Steps guide to project billing and invoicing

Steps guide to project billing and invoicing

October 27, 2022

You’re probably already thinking about how much time it would take to generate an invoice and send it out.

The truth is that invoicing is a crucial part of your business that shouldn’t be skipped over.

In fact, if you can streamline this process and make it easy on yourself, then you’ll likely have more time to focus on getting new clients!

The following are five steps for creating an effective invoice template and using it every time.

billing and invoicing

While invoicing may seem like a simple task, creating precise and clear invoices can be challenging.

It can be overwhelming for first-time entrepreneurs who are just starting out in their business.

Billing can also be tedious and time consuming, especially when you need to spend more time on it than you think is necessary.

In addition to that, billing can be confusing at times since there are so many different processes involved with it.

Freelancers often have to go through the hassle of managing their own billing cycles. This can be time consuming and it’s hard to keep track of payments and invoices. You can use a project management software, such as Time Analytics or Trello, which will allow you to keep all your tasks organized in one place.

Here are the five steps you should follow when creating your invoices.

  • Create your invoice template
  • Make sure you have the right details to hand
  • Make sure your invoice is easy to read and understand
  • Be sure that your invoice has all the information a client needs to pay you
  • Send invoices in a timely manner

1. Define your expectations for payment terms early on.

One of the most important things you can do when setting up a project is to define your expectations for payment terms early on. How will you communicate the terms with your client? Will they be in writing or verbally? Discussing this with them before starting the job will help prevent any confusion later on and make sure everyone is on the same page.

There are many different options when it comes to setting payment terms, but there are some questions that you need answers to: What are their payment policies? Do they prefer cash or credit cards? Do they request monthly invoices or do they like being surprised with a large bill at the end of each month? Does your company have an invoice template that works well for everybody involved so that there’s no guesswork involved in figuring out how much money should go where every time an invoice needs to be sent out!

2. Prepare an invoice template and use it every time you generate an invoice.

Once you have your billing and invoicing system in place, it’s time to create an invoice template that is easy for both you and your client to use. This will make generating invoices easier on everyone, reduce confusion around what has been billed, and ensure that the invoice looks consistent with your branding.

Here’s what we recommend:

  • Create four columns on the invoice: “Client Name,” “Date,” “Service Type/Description of Work Performed (Bold),” and “Amount Due (including tax). Make sure to include any additional information such as an invoice number so that clients can reference previous invoices easily if they need clarification about something on their current invoice.
  • Make sure all text is legible in case someone needs to read it in another language—while this may not be applicable for most businesses today since most are based in English-speaking countries like Canada or the United States—you never know who might end up buying from you one day!

3.  Send an invoice shortly after generating it and make sure to follow up on any invoices that are late.

  • Send an invoice shortly after generating it and make sure to follow up on any invoices that are late.
  • Sending an invoice as soon as possible after you’ve completed the work will ensure that your client pays you on time and in full.
  • If a client is late paying their bill, follow up with them immediately! Don’t let them forget about you or get away without paying the full amount due-this could result in having to deal with collections agencies or legal action down the road.

4. You shouldn’t be afraid to charge late fees or include them in your future invoices if a client consistently pays late.

This shows the client that you are serious about the importance of paying on time, and it’s an effective strategy for getting clients to pay you on time. The amount of late fees can vary depending on the project, but they should be reasonable and used as a negotiating tool when necessary.

5. Write a sincere thank you note to clients who pay right away! They deserve some gratitude!

Writing thank you notes is a great way to build client relationships, show your appreciation and get new clients.

When it comes to invoicing and billing, there are many different steps involved, but it doesn’t have to be difficult or intimidating! If you’re ready to start billing like a pro, do yourself a favor and keep these five tips in mind when creating your next invoice!

Conclusion

The invoicing process can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. If you have a clear understanding of the steps involved and an easy way to manage them, then you’ll be well on your way to creating professional-looking invoices that are sure to impress clients!

