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    4 Replies Latest reply on Jan 21, 2013 10:53 PM by sambank

    Time Tracking: 5 Great Reasons to Capture Billable Hours in Real Time

    kellydrill Adventurer

      For a business that bills clients by the hour, accurate employee time-tracking data is critical. While the Web offers a number of time-tracking solutions, few are designed to capture hours worked in real time. Certainly any hours tracking system is better than none, but there are some real benefits to choosing a tool that provides you with detailed, real-time time-tracking data.

       

      Efficiency

      Because time is money, you’d never ask your employees to perform the same task twice, but many online timesheets and calendar-based time-tracking tools encourage just that. If an application is too cumbersome or time-consuming to use, your employees simply won’t use it consistently. Instead, they’re likely to use some other means – scraps of paper, post-it notes or rudimentary spreadsheets – to log their time, pausing only at the end of the week (or month) to fill out their timesheets. By investing in a simple, real-time tracking tool, you can eliminate duplicate entry and ensure that your employees’ valuable time is spent on projects, not administrative work.

       

      Accuracy

      Double data entry is more than just a waste of time; it also leaves room for error. It’s all too easy to make mistakes when entering hours after the fact, which leaves you open to invoice challenges and accounting discrepancies.

      Accurate data doesn’t just benefit you; it also benefits your employees. No one wants to be short-changed on payday. By logging project hours in real time, your employees can ensure that they’re paid for every minute of their hard work.

       

      Streamlined Invoicing

      When it’s time to invoice your clients, you shouldn’t have to hound your employees for the information you need, and with a real-time hours tracking tool, you won’t. Tracking time as your employees work eliminates the need for reminders and workflow interruptions. Instead, you’re free to invoice when and how you want with the assurance that the information your clients receive will be accurate and up-to-date.

       

      Improved Resource Allocation

      Project managers rely on time-tracking data in order to allocate resources properly. After-the-fact timesheets make it difficult to make adjustments on the fly. However, if hours are captured in real time, project managers can identify problems instantly and shift resources in order to compensate.

       

      Better Customer Service

      Customer loyalty is critical to your bottom line. Serving your customers well starts with promptly and accurately answering their questions, especially with regard to project budgets and progress. Careful, up-to-the-minute monitoring of hours worked helps you stay on top of your clients’ expenses and makes it easy to answer questions like:

      • “Where are the hours going?”
      • “How close are we to maxing out our budget?”
      • “Is the time you’re spending on this project consistent with your estimate?”

      Having these answers at your fingertips builds trust and enables smarter decision-making, which is good for your clients and, in turn, good for your company’s long-term health.

        • Re: Time Tracking: 5 Great Reasons to Capture Billable Hours in Real Time
          Moderator Cath Guide

          Interesting post, kellydrill.  Thank you for sharing this information with us in such a concise form.  Welcome to our community.  I will look forward to reading more posts, like this, from you in the future.

           

          Cathy

          • Re: Time Tracking: 5 Great Reasons to Capture Billable Hours in Real Time
            raico Adventurer

            Hi Kellydrill, thanks for the sharing.

             

            It is indeed essential to track time for a business that bill clients by hours of work. This will help you bill clients easily and get paid. There are lots of different time tracking tools online and also different approaches to time tracking. As a freelancer I also use a time tracking tool called Time Doctor ( http://www.timedoctor.com/ ), which tracks all my activities in real time and give me a reading on exactly where I spent time, and how much of that time was productive or unproductive. It does not only tracks time accurately but it also helps me stay focus on tasks, limit wasted time, get things done, meet deadlines and improve productivity.


              • Re: Time Tracking: 5 Great Reasons to Capture Billable Hours in Real Time
                Moderator Cath Guide

                raico, I'm glad you added your remarks to this thread.  Too often (and I am one of the guilty) we give our services/time/expertise away.  I can think of times I have spent quite a bit of time with another sharing advice and tips, helping them set up some service, etc. all in the name of 'assisting' - no money passing hands.

                 

                Thankfully I have friends to help ground me by reminding me that helping another is a nice thing to do but when you spend quite a bit of time in the helping, you are depriving yourself of payment.

                 

                When you are approached by someone to assist them, work out some sort of payment - or even barter services and products for your time spent.  Then keep up with the time you work.  It then becomes a win-win situation, doesn't it?  I have learned this the hard way more times than not.  Now I look for opportunities to barter my services.

                 

                Cath

              • Re: Time Tracking: 5 Great Reasons to Capture Billable Hours in Real Time
                sambank Adventurer

                Hi Kelly,

                Thank you sharing your points; it is a useful article for those business owners they are still using traditional spreadsheet time tracking for their employees. Last year I meet an old friend who has a manufacturing business I introduced him to a PC based biometric real time tracking system for him it is a peace of mind it is called TriPoz (http://www.tripoz.net/), it is a scheduling, time and attendance system.