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The Benefits of Time Tracking Software

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All types of businesses can benefit from time tracking software, no matter how large or small a business is. These apps are well worth the money, because they can track all team activity, handle expenses, and more. Business owners who use this technology find increased productivity, which ultimately leads to increased profits, which is obviously the bottom line of any business.

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Benefits of Using Time Tracking Software

There are many time tracking software benefits including better task management. There are so many little tasks involved in any business, and often, most of us don’t even realize just how many tasks are being managed at once. Time tracking software ensures that nothing is ever missed, and that everything gets done when it should. Other time tracking software benefits include:

Payroll Management

There are some systems that will not only track employee time, but also create timesheets that can be used for payroll purposes. Every company has had issues at one time or another when it comes to employees not receiving the proper amount of pay. This software will virtually eliminate that problem. This is perfect for companies that have employees who work odd hours.

Better Focus

One of the great things about employees being able to track their own time is that they really get to see the whole picture of how productive they actually are. When they see areas where productivity is lower than others, they are able to focus better on their work. They will know how much time they are spending on each task, if they are running behind, and how they can better allot their time to be more productive. They can also inform managers that some projects may be a bit late so the project deadline can be extended.

Better Workflow

When you have time management software, you are better able to understand everything that is going on within a business. It gives business owners a great overview of the entire business, how employees are spending their time, and more. This is helpful when it comes to streamlining things, rearranging projects, assigning tasks, etc.

Cut Expenses

Obviously, the bottom line for any business is profits, and business owners are constantly looking for a way to cut costs and increase profits. When they have time tracking software, they are better able to understand the company workflow, and see where there are any problems that need to be addressed. Often, small problems go unnoticed until it is too late. This technology will prevent that from happening.

Better Client Billing

Another problem that many companies face is client billing. It is important that clients are properly billed, and in the proper amount of time. Without time tracking software, this doesn’t always happen. For instance, if your business is one that bills clients by the hour rather than by the project, using this software will ensure that clients are charged the right amount.

Employees Are In Charge of their Time Off

When a company has time tracking software, employees will no longer be wondering how many vacation days they have left, if they still have sick days, etc. They will be able to access all of this information when they are set up as system users. This means that they actually end up with a bit of a sense of ownership, because they are somewhat in control of their time off.

Reduced Unplanned Absences

When employees are able to see what they have for days off, they are able to plan their personal schedules better. This means that employers are going to notice a big change in the amount of unplanned employee absences, which affect productivity. Obviously, there are still going to be cases of employees being sick. It happens, and no one can plan for that. But, this type of system will help employees schedule their time, and flag anyone who is abusing the system.

Less Work for the Payroll Department

It can be quite a challenge for any payroll department to properly calculate all hours and make sure that each employee receives accurate pays, deductions, etc. When they are using this software, the job is a lot easier, and fewer mistakes are made. All calculations can be put into a timesheet program. Because employees are tracking their own time, there is less work for those in the payroll department, and employees receive accurate pays.

Talk to Your Employees

Many employees get nervous when they hear about things like time tracking software. They hear the word “tracking”, and automatically feel as if they are being constantly watched. For some, this can be a cause to leave a position, because they don’t feel like they are trusted and valued employees. It is important that employees know that the use of time tracking software is not a means of spying on them. They need to realize that it is not a means for you to watch them at every minute of the day, but that it is a way for them to improve their performance and increase their skills and confidence on the job.

Employers need to make sure that their employees realize the true reasons for having time tracking software, and that it is not just for them. It is about payroll issues, client billing, and cutting expenses. These are things they can understand, when employers take the time to really talk to them and not just treat them like numbers.

Choosing the Right Time Tracking Software

Once you have decided that you want to have time tracking software for your company, you need to figure out which software package is going to be best for the needs of your company. There are a variety of different companies that offer this software. Many have different tiers for different sized companies, and each package has something that is going to be of value to any company. Some of the most popular include Time Doctor, Toggl and Paydirt. Before choosing software for any type of business, here are some of the things that should be considered.

Time Tracking

One of the first things to think about when choosing time tracking software is time tracking itself. This is obviously the crux of this type of software, and it is important to have in order to make sure that employees are able to better manage their time when they are at work. There are certain aspects of time tracking to look for as well. For instance, if you have staff who work outside of the office, you need to offer them a service that allows for multiple ways to clock in and out. There needs to also be offline support for employees who are working in areas where they have limited Internet access, or no Internet availability at all. Tools that the software should include are TSheets and GPS features.

Timesheets

Time tracking software should include a way to handle timesheets. It is ideal when the software lets you divide timesheets according to project, which makes billing a whole lot easier. Make sure that you look into approval workflows when choosing the tools you need. A good software package should allow project managers to approve or reject any timesheet instantly, and there are some applications that will even send email alerts when anything has been submitted, including timesheets and expenses.

Project Management

Time tracking software should also allow employers to monitor resources for projects, track tasks, and even add special notes to various tasks so everyone knows what has been done, and what needs to be done. It should also include support for recording expenses (billable and non-billable), as well as invoice creation.