 

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Harvest Pricing, Packages & Plans 2024

Harvest Pricing, Packages & Plans 2024

October 25, 2022

Harvest is a time tracking tool that offers reports, invoicing, and many more features.

The platform prides itself on its user-friendliness, as it is much easier to use than most other time tracking systems.

This tool offers two pricing plans. you can choose either depending on the size and development stadium of your business.

We are here today to show what Harvest has to offer.

Two Plans to Make Things Simpler

harvest pricing

Harvest offers two plans to its users – Free and Pro. We are going to inspect both.

We hope our analysis will help you choose the perfect option for your business.

The size of your company and the budget you can set aside for a time tracking tool are the biggest factors that come into this decision.

Free Plan

Harvest’s Free Plan doesn’t limit the tool’s functionality.

That is to say, you will be able to use all the features and options the paying users get.

However, there is a catch.

Namely, the Free plan limits users to one seat and two projects.

In other words, it is meant exclusively for freelancers who don’t engage with multiple projects at a time.

If you aren’t in this category, you can still use the app, but it will only show your personal data.

That is to say, there can be no synchronization among team members, and the company cannot use the data unless it’s very small and has the means to manually compare data.

Pro Plan

As you may have guessed, the Pro plan doesn’t have these limitations.

Any number of employees can use the app and work on an unlimited number of projects.

There is a single price of 12 USD per month per user for all features.

Both plans offer a 30-day free trial.

Time Tracking Features

harvest time tracking

Time tracking is Harvest’s primary feature. The platform excels in making this process simple and accessible.

  • Automatic and manual tracking – create time entries for all tasks
  • Tracking from any device – synchronized tracking from the mobile app and web
  • Custom reminders to track time – make sure all team members are doing their part

Reporting Features

Harvest turns the data provided by the employees into useful reports. In other words, you’ll be able to navigate your future steps and detect issues.

  • Budget updates – make sure your projects remain profitable and delivered on time
  • Cost tracking – review internal costs and make accurate assessments for future engagements
  • Time entry breakdown – see whether you can increase efficiency by making specific changes

Invoicing Features

harvest overview

Streamlining the billing process is another of Harvest’s features. The app offers integrations with the most popular payment and bookkeeping solutions.

  • Invoices – automatically create invoices for your clients based on the data the employees entered
  • Online payments – receive payments via the PayPal and Stripe integrations
  • Bookkeeping – integrate with Xero and QuickBooks and streamline the accounting process

As you can see, every user will get the same experience, no matter the size of their organization, or whether only one person is using the system.

This can be a great option for some, while others can be overwhelmed by the tool’s complexity and end up taking more time to track time than to work.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are our Payment options?

We accept credit cards. There are monthly and yearly plans, and the yearly plan brings you a 10% discount.

The other method of paying is via checks or bank transfers. This option is available for users with 10+ seats that pay for a year in advance.

Can we switch our billing frequency?

If you’ve purchased a monthly plan, you can switch it to yearly whenever you want, 10% discount included.

If you’ve bought a yearly plan in advance you can switch to a monthly subscription once your current yearly billing cycle is over. If you decide to do so the 10% discount will be removed from the offer.

You can contact our support team to make the changes.

Does my team qualify for any discounts?

If you are paying for the year in advance you automatically get a 10% discount.

Other discounts are available to teams of 50 and more members, educators and students (school and university), as well as nonprofits.

You Like Harvest but the Pricing Doesn’t Suit You?

We are all aware that $12 per month can add up quickly, even with discounts.

That is why many companies with a large number of employees look for a tool that will give them all the benefits of Harvest at a fraction of the price.

Fortunately, you are at the right place, as Time Analytics can be just what you are looking for!

