Running an agency without keeping an eye on time? It is technically doable; however, it is absolutely not ideal. For many agencies (if not all), profitability is tied to the number of hours they can bill out to customers every week or every month. And for this to be attainable, employees must correctly track and record time spent completing customers’ projects.
Time tracking also provides agency managers and owners insight into the profitability and efficiency of services, projects, and staff members.
Common excuses agencies give for not tracking time
1. Time tracking is not part of our culture.
Some agencies feel that time tracking does not align with their culture. That is quite understandable; nobody looks forward to filling out timesheets. However, the benefits that come with time tracking surpasses all this. Besides, the often “lackluster” world of timesheets has changed. Digital timesheets are mobile friendly and easy to complete.
2. We have a very small team
Time tracking happens to be more successful at scale. However, even small agencies benefit from the gains associated with time tracking such as improved benchmarking, visibility, and detailed reports on individual staff productivity. Even with as few as two or three staff members, it can be tricky to know who is handling what, and how much time remains for a given task.
3. We do not really care about time tracking
This is equivalent to saying “we are not bothered about how much money we make.” Managing an agency is not a clear-cut task, and time tracking provides budgeting and forecasting tools which minimize costs and increase margins.
Time tracking benefits for agencies
1. Increased visibility of agency operations
Time tracking brings about transparency in agency operations, making it easy for managers to notice where things are running perfectly, and draw attention to any processes which are delaying vital projects. For instance, is your team spending and committing unnecessary time on certain clients? Are the resources allocated to complete a certain assignment enough? Via the help of a time tracker, you can get an impression of how many hours are spent on non-billable tasks, such as breaks, meetings, etc. You can also note which clients need extra allocation time and which are most profitable.
2. Improve your quotes and estimates
Giving accurate quotes set you out on a perfect footing with your customers. By generating proper records on how much time each form of the job takes, you will be in a good position to fine-tune and improve your quotes.
If you have invested in a time tracker, you can run reports on different kinds of the task and the hours spent to execute them. This way, improvements to your estimates and quote can be made easily.
3. Correct billing for clients
Probably, every employee in your agency can provide a ballpark figure of how many hours it would take them to carry out certain assignments. However, a rough estimate or ballpark figure isn’t the same as exact logs. It is obvious; if you do not document the time you spend on a task, you can’t bill the customer for it.
4. See the status of a project at a glance
With various employees in your agency working on different projects, it can be challenging to trail the status of every project. However, the case is different if you are using a modern time tracking tool like AccountSight. Just log in and check the status of all tasks at a glance. You can even confine your view to a specific job or department in your agency, and if your tracking tool is in the cloud, you can access this information from anywhere in the globe.
5. Accurately report hours for compliance
Hours worked by your agency team are required for correct reporting and compliance purposes. This can be a tricky thing to do every end month. But, this is not the case if the team at your agency is correctly tracking time. You can quickly pull out accurate reports from your tracking application on a need basis, for compliance reasons.
6. Reward excellence
Many agency employees – particularly those unfamiliar with time tracking – worry that time tracking will make them come out as unproductive. The opposite is true – a correct log of time worked allows you, as the agency owner or manager, to notice when projects are satisfactorily being completed, and to reward employees accordingly.
7. Presents a professional face
Clients, particularly those that seek services from agencies, are very keen on asking questions relating to their project status? A time tracking system places you, as an agency manager to respond to even the most ambiguous client questions.
While most agencies may be already observing some form of time tracking, there is a high probability that it is not as accurate as that which is guaranteed by today’s modern time tracking systems. Using the top rated time to track tools like AccountSight to monitor time just makes sense; the gains, associated with it can definitely boost your agency’s bottom line.