each assignment and most notably, be able to gauge their own performance. They can as well turn the whole process into a personal challenge, where they try to beat or exceed their previous accomplishments. As you might be aware, engaging your employees with their own output or productivity allows them to appreciate their efforts.
In addition, when you invest in an online time tracker, your employees will be able to see all the projects in the lineup; hence, they will always have something to work on.
2. Tracking time optimizes client billing
Many employees can make an educated guess of how long it takes them to complete certain assignments. But a rough estimate or approximation cannot be compared to an accurate log. Actually, if you don’t record the hours you spend on a particular assignment, you can’t bill for it. Remember, it not just a labor law requirement, but it’s also ethical that clients are billed correctly.
If every assignment takes 20 minutes longer than anticipated, and you complete something like 10 jobs every week, you are roughly losing 170 billable hours annually. By correctly tracking time that you have invested in projects, you will be able to earn precisely what you deserve. Most importantly, your clients will be sure of what they are paying for since it’s already in the records. Thus, it goes without saying, billing software can help individual contractors and organizations optimize their billing processes, eventually saving them a lot of money.
3. Time tracking guarantees overtime compliance
How many hours have your team members worked? Are they entitled to overtime pay? It’s very important that companies with non-exempt employees, track time. Normally, this is to ensure that all overtime hours are documented, and payroll is correctly distributed. If team members don’t properly track time, it can lead to lawsuits, fines, and unnecessary disruptions in the office.
4. Time tracking and billing software ensures compliance and expedites audits
Time tracking data helps organizations to stay in compliance with the various government and industry regulations. Actually, time tracking minimizes the costs of third-party audits. Most importantly, with this data, managers can effortlessly export and share information and other financial data with board members, donors, and all relevant stakeholders.
5. Encourages accurate predictions and benchmarking
Every organization works on projects on a yearly, quarterly, monthly, or weekly basis. Determining the time each activity or event will need to be completed is quite difficult, especially if estimated manually.
Historical data, on actual time taken to complete certain tasks, can help managers to make realistic estimates and adjust work rates. They can get practical ideas from past projects about the number of hours it will take in executing similar projects. In other words, with this kind of data, managers can quickly create precise predictions and internal benchmarks that guarantee maximum profitability for any project.
6. Easily compare performance across business units
Which departments or divisions in your organizations are the least or most profitable? Are certain departments under or over utilized? Can the operations be restructured to boost profitability? With the help of time tracking and billing software, managers are able to compare performance across departments. How, you might ask? The billing cost data generated by the billing software offers real-time insights, which managers can not only use to drive productivity, but also to compare performance across departments.
7. Easily prioritize projects
With an online time tracker, managers can use the milestones, calendar, and staff allocation features to come up with adjustments to certain schedules. Normally, this enables them to easily re-allocate hours and change deadlines for high-priority and pressing projects.
Your employees can simply see the projected number of hours for every phase of a project and precisely where that project is in regards to its completion date. In short, an online time tracker provides visibility and accountability in one comprehensible system.
8. Track time anywhere, on different devices
What if you have team members out on site, or have people working for you across the globe? Can you still maintain a reliable and consistent time-tracking solution?
With a cloud-based time tracking solution, your employees will be able to conveniently and correctly enter time, regardless of where they are. Everyone can have access to a cloud-system that is instantly-updating, from their chosen device – Smartphone, tablet or laptop.
9. Online time tracking and billing presents a professional face
Clients are very inquisitive. When will my projected be completed? Can you give me an exact timeline? Who is working on my project? Why is life unfair? Can you sentence a homeless person to a house arrest?
While you might not be in a position to answer the last two questions, your online time tracker solution will help you to respond even to the vaguest client queries. The ability to answer such questions accurately acts as a comfort factor for clients and assures them that they are dealing with a professional.
10. Lastly, time tracking helps cut costs
Organizations are always looking for ways to minimize their operating costs as a means to help them boost their bottom line and cut their budgetary needs. Tracking time reveals inefficiencies and helps identify areas in the organization where losses are likely to be incurred. Additionally, it shows you all the extras that are likely to bust your budget and give birth to unnecessary costs.
Basically, a time tracking solution lets you easily review profitability across all your projects and clients, so you can make an informed and worthwhile decision. With an online time tracker in place, you will soon realize how simple it is to keep the budget under control.
Time to begin
As you have seen, there are many ways that an online time tracker can benefit your organization. If properly used, it can set off a chain reaction, which reverberates across multiple aspects of your operations, leading to lower expenses, increased productivity, higher profitability, and a sharper awareness of your business’s processes. Time tracking, therefore, might be the missing factor which allows your organization to ascend to the desired heights.
With that said, the online time tracker you opt to go with should be intuitive and easy to use. The last thing you would wish for as a manager is a tracking tool that is more complex and tedious than your existing manual system. Obviously, if your software is not user-friendly, it will probably not be embraced by your employees.
Therefore, to enjoy all the benefits of time tracking software, you must go for the best in the market. Take time to pick the right tracking and billing software for your organization as this could be one of the most significant business purchasing decisions you will ever make.