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.
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.
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.
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.