7 Benefits of Timesheet Software for Project Time Tracking
People have been using clocks and timers for centuries. For thousands of years, man has invented and used a number of different devices to measure and keep track of time. Proper time management and time tracking enables individuals and organizations to accomplish more in less time, improve the overall quality of work, and create a healthy balance in workflows and home life. In fact, time tracking is vital for understanding how you spend your time – both personally and at work.
Still Tracking Time Manually?
While it may seem hard to believe, numerous organizations around the world still continue to use the old and outdated modes of tracking employee time. Such cumbersome methods are not only inefficient and complicated, but they may actually cost your business more money and resources than you know. They can lead to a massive administrative burden, inaccurate data and compliance issues, all of which can result in lower profits and more losses in the long run. So what is the solution?
Proper time tracking! Time tracking and reporting with proper timesheet software has clear benefits for small and large businesses, individual employees and teams, as well as professional service providers and freelancers working from home.
1. Timesheet Software Creates Better Project Workflows
Project time tracking offers real-time benefits and visibility into projects – whether they are organizational-wide projects, departmental projects or projects managed by inter-departmental teams. By helping you to organize, report, benchmark, budget, estimate costs and bill clients, time tracking software not only facilitates project time tracking, but it essentially makes teams more effective and productive.
How much time do your employees spend on attending meetings? How much time do they spend on estimating expenses? How much time is spent on preparing and conducting interviews and audits, and what is their overall impact on the bottom line? Project time tracking helps business managers answer all of these questions, and more. By doing so, timesheet software reveals the true costs of doing business, highlight operational movements and determine better project workflows.
2. Enables Project Time Tracking and Accurate Reporting
How long does it take your staff to perform a certain task? Or put it another way: how long does it really take to complete a task or job?
Timesheets answer this fundamental operational question. Time reporting via timesheet software enables project-based teams to add time entries to tasks quickly and conveniently. Not only that, the software also allows them to view, share, organize and even print these time reports for accurately reporting performance to the management. With a proper solution (like TSR) you can get time tracking functionality in Outlook, which is better than keeping manual records of such activities, for it enables the business owners and managers to effortlessly track the workload and performance of each team member.
Using a time tracking plug-in in Outlook, employees can automatically create time entries to record time spent on different activities. This functionality provides much more accurate time reporting compared to recording the same data by manual means, which leaves personnel guessing at how much time they spend doing different tasks and projects.
3. Ensures Accurate Forecasting
By putting valuable historical data and trends at your disposal, timesheet software allows your business to create accurate and detailed internal records, which can then serve as benchmarks for future forecasting. Creating precise forecasts not only facilitates the assessment of the overall progress and performance of individual projects, it also ensures better cost projections, correct billing information, optimum plans and maximum profitability for any job done and any project undertaken by the organization on behalf of its clients.
In addition, time tracking enables you to see the ‘big picture’. By tracking hours by employees, a business owner or project manager can continuously monitor and evaluate the workload, payoffs and productivity of their teams. In fact, timesheet tracking becomes even more important if employees are paid by the hour, but it also works equally well for salaried personnel, as well as for non-billable/internal projects.
4. Timesheet Software Improves Productivity and Performance
Do you wish to know exactly what your employees are working on at different times? Can you easily and readily spot non-optimal performance by staff using manual time reporting processes?
Employees who for some reason perform non-optimal on their jobs actually cost you money, resulting in losses for your company. Outlook time tracking helps you compare the amount of time the employees put in each task against the results or output they produce. By revealing who is productive and who is not, timesheet software not only helps you reduce time wastage, but also minimize losses by saving a lot of money for you and your company.
In essence, Outlook timesheet software empowers you to determine where you are wasting your time and labor resources, and where you are using it best. By weeding out tasks that are taking longer than necessary or that add little or no value to the bottom line, project time tracking improves overall performance and productivity at the workplace.
5. Project Time Tracking Ensures Accurate Client Billing
A major challenge faced by many businesses today is client billing. Organizations and professionals who provide services to clients work on the billable hour business model, or on a fixed fee, whereby every member of the team provides a rough log of their assigned workloads and how long it will take them to complete each task. But a rough estimate like this one cannot be the same as an accurate estimate; simply put, if you cannot record and track the time you actually spend on the job, you cannot accurately bill the client for it, or know if it makes financially sense to you.
A business manager knows well how important it is that clients are billed properly. Timesheets in Outlook help you capture everything you do while you work: the tasks and activities you complete, the milestones you reach and the results you accomplish. By enabling you to create an accurate log of time entries in Outlook, the timesheet software offers you an equally precise record of your billable time, or the time you spend on billable projects.
Under the automated time tracking system – as every tiny detail is able to make it to your timesheets – you are able to handle project time tracking efficiently as well. Since the manual recording processes are now replaced by a fully-computerized time reporting system, you can further reduce your costs in billing and invoicing clients. Your clients also get to benefit much from your using timesheet software, for it enables them to see how much effort, time and resources you are dedicating to their projects. This essentially means that timesheets will serve as evidence of how accurate your billing actually is, and that the client’s money is not going to waste.
6. Improves Organizational Profitability
The use of timesheet software helps businesses to track real-time productivity and profitability. By letting an employer know what employees are working on and how much time they are spending on each activity or project, timesheets enable the former to gauge the efficiency of his or her workforce – which will in turn impact the bottom line. On the other hand, time tracking helps business owners to see, and control, where their money is going. Monitoring everything in one place, timesheet reporting helps you determine whether you are making money or losing money at the end of the day. So if something is not paying off the way you had originally planned for, you can always re-prioritize projects and workloads, jettison struggling or loss-making endeavors and look for new opportunities elsewhere.
7. Timesheet Software Improves Project Time Tracking
Timesheet software is an important tool in your enterprise’ arsenal. As project-based work becomes more and more common at workplaces around the world, time entries and time tracking with Outlook is increasingly becoming invaluable for project management.
- Project Time Tracking: Timesheet software allows employers and employees alike to monitor their time and keep projects on track. By tracking time spent on different projects, project time tracking enables the project manager in qualifying a team member for a new project and assigning him or her a certain role or job based on their performance.
- Assigning Workloads: Time entries made in Outlook lets you assess time usage, and by doing so, they help you define the scope of the entire project in terms of workloads. Any employee or team member whose strength or strengths lie in a particular area can then be assigned tasks accordingly.
- Training and Development: Using timesheets for project time tracking not only facilitates you in the process of assigning different roles and jobs to employees for which they are better suited, but it also helps in identifying critical areas in which a person might be taking more time than necessary or more time than was originally allocated to him or her. It will point to a need for further skills training for that particular employee.
- Balanced Workload Distribution: Using timesheet software enables project managers to understand the issues of capacity better. By capacity, it means the availability of staff assigned to a project. It is not possible to maintain a well-balanced workload and manage project outcomes without knowing your capacity. Project time trackingmakes it easy for project managers to break down projects and distribute workloads among team members.
Timesheet software was originally developed to help employers track the number of hours for payroll purposes. However, time tracking has evolved radically with time, catering to more than just payroll. Today, timesheet software is increasingly being used for project time tracking, project management, project costing, financial purposes, job estimation, and of course payroll.
The truth is that time tracking with Outlook offers a myriad of benefits for both individuals as well as businesses. The use of timesheets not only simplifies the overall time tracking and reporting processes at an overall level, it also encourages your team members and employees to take ownership of their duties and responsibilities.
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