Your Definitive Guide to Consultant Timesheet Reporting and Time Tracking Software
Every day, up and down the country, business owners are facing a very real and increasingly common dilemma in regards to their employees and their time. You see, any business is only as strong as its employees, and the main problems that people tend to encounter in business, are those regarding employee productivity and usage of time. If you wish to make your business a success, and if you wish to grow and expand and stay ahead of your competitors, you simply must ensure that your employees are productive, you must ensure that morale is high, and you must ensure that your time, and their time, is being used productively and effectively. Time is one of the most valuable assets and commodities to have at our disposal, but in today’s hectic society it can be easy to lose track of time. If you’re on your time and are pottering around the house at a weekend, that’s perfectly fine, but if you’re on business time, that is when things become problematic. Every single second matters in the business world, especially if you’re the owner or manager of the business in question. As they say ‘time is money’ and if you’re looking to manage your time, and your employees’ time more effectively, you may wish to look into consultant timesheet reporting and time tracking software for your business.
What is time tracking software?
Put simply, time tracking software is a form of computer software which has been specially designed to allow users to track the exact amount of time that they have spent on various activities and projects. Nowadays there are numerous industries up and down the globe that have successfully implemented time tracking software into their businesses, and they are reaping the rewards as a result. Used by employers as well as employees, time tracking software, particularly software which integrates with Outlook, can help individuals to manage their time more effectively, it can help clear up any discrepancies regarding pay, it makes for accurate billing, it ensures transparency in regards to attendance and time off, plus it allows individuals to better manage their time by prioritising tasks and jobs at hand.
What are the benefits of consultant timesheet reporting and time tracking software?
Time tracking software has now been around for quite some time, and when you get an understanding of just how beneficial it can be when implemented successfully into the workplace, it’s easy to see why. Some of the key benefits that employers and employees alike, can expect when using time tracking software, include the following:
Shows how time is being used
Time tracking software is particularly useful in the workplace because not only does it help you to manage your time better, but it also shows how time is being used in the first place. Time tracking software is not only used by employees, it is also used by employers as it is a very useful tool that shows exactly how time is being used on various activities. If for example, you find that you, and/or your employees seem to be taking a long time to complete various tasks, time tracking software will show you exactly how your/their time is being used. From here, you can then decide whether or not you need to take action to help you and others better utilize your time. For example, if you find several hours per week being spent on non-essential activities, you can either cut these tasks out altogether, or simply spend less time on them and focus on the more important jobs instead.
Enhanced efficiency in the workplace
Another key benefit associated with time tracking software, is the fact that it will improve and enhance efficiency in the workplace. Time tracking has been proven to substantially increase workplace productivity for a whole variety of different reasons. As an example, with time tracking software, managers will be able to identify exactly how much time is being spent on each task, and whether or not they are on schedule, ahead, or behind. If necessary, they can then reschedule deadlines to ensure deadlines are not missed. Time tracking software provides clarity as it takes the guesswork out of things so you know for certain whether you can deliver on your promises to your clients.
Deeper insights into company spending
As a business owner, the last thing you want is for your business to be flushing out money, especially if much of your spending is unnecessary, or if perhaps, you can simply get the same results by spending much less. Consultant timesheet reporting and time tracking software is very useful in this instance, because by understanding exactly how your time, and the time of your employees, is being spent, you get an idea of where your money goes, and what perhaps is not required. If for example, you find your company spending money on certain products each month, that in fact are only utilized a few times per year, this type of transparency will allow you to cut back on your spending by purchasing much less of the products in question, saving you money each month. Even if the amount you’re saving is not much with one product, when you identify something else, your overall savings will increase even more, and so on and so forth.
Improved productivity in the workplace
When you, and your employees, are held accountable via time tracking software, this in turn will result in greater productivity in the workplace. You see, if you and your employees know that your time is being tracked, this will result in an increased rate of productivity because you will deliberately remove yourself from distraction and will know that you must do what you’re being paid to do, otherwise any slacking will show. If you aren’t working hard your business will struggle and you won’t set the right example for your employees and if they aren’t working as hard as they should be then they aren’t doing what they’re being paid to do. Time tracking software works as a great incentive for you and your employees alike, as there is no excuse for slacking off and wasting time on non-productive activities when you should be working on what gives you and the company the most benefit. The harder you all work, the more productive you all become, and the more effective your business will be as a result.
How to implement time tracking in your business
If you’re thinking of implementing time tracking into your business, first up you should speak to a reputable provider as there is a great deal to learn about consultant timesheet reporting. When implementing time tracking software into your business you need to know what you’re doing, as there are different things that you need to take into account. If you stick with it however, you, and your employees, will see just how beneficial time tracking can be. Here are some tips on implementing time tracking into your business.
Expect to encounter resistance from some employees
No matter what, if you’ve never had time tracking in your workplace before, you may encounter a bit of resistance from some of your employees, which is not ideal. Those employees may see time tracking as an invasion of their privacy and see it as you spying on them and tracking their every move. Because of this, it’s down to you to pitch time tracking to them in a different and correct light.
