To improve your time and expense tracking, you need software that provides smart timesheets, receipt capture, reminders, and more.
How Does Time Tracking Help Engineers?
Time tracking software helps engineering firms capture all hours worked so they can bill correctly, estimate accurately, and improve profitability.
Time tracking software offers much more than just a digital time card. You can use it to analyze and optimize processes, track collaborative project progress, and save valuable time for your staff.
For engineers, a powerful time tracking solution helps you build efficient workflows and improve project estimations. The data gained from tracking your time allows you to understand how long tasks and projects take, where time is lost on a project, and how you can replicate success in the future. With automated time recording, you develop a better understanding of your firm’s productivity and profits.
Time tracking makes life easier for everyone at your engineering firm by streamlining workflows, reducing errors, capturing lost time, and improving decision-making. Plus, wouldn’t you prefer to focus solely on your engineering projects and team’s productivity instead of tedious administrative tasks?
Rather than manually tracking and entering your time, there are numerous user-friendly time tracking software options built for engineers that effortlessly capture every second spent on a project, including client calls and site visits. With a platform like BQE CORE, you spend only two minutes per day on time entry while gaining greater visibility into your work hours.
A time tracking system also boosts accountability and organization across projects. BQE CORE’s real-time dashboards track and display both individual and collaborative project progress, offering transparency, fostering teamwork and accountability, and helping you spot at-risk deadlines across the team before something goes wrong.
Here are the benefits of using time tracking software for your engineering firm:
For engineers, time tracking software isn't merely a tool to log hours; it's a powerful resource to ensure accuracy and streamline processes. By enabling engineers to track the time they spend on specific tasks or segments of a project, the software offers a clearer picture of productivity patterns, often revealing areas that are susceptible to mistakes or oversights. This data-driven insight allows for proactive adjustments, ensuring that critical tasks get the undivided attention they deserve. By having a concrete record of time spent, you can precisely gauge your pace and predict potential bottlenecks, thus avoiding the pitfalls of rushed work that often culminate in errors. Time tracking software does more than just count hours; it aids engineers in refining their workflow, ensuring that precision and efficiency go hand in hand.
As an engineer, time tracking software gives you a bird's-eye view into projects, breaking them down into component tasks and milestones. By doing so, you can identify and eliminate redundancies, better allocate resources, and prioritize tasks based on the time they require. More importantly, this clarity in task management fosters collaboration. Team members can seamlessly synchronize their efforts, ensuring that tasks dovetail without overlap. This synchronization not only reduces wasted hours but also ensures that projects progress with a rhythm that's both cohesive and efficient. By illuminating how long specific tasks take, engineers can refine future estimations, leading to more realistic project timelines and expectations.
Captures Lost Time
Time tracking software provides a comprehensive record of your work, including these often-overlooked intervals, the software allows for a more accurate representation of time investments. This, in turn, empowers you to bill clients more accurately, justify project extensions, or simply understand the true extent of labor. By highlighting and accounting for these gaps, time tracking software ensures that every second counts, transforming what was once 'lost time' into tangible, recognized effort.
Improves Decision Making
Decision-making, especially in the nuanced domain of engineering, is best executed when grounded in clear, actionable data. Time tracking software provides just that—a granular breakdown of time utilization across projects, tasks, and teams. With such in-depth insights at their fingertips, engineers and project managers can make informed choices about resource allocation, priority shifts, and even the feasibility of taking on new projects. Analyzing patterns from this software can reveal which tasks consistently over-run, which processes may be ripe for optimization, and where additional training or resources might be required. It's not just about reflecting on past choices; it's about predicting future outcomes. By understanding where time is spent, you can forecast potential challenges, set realistic deadlines, and ensure that teams are neither overburdened nor underutilized.
The Best Time Tracking Software Offers These Features
Time tracking software can be an invaluable tool for engineers. This software allows engineers to keep track of the time spent on various tasks and projects, providing valuable data that can be used for project management, productivity improvement, and billing purposes.
Many tracking software options also include features that support other aspects of your business, such as invoicing and accounting. A comprehensive project management system like BQE CORE not only helps you capture your billable hours and expenses with ease, it also automates your billing process and lets clients pay you online.
BQE CORE’s features include pre-filled timesheets, easy-to-use timers, automated reminders, customizable invoice templates, and automatic billing. Smart, pre-populated timesheets with custom date ranges, coupled with the ability to copy timesheets, help you save hours each week across your team.
Here are a few of the standout and helpful features BQE CORE’s time tracking software can provide for your engineering firm:
Task-Based Time Tracking
This feature allows engineers to log time against specific tasks or projects. It can be particularly useful when working on multiple tasks or projects simultaneously. By understanding how much time they're spending on each task, engineers can identify inefficiencies, streamline their workflow, and ensure that each project is receiving necessary attention.
