Timesheets for Architects – Everything You Need to Know
In the world of architecture, it’s safe to say that this is one of the more complex trades to be involved in, due largely to the fact that architects have so many different variables to consider.
From meeting with potential clients, to drawing up plans, and everything in between, there’s certainly a heck of a lot to get your head around.
For many architects, they’ll likely agree that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day which is why more and more of them are turning to modern technology to give them and their businesses a boost and to make life a little easier.
Timesheets for architects is a topic that comes up a lot nowadays on forums and networking events, which is one of the main reasons why time tracking software for architects is now such a hot topic in the industry.
If you work as an architect and are looking for ways of improving your business, time tracking is ideal.
Here’s a look at what you need to know.
Which kind of roles do architects have?
Architecture is an incredibly complex and creative industry. It allows individuals the freedom to express themselves and design.
Ever noticed how, every now and then whilst out and about, you come across a building that stands out for all of the right reasons?
Whether it’s made from unique materials, or is simply built in an unusual shape that goes against the grain and dares to be different, this building has likely been designed by an architect that knows his or her craft incredibly well.
The great thing about architecture, and also, arguably the thing that makes it the most challenging, is the fact that there are so many different facets in the role. No two buildings are exactly alike, and no two projects are exactly alike either.
From concept and design, to bringing ideas to life, an architect’s life is certainly never dull.
Because architects have so many different variables to consider, it’s vital that they get all the help they can get to truly do their jobs to the very best of their abilities, which is why we’re looking at timesheets for architects today.
Time tracking software is becoming commonplace in a whole host of different industries, including architecture.
What precisely is time tracking software?
Decades ago, when employees used to go to work, they’d have a card that they would punch in, and then punch out when they finished for the day. This was literally a piece of card inserted into a special device that made a hole in the card to indicate what time the employee began work, and again hours later to indicate the time in which they finished.
To some nowadays, that may sound decidedly primitive, but in reality, the concept behind time tracking software remains the same, with the added bonus of now being able to track and monitor a wealth of other things.
The great thing about timesheet software is the fact that you can utilize it as a standalone piece of software, or you can integrate it with things such as the Outlook Calendar to streamline your business even more effectively and monitor all manner of different things.
Architects have so many different roles that time tracking software is now considered a necessity for many experts in the field, and for good reason.
From that very first meeting with a client to discuss a new home or building, to sending the final invoice to the client upon completion of the project, timesheets for architects can prove to be extremely useful.
What makes timesheets for architects so beneficial?
Okay, so, we now know some of the primary roles of an architect, and we know the basics behind time tracking software.
Now it’s time for us to look at some of the primary advantages associated with using this software in this particular trade, so we can look at whether or not the software really is as beneficial as some would have you believe.
Why not decide for yourself by looking at some of the main benefits of time tracking for architects.
One of the main reasons why architects have been so impressed with time reporting software is because of the fact that it helps to centralize data.
What do we mean by that? Basically, an architect’s job is never done. They have so many different things to consider from conception and design, to health and safety, billing, invoicing, budget, time management, employee management, and everything in between.
Because of this, it pays to have access to all of the info required, in one space, and that’s where time tracking software comes into the picture.
Time tracking apps and software allow architects to centralize their data so that they have everything they need in just one spot.
With a few clicks an architect can open up the software and look at a variety of different data entries and info.
This helps to streamline the business and save time, which in the world of architecture, is a commodity more valuable than gold.
Keep employees happy
When you run your own company and have staff on the books, or you work with independent contractors or freelancers, ensuring that people that are working for you are happy and motivated is very important, regardless of what you do.
As an architect, happy employees will mean good work, and good work means happy clients. Happy clients mean more money for you, more recommendations, and hopefully, repeat work as well.
Time tracking software for architects is therefore very beneficial, due to the fact that you can use it to keep people working for you happy.
To begin with, the software can help you to assign employees help where it is needed, so as to help prevent them from becoming overwhelmed and overworked.
Not only that, but you can also use it with regards to clearing up any discrepancies regarding pay and/or time off, time owed holidays, hours worked, and things of that nature. Basically, time tracking software offers transparency and takes away any doubt or guesswork.
