1. Billing & Invoicing
Without a time-tracking system in place, you have no way of billing for your hours worked or for improving the accuracy of your fixed price quotations. The last thing you want to do is sell yourself short by underestimating how long it took you to complete a task. You also don’t want to overcharge your clients and potentially damage your relationship with them, right?
Here’s a scenario..
You charge a client a monthly retainer for accounting services rendered. Because you don’t track time, you can’t accurately estimate how many hours these services will take you. You set a price that you think sounds fair. This same client phones you in a frenzy at least once a week, asking for financial consultancy advice, with each phone call lasting an hour. You end up driving to go see this client at their office twice a month (it’s about a 75km round trip). You sit down to generate an invoice for them and start mentally adding up all the hours that you’ve dedicated to them. You look down at the invoiced amount and think “Hey, something doesn’t add up”. If you tracked your time, you’d probably realise a lot sooner that you’re losing revenue on this client.
If you don’t bill by the hour or charge a fixed price, and have instead opted for value-based pricing, tracking time is still important. Regardless of how you structure your pricing, you’re still selling chunks of time for a price. Every task is composed of a certain number of hours and every hour represents a cost, dependant on how much you’re paying your employees to do the work. In order to make a profit, you need to ensure that the price that you are charging your client is greater than the cost to your business. The only way of determining that is by tracking how many hours went into the task.
2. Time tracking ensures that you focus on the tasks that matter
Phone calls, emails, social media, office meetings and colleagues popping in for a chat. These are all tasks that are considered to be minor daily activities, however, accumulated, you’ll find that these are some of the most time-consuming activities in one’s work week.
Time tracking empowers individuals to improve their workflow and better organise their work-days. Once people see their time recorded, they realise that they aren’t setting aside enough time for deep work. This then encourages them to maximise the amount of time devoted to generating revenue while minimizing the time spent on administrative duties. Which is what we all want, right?
Small improvements to individual workflows contribute significantly to overall organisational efficiency.
3. Increased productivity, self-discipline & the breaking of bad habits
Tracking work in greater detail increases productivity. Not only does it help you set aside time for deep work, it aids in identifying and putting a stop to multi-tasking.
The University of London conducted a study on multi-tasking and found that participants who multitasked during cognitive tasks, experienced an IQ score decline similar to those who have stayed up all night. Besides an IQ decline, multi-tasking affects one’s brain efficiency, causes one to make more mistakes, lose focus and retain less information. Less than ideal.
Additionally, time tracking will increase productivity by allowing you to schedule a dedicated amount of time to a single task. Think about it.. working on one task for an entire day with one or two breaks is draining and is sure to make you eager to finish the task no matter the quality. However, if you work on a task for a specified period of time and then take a break, you’re sure to concentrate better and achieve more quality results.
4. Helps to identify & avoid employee burn-out
By tracking time, you’re given an overview of how much your employees are working. This way, you’ll be able to identify if individuals or teams are going over their capacity and can take action before burn-out is experienced.
When your employees know that you’re tracking time in order to create a healthy work-life balance, they’ll be more likely to hop on board and see time tracking as something positive. We’re sure that we don’t have to go into the benefits of having a happy, motivated workforce.
5. Continued efficiency & accountability no matter where your employees are working from
Flexibility is the future of the office. According to a report conducted by Regus, an average of 56% of South African employees telecommute regularly. We all know that working from home isn’t the easiest – kids screaming, dogs barking, lawn mowers blazing while you’re trying to have a skype meeting. Distractions everywhere. By tracking time, your employees will be able to remain productive and efficient no matter where they’re working from.
6. Transparency into work processes
Effective employee time tracking gives managers a better overview and understanding of an individual’s work process. You’ll be able to see who’s working on what, how long they’re taking and what other tasks are being neglected. This transparency provides the necessary data to improve and optimize your accounting firm’s operations which ultimately results in increased efficiency, productivity and profitability.
How our time tracking functionality can help your accounting office take its efficiency up a notch
Automatic time tracking while tasks are in progress
Manual time registrations: register time, distance and costs
Register communication with clients: meetings, emails, phone calls
Overview of all time registrations for a chosen period of time: filter by employee, client, task
Overview of billable vs non-billable hours
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