In today’s fast-paced world, efficient time management is key to success. Time tracking has already become part of our everyday working life, but as technology develops so does the software. Forget punching in and out or trying to remember what you did last Tuesday afternoon – these days it’s automatic time trackers that are revealing a whole host of crucial insights. Maintaining accurate timesheets is just one of the ways that time tracking benefits businesses. From keeping costs down and profits up, to assessing employee productivity and gaining full visibility, here are eight ways that businesses benefit from automatic time tracking. Time tracking allows accurate billing If your business has ever billed based on time rather than per project, you’ll know how tricky it can be to create an accurate record of billable time. It’s vital for businesses that clients are accurately billed – and in the proper amount of time, too. Automatic time tracking ensures that every single minute makes it to your timesheet; the tracker runs in the background recording all relevant details, removing the need for employees to remember tasks or set timers. Not only can this prevent unnecessary costs (shockingly large amounts of money are lost through poor time management), it also helps maintain decent working relationships. Time tracking improves profitability Businesses are always looking to reduce costs and increase profit, and this is another way that automatic time tracking can shed valuable light. Tracking software gives business owners full visibility over their workflow and highlights where problems might lie. Only when you’ve identified where time and money are being wasted are you able to address these issues. With the data from time tracking you can examine your billable to non-billable ratio, see where your budget is spent and confirm you’re working to priorities. Small, easy rectifiable problems are often overlooked until it’s too late, but with automatic time tracking you can quickly correct inefficiencies and become more profitable. Time tracking helps determine project value Automatic time tracking allows you to quickly review cost-effectiveness across all your clients and projects. Once you have visibility over exactly what hours are being worked on which projects, you can see at a glance whether you’re actually turning a profit and assess which jobs are most lucrative. It’s very useful for identifying all the little extras that end up busting budgets, as well as seeing where you should have charged more. Deciding whether a particular job is costing too much time and effort is a much harder task if you don’t have the insights from time tracking software. Time tracking helps calculate work rates Following on from the point above, time trackers are also helpful if you’re wondering whether it’s time to raise your rates. By accumulating your time and costs across comparable tasks, the data collected from time trackers helps you set fair and profitable fees. Because you can base your rates on the time spent on each task, the cost incurred for you, and your overall profit, it also provides the perfect data-backed justification for why your rates are now higher. This information is also handy when fixing rates for long-term projects, or reductions for repeat business. Time tracking improves productivity Increased efficiency is one of the most valuable perks of automatic time tracking. With the information gleaned from trackers, businesses can finally see the big picture of how productive they are. The data discloses exactly how and where employees are getting distracted, which allows you to track trends, target weaknesses, and increase efficiency. Once you recognize the specific areas where productivity is lowest, you can then focus on how to use that time more effectively. Further, because automatic trackers remove the need to log time yourself, employees don’t have to interrupt their workflow to make records, and can put all their energy into productive work. Remember that time tracking isn’t about keeping tabs on employees – it’s about helping them work smarter. Time tracking gives you visibility over capacity Automatic time tracking gives you a revealing overview of how employees spend their time. You simply can’t assess the sustainability of your business without understanding your resources – but as companies grow it becomes increasingly difficult to monitor employee workloads. Some people might be doing overtime every night while others are underutilized – but without full visibility, how would you know? Time tracking provides an overview of a business’s workflow and identifies employees with resource, so you can allocate accordingly. Being aware of capacity is key for balancing team effort, scheduling projects, assigning tasks and keeping morale high. Incidentally, morale has a knock-on effect on efficiency, so this is another way that time tracking boosts productivity! Time tracking improves project management You can have the best project managers in the world, but without reliable, up-to-date data, they won’t be able to answer key questions. Automatic time tracking is fast becoming an indispensable tool for improving project management; it quickly processes project information to enhance estimates and manage costs, allowing you to make better, more accurate predictions for future projects. For businesses with limited employees all working on different projects, automatic tracking helps monitor each task and allows project managers to prioritize. After collecting time data, the tracking software presents it in useful reports, which inform status updates with team members and provide an itemized breakdown of where precisely the budget went. Time tracking improves communication Aside from just collecting all your time data, time tracking software then presents this information in helpful reports. It allows you to quickly see the status of a job, who’s working on it and which stage they’re at. This is enormously helpful for communicating progress, whether to a client or to another team member. It also acts as a refresher for the people working on the job; it’s all too easy to forget which stage of a task you’re at, especially if you’re working on multiple projects, but time tracking software allows you to see the status of every task with one quick click.