Time tracking is good, automatic time tracking is best.
Many service-based businesses rely on accurate time tracking to invoice customers correctly, allocate adequate resources and generate insights into their business. Classic time-tracking software proved to be a major step forward from the tedious manual timesheet creation. As technology evolves, fully automatic time tracking is becoming the new standard for organizations that rely on activity-based invoicing models.
For a comparison between true, full automatic time tracking and semi-automated or classic time tracking, see the explainer at the end of this post.
#1: Client-proof invoices
Clients expect businesses to deliver the best value for their investment - and rightly so. With fully automatic time registration, tedious invoice discussions between clients and project managers are a thing of the past. Every minute is logged accurately on an electronic timesheet. This overview can easily be exported and passed on to the end client if necessary, providing traceable proof of the work done by individual team members. Untampered and fully completed timesheets reflect both a strong business ethic and increase client-facing transparency.
#2: Better view on time spent and ROI across your organization
Plenty of work time gets lost on unexpected phone calls, urgent emails and other interruptions. Using manual or semi-automated time tracking, these timesinks often go unnoticed. This, in turn, impacts the accuracy of your billability reports and productivity overview. Semi-automated or manual time tracking is inaccurate at best, or deeply flawed at worst.
Automatic time tracking allows businesses to measure, analyze and optimize the full 100% of the time their employees spend on the job, be it dedicated to client projects or internal tasks. This enables organizations to discover time drain and hidden costs, which in turn helps to reveal unprofitable cases and clients.
“Manual time tracking is inaccurate at best, or deeply flawed at worst.”
#3 Time savings
While semi-automatic time tracking doesn’t take much time in itself, it’s far from ideal. Pressing a timer button is easy enough, but all too often time gets misallocated or entries have to be remapped to different clients or projects. Automated time tracking takes care of this repetitive, unsatisfying task in the background, giving your employees more time to spend on high-value tasks.
#4 No time lag between execution and time tracking
Typically, time logging happens during small breaks, at the end of the working day or, in some cases, only once a week. This time lag leads to two major problems: inaccuracy and a lag in performance monitoring. These add to problems number 1 and 2 on our list. On a case-by-case level these issues might seem trivial, but at scale, they have significant impact on profitability.
Explained: automatic vs. classic time tracking
In short, automatic time tracking automates every aspect of traditional, manual time tracking. Using advanced software algorithms, an automatic time tracker monitors every employee’s activity and maps all actions to a particular project, without the need for human intervention. Timesheets are created in real time, eliminating the need for manual data entry or follow-up.