As every BillQuick user knows, before time and expenses can be billed, they must first be approved. Depending on your firm size, procedures and preferences, you can reduce non-billable/administrative time spent checking items before billing with the built-in Submit and Approve workflow. Your benefits may be an hour a month or many hours. Also, one often overlooked benefit is recovery of revenue and profit.
And it is not just billable items that you should review and approve. You want to keep a handle on costs — non-billable items — too.
BillQuick provides several time and expense approval options:
- Automatic approval
- Approval by a Reviewer
- Approval by a Chain of Reviewers
In addition to approving time and expenses, you can un-submit and reject items submitted by a timekeeper.
For very small firms, automatically approving time and expenses is a reasonable option. The volume of activity and close daily interaction results in the billing manager having a good idea of everything that happens. So, if you don’t want or need a separate step to approve time and expense entries (you will check them as you bill), you would select Auto-Approve.
To select this option, go to the Global Settings-Time/Expense screen and check the boxes for Approve Time Entries Automatically and Approve Expense Entries Automatically. (You can select one or both options.) If you need to retroactively approve all time or expenses, click the button next to each option.
Flexible Submit, Approve and Reject
Most firms benefit greatly from a weekly or twice weekly check of time and expenses. An investment of 10-20 seconds per project yields a savings of hours otherwise spent in a pressured billing process. An often overlooked benefit is Recovered Revenue & Profit. Think about what happens when you have a question about work charged to a project.
1. You wonder about it.
2. You contact the employee or consultant who did the work and ask them about it.
3. The timekeeper gets a subtle (maybe not so subtle) look of confusion as they try to remember the work done 2 weeks, 3 weeks, 4 weeks . . .10 weeks ago. It’s sort of like encountering a deer on the road at night: They’re frozen in your headlights.
4. Because the timekeeper does not project strong confidence in their response to your question, you’re less confident in the value of the time.
5. Thus, you bill the client less for the work, make it non-billable, or write it off. Lost Revenue & Profit!
Using BillQuick’s Submit and Approve built-in workflow, you now ask a timekeeper a question a few days or a week after the work is done. Their response is more confident. Then, when you bill it later you too are more confident. Revenue & Profit Recovered! (You may have other reasons for not billing the full value of work done.) The Submit and Approve process is straightforward:
1. Timekeepers enter time and expenses.
2. After saving the entries, they select all items on the screen and click the Submit button. (Any items already submitted or approved will be ignored.)
3. They select the designated reviewer — client manager, project manager, direct supervisor or a specific person — and click the OK button.
4. The Reviewer is notified when they log into BillQuick (Company Navigator, Reminders screen) or via automatic email from BillQuick.
5. The Reviewer logs into BillQuick, checks the items, and approves or rejects them. If there are multiple reviewers, you can “submit” or pass along items to the next person in the chain of reviewers
6. The last reviewer in the chain approves the items for billing.
Wait! There’s More!
Not happy with a week’s time sheet? Expense report looks off? When you reject items — one, a few or all, you can send a BillQuick Message. The next time the timekeeper logs into BillQuick (or Web Suite), the message is delivered. If desired, you can have BillQuick email them automatically when items are rejected.
Want to edit the items yourself? You can change entries and forego the reject-fix-resubmit cycle IF you have security permissions to edit other users entries.