Pricing

Time Analytics pricing

Starter Plan – $5.99 per User per Month

  • Unlimited clients and projects
  • User roles – assign roles to each employee and control what they have access to
  • Task management and allocation – create tasks and assign them to specific team members
  • Exportable reports – receive reports you can export and share
  • Cost management – see whether you are following your initial budget plans
  • Email support – write to our support team at any time

Optimum Plan – $8.45 per User per Month

  • Everything offered in the Starter plan
  • Invoicing assistant – create appendices for your invoices to increase transparency
  • Email reminders – the employees who don’t fill their timesheets will be reminded to do it
  • Profit reporting – receive accurate and insightful reports on the state of your business
  • Customized onboarding – get started with our help

Yearly Plans

We have talked about the monthly plans. If, on the other hand, you decide to purchase an annual license, you will receive Annual plans for $4.29 and $5.99 per user per month respectively. Additionally, we can offer more discounts for teams over 50 people strong.

Finally, you can try any pricing plan for free for 14 days.

Time Tracking Features

Time Analytics is a time tracking tool first and foremost. It allows the management to have an accurate insight into all projects. On the other hand, it is very user-friendly and doesn’t interrupt the employees’ workflow.

  • One-click tracking – start tracking time on a specific task with a simple click of a button
  • Automation – avoid repeating menial tasks with smart suggestions and favorite lists
  • Different views – create daily and weekly plans and increase efficiency without burnout
  • Task management – assign tasks to specific employees in a matter of seconds
  • Real-time revenue and cost tracking – the data from the time entries turns into useful graphs

Projects and Clients Performance Reporting

Time Analytics Projects and Clients Performance Reporting

It is important to know the value of your service. On the other hand, you also need to know which clients are most valuable to your business. Time Analytics can help you do both.

  • Project insights – track the most important metrics in all projects to ensure profitability
  • Client tracking – discover the top and low-performing clients and take steps to increase efficiency
  • Profit generation management – learn all you need to know about profit per service line or project
  • Billability optimization – never miss an opportunity to charge for the billable services you provide
  • Transparency – use Time Analytics’ reports to let your clients know you’re charging them fairly

Team Performance Reporting

time analytics Team Performance Reporting

Employers need to understand the way their teams function. However, this often causes micromanagement and dissatisfaction among the staff. Here is how our platform can prevent this.

  • Unrecorded hours tracking – know whether your employees are using all scheduled hours
  • Overtime tracking – see which employees are working overtime and whether they need help
  • Productivity evaluation – see which employees have the most billable hours
  • Task structure – discover potential optimization opportunities and ways to make work easier for your team
  • Increasing profitability – track and calculate revenues and compare them to your predictions

Online Timesheets

Clear and simple, the timesheets Time Analytics provides are easy to fill and review. You can filter them to show only the information you need and export this data to Excel or PDF.

  • Customizable reports – choose the most important items and make them mandatory elements of the timesheet
  • Daily and weekly view – choose the best overview for your industry and workflow
  • Editing – simply add, remove, filter, and edit time entries
  • Review – let managers see whether the timesheets are accurate before submitting them
  • Exporting – export the timesheets to PDF and Excel sheets for printing or further analysis

Invoicing

Creating invoices independently from employees’ timesheets is time-consuming. Fortunately, with Time Analytics, you can use the data you’re already getting to deliver accurate itemized bills anytime.

  • Accurate appendices – create an appendix that shows all tasks performed for the client
  • Billing rates – assign your employees hourly rates and let the system calculate the price automatically
  • Customizability – choose the items you want to show in the invoice
  • Editing – add any last touches that weren’t settled automatically
  • Exporting – export the invoices in Excel for a physical copy

Time Off Tracking

Time off can be a point of discontent in any organization. Avoid misunderstandings and being understaffed due to holidays and unforeseen circumstances.

  • PTO requests – let your employees ask for PTO directly in the system
  • Transparency – the managers will always know who is available and when to bring in backup
  • Different forms – Time Analytics offers eight different PTO options
  • Time Off Tracking – track the work time your employees spend outside of their offices

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I be charged when my free trial period expires?

No. You will only be asked for your credit card information once you decide to purchase a plan. The trial itself is completely free with no hidden fees.

Can I use Time Analytics for free after the expiration of the trial?

