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Why is Time Tracking Important for Professional Services? Featured Image

Why is Time Tracking Important for Professional Services?

Time tracking software offers professional services firms much more than a digital time card. It helps to analyze and optimize business processes, track collaborative and individual project progress, and save valuable time for your workers.

With a professional time tracking solution, your company can see benefits such as:

  • Accurate estimations on future projects
  • Increased profitability 
  • Detailed performance reporting
  • Identifying inefficiencies
  • Reducing non-billable hours 

Business Time Tracking Software

What it does

Time tracking records, manages, and reports time that an employee spends on a task or project. Professional services firms rely heavily on accurate time recording and billing to ensure projects are profitable. Without precise tooling to track your work, a project’s budget, scope, and schedule suffer — and you lose money. 

Even businesses that offer flat, per-project rates rather than hourly billing need time tracking to learn about setting prices and working more efficiently.  

Time tracking software records every second spent on client work and helps you understand exactly what the time was used for. Then, built-in automation prefills and simplifies next steps related to invoicing and billing. 

Whether you have a consulting, law, or accounting firm, your employees will appreciate spending fewer hours tracking their time and creating invoices, and will enjoy the freedom of working on more rewarding tasks. Business owners appreciate time tracking software because it’s crucial in maintaining profitability and ensuring accurate billing to clients.

How Time Tracking Benefits Business Owners and Employees

Time tracking software provides greater insight into how individual employees and the entire company work. 

Lost time answering calls or emails often gets left off an invoice, but it’s a significant issue, disrupting productivity at the individual level and leading to substantial revenue loss at the company level.

While some employees might get the impression that time tracking is used to control them, it’s actually in their best interest too. It helps each worker self-improve and highlight pattern areas where they struggle to finish tasks on schedule. If they consistently fall behind on one task, they likely need more training in that area. With a bit of assistance, an employee’s morale, confidence, and productivity can rise. 

The transparency and data provided by a time tracking platform allow business owners and other stakeholders to make more informed decisions, identify problems, and make adjustments. Your business will become more competitive as it consistently improves its profitability at the project level.

What Types of Professional Services Need Time Tracking?

Every professional service company can benefit from a time tracker. 

Time tracking software gives accounting, engineering, architecture, law, government, and consulting firms valuable business intelligence and analytics and improves the flow of their billing and accounting. It also decreases administrative overhead for firms, freeing up your HR, IT, and accounting staff and saving you from making additional hires in those departments as you scale.

The professional services industries are largely client-dependent, which means your reputation is built on project delivery and staying on track. No matter how thoroughly you plan a project, there’s always the potential that something goes wrong. Time tracking helps you spot risks before they happen and enables you to forecast project outcomes, so you set the right rates and allot the proper resources and employees.

For professional service companies using hourly rates, clients are more inclined to want to know exactly how their consultants, attorneys, accountants, advisors, or architects spend their time on a job. 

Offering transparency in your invoicing reassures clients and keeps them informed. Providing a breakdown of the time, expenses, and resources spent on various project phases fosters your relationships and manages expectations for future projects you do together. 

Why do I Need Time Tracking if I Use Flat-Rate Services?

Time tracking reports how many hours go to each project and client. Even if you charge your clients a flat rate, time tracking software allows you to understand the true value of your services and more accurately determine job costing. This ensures you’re setting fair prices that enable you to maintain profitability. 

Time tracking for flat-rate services can also help illuminate which projects or clients to prioritize. It might be the case that your most demanding clients or smaller clients actually cost you money and that your biggest clients are not receiving the time and attention they deserve. 

Time tracking will pinpoint areas where teams or employees could be more productive, including remote employees. Regularly tracking employee time and reviewing it on a monthly basis lets you know whether you are planning for and spending the appropriate amount of time in each area and where adjustments are required to proactively manage your business better.

What to Look for in Time Tracking Software

The best time tracking software features for professional services help firms boost profitability, improve resource management, maximize (accurate) billings, and minimize disruption for you, your staff, and your clients. These are some of the most popular, powerful time tracking features to consider for your business. 

General Features

  • Client support
  • Project forecasting
  • Notifications
  • Automated reminders
  • Mobile device and web support
  • Cloud-based
  • DCAA-compliant time tracking
  • Integrations

Financial Features

  • Salaries
  • Automated invoicing
  • Automated time tracking
  • Smart, pre-populated timesheets 
  • Overtime calculator
  • Expense tracking
  • Receipt capture
  • ePayments

Process Management Features 

  • Identify the exact process your team uses
  • Understand how much time is spent planning, fine-tuning, and delivering work
  • Expense tracking

Time Tracking Made Easy with BQE

Time tracking is crucial for all professional services companies, whether you bill by the hour or per-contract, and it helps you set the most accurate rates and accomplish more in less time. 

BQE CORE is a highly rated, professional services-oriented project management tool with built-in time and expense tracking to maximize your success. Its features include smart timecards, easy-to-use timers, automated reminders, and automatic billing to streamline payroll.

CORE ensures accurate time capture for every reporting period and accounts for overhead, regular hours, overtime, sick days, vacation time, and holidays. 

Automated invoicing makes your billing process quick and simple with built-in, customizable invoicing templates such as retainer invoices, recurring invoices, percent-completion invoices, flat-rate invoices, and hourly invoices.

With built-in reporting, you know exactly how much time is spent on a project/task, how many hours an employee worked, and how productive a team member was during a specific period. Your BQE dashboard clearly displays detailed data that enables you to improve project scheduling and resource distribution for future projects. 

BQE Software is DCAA-compliant, boasts 25+ years of experience, and is backed by 24/7 award-winning customer support. Book a demo today to see how BQE can help your professional services firm plan better projects and optimize billable utilization.

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