Timesheet software is the backbone of profitable billing of projects, according to many experienced managers in the Service business.
in fact, many managers will tell you that time tracking is the cornerstone of their business. Even more, some managers consider time tracking to be the most important business function because their timesheet software is how they do all their billing.
Take advantage of your Timesheet software, the pillar of profitable billing for your Projects
The thin line between profitable billing and poor billing
Unfortunately, many companies still use inadequate tools, if not outright Excel files, to track their employees’ time.
However, the manual process of invoicing from an Excel file of timesheets is a non-efficient process that is prone to all kinds of errors for several reasons, including:
- copy and paste between different systems or files to generate an invoice
- association of expenses to time sheets very often missing
- little or no follow-up of customer relationships because you have not collected unstructured data related to tasks and projects
- Excel is a wonderful tool, however, it still poses a problem when it comes to managing historical data
Ensure profitable billing of projects and clients
If you bill your clients by the hour, time tracking is essential.
It is important to really track the time your employees spend on your projects. There is often a very narrow margin of error between a profitable project and a loss-making project. You don’t want to underestimate the time it takes to complete a project, nor do you want to overcharge your clients.
Some time management tools automatically integrate the time worked and billable into the billing. This can be a significant time saver and greatly facilitate the billing process for the accounting department.
Facilitate Project Expense Management
Project time tracking, when performed with the right tool, will also create a record of all project expenses. Some advanced timesheet tools allow you to easily associate expenses with projects or tasks.
In addition, if your timesheet tool is integrated with your billing system, for example, then your expenses can be easily exported to your billing tool. This way, you will not only be able to see all expenses incurred in a project but also ensure that they have all been invoiced.
Any manager will appreciate a dedicated Expense Management tool. Such a tool should allow them to automatically associate any expense incurred within the framework of a Project (travel, rental, equipment, per diem, etc.) to the Project or, even better, to a specific timesheet within a Project. This is the kind of tool that will save you a lot of heated discussions with Clients and will allow you to save a Client Relationship from time to time!
So, if a client unexpectedly asks you for detailed explanations on the expenses associated with a project, you will be able to justify each expense incurred.
A winning combination for the Manager… and the company
If your timesheet software is well integrated to your operations; if it allows the direct integration of time and expenses and their export to your billing software; then your managers will be able to quickly see if a project is profitable or not.
For the manager, the happy tune is to be able to easily account for the hours worked plus the expenses incurred for each project and to be able to invoice everything easily and quickly.
In summary, here is what we consider to be the winning combination of software tools for the Service Business Manager:
Timesheet + Expense Management + Billing
In fact, in the manager’s trilogy (Plan – Manage – Invoice), the only thing missing is a Resource and Project Planning tool. And to our great delight, such an integrated suite of software tools exists; it is called eMalaya.
Timesheet + Expense Management + Billing + Resource & Project Planning
In short, not all timesheet software is created equal! So, before buying a simple timesheet tool, make a rigorous evaluation of your needs because an integrated suite of good software tools will provide you with more than appreciable gains in terms of productivity and profitability.