If you don’t choose a paid plan when your free trial expires, you will get a 14-day extension. When this period is over you will have to choose a paid plan to continue using the software.

How to calculate the license cost?

Simply multiply the number of active (enabled) users in your company by the price listed in the pricing plan.

How do you count users for billing?

You have the option to mark team members as Enabled or Disabled. Only the Enabled users are charged for. However, once you disable a previously active user, the information they’ve entered into the program will be retained.

What is the difference between paying monthly or annually?

If you decide to purchase a yearly license you will receive a single invoice for the year. On the other hand, if you want a monthly plan invoice administration will be necessary every month.

To Conclude

Harvest is a great time tracking option for freelancers and small teams.

Yet, it only offers two plans, which either don’t allow for synchronization or cost a lot when added up.

Whether you were considering purchasing a plan or not, it doesn’t hurt to know about alternative options and their features either.

No two businesses are the same, and they need different time tracking options as well.

Consider the needs of your business and get the best time tracking tool for you.

 

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Time Reporting Systems Made Simple: A Guide to Creating One for a Client

Time Reporting Systems Made Simple: A Guide to Creating One for a Client

October 24, 2022

Working time reports are important, both from the aspect of analyzing your services to the clients and for analyzing team productivity. The basic items in every time report are:

  • Total spent time (per team member, project, and client)
  • Billable hours (per team member, project, and client)
  • Non-billable hours (per team member, project, and client)
  • Time utilization (per team member, project, and client)
  • Project expenses based on invested hours (hours x pay rate)
  • The income per client (billable hours x billing rate)
  • Time off (lunch breaks, vacation, etc…)

See the steps you need to take to get a comprehensive time report for your clients.

STEP 1: Define services or tasks you do for the client

It is crucial to define what is being done for the client in advance. The list of tasks should be unified. This is important because if multiple team members are working for a client, they have pre-determined tasks so there can be no confusion within the reports.

For each task, you need to determine whether it’s billable or non-billable. This is important because later in the reports you’ll be able to track how many hours were invoiced to the client; what was done for free, and why.

Here are some examples of tasks divided into billable and non-billable. This is an established practice but can be arranged so everything is billable – if the client accepts it.

[table id=3 /]

STEP 2: Track billable and non-billable hours per client

When you’ve predetermined what you do for a client, all that is left is tracking time spent on these tasks.

You can use a simple time tracking tool that takes very little time. it is a paradox to spend a lot of time on time tracking if your goal is to use your time more efficiently.

There are two typical ways to create a time entry:

  • Starting a timer for a selected task
  • Entering time manually on the selected task

Once you track the time, the hours and minutes are allocated to the client and the task, which means you can see them in the reports for the client.

STEP: 3 Take your report

The comprehensive report for the client contains the following information:

  • The number of hours spent on the client
  • The number of billable hours
  • The number of non-billable hours
  • Time utilization – the ratio of billable and total spent hours
  • The income from the client
  • Client-related costs
  • Profit from the client

Timesheet Entry Software Reporting

Additionally, for each client, you can see which tasks were done and which clients participated in working on them.

STEP: 4 View visuals client metrics

The previous report was given as a table.

Sometimes a visual overview can provide better information.

So, if you prefer visual reports, they would look like this:

STEP: 5 – Export the report in Excel or Pdf

Whichever time reporting system you may be using, it is important to have an export option.

This allows you to create custom reports according to your specific requirements. For example, with minor Excel edits, you can adapt any report to the management’s or the client’s needs.

This is especially important if you want to show the work tasks and spent time with the client.

For example, you can create an invoice appendix for each client in order to increase the transparency of your work on their projects.

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What is compensatory (comp) time?

What is compensatory (comp) time?

October 21, 2022

If you’re in the United States, there’s a good chance that your employer will have some sort of comp time policy. Comp time is basically the same thing as vacation, but instead of taking it at once, employees can take it in chunks throughout the year or save up their hours to take them later.

What is compensatory time?

Comp time is a form of paid time off for employees.

