As a business community, if we’ve learned anything from the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic, it’s that most of us weren’t prepared. What we do during the calm days prepares us for how we fare during the stormy days. If you’re a company that values time as a sellable commodity, then it’s time we talk about the REAL value of timesheets. Especially during stormy times like these.
Selling time can be a very meticulous task. How thoroughly you track time spent on client work determines your success and health of your company. It’s not like you can get a leg up on your competition with time, we’re all playing on the same clock-based field.
Get into the habit of tracking billed time scrupulously
How can you do that? Well, there are many options. You can set up an Excel or Google Sheets timesheet. Share that around the office if you like, and manually tabulate the time spent on billable work at the end of the week or month.
Using this method is a start towards accurate timekeeping, but it can become time-consuming, and that’s counter-intuitive. There are online timesheets where employees enter billable time every day. Then in seconds, you can fire off a report at the end of the month so you can bill clients. You could even set it up so that a billable time report is emailed to you regularly.
Which brings us to reason #1 of why having a timesheet is crucial during times of crisis:
#1 – Accurately and efficiently bill your clients
Billing your clients is a two-way street. You don’t want to overbill your clients, but you also don’t want to sell yourself short. Having an online timesheet ensures that every hour spent on billable client work is traceable and that you are squeezing every drop out of your daily effort.
If you’re consistently guestimating how many hours you’ve spent on a client project, you’re almost certainly selling yourself short. During a crisis, like a worldwide pandemic, where revenues are taking a hit, you’ll want to be sure that you’re getting every dollar for every minute you’re working. You can’t afford to give away your time.
Your clients may also be more meticulous on their expenditures and may request a more detailed copy of the bill. Having all of your billable project time in an online timesheet system ensures that at a moment’s notice, you can provide that report and feel confident with the numbers.
#2 – Know what projects remote employees are working on
During a crisis, you may not be allowed to work from a central office. Asking your team every day what they’re working on may seem OK at first, but it grows tiring. Once again, you want to be sure that your team is working as efficiently as possible, even if they are working remotely.
Having an online timesheet with apps and flexibility to enter time from anywhere, gives you one more tool to gauge your company’s work time. Every day, you could have a report sent to you that shows how much billable time was worked, and the budget health of each client project.
With an online timesheet, you can just let employees work away, and talk about more important things than pinging them regularly about their project work. They’re people too, not machines. Spend more time asking them “how” they’re doing, and not “what” they’re doing.
#3 – Keep track of project budgets much more timely and accurately
During a crisis, you have so many balls in the air in which to juggle. Maintaining budgets of your client billed projects can create a lot of stress, especially if you have to tabulate all of the work to date manually.
With an online timesheet, you can get the health of any client billed project in seconds. Imagine how nice it would be to enter a client status call with labour and expense totals with pinpoint accuracy. Oh, and you just fired off that report 2 minutes before the call.
#4 – Cloud-based timesheets eliminate the worry about access and backing data up
There are limitless types of crises. Thankfully, most of us had time to get most of our tools out of the office before we were sent home during the Coronavirus quarantine. But what if you didn’t have that time? What if (and let’s hope it NEVER happens) your physical office is destroyed?
Having your more valuable tools on the cloud ensures that you can get back on your feet in record time. Almost all record-keeping can be placed on a secure, off-site and roomy cloud-based server. Time tracking of client billed work is just another tool that should be on the cloud. It’s safe, it’s fast, and it’s convenient for these reasons:
- Keep your data safe. No need to worry about paper-based time tracking to go missing or destroyed.
- Remove the barriers. Employees can access their timesheet anywhere, provided they have an internet connection.
- Data protection. With daily backups of most cloud-based systems, your data is backed up off-site—no need to worry about a crisis destroying your billed client time records.
Prepare in the calm so you’re ready for the storm
Life always has a way of throwing us things that we never expected. Unfortunately, you can’t prepare for everything. All you can do is find enough efficiencies in your work so that when something unexpected comes up, things fall into place and take care of themselves.
If you sell your time at work, that’s a big deal! Make it a priority and prepare yourself to guard it! Ensuring that you track your billable time in an efficient, accurate, and safe way will keep revenue coming in when the next crisis hits.
For growing businesses looking for a better way to track employee time and activity.