Coordinating time tracking efforts across an organization so that everyone can get the information they need, while also tracking data in a consistent manner, is always tricky. Even the groups focused specifically on project time tracking have some conflicting needs that can be difficult to reconcile. On one hand, you have financial professionals who need to run project accounting analyses on high level costs and profitability. On the other, you have project management professionals who have to plan and track the work at a detailed level.
In many cases, each group tracks the information it needs, in its own way, in its own “silo-ed” system. Then these same groups enter time data a second, or even third, time in other systems that provide consistent data for reporting at the corporate level. Needless to say, timesheet compliance is a challenge when employees are asked to enter the same data more than once.
Automation through robust integrations with ERP/project accounting and project management/planning software can eliminate the need to track project time in more than one place. The right time tracking solution, including well-designed integrations, provides a variety of benefits to those who enter project time and use the data to run the business. The benefits of integrating your project accounting and project management time tracking include:
- More consistent data: When data is being entered one time into just one system, that data syncs to both your ERP and project management systems, which will naturally make that project time tracking data more consistent at the highest (e.g., “program”) level for project accounting and analysis.
- More detail: Project managers can benefit from a more detailed project work breakdown structure that rolls up to the project accounting categories for planning and tracking work at the resource level.
- Quicker set up: Your time tracking system will be much easier to set up, because it’s using existing business data from your ERP and project management systems.
- More efficient time entry: As I mentioned previously, entering time one time in just one system makes project time entry easier for everyone. It also provides both financial and project management professionals with the different types of time tracking information they each need.
- Better data: The timesheet data will also be more complete and more timely through improvements in compliance when employees are only required to enter their data once.
The common thread running through all of these benefits is the entry of time one time, in one place – and that is a critical component to successful project time tracking and project accounting.