Comp time is earned at the straight time rate and can be used as extra vacation or sick leave, or it can be used as payment for overtime worked. Compensatory (comp) time does not have to be taken in advance of taking the day off; it is simply accrued.

Comp time does not have to be taken at once and may be taken at any point after it has been earned, with certain restrictions depending on what type of comp plan your employer has implemented. If you receive comp hours under an employer’s qualified retirement plan or cafeteria plan, they will not count toward your annual limit on benefits under these plans.

The FLSA does not require that employees be paid for this extra time at the end of the pay period 

The FLSA does not require that employees be paid for this extra time at the end of the pay period or when employment ends. Employees may be paid for unused comp time at the end of their employment, but they can also choose to receive comp time instead of overtime pay.

If an employee chooses to receive comp time, the employer must pay the employee for overtime hours at 1.5 times their regular rate of pay. Comp time is not considered “cash” and cannot be used as a substitute for wages owed by an employer under FLSA.

Exempt employees may earn time off at straight time instead of receiving overtime compensation

If you are an exempt employee, you may earn time off at straight time instead of receiving overtime compensation if you work more than 40 hours in a workweek.

You must be eligible to earn comp time under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which requires your employer to first notify you in writing that they intend to allow comp time rather than pay.

The employer does not have to pay for days spent on vacation, sick leave, or personal leave during the same period when earned comp time can be taken.

To qualify as compensable overtime work, the extra work must benefit the employer and occur during an established work period 

Comp time is a form of compensation in which nonexempt employees receive time off to compensate for overtime work. Employees may receive comp time instead of cash payment, at the rate of one and one-half hours of paid leave for each hour worked over 40 in a week.

To qualify as compensable overtime work, the extra work must benefit the employer and occur during an established work period — usually a workweek. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that employers pay non-exempt employees one-and-one half times their regular rate for all hours worked over 40 in any given week (or other applicable period). However, many employers use comp time instead or as part of their compensation plans — often as part of an employee’s total compensation package — with some limitations set by state laws or collective bargaining agreements.

An employee must receive compensatory time off at a rate not less than 1½ hours for each hour of overtime worked

Comp time is provided at the end of the pay period in which it was earned. An employee must receive compensatory time off at a rate not less than 1½ hours for each hour of overtime worked. Compensatory time can be used after it has been earned and must be given in the same pay period as it was earned.

Employers may limit the total amount of comp time accrued to 240 hours

There are some limits to compensatory time, however. Employers may limit the total amount of comp time accrued to 240 hours (which is equivalent to six weeks). In other words, if an employee works more than 40 hours in a given week, they will accrue comp time on top of their base pay. Once they reach 240 hours, they are no longer eligible for additional compensation beyond their regular paycheck and cannot work overtime until they use up some or all of those accrued hours.

Although comp time is by definition accrued leave that is “earned,” it cannot be considered an earned benefit under an employer’s qualified retirement plan

Comp time is by definition accrued leave that is “earned,” but it cannot be considered an earned benefit under an employer’s qualified retirement plan. Although comp time may be paid in addition to other compensation and benefits, it should not be included in calculating an employee’s final pay on termination of employment or when determining whether the employee has met any vesting requirements for pension benefits.

For example, if a company offers employees the opportunity to earn up to 200 hours of comp time per year at 1 hour per day as part of its overall compensation package, this is considered a special non-qualified benefit that does not meet the definition of wages under IRC Sec. 3121(a)(3). The value of this benefit will therefore remain taxable on top of any regular wages received from the employer and will also be subject to FICA tax withholding requirements.

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How to Accurately Bill for Time: A Step-by-Step Guide for CPAs

How to Accurately Bill for Time: A Step-by-Step Guide for CPAs

October 21, 2022

As a partner in a tax and accounting business, I have been asking myself the following 3 questions at the end of each month for the last ten years:

  • Have we billed all time spent working with clients?
  • Have we applied the expected billing rates?
  • Have we met the clients’ quality and billing-rated expectations?

That is to say, these questions have come out of three main worries: missed time missed money, or missed client expectations.

