Time Tracking – why do it?

Let’s start with a story. Many years ago I was consulting for a pre-press company near Toronto. My mandate was to rewrite their internal Project Management systems, moving them from SuperBase, to 4D, to Lotus Notes, and eventually to Java/WebSphere. I was paid by the hour. In the early days I tracked my time manually by looking at my watch and making notes. I guessed a lot. Then I purchased a Casio E-125 Pocket PC and installed a time tracking app. Without changing anything else, my billings went up 20%. That $600 device (2001 price) paid for itself many times over.

The moral of the story is that if you don’t track, you don’t know. Accurate tracking also gives you an indisputable audit trail. One of the best SAAS time tracking applications available is Freckle. They cover the critical points, which include:

  • Does your team have the availability for this new client?
  • Which clients are good to you, and which abuse your time?
  • Is your sales process too long and costly?
  • Are your internal marketing efforts giving a good ROI?
  • Is this team member under-utilized?
  • Where did all that time go?
  • And did you actually bill your client for all the time actually worked?

With the app available via browser or phone, it is super-simple to use. Reporting and invoicing is built in, and the cost is very reasonable.

If you are accessing government or other grant programs, you must justify time spent on particular projects. A good time tracking app makes this painless, and will simplify report filing. Should you undergo an audit, you have the evidence at hand to back up your claims. Protect yourself, increase billings, and plan your workload – use a time tracking application!