Organizations can streamline payroll processing and improve employee productivity with the best time tracking and billing software. The programs help accountants accurately track time spent on projects, bill clients accordingly, and improve efficiency within an organization by simplifying administrative tasks and providing tools for better time resource management. However, while investing in such software may seem clever, businesses are often uncertain about when and how to make a move. Given the global crisis many organizations are tightening their budgets and looking to cut costs, so here are the top reasons time and billing software is a worthwhile expense.
What is Time Tracking and Billing Software?
Time tracking software for accountants is a tool that helps businesses monitor and record the amount of time an employee spends on a given task or project. This information is used for billing clients, project management, and productivity analysis. In accounting, keeping track of billable hours is a critical part of doing business, and such accounting timekeeping software provides accurate and efficient record-keeping. The software also eliminates manual data entry, making it easy for team members to submit real-time and accurate time logs.
Why Should Accountants Use Time Tracking and Billing Software?
Time tracking software for accountants can significantly improve invoicing and reporting accuracy and efficiency within your organization. The tool can track multiple invoices at a time and simplifies the generation of reports, thus saving you time to focus on other critical business aspects. Consider this, if your accounting team is tallying timesheets and processing payroll every week, this task is taking time away from other work responsibilities and is not cost-effective. Billing software automates all these tasks and makes your accounting team more productive.
Time-tracking solutions are also helpful in reducing idle time among employees. Employees often spend time without realizing it, but the 5 minutes spent on little distractions add up at the end of the day. Time and billing solutions for accountants give better oversight on how time is spent, which can help employees become more productive and accountable for their working hours. Other reasons that may influence you to try time and billing software include a spike in data input errors due to manual processes, high employee absenteeism rates, low project profit margins, client invoicing delays, and frequently missed deadlines.
Some of the critical business benefits you can unlock with time and billing software include:
- Complete and accurate capture of billable hours for improved profitability as you can identify the most and least profitable clients and then make necessary adjustments
- Time entry for staff is made easier
- Improved visibility on the utilization of labor resources which can help in improving your workforce
- Increased customer satisfaction through timely billing and comprehensive and transparent reports of how they were billed
- Reduces administrative costs associated with manual time collection and invoice creation since the software automates all these actions
- Eliminates the use of paper timesheets and excel spreads to track employee time
Features That the Best Time Tracking Software Have in Common
Multiple time tracking software solutions with different feature sets and user experience needs are available. However, the benefits you experience hinge on the tool you choose to work with. The best tool must deliver all the essential features your employees and business need to track billable hours and should also streamline interactions with clients by providing spot-on estimates and delivering accurate and timely invoices.
Here are some top features you should look for when hunting for the best time and billing software for accountants:
This feature allows employees to measure and track how long it takes to complete specific tasks. The tracker can pause for breaks or stop and restart once you move on to the next task/project. For example, consider a time tracker that supports manual input tasks outside the program, such as in-person meetings or research projects. Some tools come with built-in break timers that allow users to specify the duration and frequency of their breaks. The program then automatically issues a reminder when they are due for a break.
Timesheets comprehensively overview an employee’s weekly work hours and tasks. Depending on your program and preference, this report can also be submitted at the end of the pay period. In addition, some programs feature templates and copy tools that employees can use to duplicate schedule timesheets without many variations.
Client invoicing is an essential feature for accountants in time tracking and billing software. It helps generate invoices for billable work hours and you can even see the payment status. Some tools also include total balance and invoice ID numbers on the billing dashboard.
This feature helps you track your budget for a project and keep your profit margin broad. You can see how much of your budget remains, calculate internal costs, and keep spending in check. Some tools go as far as providing visual representations, such as charts and graphs, to help you visualize the associated costs of a project versus the profits.
This feature gives you oversight over employee roles, hours worked, and billable hours. It can also help you evaluate your team’s overall capacity to ensure you spend your time effectively and avoid unnecessary overtime.
Having your employee profiles is essential for scheduling and payroll processing. The profiles outline how many hours employees are available to work and their pay rate, deductions, projects, and time-off requests. User profiles can also help you track your employees’ absences, job titles, and contact information.
Project management tools
Time tracking and billing tools can also double up as project management platforms. This allows you to monitor project progress, expenditures, and assigned team members.
Payment processing integrations
The ideal time tracking and billing software generates client invoices and lets you track payment progress in real-time. Once your client receives their invoice, they can initiate payment with just one click, redirecting them to your payment gateway. This is often a separate integration from the tracking program, but you can confirm if your chosen software supports it.
These features can only be helpful if your team members can use the system to its full potential. Therefore, ensure that the program is easy to navigate and, if possible, can be personalized to suit your needs.
Alerts and Notifications
Some programs allow you to set notifications based on your business objectives and personal preferences. For example, you can select the program to alert you when employees reach their work capacity.
Tips for Choosing the Best Time Tracking and Billing System for Accountants
- Identify an appropriate price point and select the best contenders based on your budget. You will also need to determine which pricing model works best for you. For example, do you prefer a flat fee or a monthly subscription?
- Determine your use case based on the gaps you want to fill in your organization. For example, is there something that needs to be added to your current accounting toolbox? Also, consider what you hope to achieve with the implementation of the software.
- Identify must-have features that the tracking software must include for it to be a valuable investment for your business.
- Get user feedback from clients or employees on what they expect from their time tracking software. Their input can help set the standards for the new time tracking and billing tool you should use.
- Evaluate your current software setup to identify the functions and features you need to fill in the gaps and ensure you get a system compatible with your existing go-to apps.
- Analyze your business’s current and future needs and then pick a program that best fulfills those needs.
- Take a test drive with a free trial, if available, before committing.
Why Time Tracker by eBillity Stands Out from the Rest
Time Tracker by eBillity is a flexible time and billing software that allows teams to track time and expenses for payroll, projects, and client billing. We understand that time is a valuable resource, and although managing it is difficult, it must be done, nonetheless. Using our time tracking and billing software for accountants can ripple effect on your organization, helping you work efficiently and maximizing your ROI. Signup for 14 days free trial today and join hundreds of other accountants and bookkeepers enjoying increased productivity and profitability. You can also join eBillity’s Advisor Program and enjoy 20% commission and other benefits as you help your clients and business partners grow.