As a result of this, if you use the software correctly, you can actually use it to keep employees happy, which will boost morale and improve productivity.
Meet deadlines faster
Say for example, you’ve been hired to design and oversee the construction of a family’s new home, they are entrusting you with designing the place where, potentially, they could spend the rest of their lives together.
Whereas you can’t rush perfection, if you are designing and overseeing the construction of a new home, the family in question may be homeless until completion, so you won’t want to slow things down unnecessarily.
Timesheets for architects can be beneficial because it can help you to meet deadlines more effectively.
You can use the software to see where workers are perhaps struggling, or to identify things slowing down the job and you can then act accordingly.
If for example, you can see that construction on the plumbing is lagging behind, you can then pull resources off of tasks working ahead of schedule and assign them onto the plumbing, or any other tasks which are running behind schedule.
If you then check the progress of the plumbing, say, a week later, you will hopefully see that progress has now increased noticeably, which will help ensure deadlines are met and will help avoid unnecessary holdups.
In a lot of architectural projects multiple people are also involved in the design phase, etc., so you also want to know how you spent your time there, to make sure that the project runs as it should and that you charge appropriately for it.
Streamline your billing process
How you run your business and what you do to run your business is entirely up to you, especially when it comes to billing clients.
Whether you bill by the hour, in one lump sum, quarterly, annually, or anything else for that matter, it’s important that you streamline the process to make it as easy and as straightforward as possible.
When it comes to billing, time tracking software can be incredibly beneficial as it makes everything so simple.
If you do bill by the hour, time tracking software will log every second, let alone every hour, so you know the exact amount to bill for. If you do fixed-fee projects you also want to know how much time you spend on it, to know if it’s profitable or not.
No hidden surprises
Okay, imagine you are providing a quote for a potential client for a new building you’ve been commissioned to design, which is very similar to countless buildings you’ve designed in the past.
From past experience, you’ll know roughly how much to quote because you’ll know roughly how long it will take, what work is involved, how many employees you’ll need, which materials you’ll need, and so on.
But, imagine that the client innocently made an error when describing the brief to you, and in actual fact once you begin work you can see that it will take much longer and will require more manpower. Now, you’re faced with the awkwardness of telling the client that the quote you provided was wrong and that the job will actually cost much more than anticipated.
There have been countless cases of customers refusing to pay, legal action, late payments, and things of that nature in the past, which nobody wants.
With time tracking software, you have the proof on screen of how long a job took to complete, how many extra employees were needed, how many materials were needed, and much more besides. Now, you have proof on screen that you’re telling the truth and aren’t trying to deceive the client and overcharge them.
Time tracking software is great because it helps to identify potential discrepancies early on, so you can nip them in the bud nice and early so as to avoid any nasty hidden surprises in the future.
Another very useful benefit associated with using time reporting software is the fact that doing so will enable you to save money.
Not only will it help you and your business to save money, but you’ll also potentially be able to help your clients save money as well, which will go a long way towards keeping them happy and hopefully getting more work from them.
Hour tracking is great for saving money because you can see on screen exactly how much each project is costing, how much of your budget has been spent, how much is left, where resources are being overutilized, and so on.
You can then use the data collected to make the necessary adjustments and also redistribute resources if needed.
Integrates with other tech
Finally, when talking about the benefits of timesheets for architects, we can’t overlook the importance of having software that integrates with other tech.
Outlook for example, is utilized by architects all over the globe on a whole variety of different jobs which is why they need a time tracking solution that does indeed integrate with Outlook.
Effective time tracking solutions integrate with tools and software such as Outlook, allowing you to get more from your business and to manage your time more effectively in the process.
For example, a time tracking solution that integrates with Outlook means that you could sync it with your calendar for example, which you could then use to manage your diary more efficiently, organize your schedules, and plenty more besides.
So, is time tracking for architects worthwhile?
So, now that we’ve looked at some of the main benefits associated with time tracking software for architects, this begs the question of whether or not it is worthwhile?
In a word – Absolutely!
Time tracking software is helping architects and their clients all over the globe, and it could very well do the same for you.
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