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Time Tracking, The Holy Grail of Data: How to Better Understand Your Staff
Time tracking provides improved proposals, project management, client billing, business opportunities, and optimal resource allocation.
Have you ever wondered where your staff is spending their time or what tasks and projects they are working on? If so, then time tracking is the holy grail of data that you need.
Before we dive into why this is so important, we need to address the elephant in the room. Ask almost any employee and you’ll find the dreaded timecard is consistently at the top of the list of tasks they detest. In almost every case, the reason is that firms aren’t using smart data systems that understand how to automate and simplify the process. Many firms are still using spreadsheets to track their employees’ hours, which is a time-consuming and tedious task that nobody enjoys. No company should ever ask an employee to use this type of tool.
With the right system designed for time tracking, firms can benefit from improved proposals, effective project management, accurate client billing, business opportunities, and optimal resource allocation.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of employee time tracking and how understanding where your staff is spending their time is truly the holy grail of data.
Benefits of Employee Time Tracking
So, let’s first take a look at why it’s so important to understand where your staff spend their time.
To make accurate proposals, firms need quantitative data that tells them how much work will go into a project. Time tracking provides this data by helping firms understand how much time is typically spent on each task. For example, if you typically spend about 185 hours on schematic design or 3.5 hours doing a zoning and code analysis, this information can be used to prepare proposals that accurately reflect the amount of work required for a project.
Effective Project Management
Every project should have a budget and a plan. Time tracking helps firms measure whether they are working towards the plan, which ultimately determines if they’ll meet the schedule and budget. With time tracking, firms can measure the effort expended at every phase or stage of a project, which is crucial for effective project management. A simple checklist cannot provide this level of detail.
Accurate Client Billing
For services that are billed hourly, accurate accounting for time is essential. Clients will require it, and time tracking software ensures that the appropriate bill rate is used based on the activity being performed. When an employee enters their time, the system looks at the underlying fee schedule for the project to determine the appropriate bill rate. This makes client billing more accurate and less time-consuming. Firms often under-account for the amount of time spent on a project, which translates into lost profit for the firm.
Time tracking provides a rich database of information about how staff spends their time and how that time drives revenue. This data can be used to create new business opportunities. For example, a firm that tracks all the time spent on the preparation, or separate tasks employees did to enhance the project, will know if there should be extra work added to the proposal next time due to how long it took and how many extra resources were required. This might be missed by other firms that aren’t closely tracking the work done by their employees. Jobs employees perform that you might not even know are happening come to light with time tracking. Time tracking data can be a valuable resource for identifying new business opportunities.
Optimal Resource Allocation
Time tracking provides insights into which employees are available to work on upcoming projects and which employees are overutilized. This information gives firms the power to project staffing needs, prevent burnout, achieve deadlines, and anticipate costs and revenue. Knowing how staff spend their time helps firms allocate resources more effectively.
The Right System Designed for Time Tracking
Now that we understand the importance of time tracking, it’s important to note that not every time tracking system is created equal.
A system that is built around the needs of professional services industries is crucial. This type of system understands who the employee is, looks at the project schedules, and displays all the projects and activities they should be working on during that period.
All they need to do is enter the time spent.
The system is so helpful that it simultaneously informs the employee how much time is remaining of the allocated hours - which helps keep the project on budget and schedule.
Working with an automated time tracking system means an employee only needs to spend 1 to 2 minutes every day doing what was previously an avoided necessary evil. Plus, the employee gets to see on their screen what tasks are expected of them for the firm to achieve the project schedules. Think of keeping track of your employees' time, and their ability to easily see their own time through time tracking software as the ultimate to-do list.
Plus, many teams work on projects in phases. You’ll need a system that can properly allocate hours to a specific phase of a project.
When everything is interconnected from time tracking and project management to wider nets such as devices, systems, and people, communication and data sharing works seamlessly. This leads to faster and more accurate decision-making.
Better Time Tracking Software with BQE CORE
Advances in technology never stop. It’s in your best interest to stay on top of the tools that are available for your industry and implement these within your firm so you can not only build better, more profitable businesses, but also provide better services to your clients.
BQE CORE helps you stay fully connected with your team, projects and clients through its all-in-one dashboard that includes time and expense tracking, project management, reporting and analytics, billing and invoicing, payment processing, and more.
If you’re ready to start measuring success, you need to understand what your staff is spending their time on. The easiest way to do this is with time tracking software like BQE CORE that allows you to:
Track time and expenses from anywhere via the web and BQE CORE mobile app.
Copy timesheets easily to eliminate manual entry.
Effortlessly track and link all travel expenses and receipts to their respective projects for streamlined accounting and billing.
Accurately track time for projects, overhead, and time off.
Capture time down to the second with easy-to-use, pause-and-play timers connected to timecards.
To get started, try a free demo today and discover just how easy it is to measure success and help your employees track their time like never before.