Even when a company’s sales are skyrocketing, they can still turn to me in a desperate, “Help! I’m not making money!” panic. Before I begin to fully analyze their books or their operations, I always ask how they are tracking their time. More often than not, they aren’t. The excuses range from having all salaried employees to working on retainer projects only. Regardless of the reason, I always encourage them to select a simple time tracking tool. Why? Time tracking can reveal so much about a business and the information gathered from time tracking can help them make budget conscious decisions.
Top 5 Questions Time Tracking will Answer
Here are some ways time tracking can help you make decisions to get your company back in the black:
How much time are your salaried employees working? Without a time-tracking system in place, you ‘can’t properly analyze if your employees are working well beyond the expected 40 hour work week or how they are spending their time. Time tracking might reveal that it is time to hire another full or part-time employee to alleviate the load. It can also help predict how many more projects your team can handle before needing to expand.
What are your true project costs? It’s so easy to underestimate the amount of time it takes to complete a task. By tracking time per project, your team can compare a job’s projected or estimated costs to their actual costs. Without time tracking, companies will continually underbid work without even knowing!
Is it time to increase your retainer rates? By tracking time by each client, you can compare your resource investment into each account. If you are doing retainer work, you can identify if the number of transactions each month has increased and when it is time to raise the retainer rate!
Is it time to expand your team? When you analyze how much time each person spends on various tasks, you might be surprised! Could you increase your billable time if you outsourced your marketing or to hired an assistant? How many more projects can your team handle before working at max capacity?
Can your team handle additional work? By providing more accurate estimates, you can closer predict your team’s ability to take on new work. Make more accurate delivery date predictions when you can visualize everything on the schedule.
Which time tracking apps do I recommend?
ClockShark and Harvest are my two go-to apps for time tracking. If you use QBO and are in the construction industry, I recommend Clockshark; if you need to manage several projects and retainers, I recommend Harvest.
ClockShark is a simple time tracking app designed for the service-based industry. Users can easily switch projects while in the field. I love how ClockShark uses GPS location to let you schedule people based on their GPS location. There are a ton of other great features, too! For example, users can manually take a break or choose to have their breaks automatically scheduled for them.
Harvest is another great time tracking application and is designed for managing projects, expenses, retainers, invoices, and more! I love how Harvest integrates with so many different applications, including QuickBooks, to generate custom reports. Read more about Harvest in my recent Harvest review article.
Ready to start time tracking?
If you’re ready to start tracking your time or get a better handle on your expenses, I’d love to show you more about these easy to use tools! Contact me with questions about time-tracking or other bookkeeping needs.