Going off budget happens. Roadblocks come up and can throw a whole project off course. Since most things don’t go perfectly according to plan, you an account for this by slightly padding your budgets.
What you do want to avoid, and what is in your staff’s control, is messy time tracking that leads to budgets going array due to lack of insight. In this blog post, we’ll outline five key tips to improve your firm’s time-tracking process that will tighten up your budget estimates, leading to more profitable projects.
Keep it Accessible
Keeping track of how much time you spend on a task is tedious enough, so the entry process should be as painless as possible. Finding a solution that has a mobile app and a simple interface so you can automate repetitive tasks, will make it easier for your team to enter their time more regularly. Frequently entering time is key for accurate data that will keep you on top of your budget. Waiting until the end of the week or month to catch up on time entry will always lead to more errors.
Use a Uniform System
It’s best to get everyone at the company on board the same time-tracking software or system. Individual processes and manual data entry is not only hard to manage and gather fast insights from, but it can also cause varying levels of specificity, making it difficult to evaluate each project and budget the same.
Run Utilization Reports
Use the time-entry data to get a big-picture view of your staff capacity, and see if project tasks can be better dispersed to avoid hindering budgets and deadlines. PSA software can automate this reporting data, so you’ll spend less time in staff traffic meetings.
Don’t Forget Non-Billable Hours
Just because it won’t appear on a client invoice, doesn’t mean this time is not valuable. Ask your staff to track their non-billable time separately with notes, so you can evaluate if the time spent on non-billable tasks are pushing things off course, or if maybe the billable hours budget needs to be expanded.
Work the Data
Use the metrics gathered from the tracked time to build and correct future budgets, and to create a forecasting model. Remember to continuously update your budgets as things in your firm change, like new staff, or growth in engagement.
To learn more about using a Professional Services Automation software for time tracking and more benefits, view our PSA 101 guide next.
About the AuthorMore Content by Trilby Lawless