Few people know the worth of their time better than financial service providers. Whether working as a consultant or part of an agency or firm, it is crucial to track your time diligently with clients to make sure you don’t overcharge, over service, or lose track of your records.
Today’s time tracking and billing solutions for businesses in the financial and tax advisory industry are incredibly versatile. They enable you to do so much more with ease and convenience to grow your business. But sometimes, it’s easy to take these tools for granted and forget what a crucial role they play.
Here is a little reminder of just how important it is to accurately track your time and services as a financial or tax advisor. Plus, a little peek at how the best online time tracking tools help you fulfill these needs in the best way possible.
Accurate Time Tracking for Billing and Invoicing
Tracking billable hours can be a pain, especially for those who stick to traditional methods of logging hours. Value-based pricing is yet to catch up properly with financial and tax services, so it’s up to you to make sure you can keep accurate and detailed records of all the time you spend on official work for the client as stipulated in your contract.
It is easy to lose five minutes here and 10 minutes there on mundane tasks like calls and emails, but this time can add up quickly to a lot of lost billable hours. Plus, when you send that invoice, clients expect detailed information on how time was spent; otherwise, you risk breeding mistrust and suspicion in your clients.
A study conducted in the UK found that companies can lose as much as $50,000 per year per employee on lost hours. Being able to bill for the work you did is at the core of professional services, whether offered as an individual and as a business, and you don’t want to lose money when the hourly charge can be as high as $400.
Monitor Employee Time
For agencies, firms, and other businesses offering financial and taxation services, it is crucial to keep track of billable hours vs. time spent on unpaid administrative duties. This is the all-important utilization rate, which ideally should be hovering between 85% and 90%.
As of 2020, an annual Professional Services Maturity report indicates that the current UR average sits at 71.7%, up from 69.7% in 2019. While mature companies can push that rate to as high as 90%, this is an indicator that businesses that offer financial and taxation services are still liable to lose a lot of money every year.
C-level executives can afford to spend more time on company business, but everyone else needs to be racking up those hours to bring in the revenue. Efficient and detailed time tracking is the only way to do that.
Business Records for Accountability
Every year the taxman comes knocking and expects dues according to the income earned. All businesses and individuals offering professional services have a difficult time because of the depth of accountability needed to track financials accurately.
The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act also introduced a few changes affecting transportation and food costs, medical leave, and pass-through entities’ regulations. That is why taxation is one of the strongest reasons you want detailed, well-organized, and properly archived time-tracking and billing records.
Of course, business owners, investors, and shareholders all need accountability and transparency in business operations. Both employees and executives need to maintain accurate documented records of these plus financials to achieve that accountability level.
Reporting and Analytics for Compliance, Growth
The regulatory environment surrounding financial services providers is now even more strict today. Among other requirements, agencies and firms have to stay on top of legal, audit, managerial, and risk compliance.
All that would not be possible without accurate records kept of financials, time logged, and various assessments and analytics. This is an almost impossible task where antiquated time tracking and billing methods are used since one or more C-level executives would have to spend a lot of their precious time doing the reports and compliance.
Luckily, modern digitized methods make it much easier to run reports, aggregate, and analyze data as required. Online time tracking tools for financial and taxation services make it easier to file the necessary reports, complete audits, and comply with government regulations.
Forecasting and Budgeting
Data handling is also at the forefront of business growth. As a financial and taxation services provider, you need a clear picture of your performance yesterday and today so that you can plan accurately for tomorrow.
For example, it is necessary to have records of employee performance as per the aforementioned billable hours. You also need to monitor income vs. expenses, keep track of client invoicing, among others.
Smart financial service officers know the importance of business insights to scale and grow into the future. These insights are only obtainable by using data analysis and reports drawn from not just time tracking but also various other metrics. The current financial services outlook (2020) certainly demands some thorough preparation.
Cost overruns are inevitable in the industry, but clients most certainly don’t like them. In financial services and taxation, you are expected to stay on budget. Still, it is easy to lose track of costs, project complexity, or even lack of coordination.
Whatever the reason for project overruns, one way you can almost certainly beat the unexpected costs is to keep track of current performance. Time tracking and billing become doubly important in this case as it helps you identify where time is being spent and reallocate as necessary.
Other ways you can manage projects more effectively to avoid overruns, delays, and other challenges include accurate cost estimates, better planning, and better project implementation. All that would not be possible without accurate records on resource utilization, time tracking, and billing.
Advanced, Hosted Time Tracking and Billing for Growth-Oriented Financial and Tax Service Providers
If you are a business that offers financial and tax services with an eye to growth and diligence, you can’t do without a tailor-made time tracking and billing tool. Time Tracker is designed for just that purpose, being a versatile tool hosted on the cloud to ensure efficient and accurate time tracking in addition to other administrative features.
An online software tool is the best way to make sure you get the best of time tracking. Don’t just take our word for it though, try our Time Tracker +Billing software free for 14 days and experience it for yourself.