Real-time tracking allows engineers to start a timer when they begin working on a task and stop it when they're done. This eliminates the need for engineers to estimate how much time they've spent on a task, increasing the accuracy of their time logs.
Reporting and Analytics
Robust time tracking software comes with powerful reporting and analytics tools. These tools provide engineers with insights into their productivity patterns, helping them identify periods of high productivity, times of day when they're most productive, and tasks that take longer than expected. This data can be used to optimize workflows and increase efficiency.
With built-in reporting, you know exactly how much time is spent on a project/task, how many hours an employee worked, and how active or unproductive a team member was during a specific period. Having access to this precise information helps you improve project scheduling and resource distribution in future projects.
An effective time tracking tool should integrate with other software tools commonly used by engineers, such as QuickBooks, Google, Outlook, Dropbox, One Drive, Xero, Microsoft BI, Microsoft 365, and more . This allows engineers to seamlessly log time and share in these other programs, streamlining their workflow and reducing the amount of time spent on administrative tasks.
With the help of time tracking software, automated reminders can be set up to nudge engineers about logging their time. This ensures time tracking is maintained regularly and helps avoid the hassles of backtracking and recalling activities. Manual reminders are never reliable since you have to remember to send them out in the first place. Without reminders, receiving the correct time is delayed which causes projects and your billing process in turn to be delayed as well. This is where automatic time reminders can make a huge difference.
BQE CORE’s helpful reminders ensure on-time, accurate time capture every reporting period, including regular hours, overtime, sick days, vacation time, and holidays.
Billable Hours Tracking
For engineers who work on a contract or as freelancers, or for firms that bill clients by the hour, tracking billable hours is crucial. Time management through BQE CORE makes it easy to track billable hours, providing a clear record that can be used for invoicing and financial forecasting.
By utilizing these features, engineers can make more informed decisions about how to manage their time, increase their productivity, and improve the accuracy of their project estimates and billing.
Why You Should Choose All-in-One Firm Management Software BQE CORE
For engineers, we recommend that you look for a tool with a wide breadth of features to support complex project plans and your active work style. If you commonly have client meetings, site visits, vendor coordination, and other types of work that happen away from your desk, you need an on-the-go tracking system. Along with time tracking, project management, reporting and analytics, billing and invoicing, BQE CORE also offers GPS tracking and an iOS mobile app that’s accessible as a desktop app and on your smartphone, so you can track time and expenses and use project management tools any time, anywhere. No need to have multiple tools, one for time tracking, one for invoicing. They’re all combined together to make your life much easier.
A major perk of BQE CORE’s all-in-one software is the operational insight it offers. Once you’re precisely tracking your workday, you know exactly what your process looks like, how much time is spent planning, fine-tuning, and designing. Inefficient workflows, interruptions, and distractions become apparent, which you can plan for and avoid on future projects. BQE CORE will help every engineer at your firm work more productively.
Introduce future-proofing solutions like new automation tools, additional project staff, updated processes, and adjusted expectations. Once you know how long different tasks and project phases tend to take, you can set more realistic estimates for future work. That means being able to hit more competitive project deadlines, set profitable rates to adequately cover project costs, and identify what clients and projects are worth taking on.
Try a Free Demo of BQE CORE
Engineers need all of the help they can get to guarantee they have enough time in the day to finish their projects. BQE CORE is a 100% DCAA-compliant time tracking and project management solution that’s perfect for engineers, offering a wide range of functionality for time and expense tracking, billing and invoicing, and accounting and billing. The platform’s built-in business intelligence gives you and your clients real-time visibility into project progress, employee productivity, costs, budgets, and more.
BQE Software is trusted by 400,000+ users worldwide, has more than 25 years of experience, and is backed by 24/7/365 award-winning customer support for any guidance you may need.
Time Tracking Software FAQs
What is an Overtime Calculator?
BQE CORE’s overtime calculator analyzes existing time entries and automatically marks them as overtime, depending on your specified criteria. It’s usually used at the end of a pay period with the ability to define rules that are only applicable when viewing all data. As wage rules vary based on location, this feature is flexible to accommodate the most complex overtime regulations and ensure your business is always compliant.
What if I need to change my hours after BQE CORE has recorded them?
Depending on your security permissions, you can edit time entries after submitting them for approval or even after they’re approved.
Can my engineering firm set up multi-level time and expense approval?
Yes, with BQE CORE, you can set up a single-level or multiple-level of a submit-approve workflow.