Timesheet Software for Client Work: What To Know

StephaniFitzsimmons
By Stephani Fitzsimmons
Director of Content and Communications
Feb 17 2023 read
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Time is your team’s most valuable asset and biggest resource. When billing hourly, you want accurate time tracking to charge clients accordingly. But gone are the days of paper time cards and employees scribbling down or even estimating their hours. Logging time is much easier now with employee timesheet software — software that does more than show total employee hours or total time on a project. 

You can get more granular and have tighter resource management by having time-tracking software that shows the time spent on individual tasks and how much time is billable vs. non-billable. Accelo is an example of a platform offering these powerful time-tracking capabilities and more, with additional features built for client work. 

It’s important to consider which time-tracking tools and features work specifically with professional services.

Preparing to Track Time and Hours

Know why you want to track employee time. Look for a platform that lets you easily track:

  • Employees’ weekly hours
  • Employee time working directly with clients (calls, meetings, emails, etc.)
  • Employee billable time
  • Employee time on individual projects and tasks

Having this information allows you to know how many hours employees end up spending on non-revenue-generating tasks or going over allocated time for projects. 

Automation is another key feature to save your employees time, improve accuracy and, ultimately, better track finances — time is money. Acumen Data Systems reported that automated time tracking can reduce the time spent calculating timesheets from seven minutes/sheet/pay period to one minute/sheet/pay period. This is substantial over time. 

READ MORE: 28 Surprising Time-Tracking Statistics 

The Goal: Better Manage Your Team’s Time

Being armed with automated and accurate time tracking enables better time management across your team. You’ll have clear visibility into how much time each task takes an employee and what their capacity is for future work. Being able to see what activities are time-sucks and don’t make money helps you pinpoint where you need to implement efficiencies. 

There's a high chance you can free up time, taking it away from administrative work and using it for more client and billable work. Explore tools like Accelo that make this information easy to obtain and act on. 

Integrations as a Consideration

With any new system or software, you need to consider existing business applications, especially your most critical. You should do an annual audit of all the software being used across your entire organization. Collect this information by having employees complete a quick survey. 

TIP: Recommend that employees view the most-used applications on their device,password manager and browser history to help compile a list of software applications. 

Also, have finance run an audit of recurring technology expenses. Sometimes, you’ll discover you are still paying for tools no longer in use. 

READ MORE: Unused and Underutilized Software: What’s It Costing Your Business?

Once you have your complete list of software, you need to determine your most critical platforms. This should be a factor when choosing a time-tracking solution. You want everything connected and working together to provide the most accurate information and reporting with the least amount of manual or time-consuming work for your team. 

Accelo, for example, offers integrations with Microsoft 365, Salesforce, HubSpot and accounting software like QuickBooks and Xero. The platform offers two different APIs a Forms API to easily get data connected to Accelo without server-side programming and a full-scale RESTful API that allows developers to write full applications that interact with Accelo using their own code.

Advantages of a Mobile App for Timesheets

Because everyone is remote and on the go, your timesheets tool should have a mobile time-tracking application. Employees need to be able to create, start and pause timers whenever and wherever they are conducting client work. The mobile timesheets app on their phone should sync in real-time with the web application for uninterrupted visibility. 

Some Accelo active users treat their phone like a "stopwatch" for their work. Knowing the mobile app will sync with their web app and vice versa, they easily use whichever is most convenient at the time. 

Costs and Expenses of Adding Software

Costs of timesheet software vary. Check out our list of best time-tracking and invoicing software for your service business to have a shortlist of options, along with pricing information. 

But when it comes to costs and expenses, you need to consider more than the monthly charge. Take into account implementation and integration costs, but also consider where you can find savings. If you use a platform like Accelo — which has all client work management (time tracking, CRM, project management, billing and invoicing, tickets, etc.) in one place — there’s a ton of opportunity to save with tool consolidation. 

➡️ Read how one agency, Impress!ve Digital, cut costs by 30% by consolidating tools through Accelo. 

TIP: When implementing any software, even something simple and low-cost, you should always ask yourself:

  • How does this new software fit in and connect with existing software?
  • Is there existing software that matches some or all of this new software’s function?
  • How is data connecting from this new software to existing software? 

More Resources

Along with consulting our list of best time-tracking and invoicing software for your service business, you should do your own research on timesheet software. Ask colleagues and check out peer review sites like G2. Focus on your own unique needs and use cases and try to find what software works best for similar businesses. 

Specifically built for client work, Accelo is a preferred timesheet tracking and time management tool for professional services firms. 

Trial Accelo

Start a free trial of Accelo and explore the platform for yourself. See features like the timesheet overview that offers a variety of breakdowns and the ability to easily audit and export your data. 

You’ll be able to see time reports for ... 

  • Billable and non-billable time: The amount of billable and non-billable time logged against a company or task, shown with a bar line
  • Total: The total amount of billable and non-billable time logged for the parameters you are viewing, whether it be that specific user, companies, projects or tickets within the date period you selected
  • Amount: The total amount of money that will be billed, based on the amount of billable time
  • Cost: The total amount of money your company will pay your staff for the work done, based on the total amount of time logged

There are a variety of detailed reports within the platform regarding time and your client work. Even if Accelo is potentially more robust than the basic timesheet software you’re looking for, it’s worth seeing the system if you work in professional services. 

A trial is completely free. You can even upload your own data to see what it would be like to manage time and more in the platform.

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About the Author

StephaniFitzsimmons

Stephani is Director of Content and Communications at Accelo where she oversees content ideation and development. She has worked in and around B2B technology for most of her career and loves helping businesses be more productive, connected and efficient through new technologies. A veteran writer and content creator, Stephani's work has appeared in InformationWeek, Security Magazine, TechRadar and The Fast Mode.

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