Time tracking is one of the most important elements of successfully running your business. Whether it’s by helping employees to be productive, properly bidding on new contracts or maximizing the profitability of existing ones, time tracking is the key that unlocks many different doors.

Unfortunately, the meaning of various time tracking terms are not always readily evident. In Part 1 of this series, we discussed four of the base terms used throughout the time tracking industry, illustrating why they are so important.

In this part, we’ll look at a number of terms and acronyms that are commonly encountered in the industry.

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)

GAAP are “the common set of accounting principles, standards and procedures that companies use to compile their financial statements. GAAP are a combination of authoritative standards (set by policy boards) and simply the commonly accepted ways of recording and reporting accounting information.”

These guidelines are especially useful when companies need to work with government agencies, as it establishes a common denominator for companies to work with.

Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA)

The DCAA “provides audit and financial advisory services to Department of Defense (DoD) and other federal entities responsible for acquisition and contract administration.”

In essence, the DCAA helps make sure that taxpayers’ money isn’t wasted. Originally for defense contracting, the DCAA now extends far beyond the military and encompasses almost all service and labor contracts for the government. As a result, getting DCAA approval is virtually a necessity for any company wanting to gain access to those contracts.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Established in 1993, FMLA requires companies to provide their employees unpaid, protected leave for medical and family reasons.

During any 12-month period, employees who meet the criteria can take up to 12 work weeks of unpaid leave. This time can be used to care for serious health issues of the employee or family, military leave, foster care, adoption and pregnancy.

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

WBS was originally conceived by the Department of Defense (DoD) to help make large projects manageable.Essentially, “the work breakdown structure visually defines the scope into manageable chunks that a project team can understand, as each level of the work breakdown structure provides further definition and detail.”

Timesheet

In its most basic form, a timesheet is a simple piece of paper that logs an employee’s hours. As technology has progressed, however, timesheets have evolved. No longer restricted to a piece of paper, “timesheet” can also refer to an electronic version that logs an employee’s time.

Modern timesheets do more than simply provide a way to keep track of payroll. Timesheets are instrumental in tracking the time spent on specific projects and tasks, thereby helping the organization properly account for the cost of a project as a whole, as well as provide valuable information for future bids and estimates.