With the development of the practice to 20 consultants and accountants and over 180 ongoing clients, the answers to these questions became more and more demanding.

Still, after over 5000 invoices in the last few years, we have learned many lessons.

So, here is a Step-by-Step Guide on how to improve time billing, coming from our own experience:

1. A Good Initial Arrangement with the Client

To avoid misunderstandings when the client gets the invoice, you need to ensure upfront that the client understands what you do for them and how much that costs.

Here are the key elements you should arrange:

  • Define the types of your fees (retainer, billable, or both)
  • What is considered billable work, and what isn’t
  • The height of the billing rate
  • Are you invoicing based on a blended billing rate, or does each member of your team has their own billing rate
  • How to charge for commute and other client-related expenses

2. Time Tracking by Accountants Is a Must

Tracking the time you spend on a specific client is the only way to invoice for the time of your accountants fairly and accurately.

You will need Excel or a simple time tracking tool.

If you have multiple accountants in your team, automatized tools have an advantage over Excel.

Here are the key elements of a good time tracking tool:

  • Tracking time for each client per specific task
  • The possibility to mark the tasks as billable or non-billable
  • Time reports, so the managers can conduct a review

It is important to define billable and non-billable tasks upfront, so that when your team logs time, the system creates a task list automatically and lists them as either billable or non-billable.

However, you need to make sure using the time tracking tool isn’t counterproductive. This can happen if:

  • The implemented tool is complicated
  • The employees don’t accept the tool, as they see it as a type of control over them, rather than making sure you’re billing the clients fairly

3. Prevent Time Loss

Some activities require a lot of time, but can’t be charged to the client. Thus, it’s important to track time to identify the activities that waste too much time and can’t be charged for.

It is especially important to identify certain activities that can be both billable and non-billable, such as:

  • Internal meetings for the client
  • Unexpected phone calls from the client
  • Creating the contract with the client
  • Invoicing
  • Checking the bank statements
  • Commuting to the client
  • Checking a post for client or courier support
  • Waiting for the client
  • Visiting banks or administrative institutions

In an ideal scenario, in the case of these activities taking a lot of time, they should be billed to the client.

However, the client can be sensitive to seeing some of these items in the invoice. Thus, it’s good to track the time these activities take separately, and group all of them when creating the invoice so they’re within the main service.

Another option is to simply increase the billing rates to the clients who take a lot of time due to these activities, so the additional income can cover your expenses.

4. Review Billable Work for the Client

After providing the service or the period after which you bill, export a list of all tasks you’ve done for the client.

Review the task list.

Confirm all billable items.

Make corrections if there are tasks that should be billed, but have been marked as non-billable by the team.

That is to say, this step is dedicated to ensuring you have a good basis for billing.

5. Make an Accurate Invoice

Mistakes in invoicing are very common, especially in the corporate service industry.

This is why it is extremely important to automatize time tracking and export the invoices based on logged and reviewed time for each of the clients.

Once things are automatized, transparent, and reviewed, the possibility of error is minimal.

If you have a time billing system you can take these steps very easily and simply export an accurate invoice for each client.

6. Make Sure that the Client is Satisfied with Your Time Billing

As important as it is for the client to initially understand what you do for them, it is also important for them not to be surprised by the invoice.

It often happens that the client isn’t satisfied with the number of hours you’ve spent when you invoice the billing rates.

To avoid this scenario, and keep the clients happy, you should have a transparent record of completed tasks for each invoice.

In an ideal scenario, each invoice should contain an appendix that specifies working hours per team member and work tasks.

 

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Top 8 Time Management Skills You Need

Top 8 Time Management Skills You Need

October 21, 2022

Time management is a skill that every business owner needs to have. It’s one of the most important skills you can have if you want to keep your business on track and grow it into something great.

But, even though time management is an essential part of any successful company or individual’s life, it’s not always easy to do effectively!

There are so many distractions out there, from social media notifications popping up on your computer screen all day long to emails piling up in your inbox. So how can entrepreneurs learn how to manage their time better?

time management skills

Being able to prioritize

You need to prioritize.

