TOP 5 Benefits of Time Tracking Software for Accountants
Most businesses believe that money is the most important asset available to them, but you might be surprised to hear that there’s something else that holds far more importance than money in a business’ success – time. As the one asset that every company shares in equal proportions, figuring out the best way to make use of your time could possibly be what sets your business apart from the rest, especially if you run an accounting business.
Running an accounting practice can be very challenging. Bookkeeping, drafting reports, auditing accounts, preparing tax returns, analyzing towers of paperwork – all of this can be very time-consuming and stressful. This is why accountants are always looking for ways to make the accounting process more efficient.
By using time tracking software for accountants to track their employees’ time, accountants are not only able to gain crucial insights about their business’ workflows but also discover inefficiencies and identify ways to overcome them. This is exactly why many professional accountants and auditors consider time tracking to be the lifeblood of their business. Here are five ways that time tracking can benefit your accounting firm.
For businesses that bill their clients by the hour, time tracking is at the core of their business. To make sure that all the work that you do is compensated for, you need to know how much time you have spent on each task in order to ensure that you don’t undercharge or overcharge your clients.
Overcharging your clients can damage your relationship with your clients and lead to reduced rates of customer retention. At the same time, undercharging your customers could very well harm your business too. Undercharging sells your business short and sends a signal to the clients that you are not providing them the best service possible.
Proper time tracking helps streamlining the whole billing process and makes it much more transparent by maintaining accurate and detailed records of the time spent by each team member. This information can be shared with your clients as concrete evidence to support the amount of money they are being charged. A smooth and accurate billing system backed up by evidence available from time reporting goes a long way towards satisfying your clients and helping your business create a lasting impression on them.
Additionally, time tracking also helps businesses make more accurate estimates of the cost of different projects based on previously recorded data or historical data, stating how much time was spent on a specific project. These estimates can be used to provide reliable first quotes to clients for similar projects.
Smooth Project Management
Accounting companies are often swamped with work, especially because so many employees are working on several different projects simultaneously. With so many responsibilities on their shoulders, it can be difficult for accountants and bookkeepers to work on multiple projects/clients at once and at the same time meet deadlines. Team leaders can use time reporting software to get a clear picture of who is working on what activity, making it much easier to delegate tasks. You can also identify how workloads are distributed among employees, and use this insight to divide work amongst employees more fairly.
Time tracking also gives managers an in-depth look into how far along a project is, allowing them to better track their progress and ensure that they meet deadlines. With the help of data available from automated timesheets, managers can predict any potential delays in the completion of their projects and identify the areas causing the delay. This means that they can easily address these bottlenecks to ensure that the project is completed on time.
With timesheet software, managers can also see what goes into every project for completion – tasks, resources, hours, etc. This information can then be used to improve client management and project communication, collaboration, and planning. By recording all your work hours, you can make better project estimates and allocate resources to different tasks more efficiently.
Identify Areas of Improvement
At the crux of your accounting business’ success is efficient time management. But if your business is riddled with inefficiencies, your business is likely to be headed towards failure. Time tracking serves as the best way to ensure efficient time management by identifying key areas of your business that need to be optimized for maximum operational efficiency.
Time tracking software for accountants can highlight tasks that are hindering productivity and suggest what processes, workflows, or behaviors need to be addressed in order to improve your accounting operations. Bookkeeping and recording tasks that are taking longer than usual can be addressed and bottlenecks can be spotted by leveraging the power of timesheet software for accountants.
Tracking your employees’ hours can also be used to analyze your team members’ performances, making it easier to compare individual team members’ performances. Employees can be given more accurate feedback based on their efforts which can help them determine how they can do better. High-performing teams can be appreciated for their efforts, which will boost employee morale and make sure that your employees stay happy.
Improved Decision Making
Time tracking can provide accounting businesses with some of the most insightful sources of data needed to make quality data-driven decisions. Timesheet software for accountants gathers many different types of information about your projects such as workloads, costs, billable time, , employee absence, resource availability, etc. Empowered with time tracking software for accountants, business leaders can analyze this data to make much more informed decisions and improve their overall operations.
With time tracking data, managers can craft more reliable and realistic time estimations and practical project schedules for any new project. You can also estimate your employees’ maximum working capacities based on historical data, and use that to assign tasks to them in a more efficient manner. If you see an employee working past their capacity, you can give them a break and ease their load in order to avoid burnout, and boost your team’s productivity.
Data from time tracking also serves to improve the hiring process. Project managers can identify areas of their projects that need more manpower and recruit more employees accordingly, but only when it is needed so that you don’t end up spending excessive funds on hiring.
Timesheet data also eliminates any guesswork and reveals the best project route that utilizes the least amount of time without compromising on the quality of your work. Project managers can use historical time tracking data on similar projects to make better decisions on whether they should take the same project pathway or choose a different direction. This way, businesses can spend their time on more meaningful tasks and get more work done in less time. Moreover, business leaders can also use past project data to assess whether a certain project is worth undertaking or not by evaluating its cost-effectiveness.
Creates a Detailed Record of Your Work
One of the biggest advantages of employing time tracking tools in your business is that it creates a comprehensive record of what your team has worked on and exactly what has gone into each project. Sometimes, clients want proof of the money they are being charged or wish to be updated every step of the way on the project’s progress. With the meticulous records created by means of time tracking software for accountants, you can simply create a detailed report and relay all the information to your clients with just a few clicks.
Having detailed records of their workflows is essential for team leaders to communicate their workings to their higher-ups and paint an accurate picture to stakeholders about how their money is being utilized. Reports generated by these records can be used in meetings and presentations with stakeholders so that they are kept in the loop at all times. Additionally, a timesheet tracking software that integrates with other management systems can use these records to sync data between different departments of your business such as billing, accounting, and HR, and bring together different systems in your job cycle as one unit.
Many accountants don’t realize the importance time tracking holds for them in their practice, but it could possibly be the one thing that takes their practice to the next level. Thousands of large and small-scale accounting firms implement time tracking within their operations to enhance productivity and efficiency levels with their team. An ideal time tracking solution, especially one that integrates with Outlook, can do wonders for any organization. But, as much as it is important to implement time tracking software for accountants, it is much more important to find the right time tracking solution for your business’ unique needs.
It is important that your time tracking solution has a friendly user interface and provides actionable insights and accurate data about your team’s performance. If you run an accounting firm, it is highly likely that you already use the Microsoft Outlook Calendar in your business’ functioning. A time tracking solution integrated with Outlook provides a holistic solution to you. Not only is it easy to use but it also saves your employees the burden of having to shift from the software that they are already using to another system. Equipped with the right solution, you can improve and automate so many of your business’s processes and focus on what really matters – providing the best service possible to your clients.
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