Reports

Any time tracking software you get should have a reporting feature that lets you create a huge variety of different types of reports that will help your company. These reports are used to help managers learn about time worked, expenses, invoices, and more. The right software will let you customize reports, so users will be able to include the exact information that they want in each report. The app should also be able to export and print reports so they can be shared easily.

Help and Support

It is important to choose time tracking software that is easy to use, and reliable. It should be easy enough to use that anyone in the company can use it, and it should have a great level of customer support. Make sure that any software package you choose offers email, telephone, and live chat support. This makes it a lot easier to solve any issues that happen to arise.

Integrations

Finally, you need to consider integrations when choosing a time tracking application for your company. Integrations are important, because you need to know that you are going to be able to sync the time tracking application with data from other software that your company already uses. It is a good idea to look for software that offers integration with all of the packages you are currently using for CRM, accounting, payroll, content management, project management, and ERP.

Examples of Time Tracking Software

With the myriad time tracking software solutions available on the market, choosing the right one for your business can be overwhelming. You have to consider how much users it can support, the level of IT knowledge you need to operate it, the kinds of features it has, as well as the price range of the product. To help you narrow down your list, here are a few leading examples of time tracking software:

1. Wrike

Wrike is an online project management program designed to optimize operations within co-located and distributed groups. It actually tops our project management software category and as a time-tracking tool, it offers robust capabilities that lets you schedule, prioritize, and monitor the progress of your projects in real-time, making planning and budget management more accurate and efficient. 

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Wrike won our Best Project Management Software Award for 2017

This software’s time tracking tool is ideal for companies who work with freelancers, handle multiple projects at a time, and those who pay their employees on an hourly basis. All you have to do is choose between manually adding a time entry for each task or using the application’s built-in timer wherein you simply have to click the play, pause, or stop button on a task you’re working on. The data recorded for either method will show up on Wrike’s activity streams as well as the time log view, so you can get a bird’s eye view of your business operations. In addition to that, this feature lets you instantaneously create time reports based on the collected data and export them to CSV file format for record-keeping.

Built for small companies, medium-sized businesses, and large enterprises, this software solution may be deployed via cloud or open API, depending on your preference. Wrike currently offers subscription plans that range from $9.80/user/month to $34.60/user/month, but they also have free plans for startups and a quote-based price for enterprises. The vendor offers an excellent free trial plan if you want to try its features first. You can sign up for a Wrike free trial here.

2. ConnectWise Manage

ConnectWise Manage is a cloud-hosted project management module that caters to the needs of all business sizes. Accessible via desktop and mobile devices, this software combines the power of project management, customer service, sales, time tracking, and billing capabilities all into one convenient platform. 

They also continuously improve their platform through updates. Among their newest features are the conversion and transition functionality that lets you share information and documents seamlessly; the resource scheduling tool that helps you manage the utilization of your assets ahead of time while providing you the flexibility to make last-minute changes; and the remote session support that allows you to eliminate the need to copy a remote session link from one message to another. They have also added a stopwatch time tracking system that can automatically ensure that no billable time is unrecorded, making your billing process more accurate.

With these comprehensive features, you can maximize resources, simplify approvals for time sheets, and avoid inaccuracies in time entries with ease. As for pricing, it is currently available only by quote, so be sure to contact them regarding their payment plans. However, you can easily sign up for a ConnectWise Manage free trial here.

3. Clarizen

Clarizen is a collaborative work management software solution that lets you streamline the way you manage projects and monitor resources. Having configurable workflows, real-time visibility, and dynamic reporting tools, it promotes business agility to track progress more efficiently. It also has a mobile-ready, fully customizable interface that can support multiple currencies and languages.

As for its error-proof time tracking capabilities, Clarizen has timesheets that are used to monitor actual minutes, hours, and days of work spent on a singular task. Upon being filled out, these timesheets may be submitted to your project manager for filing or analysis. These data may then be viewed by team-centric panels or by grid–both of which may be searched and filtered per your preference. Clarizen also has a stopwatch tool that lets you record the progress for a task in real-time. This can be customized depending on your company’s unique workflow rules.

This software is available for purchase using their Enterprise Edition or Unlimited Edition package which are both priced by quote. 

4. Basecamp

An online project management suite, Basecamp offers a plethora of features that let you make sure you are beating deadlines and accomplishing goals as efficiently as possible. It has an intuitive interface that is great for sharing ideas, setting priorities, discussing projects, and tracking your team’s activity. The system also offers an end-of-day summary of your completed tasks, so you are aware of your daily progress.

When it comes to time tracking, Basecamp also provides easy-to-use features that lessen the time spent on reminding your staff about a certain project and asking for status updates. This software solution has a to-do list tool where you can organize your workflow, set due dates, and delegate responsibilities. Once the items on these to-do lists are completed, Basecamp sends you notifications of the progress. You may also choose to set up a daily, weekly, or monthly automatic check-in that asks your staff members to jot down what they’ve worked on for the time period as well as their pending tasks. On top of that, if you want additional time tracking tools, Basecamp can be integrated with a multitude of applications such as Tick, Time Doctor, and Everhour.

