How Small Business Can Grow with Time Tracker
As a small business owner, it can be hard to justify going through the motions and controls of larger corporations. Your time is already limited and enterprise software can be very expensive. So when you really should be comprehensively tracking employees’ time, you might be skeptical. Let us tell you why you shouldn’t be.
Time trackers or timesheet software is not just for payroll. Operational process accounting and project accounting (e.g., for client billing) has been becoming important to businesses of all sizes. As a growing small business, it’s time to start thinking past paper-based or home-brewed timesheet items, spreadsheets in Excel, or multiple installed time tracking tools that produce contradictory data. Without any time tracking software, it is very difficult to understand project costs.
How can you be sure you’ll get a time tracker that works for your business and is immune to common problems experienced when buying your timesheet system?
There are big things to consider:
Have a Buying Process
Remember please that time tracking software will affect everyone in your company. Employees usually don’t like to track their time so your time tracker have to be simple to use, have an intuitive interface and encourage accurate data collection in all ways possible. Your time tracker should be a real accounting system with double entry methodologies and approval processes, and have automatic reminders for procrastinating, busy, forgetful employees.
First of all, you need a requirements list. This will enable you to eliminate scads of vendors that pop up when you google “timesheet.” To collect your requirements list, ask all the different departments in your company which will be affected by future system for their input.
Main potential requirements:
- Do you need to verify invoices sent to you by contractors, and test the timesheet system on them first?
- Do you need to know what tasks employees do on computers, during meetings and phone calls?
- Do you need a system that prevents people from tracking time against projects they should not have access to?
- Do you need to send billing data or payroll data?
- Do you need to get the system rolled out now with no time to wait for anything?
- Do you need to split-bill back project costs to other internal departments?
- Do you need to fix your evaluation process?
- Do you need to understand your research and development costs?
- Do you need a tightly-controlled but distributed purchasing process where everyone gets a company credit card?
- Do you need to reimburse for mileage?
- Do you need a low monthly fee rather than a bigger one time fee?
There is No Magic Fix
You can’t roll out your time tracking system in 1-2 days unless your problem is simple enough to only include one or two of the above requirements. And if you think your requirements are that simple, you’re most likely wrong. But if they really are that simply, don’t spend your money on a complicated software, just use a spreadsheet as your time tracker.
The time tracking technology is powerful and it can help your business to become more profitable in a number of activities. It can lower your payroll processing cost with rising accuracy. It can also speed up your client billing, automate voyage expense reimbursement and, most importantly, it can tell you which projects are broken before it is too late to do anything.
Vendors who claim two-day rollout times are just plain lying. Don’t let them to play a game on you.
This is not a sophisticated process but it is one that requires time and energy to accomplish it accurately. In the second part of this article, we will cover questions to make sure that CrocoTime time tracker is rock-solid, and will consider the advantages of software as a service versus installed software.