A leader must be able to prioritize.

It’s a basic but crucial skill for effective time management. You should know what you’re most important tasks are, and then make sure that you complete those first.

There are many ways of prioritizing, but here are a few examples:

  • The priority-based approach is one way to do it.
    This involves ranking tasks based on their importance or urgency, using symbols like stars and exclamation points (think of how they mark emails in Gmail).
  • Another example is the ABC method: A stands for urgent; B stands for important; C stands for routine or non-urgent.
    A lot of people use this method when they want to delegate something out because it makes sure nothing falls through the cracks between an urgent task being taken care of by one person vs another person handling an important but not urgent item first before moving on to other things like routine work or personal errands like getting groceries so that there’s less pressure later on during crunch time when everyone else needs help getting stuff done too!

Organization

Time management is a skill that can be learned, but it’s also something you have to practice regularly.

To stay on track with your goals and priorities, the organization is key.

The organization is not just about having a neat desk or keeping your files in order—it’s about finding ways to keep everything you need at your fingertips so that you don’t waste time looking for things when they’re needed most. Some of the most common organizational tools include:

  • A to-do list: To ensure that you’re getting important tasks done each day and week, write down all of the things that need to get done in one place (such as an app like Time Analytics or an old-fashioned pen-and-paper notebook).
    Break larger projects down into smaller chunks so they feel more manageable—and put them on your calendar! And remember:
    It doesn’t matter if someone else writes out your daily to-do list; what matters is whether or not it works for YOU!
  • A calendar/planner: Use this tool as well if necessary (or combine with a paper planner if desired).
  • Reminders: If there are certain things you want to make sure do get done without fail every day (or multiple times per day), set up reminders through an app like Google Calendar alarms or Apple Watch notifications so there’s no way they’ll slip through the cracks.
    Keep these items separate from other tasks so they won’t get forgotten!
    And don’t forget about apps like Habitica which allow users create habits by adding them into specific categories such as “Health” or “Work” along with adding rewards for completing those habits successfully.”

Effective planning

Planning is the key to time management. Effective planning can help you get more done in less time, and it can also make sure that what you do is important.

In order to plan effectively, you have to have a list of things that need to be done.

This list should include both short-term tasks and long-term projects. It’s also important to prioritize these tasks so that those that are most important get done first.

The best way to write a good plan is by breaking down your goals into smaller portions, called milestones or subgoals.

These milestones should be small enough so that they’re easy for you accomplish within one day or week at most (and preferably within an hour), but big enough so they feel meaningful when they’re finished!

Learning to delegate tasks

Delegating tasks is one of the most effective ways to free up time for yourself.

Delegating tasks means that you are transferring the responsibility of completing a specific task from yourself to another person or a group of people.

This can be done by hiring an assistant, asking friends for help, or outsourcing it to an outside company.

Delegating tasks does not mean that you don’t have any control over them anymore; it just means that you let go temporarily and allow someone else to handle things while you focus on other important things in your life.

The ability to focus on the task at hand

Being able to focus is a skill that will help you achieve all your goals, as well as get through life more calmly.

It can be difficult at times, but knowing how to stay focused can be very useful in many situations. When you’re trying to accomplish something, it’s important that you don’t let other things distract you from what’s important.

When someone calls or texts while you’re working, don’t answer until after completing your goal (unless it’s an emergency).

Don’t check social media websites like Facebook or Twitter when working on a project—you’ll likely end up spending more time looking at the sites than actually doing work for the project!

Don’t try to multitask or do too much in one day because it will only lead to stress and exhaustion. You won’t be able to think clearly if you are trying to multitask.

Being realistic about what you can accomplish in certain time periods

Estimate how long a task will take. If you’ve never done this before, it can be difficult to accurately estimate how long it will take you to complete a given task.

It’s important to be realistic about what you can accomplish in certain time periods, though, and doing so will help ensure that your time management skills are effective.

