Business before time tracking
Prior to time tracking apps, most businesses struggled to accurately track time for invoicing and employee payroll. Often relying on paper timesheets, honesty, administrators and a somewhat accurate memory.
Do you recall the days of employees taking advantage of a trusting employer by falsifying their hours? Or a manager not paying the staff for hours they claimed to have worked?
How did we ever get by without time tracking – it’s like having no internet!
Time tracking is born
“Remember that Time is Money.” ~ Benjamin Franklin, Advice to a Young Tradesman, Written by an Old One, 1748
As business became more industrialized, time management grew in popularity in the 1800s. People began to manually track work hours with pen and paper, but that didn’t solve the issue of intentional time theft.
In an attempt to better track his employee’s hours, businessman Willard Bundy created a mechanical time clock, or punch clock, that would stamp the time the workers started and ended their shift to more accurately keep track of work hours. Bundy, along with his brother Harlow, patented the design in 1888 and began the International Time Recording Company, which would eventually end up as part of IBM.
Since then, there has been a steady improvement on the concept of the time clock and how to better accurately capture time to reduce overpayments and time theft. Although many companies still used paper timesheets, the process was time consuming and plagued with errors. Timesheets and punch cards could be lost or destroyed, leaving employees without a record of their time worked.
As computers became more common in the workplace, businesses started trading in paper timesheets for electronic ones, using programs like Microsoft Excel to manually track hours in spreadsheets. This reduced the number of admin hours needed to track time entries and calculate payroll, but companies still risked human errors or misread hours. Punch clocks were then replaced with swipe cards to streamline the clock in/clock out process. As technology progressed, so did the time tracking process.
Evolving for a modern market
With the emergence of untethered devices, like laptops and smartphones, and the momentum of convenience tech, time tracking software continued to evolve to further simplify the time tracking process.
Features like biometric logins, mobile time tracking applications, and location data allowed for businesses to not just track hours worked, but provide valuable business insights. Employees can track time from anywhere, on any device. Data is saved and shared with a few clicks. This opens up the possibility to utilize the information being collected for other business solutions, like invoicing and project management.
What’s all the hype?
Time tracking software is now a regular part of many businesses work day. Why?
Everyone is held accountable: Employers know they are paying their employee only for the hours worked, and employees know they will be paid properly for their time. This puts an end to guesstimates and reduces the chance of time theft.
Secure, convenient record-keeping: No more having to file away paper timesheets or save months worth of spreadsheets. Everything is easily accessible from any device. Schedule automatic time reports to always know what’s going on with your business. Want to be uber-organized? Connect to Zapier and schedule your reports to file into your G Drive automatically. It’s like having your own Virtual Assistant.
Flexible timekeeping options: Multitaskers rejoice! Do you tend to work on multiple projects at once? You can run multiple timers to ensure you are always tracking your time. Start a timer in a second for an unexpected client call or start timers from the office and stop them from the road. Keep a running tally of your hours each day or fill out the weekly timesheet and submit everything at once.
Put your time to better use: No one wants to dedicate time to tedious tasks when they could be earning more income or enjoying time off. Using a time tracking software can free up to 20 hours of administrative work per week. Increase your team’s productivity and let them do what they do best – their job.
Deeper understanding of the work being done: You might be able to guess how long work projects take, but when you track your hours for each project, you’ll have a better understanding of actual hours. If a project is taking up more hours than it should, you can investigate to find out why and correct the issue as soon as it’s noticed. Tracking projects provides you with a deeper insight into your business and makes it easier to accurately quote for future work.
Is it right for your business?
While tracking time might not be necessary for every business, it can provide you with additional insights into your work and productivity. Whether you are tracking staff hours for payroll, recording billable hours for invoicing, or just curious how long a project takes overall, time tracking software is beneficial to any business where time is important.
- Architects: Track the amount of time you work on a project from start to finish. Drill into the time by using multi-timers to know how long each task takes.
- Contractors: Know how long you worked at a site by starting and stopping timers on the go. Need to know where your crew was on a certain day? You’ll have record of who tracked time where in a few clicks.
- Lawyers: Track billable versus non-billable time, assign time to clients and matters against a retainer. Create a comprehensive, custom branded invoice in seconds with a detailed summary of your hours.
- Freelancers: Track your time for each client and gain a better understanding of how long projects will take. Save yourself admin time by connecting your time tracking software with your accounting program and syncing data in seconds.
Meet Time Tracker by eBillity
Time Tracker can help you accurately track time for payroll and invoicing, giving you the tools you need to make better business decisions.
If you’re ready to increase your team’s productivity and reduce the amount of time you spend on administration, start your free 14-day trial of Time Tracker today – no credit card necessary.
“Great app, couldn’t run my business without it! This app keeps me organized. I don’t miss billable hours anymore, since I can track my time on my phone, my laptop or my tablet.
It is so easy to use and syncs seamlessly with Quickbooks. I tried a lot of apps before I found Time Tracker, they were either unreliable and dropped hours or they were hard to learn to use. Time Tracker has it all! And their support folks were there for me when I had questions during setup.” ~ fWSm, Time Tracker with QuickBooks user
“I can run reports in Time Tracker, print timesheets, manage employees and edit their access, etc…I have recommended this program to other companies too. If you have a mobile workforce, or don’t want your employees entering their time directly into Quickbooks – You need this program. It will save you time and money. I used the Outlook sync with Time Tracker and Loved it.”– HRMGR