Time tracking is nobody’s favourite task. Whether it’s keeping track of endless small jobs, tallying up a complete project’s worth of resources, or balancing the minutes, hours, and days between a complex portfolio of clients, it can be fiddly and easy to get wrong – or put off altogether.

But it’s also no secret that accurate time tracking can be the key to informed, effective practice growth. Working out how long you’re spending on certain tasks, matching that up with how much you’re charging for them, and spotting opportunities to boost efficiency equips you with the insight you need to supercharge both productivity and profit. 

That doesn’t mean it’s easy to find the time to dedicate to managing, though – which is where accountants can benefit from leaning on software to streamline their practice’s time management. 

Why accountants should invest in time tracking

In case you’re not convinced of the benefits of time tracking, here’s how doing it effectively can help you.

Accuracy – without accurate time tracking, or dedicated tools that integrate with your software, it’s easy for the minutes to add up – and you or your team to spend more time than you’re paid for on certain tasks. Tracking how long things take can alert you to tasks or clients that routinely eat into your time (and profit).

Transparency – with clear time tracking, it’s easier to track billable hours, and clients will be able to see and understand exactly what they’re paying for, often in real time. This can build trust, reduce payment disputes, and encourage clear communication, meaning better relationships all round.

Better estimates – providing accurate estimates for client work and its associated fees can be difficult at the start of a project. Once you’ve built up historic time tracking data, though, you’ll be more able to forecast exactly how much time and resource you can reasonably expect things to take up.  

Using software to track time effectively

There are lots of accounting software providers out there, and many will have time tracking or recording features built in. But if you’re looking for software to help you create a robust system for planning and managing your and your team’s time, there are a couple of things to consider. 

Adequate integration 

The point of implementing robust time tracking is to ultimately save you time in the long run – and that’s not going to happen if you end up having to double your efforts by manually tracking and transferring that data into accounting software. 

Look for a system that uses integration in a smart way, so that your time tracking features link up to broader project management and invoice processing systems, and allow you to see the complete picture in one place.

Reliable automation

By embracing fully integrated accounting software to help with time tracking, you’ll open the door to real opportunities for further automation – whether that’s with your bookkeeping, invoicing, or tax compliance work. 

It’s not news to say that automating formerly manual processes will save you time, but where time tracking is concerned, automation can be a game changer. By removing most of the manual element, you’ll be able to confidently predict how long tasks will take – and with features like bank feeds and data flowing freely between systems, you’ll have the information at your fingertips, rather than having to go hunting for it. 

Detailed reporting 

For ongoing insights into how your practice spends its time – and what tasks, clients, and activities are your most efficient and profitable – you’ll need detailed, digestible reports. 

Depending on the software you choose, you’ll be able to set up visual practice management dashboards that present your key data in real time, run comprehensive reports that highlight areas for improvement, and closely monitor analytics so that you truly understand how productive your practice is.

Making the right choice

All in all, the right software for you will depend on how granular you want your time tracking to be, and how much you want insight-driven time management to inform the decisions you make. 

There’s little point investing in software with under-used features that your team doesn’t fully understand – instead, it’s best to think about how you can use software to make it easier to see the bigger picture, allowing you to use your time the most wisely. 

Want to Try Capium’s Time & Fees module for FREE? Sign up for a trial today.  

To speak to one of our team about how Capium can help you streamline your time management, get in touch today – Call us on 020 3322 5578.

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