They offer a fixed monthly fee of $99 so that you can utilize their messaging and real-time chat capabilities, to-do list features, scheduling and storage tools, as well as documentation solutions.

5. Paymo

Paymo is a comprehensive project management application built for small and medium-sized companies. It is equipped with task management, resource scheduling, and team collaboration tools that cut down the time spent on organizing your workflow. Mobile-friendly and capable of processing 18 languages, the software also allows you to set milestones for each project so you will have clear-cut goals to work towards on a daily basis.

Paymo is also equipped with a powerful time tracking module that consists of the following tools:

  1. Web Timer. Paymo’s web timer can record the time spent on tasks in your browser. Run it docked, detached, or minimized, the stopwatch will provide you with accurate time entries.
  2. Time Tracker Widget for Desktop Devices. This time tracker widget that lets you record via stopwatch or add the time entry manually. This is a desktop app compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
  3. Time Tracker Widget for Mobile Devices. Similar to the desktop time tracker, this application is available for your mobile devices. The only difference here is that you can work offline and the progress will be synced with your online account when you connect the the Internet.
  4. Automatic Time Tracking. For PaymoPlus subscribers, there is also an automatic time tracking feature that can monitor what you are doing on your computer. You simply have to allocate the time for each project you worked on at the end of the day.
  5. Timesheets. This feature lets you visualize the data collected via time tracking in a calendar-style timesheet. This allows you to add and move the start and end times for a particular project using a drag and drop action. In case you forgot to use the timer feature, you can always add the data manually.

For subscriptions, Paymo offers a free plan for companies with only 1 user and two pricing plans that may be billed monthly or annually.

6. Y-Productive

A dedicated personal productivity tracking software and management tool, Y-Productive encourages users to eliminate productivity impeding habits and improve their work behavior. This is achieved through through a built-in website blocker that renders unproductive websites inaccessible, to-do lists integrated with time tracking alongside for quick evaluation of productivity, and real-time productivity feedback with detailed charts for contextualized analysis of one’s work ethics.

Y-Productive users can quickly determine priority daily projects at a glance. This makes it easy for appropriate pacing of work behavior to accomplish all tasks. Additionally, it is equipped with chart bars, efficiency ratings, contextualized menus with work performance details, complete list of productive actions and unproductive website visited, and other tools designed to help users discover factors that affect productivity for effortless evaluation of work performance. With these tools on hand, users can better pace themselves daily and enhance their productivity habits.

Y-Productive offers a fixed €9 monthly plan that comes with all aforementioned functionalities or a discounted €6 monthly rate for annual subscriptions.

7. ATS TimeWorkOnDemand

ATS TimeWorkOnDemand is ideal for businesses that are looking to take advantage of payroll, finance, and HR operations on a single platform for a more streamlined and simplified approach in managing one’s workforce. This cloud-based attendance management software helps businesses maximize employee work hours, meet staffing needs, bill work hours accurately, manage scheduling and attendance and better optimize their workforce overall.

Being a cloud-based platform, ATS TimeWorkDemand enables users to view and manage their workforce on the fly. With its real-time syncing of data, you can make crucial decisions wherever you may be. ATS TimeWorkOnDemand also features workforce management reports to aid businesses in recalibrating their operations.

8. Hyperlogs

Hyperlogs is a reliable time tracking software designed to ensure that businesses effectively manage their employee’s working hours and expenses, monitor expenses, and send invoices. This is an ideal tool for businesses looking to go graduate from spreadsheet-based workflows in favor of a fully online platform where all data is in sync at all times. Essentially, Hyperlogs allows your business to focus on completing critical tasks instead of wasting time on administrative work.

Hyperlog’s time tracking tool boosts employee productivity as it tracks every single second of the time they spend at work, thus empowering them to become more efficient and faster in completing their projects. The platform also comes equipped with robust reporting and analytics to provide you a clear overview of all expenses and gain invaluable insights on your projects.

For single users, Hyperlogs offers a free plan that comes with time tracking, invoicing, reporting tools, and integrations.

Category: B2B News

One Comment »

  • Sue Lingard says:

    Great point on integrations. Stand-alone time tracking systems can leave HR teams and managers with big headaches – for example, when it comes to managing time off, balancing resources, keeping tabs on overtime, tracking the skills you have in the business or managing the 101 other things that are needed to keep HR running smoothly.

    Some time tracking systems have extended their functionality to cover core areas, such as absence management and expenses, but if you want a comprehensive solution, it maybe better to start by looking at HR software that include time tracking functionality as part of their product. That way, you’ve got all of your information in one place, and it’s easier for line managers and employees too.

    Another area to look out for is the interface – especially if you are expecting employees to fill in time sheets on a regular basis. If the system is in the Cloud, and has an HTML5 interface, it should work across multiple devices, including tablets and smart phones.

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