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Time Sheet Project Management
Smooth Projects Article Comments:
Management and Time Sheet data entry should be a combined process in
many industries. After meeting with the CEO of a large landscape
architectural firm recently it was confirmed. Before he even knew that
Smooth Projects was offering a project management software system that
could assist him managing his business more effectively he was sharing
how desperately he was looking for a SIMPLE time sheet management
system that would hook into their on-going projects. SIMPLE was
the key! We customized a version of our software for him for simple
time sheet data entry coupling it with the enterprise project
management system already offered and Whawla.
Mark's two reasons below are great, and he really hits the mark with his revelation that cash flow can be improved!
Two Reasons to Use Timesheet Software
By Mark Nemtsas
short paper will expand on two key reasons to move to a computerized
timesheet system at your company. There are more than two reasons of
course, but these will be expanded on at a later date. The two key
reasons to be discussed here are Timesheet Efficiency, and Timesheet
Timesheet Efficiency is the concept of a single data entry exercise
done accurately and quickly. Timesheet Automation is the simple concept
of managing timesheet information electronically rather than on paper.
When taken individually both these concepts make a compelling argument
to move to electronic timesheets, taken together you should be asking
yourself why you aren't kicking off the process today.
When I started out my working career in consulting we had paper
timesheets. These were (supposedly) to be filled in daily, submitted
weekly, and data from them entered into the accounting system monthly.
However, people being people, the accountant only checked them once a
month, so they were generally only submitted once a month, and thus
usually only filled in once a month when prompted by project managers.
This resulted in inaccurate and late timesheet information.
This affected billing, time and materials projects would take up to
four weeks to be invoiced, and thus it could be up to 60 days before
payment was received. Why then are some companies constantly challenged
with getting employees to accurately complete their timesheets while
other firms have no problems? The difference is usually leadership and
data ease of data entry. Most consulting companies employ skilled
intelligent people, and a manager who fills in his timesheet
information promptly and accurately can legitimately expect his staff
to do so. However if the system is cumbersome and difficult to use then
there will be constant conflict.
Easy to use computerized timesheet systems mean more employees are
successfully filling out timesheets as they work rather than writing
the time into a diary or calendar and then transferring the information
at the end of the week (or month). It has been well proven that debtors
are easier to manager and projects more easily monitored the closer
that timesheet information is processed and invoiced to the time the
work is carried out. It is just much more simple to collect all your
billable hours (more chargeable time!) if employees record their work
as they do it.
Of course data entry is just one side of things. Processing the
information is just as important. Internal discipline and company
policies must be set to ensure that all information is collected by the
time you have decided is the deadline. Whether this is Friday 5:00pm,
or Monday 9:00am, deadlines must be followed and enforced. Timesheet
software with built in workgroup functionality like messaging,
timesheet approval, live monitoring, and so on can greatly enhance this
There is no point pretending that timesheet information and
collection is glamorous. It isn't. It should just be part of the normal
mundane fabric of business. It should be routine and boring. But most
importantly it should be quick, easy, and provide no disincentive to
doing it. Good computerized systems should offer all of this.
The most basic benefit that a computerized timesheet system gives is
one of automation, timesheet information is entered into a computer
rather than onto paper. This eliminated the need for people to
transcribe their timesheet information from a diary onto a paper form,
and then for administration staff to re-enter this information into a
job costing system. The computerization allows you to completely
eliminate the middle steps. Staff enter information directly into the
job costing system.
The next logical step of computerization is to leverage off of the
computer to provide a host of other benefits. This includes interlocks
like preventing people from booking time to projects that dont exist,
or projects that are closed, or projects they should not be booking
time to. It allows project managers to access live data showing actual
time spent on their projects, this data can be manipulated and
visualized in different ways using other computer software. It can even
interface directly with dedicated project management software.
Other benefits can include automatic timing of work, popup
information showing specific project information helping timesheet
accuracy, daily timesheets, reminders telling people to fill in their
timesheets, integration with messaging, email, and the web, and live
integration with accounting packages.
By themselves each of these points makes a good argument for moving
to a computerized timesheet system. Taken together they are truly
compelling. Increased accuracy and reduction of the billing cycle means
that a computerized system can usually measure its payoff in just a few
months. For any company that does bill its time, it is should not be an
option any longer, it is a simple next step. Interested in looking at
some low cost alternatives? Why not take a look at Timesheets Lite or
Timesheets MTS. These are low cost systems ideally suited to the small
About The Author
Mark Nemtsas, Moving Target Software
Get low cost, efficient, timesheet software! This article is ©
Moving Target Software, 2004. It can however be reproduced in full on
any web page as long as it is edited in no way whatsover.
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