Is Your Professional Services Firm Ready to Take Control of Time and Billing?
When it comes to tracking employee time and expenses, studies show that small and midsized companies are wasting their time, and they’re wasting money too.
CFO.com reported on a recent survey of 546 finance professionals that 34% of midsize companies use error-prone spreadsheets to track time and expenses and 12% of midsize companies rely on inefficient and frustrating paper-based tracking. Sound bad? Compare that to the time- and cash-strapped small businesses, which overwhelmingly rely on paper-based tracking. A Wakefield Research study from 2017 found that a shocking 49% of small businesses still use “a handwritten record to track, manage, and analyze spend.”
The problem with these outdated methods isn’t just that they add unnecessary administrative work onto the already-exhausting process of managing the books for your business, it’s that these methods can lose your company tens of thousands of dollars per year, every single year.
Fortunately, there are options. Professional services firms ready to take control of their time-tracking and billing activities are now focusing on 3 critical tasks.
1. Time Tracking – Capturing All Hours Is Key
In a landmark 2014 study of 500 professionals, AffinityLive discovered that businesses were losing approximately $52,000 per year, per employee on inaccurate time tracking processes. Much of the problem came from infrequent time captures.
After reporting their findings in a white paper, AffinityLive stated unequivocally that “moving from weekly (or worse) timesheet updates to daily (or better) would recover $52,000 per professional, per year in billable time.”
That was encouraging information… yet businesses still did not take the advice.
By February 2017, a PollFish survey found that 58% of respondents still submitted time weekly or twice per month – and there are good odds that your company follows these same practices as well.
Do the math: If your professional services firm is losing up to $52,000 per employee, per year, how much money are you leaving on the table?
Modern time-tracking tools, such as Timekeeper for Sage 100 / Sage 100cloud, help professional services firms track hours quickly and accurately, from anywhere and at any time. Once recorded, Timekeeper can flow those hours directly into billing software with no additional data entry needed.
2. Billing – Accuracy and Timeliness Lead to Better Profitability
Once you’ve captured all your time accurately, the next important task is to bill quickly.
We’ve all seen how much speedy invoicing can encourage timely payment habits, and it turns out that your accurate, fast invoicing processes are now more important than ever. That’s because Sage and Plum Consulting recently determined that, on average, 11% of all invoices are routinely paid late. In today’s business climate, your company can’t afford too many late invoices, nor can you afford those invoices paid so late that they’re written off as bad debt.
Unfortunately, many professional services firms are forced to process and send invoices slower than they would prefer, often because they struggle with delays in their time-tracking activities.
After all, assuming your employees turn in their time and expense reports on deadline, your billing processes probably still require large chunks of time allocated to deciphering handwritten or manual timesheets (which 38% of companies still rely on), and they also require you to spend quite few hours each week adjusting invoices to meet specific billing rates for:
- Employees / Contractors
- And more
As you know from experience, it’s critical that you assess each and every invoice for accuracy before you send it because nothing alienates clients or contractors more than billing mistakes – even the most minor ones.
To help ensure accurate, fast billing with a minimum of effort, professional services firms are turning to modern billing solutions like Time and Billing Professional for Sage 100 / Sage 100cloud, which can effortlessly handle custom billing terms and formats, WIP reporting, various billing rates for employees, and other personalized needs.
3. Analysis – The Solution for Competitive Agility
You’re a pro at navigating the modern business landscape, so you already know that you can’t simply apply a single solution to your time and billing practices and then rest on your laurels for years to come. Instead, you must continually optimize – which means you must keep an ever-watchful eye on your company’s overall productivity and profitability.
Impressively, professional services firms find that when they finally gain insight into their task completion rates, employee efficiency trends, client profitability numbers, and other KPIs, they also find the power to identify unexpected cost centers and take advantage of emerging opportunities.
In short: Firms that choose to act on the information their analytics programs offer can achieve astonishing profitability results.
Using robust and customizable analytics tools, such as Time and Billing Intelligence for Sage 100 / Sage 100cloud, services firms can achieve timely, comprehensive insight into their operations, which helps them do more and earn more – often in less time.
Optimize Your Tasks with Time and Billing Solutions
Tap into the power of Time and Billing solutions from SWK Technologies, so you can track and submit time from anywhere at any time, bill quickly and accurately, and perform deep analysis on your company’s productivity.
Using Timekeeper, Time and Billing Professional, and Time and Billing Intelligence with your Sage 100 / Sage 100cloud solution, you’ll finally have the tools you need to eliminate time and billing hassles and complete critical business tasks faster.
Contact the time and billing experts at SWK Technologies to learn more about Time and Billing solutions for your professional services firm.