Why You Should Care about Timesheets

Posted by Jeremiah McNicholas on October 2, 2014

time

Timesheets are the fuel that powers any project based business. They’re the way work is documented, accounted for, and ultimately billed. It’s odd then, that when it comes to actually entering a timesheet they quickly fall to the bottom of our priority list. Here we’ll explore a few reasons why this may be the case and some steps you can take at your firm to reverse this behavior.

Nobody is paying us to enter time. For a project based business, utilization is king. Focusing as much of your time as possible on billable activity will help ensure project profitability with a solid margin for the firm. Of course, time spent entering a timesheet is not billable. While this task shouldn’t take up a lot of time, the negative attitude towards non-billable administrative tasks can result in a rational reasoning for putting them off. Unfortunately, there is a cost associated with delayed timesheet entry. Industry experts like PSMJ encourage daily timesheet entry for invoice and report accuracy as well as ensuring additional services are captured in a timely manner. So if you’re putting off entering your timesheets you may be leaving money on the table.

Where do I enter my timesheet again? Many generic accounting systems require the use of add-on software for timesheets. With timesheets collected outside of the accounting system, it can be difficult to enforce consistent daily time entry. If your timesheet is on an island separate from your typical workflow processes it becomes very easy to forget. Like the old saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind.” If your timesheet isn’t easy to find, it’s probably easy to forget. One way to correct this behavior is to integrate your timesheet tracking system with other commonly used platforms like your accounting and project management software or collaboration software. I’ve seen this small change dramatically improve the timeliness of time entry at many AE firms. Not to mention timesheet integration can reduce the amount of manual entry done by the accounting team.

I’ll enter my time when I get back to the office. It’s becoming more and more common for employees to work from client offices, jobsites, or even their homes. As this trend continues, so too will the expectation that necessary tools like timesheets are available from any of these locations. Modern time entry systems can easily offer timesheet access over the internet on a webpage or mobile app, but many businesses choose not to invest in these conveniences. Unfortunately, choosing not to provide a mobile time entry solution can negatively impact the frequency and timeliness of time entry.

So, if you want to improve the time entry culture at your firm, you should first find a timesheet system that’s integrated and mobile. This coupled with education on the importance of time entry will help to change the potentially negative attitude towards entering timesheets.

Deltek Ajera resolves these problems and many more with integrated mobile timesheets.Click here to learn more about how Ajera’s timesheets work and how integrating your firm’s timesheets with your accounting and project management system will help to ensure accurate billing and project reporting.