Most business owners are aware that their employees really don’t like to fill in their time sheets. If you’re a business owner who fills out timesheets yourself, you might dislike doing it, too. Then there’s the fact that many time and billing software solutions are so difficult to use that the simple act of tracking time consumes too much of it. Unfortunately, time is money, especially in the accounting profession, meaning that time and billing software is here to stay. Below are five tips, in no particular order, that can help employees track time more efficiently in 2020.
Set Measurable Goals
Just as “I want to grow my business” is too vague to be an actionable business goal, so is “I want to track time more efficiently.” As you doubtlessly already know, setting goals that are too broad will cause you and your team members to quickly become overwhelmed, as you don’t know where to begin or what to prioritize. Instead, set some short-term goals that are measurable and attainable. Many businesses employ the “SMART” goals method, which stands for “Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.” For instance, you might say, “I want to lower payroll errors by 15% in the next 3 months.” This goal can easily be measured through the reporting and analytics feature available in most CPA time entry software tools. It’s also attainable, relevant to your business goals, and time-bound.
Know Your Time and Billing Software
There are countless time and billing solutions for accountants out there. Some are just simple time entry tools, but others have multiple, integrated features that can be used simultaneously. If your company uses the latter, it’s possible that your employees don’t know what your time and billing software is fully capable of. For example, ImagineTime has a client portal feature; due date monitoring tool; calendar planning tool; CPA reporting and analytics software; custom invoice generator; encrypted Cloud storage; and many other features. If you are using your CPA time entry software for just that—time entry—you might not be getting the full benefit of what the solution can offer you.
Never Use Time Entry Software as a Weapon
Many employees resist time tracking because they feel it is a way for employers to monitor their daily productivity and penalize them for spending too long on a particular project, or for having too much downtime. If you want your employees to use your time tracking tool, and to use it honestly, it is crucial to use it as it is meant to be used—as a way to fairly bill clients and plan project timelines. Trust us–using the time tracking tool to punish or micromanage employees is a one-way ticket to fudged time sheets full of falsified hours. This might make the employee look good, but will give your client sticker shock come invoice time.
Your employees are right in the thick of it, each and every day, so the feedback you can gain from them is invaluable when it comes to making decisions that impact productivity. Check in with employees on a regular basis to gauge how they’re adapting to the time tracking software. If they bring up any concerns, issues, or suggestions, be sure to follow up with them. The easier it is for your team members to track their time, the more likely they are to do so! In addition, asking for feedback is an excellent opportunity to show your employees that you value their input and opinions.
Automate Your Workflow with our Time and Billing Software for CPAs
If you’re still using paper timesheets, you’re long overdue for an update. ImagineTime’s CPA time and billing software allows employees to track time accurately and independently. CPA time entry tools also provide your business and employees with crucial data that can help you forecast future project times and improve your overall productivity. To learn more and request a free demo of ImagineTime, click here!