If employees are filling out timesheets every week in your organization, there is probably a very good reason why – whether for payroll purposes, tracking time against project work, and/or for client billing. So, it would stand to reason that you would want that data to be as accurate as possible, right?
If your timesheet data isn’t accurate, all the outputs of that data won’t be accurate – your timesheet reporting, your project estimates, your payroll, and your invoices. All the really good reasons you had for tracking employee time in the first place become completely moot. Chaos ensues.
When you track time accurately, though, your timesheet reporting will give you a far better understanding of the project itself and, crucially, where efficiencies could be made. In other words, you will learn where all the time is being spent and which tasks take longer than others.
More importantly, perhaps, you could save a lot of money and turn a potentially loss-making job into a profitable one. After all, if you don’t have access to accurate information, how can you hope to be successful?
Here are the key areas where accurate timesheets can have a major impact on your bottom line.
Drive Profitability on Projects
When your timesheet data is more accurate, you will be able to more accurately cost out future projects and come up with estimates or budgets that are closer to the mark. Basically, if you underestimate how much time it will take to finish a project, you’ll have to deal with cost overruns that you’ll end up eating. So in the future, you can add the appropriate number of hours at the billable rate to make more profit.
Increased Client Billings
You always need to be confident of your position when you send a proposal to an individual client. You must know, with a high degree of accuracy, how much time it’s going to take to fulfill the work. Otherwise, you may get some pushback from a client who wants to reduce the quote.
If you have accurate timesheet reporting, you can clearly stand your ground and you’ll be able to increase your client billings over time to more accurately reflect how much work is involved. Meanwhile, you will have all the data on hand to justify your decision.
And most importantly of all, you will be able to close out each contract with confidence and ensure that the final invoice is accurate, so that you do not leave money on the table.
Process Payroll More Accurately
Payroll is the key cost for many organizations, and it must be kept under control. If your organization does not maintain accurate timesheet reports, then you may be incurring payroll costs unnecessarily, and this will eat into your bottom line.
Remember, you may be liable for additional costs and taxes based on the amount that you pay each staff member. For example, you may make a Social Security contribution as a percentage of an employee’s paycheck. If you are not working with accurate data, some of that money will be wasted.
Bear in mind that accuracy is everything, and it is crucial to implement a time tracking system that will collect, analyze, and process employee time data with high levels of efficiency and accuracy.
Get Clear Direction for Decision-Making
Your organization can only grow if it can maximize its opportunities while minimizing its costs. As mentioned, payroll may be the largest cost, and unless it is accurately processed, the company may struggle to get ahead. In this case, it may have to carry too much excess because employees are being paid too much, and this may make it difficult for the company to pitch for new work and expand.
Accurate time tracking will also enable your project managers to keep ahead of schedule. After all, each employee will be more focused on their time management as they need to account for each minute. This agility will help the organization get ready to take on more opportunities.
Remember that some opportunities may appear out of the blue and could represent a significant windfall for the organization. However, if decision-makers are not working with up-to-date information and don’t know when their employees become free, then they may need to turn down the chance. If they were working with accurate timesheets and relevant data, however, they could answer with conviction and seize the opportunity.
There’s another way to look at this as well. If you use accurate data when you price individual jobs (rather than a guesstimate), then you may even be able to gain a competitive advantage, versus those organizations that do not.
Finally, don’t underestimate the effect that this change could have on your entire organization. An individual staff member will now be able to review their work and see just how far they have come on any given day or week. When they analyze their productivity, it will undoubtedly give them a dose of satisfaction, a feeling of achievement and a sense of pride. This could help to motivate the individual to do more and may also build a level of camaraderie throughout the team that can only benefit the organization.
Trusting the System
Bear in mind that accuracy is everything, and it is crucial to implement a time tracking system that will collect, analyze, and process employee time data with high levels of efficiency and accuracy. Once you have such a system in place, you can realize all the benefits associated with timesheet reporting and look forward to a rejuvenated bottom line.