Investing in your future

What is the return on investment for time tracking?

Business executives are increasingly aware that adopting the right employee time-tracking technology can improve efficiency within a company. However, in a world in which business decision-makers often need to be persuaded by bottom-line figures, what sort of return on investment can be calculated for introducing such a system?

Time is money. A 2013 report by the American Payroll Association (APA) found that some $148bn was lost annually due to timekeeping errors.

Moreover, studies have shown that it can take up to seven minutes to calculate manually a timesheet for a work period, whereas automated employee time tracking reduces the length of time to less than one minute per ‘card’.

As far as TallyPro is concerned, its software eliminates so-called ‘time theft’ by staff – including long lunch breaks or arriving late for work. The APA report estimated that the average daily ‘theft’ was 49 minutes per employee. Therefore, over the course of a year, more than 200 work hours can be lost per employee – more than five weeks of work – all down to inefficiencies that can be extinguished by effective employee time tracking.

The evolving nature of time tracking

Many of TallyPro’s clients already understand the need to capture employee time tracking data from its teams when they start working with the time-logging specialist, according to the organisation’s managing director, Geoff Perkins.

However, typical concerns regarding employee time tracking in general include “getting staff to complete and submit timesheets accurately and on time,” Perkins said.

“We work to ensure that the process of capturing time is as simple and fast as possible for the staff experience,” he added. “We also provide tools to help companies ‘remind’ their staff to submit timesheets such as automated reminder emails and unsubmitted timesheet reports.

“The biggest benefit of TallyPro is its ability to be customised for each client quickly and easily without the need to be time consuming, risky and ultimately expensive programming. This means we can offer our clients the enterprise level power of a system like SAP or PeopleSoft for a fraction of the annual running costs.

“We also provide a comprehensive, UK-based support service, which our clients regularly tell us is the best support for a software product they have ever experienced.”

So how can the balance sheet be improved through time tracking? Below are three essential pointers.

Bad system = money down the drain

The wrong employee time-tracking software can be just as problematic as having no system at all. Many organisations use paper-based systems, with the data being manually entered in a spreadsheet. However, as Perkins explained, this can be a time-consuming and inaccurate approach.

“TallyPro enables the employees to enter their time, directly removing the need for both manual paper entries and also the admin person,” he said. “Organisations often report that it takes them ages to get decent management information together, either from bad systems or spreadsheets – by which time the data is out of date or just wrong!”

You can see clearly now

With social media websites just a touch of a button away, it is easy for employees to become distracted during the day. Employee time-tracking software provides a clear picture of how individual staff members are performing and whether their time is being used in the most effective and productive way.

“Visibility on employee performance allows customers to look at team utilisations, so that the delivery of work can be optimised,” Perkins said.

“By providing an app to capture time as it is incurred means employees record time more accurately, because they don’t have to try and remember what they were doing and for whom hours or days later. This means more accurate billing and usually means organisations capture more billable hours as employees tend to underestimate or simply forget things they have done.”

Fast billing, pockets filling

Keeping on top of invoicing – both in terms of incomings and outgoings – can be a challenge for any growing business that is squeezed for time. TallyPro’s software streamlines the process, saving valuable work hours.

“Speeding up the billing process ultimately means better cashflow, which is always key to business health,” Perkins said. “You don’t want days of unbilled work tied up, because people either haven’t recorded their time or unprocessed timesheets are sitting on someone’s desk.”