Consulting Time Tracking Software – How to Find the Right Consultant Timesheet Solution
Whether you are running a small business or large organization you need to make sure that you know how time is spent. This is even more important for consultants as you are usually dependent on billing your clients right and accurately.
However finding a solution for this may not always be as easy as it sounds, but luckily there is a way, which this article will explore…
The Challenges with Consulting Time Tracking Software
When trying out or looking for the best consulting time tracking software for your business, you may have encountered different challenges in your quest for finding consultant timesheet software that suits your needs. These could include finding a solution that fits your business needs exactly and also take into consideration the way your workforce go about their daily activities. Tracking and reporting your time should not be a hassle.
You do not want your employees having to go into different systems to enter their time and also having to remember what they did when. This can result in highly inaccurate results which can be catastrophic no matter if you are working on a billable project or internal activities, such as administration, marketing or time off.
So overall you do not want a solution where you need to type in your time manually whether this be in paper form or in a simple spreadsheet. This simply becomes too inaccurate, time consuming and will not make your company stand in the most professional light possible when dealing with professional business partners or paying clients. So this is something that you cannot afford to do.
Your timesheet reporting solution, whether it is for internal projects or client projects thus cannot be a burden to your staff, no matter if it’s used to track billable hours, as the basis for your invoicing, or just payroll.
So how do you find consulting time tracking software and a consultant timesheet solution that fits your needs and makes life easier for everyone?
Finding a Solution for Consulting Time Tracking Software
If you are running a consultancy company, you are most likely getting paid for your time. That is, you are selling billable hours. This is the case no matter if you are a small business or a large enterprise. Therefor the timesheet software that you select needs to be the best one and one that fits your needs exactly. This is paramount.
To do so, you need to avoid getting a product where you need to enter your time manually and having to rely on remembering what you did when and for which client.
You should instead be looking at the current business systems that you have in place and which your users are used to working with.
The most obvious choice here is the Microsoft Outlook calendar, which almost all professional companies use to mange their time. Your consultant timesheet solution should thus be able to seamlessly integrate with the Microsoft Outlook calendar so that you can use the Outlook calendar appointments as the basis for your time tracking. This will ensure that time is reported accurately and your users will be using a tool that is intuitive and easy to use.
The consultant time tracking software should also come with build-in reporting tools so that you and your users and easily keep track of how you have spent your time and getting a clear overview of your project time as well as other time spent on various activities.
Other features that you should consider is the ability to approve time entries by a supervisor as well as the ability to send reminders and notifications to your users if they have somehow forgotten to report time.
If you need to reimburse employees or get paid by clients for expenses such as mileage and hotel stays, etc., your solution should also be able to provide you with expense tracking.
Finally, since we are talking about a consulting time tracking solution here you should also be able to optionally have hourly rates (cost, revenue, and profit) in the timesheet system, to easily get an overview of your earnings and costing overall.
How to Make Your Consultant Timesheet Solution Benefit everyone
Whether your users and staff are working on a client project or internal administration, they need to use the software for your company to harvest all the benefits.
It is therefor extremely important that you show them how this solution is not used to breathe down their necks and track their every move. It is used so that the company and they themselves will be able to see how time is spent and optimize their activities accordingly.
It is extremely important that you communicate this clearly and from the very beginning.
Also, remember to give them access to reporting functions in the system, so that they can actually see how they spent their time. In the right kind of software you can also set this up so that not everyone will be able to see what everybody else are doing.
So overall, to ensure the success of implementing a time reporting solution to track your time more accurately, be sure to make the benefits clear to your employees.
Imagine that you have a consultant timesheet solution that your users love to use and can see the benefits with. Also imagine that this fits perfectly with your workflow and project management. Then imagine that it is at the same time extremely userfriendly.
This is the kind of consultant time tracking software you want.
So overall these a some of the findings that you should keep in mind:
- Tracking time manually can be a burden for your employees
- Find a solution that integrates with Outlook, so that you can use your appointments as the basis for your time reporting
- It should be intuitive and easy to use
- It should provide you with a clear overview and details of how time has been spent
- Optionally you should also be able to track expenses and hourly rates
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