Put a different spin onto things
When you pitch the concept of time tracking to your employees, rather than placing an emphasis on the actual time tracking and time monitoring aspects of the software, instead you should focus on all of the positives in terms of business as well as their own benefits. Talk about how it will make you more productive, how it can help cut back on costs and increase savings, and how you can prioritize tasks and grow as a company. Let your employees know that the better your company does, the more secure their jobs will be, the higher morale will be, and the greater the rewards will be. Also let them know that it will help them see how they spend their own time, so that they get rewarded properly and also spend their time on the right activities.
Look at the accountability aspects
One key benefit of time tracking is the fact that it holds each individual accountable for their actions, and make sure you get this message across. Talk about the fact that the software will hold you all accountable, including you, and how this will make your business a huge success as everybody will have more of an incentive to work better and on the right things.
Consider a trial run
Speak to anybody specializing in consultant timesheet reporting and time tracking in general, and they will be quick to point out how time tracking like most things in life, is something that you need to familiarize yourself with. Because of this, you may consider a trial run where you trial the software for a few weeks, and see how you and your employees get on. There may be some challenges in the early stages, but when you overcome them, you will certainly see the key benefits for all parties involved.
Common time tracking errors you must avoid
Time tracking, like most things in life, is not necessarily simple in the early stages. When you implement a new time tracking system into your business, it is perfectly normal to expect a few issues in the early stages. Some errors however, could potentially make things more difficult than it has to be, before it’s even gotten off the ground. Here are some time tracking errors you must avoid.
Failing to discuss things with your employees
As a business owner, technically you can implement time tracking without consulting your employees first, but that may result in ticking some of them off. By doing this, you are essentially saying you do not care about their opinions and you are simply flexing your authoritative muscles. Sit down with your employees, explain that you are thinking of using time tracking, talk about what it is, and invite them to share any concerns that they have with you.
Allowing too many people to add new projects
Another common mistake that people make with time tracking software is giving too many employees the option of adding new projects and activities to report time on. By doing this, everything can become messy and disorganized, which is the last thing you want, as the idea is to save time, not waste it.
Failing to check whether sheets are filled out correctly
In the early stages, you, and your employees, will struggle to get to grips with filling out your time sheets, but as time goes by, like most things, this will become easier. To ensure there are no big problems however, you should check to ensure whether sheets are being filled out correctly. If they aren’t, you can help people identify what they are doing wrong, and what needs to be done to put things right.
A word on consultant timesheet reporting
Before we wrap things up, we’ll finish by talking briefly about the importance of getting the right time tracking software provider. The right providers are there to help you get a time tracking system into your business, and they are there to help make the process as simple and as straightforward as possible. If you are considering using time tracking software in the near future, it’s paramount that you get a good solution.
Getting a solution that integrates with your other business software, such as the Microsoft Outlook calendar will also make things a lot easier for everybody.
Choosing the Best Time Tracking Software
When searching for consultant timesheet software, and considering what you’re hoping to get out of your time tracking software, one of the most important things to consider is the software you choose. Because time tracking solutions are so popular, more and more companies want their own slice of the action. Now, generally this is a good thing, because as a client, it means that you have plenty of options. The problem is that you can become overwhelmed, and if you aren’t careful you might wind up choosing the wrong one. That’s where we come in. If you’re looking for consultant timesheet software that ticks all of the right boxes, it’s important to know what to look for. Here we’ll share a few handy tips to help ensure that you make the right choice. Here’s a look at how to choose the best time tracking software for your consulting business.
First up, one of the simplest and most effective ways of choosing the correct software solution is to read testimonials. Once you’ve found timesheet software that you like the look of, before you commit to buying, first take the time to read some testimonials online and see what others are saying. Of course, you want to find time tracking solutions that have positive reviews, but be sure to take the time to read them. See what other businesses and users are saying about the software and see how they are getting on.
Such testimonials will also often include information about how other clients have used the software, the benefits they’ve seen and how it impacted their company.
Another extremely important thing to remember here, is also to consider the service received before and after the purchase. Service is paramount, so make sure that you read what others have experienced here.
Ask for recommendations
Another very handy tip when it comes to choosing the perfect time tracking software for your business is to ask other business owners for recommendations. You can attend networking events or use social media or forums online to ask for any recommendations or suggestions. Ideally, it might be best to go with a business owner who runs a business similar to yours.
This also ties in with the testimonials mentioned above. See what clients similar to you are saying, and if you can’t find a client that does exactly what you’re doing, see if you can find some similarities.
A serious solution provider should be able to provide you with such testimonials.
Consider a trial run
Most software companies providing time tracking software offer business managers free trials to get a feel for the software. If you find a software you like the look of, consider a trial run and see how you and your employees get on.
Know which features you require
Different time tracking solutions offer different features. We won’t go into them all, but it is important to know which ones you require in advance. For example, many business owners require one which integrates with Outlook, so if this applies to you, look for consultant timesheet software that does precisely that.
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