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Why Time Tracking is Really that Important for Architects and Engineers

May 17, 2022 | By Susanna Williams | 0 Comments

Topics: Firm Operations, Time Tracking

Time after time, the biggest objection managers hear is how much their employees hate filling out timesheets. This is especially true for many architects and engineers when it comes to time tracking. Architects and engineers are extremely creative and passionate about the work they’re doing. This creativity and passion produces amazing designs, which ultimately results in the netting of project after project. 

What keeps companies in business in this highly competitive environment is completing projects under budget and getting the invoices out quickly. This results in faster revenue and cash flow to take on new projects. And how is this achieved? Simple—by tracking time (on time!) 

Timesheet opponents state that timesheets aren’t accurate because “folks have a hard time remembering what they did in the morning–never mind five days ago.” We whole heartily agree with that. What benefit is there in getting inaccurate, outdated information? Time should be entered daily, if not throughout the day, so that project managers can effectively track a project. Therefore, entering time needs to be easy and convenient, so it is captured accurately and promptly. 

Managing Timesheets with BQE CORE 

This is where BQE CORE comes into the picture. Our software makes time tracking easy and fast with a simple timesheet interface. Projects are searchable; recently-worked on projects carry over day after day (and week after week); and activity codes with comprehensible descriptions are easily entered.  

All of this means that at the end of the day, there is no guesswork.  

Better still, implement what we call Project Control and there is no possibility of any error creeping up in their timesheets. Employees only see what they are meant to see and select. 

Working remotely? On the go? No problem. Capture your time and expenses on CORE’s mobile app. 

Opponents dismissing the value of correct timekeeping state it’s too time consuming- it involves 30 minutes or more a week being wasted on time entry. As mentioned above, this is why it’s important to have tools in place to make it as easy and convenient as possible. Rather than spending so much time trying to remember and manually add up how much time you spent on a project last week, imagine how much time your company could save if time was entered daily or after each task? 

Timesheet Reminders 

We often hear from prospective clients why should they bother implementing a solution when there are chronically delinquent timekeepers? This is actually a very common occurrence. CORE has a trigger sending friendly reminders that the time needs to be entered, whenever you like. Every day? Every hour? Every 30 minutes? Whatever it takes! This emphasizes the importance of entering time in a prompt fashion. The emails automatically stop when time is entered. And when it comes time to collect timesheets, it’s easy for managers to take a look at the submitted entries in the program and sign off on their team’s hours. 

Bill Different Rates and Fixed-Fee Method 

Now let's talk about bill different rates. An employee generating high-quality work in half the time should have a higher bill rate than a new architect or engineer who takes two to three times as long. That is how smart companies continue to grow and succeed. But without tracking time….how would you know? 

The other option is a fixed-fee method. This method helps by tracking your time. How many times have you worked late? How many times did a quick change order take 2 hours longer than originally thought? By tracking even non-billable hours, you’re able to make sure you are charging enough. You’ll have the answer at your fingertips showing you whether or not your fixed fee is the right fee. If a project phase takes more time than previously thought, then the fixed fee can be adjusted for the next proposal. 

Time Progress and Change Orders 

Entering time accurately and frequently gives project managers a clear picture of timely progress and allows them to prevent fires before they even start.  

What would happen if a project manager could see a realistic picture of where a project is in terms of completion? The project manager could make real-time adjustments to make sure that the team is running as effectively as possible to help it stay within budget and complete the project on schedule.  

Hitting deadlines is incredibly valuable to a client. And if a change order makes it impossible to meet the deadline, wouldn’t it be nice to have that conversation with the client at the time of the request? 

BQE CORE 

Tracking time with BQE CORE gives you information to run your firm efficiently. Job costing, bonuses, revenue forecasting--all benefit by having accurate time information. Without tracking time, how will you know if you have the workload to hire additional staff? Without knowing your real revenue, how will you know if you can afford to take on new staff or even the next project? 

As you can see, entering time, no matter how small and no matter how you bill, is essential to running an efficient and successful firm.  

Try a free demo today to test out our time tracking software and see how it can benefit your firm.

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The Author

Susanna Williams

Susanna Williams is the Content Marketing Manager at BQE Software. She has spent 10 years in the marketing field writing and researching for industries that include software, engineering, architecture, health and wellness, legal, education, and more.

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