Can Your Business Benefit From Time Tracking Software?

Time Tracking
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By Small Business Pulse

Time is money for any business, regardless if it is a sole proprietorship, a company with multiple employees, freelance work or piecework. Keeping track of what particular jobs employees are tasked with and how long it takes to complete them is a vital element to efficient and profitable business operations. Time tracking software and apps can help business owners do just that and at a very low cost.

Inexpensive and high rate of return
There are many time tracking software packages and apps out there, including some free plans for starters. Basic plans can cost as little as $5 per user, per month. A user is defined as an individual whose time is being tracked. Other packages can cost much more depending on how many features the package offers. A quick search will bring up some of the top names such as TSheets, Hubstaff, Wrike, Zoho Projects, Mavenlink, BQE Core, Time Doctor and VeriClock.

Know how much time spent on projects
It is common for many businesses to charge their clients and customers by the hour. Recording time spent, however, can be laborious and is too often done after the fact when time logs might be guesstimated. Not recording time spent on a project will cost money and can be even more problematic when done inaccurately. Some clients, depending on the field, may require some proof of the number of hours actually dedicated to their needs. Time tracking software can easily take care of these issues with the push of a button.

Accounting made easier and accurate
Time tracking software can easily be linked to an existing accounting program. This makes a bookkeeper's job much easier and less time-consuming than the traditional methods of having to sift through submitted hand-written time sheets from employees. For many small businesses, the owner is often stuck with the accounting responsibilities and could greatly benefit by saving time and effort using time tracking software. That time could be put to better use with more productive tasks and even some well deserved down time.

Great tool to price out the next job
When a company bids for a job or gives a potential client an estimate, the time that will need to be spent on the task is one of the key components of that bid. Whether it is promising a client to have a job done in a certain amount of time or figuring out the compensation needed for those performing the work, knowing exactly how much time needed is critical. Time tracking can help deliver accurate project estimates to clients and determine the price a job must be to remain profitable. It can also show exactly how much time a worker or business spent on a project, thus providing a baseline to extrapolate how much time and money will be needed to complete a similar project.

Plan, shuffle and exchange shifts easily
Most time tracking software allows employees to work together in determining what time they are available to work. This can help when scheduling time for a team of employees to work on a specific a project. It can also help shuffle schedules so that two or more people who need to work together can make their schedules match. For those who do shift work, it can also readily assist exchanging shifts.

Know who is doing what and when
Keep track of what your employees are working on and when. Time tracking can keep an accurate account of how much time is being spent on actual work as opposed to personal projects or breaks. This might be seen as micromanaging, but if done and presented properly, it can be used to help evaluate a person's value to your company, as well as to see who might need help with certain types of work. Not everyone might be up to speed on the tools needed to do their job or may be struggling with something that comes easily to others. This can help a company determine which of their employees not only needs more training to use those tools, but who among their colleagues might be the best to provide such assistance.

Put simply, time tracking software can help point out weak links, as well as who can help reinforce those links so that everyone can pull together to get the job done, and done in a more efficient and timely manner.