The concept of “time is money” is quite accurate. Generally, we all think we have a sense of where our time is spent and how it relates to productivity or waste. It’s only until you actually track your time, do you see how it truly adds up to making money or costing money. Then there is the time it takes (and costs) to study the time and money puzzle. This is why having a simple, effective way to track time is an important item to incorporate, so you can clearly understand the costs associated with employee time without costing more time in the process.
Accountfully pro-tip: Your best bet is to find a really simple solution that is paperless, on the cloud and integrates with your other finance software.
Get Out of Paper and Into An App For Time Tracking
Are you still using excel spreadsheets or (gasp) punch cards to keep on top of employee hours? Making your (bigger gasp) salaried employees submit time? Hopefully not. Not only is this a business continuity and storage nightmare, but it’s super demeaning to the modern day employee. The modern employee doesn’t need to prove their productivity by accounting for every minute of their time, but it’s still a good thing to track where it goes. So make it easy and use an app that makes sense. Since 99% of humans have a smart phone attached to them on a daily basis, having something that can be used via phone or computer is a great plan.
Accountfully incorporates Harvest for time tracking, but there are many apps that can assist in easy time tracking. The key items you want to look for in an app is something that easily integrates with other business systems, like Quickbooks online or your existing payroll program, like Gusto. Harvest has a great desktop app that displays a timer in the top of the toolbar of your computer. Users can select the cost center and add time manually or press play and pause to track their tasks in real time. It also has a cell phone app.
On the business owner’s side, you (or Accountfully, if we are at the accounting helm) can set it up to be aligned with your general ledger cost centers and codes, so that an employee can select the specific function their time is contributing to. You will know down to the exact center, where that time is going. Pretty cool huh? But what about time when it comes to jobs and services?
Employee Time’s Role In Job Profitability May Be In Existing Software — Use It
Especially in a service-based business, understanding of the delicate intricacies of time spent, materials and income means knowing the difference between making money or tanking. Knowing the true cost of the time it takes to complete a job can help in charging for that service in the future, so you are in a good spot to grow your revenue. Project management software systems often have a time tracking tool integrated in their program already. In cases like this, we often encourage business owners to continue using this system for their time tracking. Having material cost, labor and time all in one place will make understanding the whole picture a lot easier. We can help you translate that too.
For example, two programs that keep projects in check and moving forward are Asana and Mavenlink. These systems typically allow a user to allocate time to specific jobs and tasks so that it is all organized in their associated job categories. When it’s all in one place, it’s easy to see, which is the goal.
Unless you envision your business operating like an old school factory where employees line up to punch their time cards twice a day, it’s time to get your time tracking on point and on the cloud, so you never lose its valuable insight into your business. If you have existing software to leverage, do it. If you need help, that’s OK too. We can help get your time tracking set up and dialed in for you so you can understand where your time (and money) truly goes.
Let’s set up a call and talk about your business needs. We promise it won’t be a waste of time.