Time tracking software is a critical first step to adopt in improving the performance of project-based services organizations, as it enables managers to understand:
What is everyone working on?
How much does each initiative, or project, cost?
What work is billable (and non-billable)?
How much margin/benefit is being produced for every hour charged?
How much time are we actually spending on the key business priorities versus what we anticipated?
What portion of labor cost is eligible for R&D tax credits?
Beyond these questions, you will also want to consider how time tracking software can support these common requirements:
Making it easy for staff to record time daily through a secure, user-friendly application accessible via a web browser, anywhere and anytime.
Ensuring that people only charge to projects they are authorized to work on, for appropriate time periods, and using the correct labor categories for the work being performed.
Tracking work by location for audit, or other, purposes.
Recording ‘estimate to complete’ data from end users as input to project management and forecasting.
Ensuring compliance with DCAA TimeKeeping Requirements, if you are government contractor.
Supporting enforcement of other business rules, such as overtime rules, capturing comments on billable work performed, or change reasons.
Offering timely approvals without undue overhead, taking into account your organization structure which may include project manager approvals, matrix management, alternate approvers, or customer involvement in the timesheet approval cycle.
Facilitating online leave requesting and management capabilities for employees and line managers, ensuring visibility of staff ‘coverage’ in upcoming weeks and months.
Providing detailed, itemized supporting information for customer invoices.
Enforcing PTO accruals and leave balances
Having consultants and subcontractors charge their labor hours in your time tracking system, delivering earlier knowledge on non-employee project costs, and optionally to avoid the need to receive and process a vendor invoice for those hours
Delivering robust standard reporting, and simple ad-hoc report writing tools, for the project management team so that they can understand status in real-time, and address issues related to delays or overruns before they impact performance.
Integrating with financial and contract management systems to leverage existing investments and current ways of working
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In today’s environment, most project-based organizations use some sort of technology to help run their business, and ERP systems are becoming an increasingly popular choice for their ability to streamline processes and align businesses for growth.