Do you use spreadsheets to track your time? Maybe you use a simple app that only tracks your time, but then you still have to record your expenses, create the invoice, get it approved, send the bill (and sometimes receipts), and confirm it gets paid. Regardless, the process is way too tedious–sometimes you even bill late because you hate to bill! Folks, there is a better way- and that is time tracking and billing software.
Here are 5 features you NEED in your time and billing software:
1) Server Based Time Tracker
When you are keeping track of time, it has to be precise. There isn’t room for mistakes- because every billable second counts. Be sure to choose a software that has a server based time tracker so if your internet goes out, the computer shuts down, or something else happens- you can be assured your time tracker is still working for you. It is important to not cut corners with the time tracker, because every minute that is missed, is another minute you can’t bill for.
2) Line by Line Expense Approval
You need line-by-line expense approval. Why should an entire batch of expenses get held up simply because there is a disagreement over a coffee from Starbucks. With line-by-line expense approval, you can submit expenses and the administrator can accept the entire batch, or approve some expenses, and leave the rest for discussion. You can get reimbursed immediately without waiting on questionable expenses.
3) Robust Reporting Features
Be sure to look into which reporting filters the software provides. A lot of software claim to have the “best” reporting, but which reports to you need specifically? Time & Attendance, Expense, Employee Utilization, Profitability by Customer Project or Employee, Cost & Budget, Missing Time Report, and Monthly Resource Allocation are reports that matter to consultants- and your time and billing software should have them.
4) Payment Gateway Integration
The reason you purchased time and billing software in the first place was to make billing easier. If the software does not integrate with a payment gateway, then what does it really accomplish? When software integrates with a payment gateway, it can automatically reconcile your invoices and keep tabs on when they are paid or not- allowing you to send up follow-up emails and keep track of your accounts receivable. I recommend PayPal integration because they have some of the lowest fees (3%) and reconciles with bank accounts easily, and securely.
5) Doesn’t Cost More Than You Bill
The problem with most time and billing software is that they can cost more than what you actually bill for. There are a lot of options out there, but make sure to choose one that is in budget. This might seem obvious- but be sure to price out the software before- taking note of additional modules you might need, and how many users you will add, both can dramatically increase the monthly subscription price.
Time and billing software can result in savings of 81.9% per user. Industry standards say that consultants spend one hour each week to manage time and expenses. With the right software, consultants can save $4,280 and 45 hours per year. My advice: stop the paperwork, get back to work, and follow these tips to choosing time tracking and billing software.
AccountSight offers the most affordable and easiest to use time tracking and billing software available.