To correctly calculate the costs of working on a project, and grow your agency, it’s essential that your employees track their time. Inaccurate time tracking can lead to customers challenging your invoices and harm your relationship with them, which will damage your agency’s profits in the long run.
So to help keep your customers happy and your agency profitable, here are five tips for improving your digital agency’s time tracking.
1) Don’t Count the Minutes
Do your customers really need to know exactly how many minutes you spent working on each project? You don’t bill per minute, so there’s no need for your employees to get so granular with their time tracking, either. At most they should track their time in hours, but most of the time logging in whole or half days will be fine for billing purposes.
Getting too granular with your time tracking will make it extremely time-consuming: accounting for five minutes sending an email, a ten-minute call, a brief project catch-up with a colleague… It’s also bad for team morale, as your employees will feel like their every move is being scrutinised.
2) Keep it High Level
Your clients aren’t paying you for individual tasks and sub-tasks completed; they’re paying for a completed project. So there’s no need for your employees to track time spent on specific tasks – like tracking minutes it would be too granular an approach that would take up too much of their time.
Instead when tracking time your team should log it against customer projects at a high level, which will save them time on data entry whilst still providing you with enough information for billing purposes.
3) Minimise Repetitive Data Entry
As well as being time-consuming for your employees, collating timesheets for your whole agency team will take up a lot of your time, too. Using one central tool such as a Resource Management tool will save time on repetitive data entry by making it easy for agency directors to collate their team’s timesheets automatically rather than doing it manually.
Wherever possible, automating your time tracking will make it much easier for your agency team and minimise errors that can arise from manual data entry. For example, linking up your timesheets with your calendar so that it pre-fills based on tasks in your calendar will save you time as you will only need to make changes to your timesheets if you worked on something unplanned or unexpected during your day.
4) Integrate with Popular Tools
Integration with popular tools will help with automation. For example, if you integrated your time tracking tool with a Project Management tool like Trello, when a user marks a task as done in Trello, they will automatically be prompted to log how much time they spent on that task. Or if it was integrated with a chat application like Slack, at end of day they could receive a message asking how much time they spent on project X today.
This helps time tracking to become an integrated part of your employees’ work day, rather than an afterthought.
5) Keep it Simple
To improve your digital agency’s time tracking, the most important thing is to make it as easy and simple as possible to prevent mistakes that could affect your billing.
A complicated, multi-staged time tracking process will be more prone to error, take up a lot of time and detract from the time you spend on productive, billable work.
Download our free eGuide to learn more about increasing your digital agency’s profitability.