Use a timer to track time.

There are many different kinds of timers available today-from digital ones that count down the seconds until your next break to those that let you set alarms for specific times of day (like when it’s time for lunch).

Timers are useful because they allow us not only to measure our progress toward meeting certain goals but also to hold ourselves accountable for getting things done on schedule (or at least within reason).

Taking breaks and asking for help when you need it

Good time management takes a lot of self-awareness, but it’s important to know when it’s okay to ask for help.

If you are feeling overwhelmed or on the verge of burnout, it may be time to delegate tasks. Often times, people will try and push through their work at an unsustainable pace because they don’t want others getting ahead of them in the race for promotions or recognition.

But this can lead to poor quality work and eventually, burnout.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed by your workload or duties at home or at work, take a break! It’s okay!

And remember: taking breaks is not just a luxury—it’s part of being human and essential for our wellbeing over time (however long that might be).

Use your time wisely.

When it comes to time management, the phrase “Use your time wisely” is not just a nice suggestion.

It’s a commandment.

If you want to get stuff done, then you need to make sure that all of your actions are focused on the tasks at hand. Don’t waste precious minutes on things that don’t matter or procrastinate by doing other less important activities before focusing on what needs to be done.

To do this properly, it will require some practice and self-control in order to stay focused on the task at hand and not allow yourself to get distracted by other things. The best way I know how is using my “focus zone” technique which involves me turning off notifications from my phone (especially social media apps) so that I am not tempted by any incoming messages or notifications until I’m finished with whatever task I’m working on at the moment.

Get good at saying no.

You’re probably familiar with the saying, “Don’t say yes to something unless you have a plan for how you are going to get it done.” While this is some good advice, it doesn’t take into account the fact that you have limited time and resources.

You need to be able to discern which opportunities are worth pursuing and which ones aren’t worth your time.

Conclusion

In the end, it’s important to remember that time management is about what you do with your time and how you use it. In order to manage your time effectively, it’s important that you set goals and have a plan.

You should also be realistic about what you can achieve and not get distracted by unnecessary tasks.

 

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Time rounding tips and best practices

Time rounding tips and best practices

October 20, 2022

For most of us, time rounding is a fact of life. We’ve all been through it and we will all continue to go through it.

However, if you’re new to this world of timekeeping, there are some things you should know about how your company handles rounding (and how they should be doing it). So grab a cup of coffee and let’s dive in!

time clock rounding

What is time rounding?

Time rounding is the practice of using a timekeeping system that records a time interval as the nearest multiple of five minutes.

For example, if a worker clocks out at 4:50 p.m., they will be recorded as having clocked out at 5 p.m.—even though it was only four minutes after their scheduled time to leave the workplace.

This will allow them to have an extra fifteen minutes off work that day and no one needs to do the math!

Time rounding has been around since the early 20th century, but today it’s most commonly used with computer programs that calculate overtime pay for employees based on their actual hours worked over 40 in a week (or another period).

Why is timesheet rounding necessary?

It’s no fun to worry about whether you’ve rounded up or down, so why bother? Well, for starters, it’s the law.

In many cases people are required to keep track of their time.

Whether it’s an hourly wage or a salary that comes with a guaranteed minimum amount per year, there are legal implications if employees don’t keep an accurate record of the hours they worked. If someone spends all day at the office but doesn’t clock in until 11am and clocks out at 4pm (even though they were really busy), their employer could be accused of underpaying them for their work.

Working on projects that require more than eight hours in a day is not uncommon—but that doesn’t mean you can get away with clocking only eight hours! At this point many businesses will start tracking overtime and paying extra when employees work beyond 40 hours in one week or 80 hours over two weeks (depending on your company).

Accurate timesheets are essential here too: The last thing anyone wants is an audit showing discrepancies between reported working time and actual working time!

Decide your own rounding rules

You’ve decided you want to do it. But which rules should you use? In general, the rounding rules that work best for your organization will be consistent across your organization and fair and understandable.

Time clock rounding rules and legal issues

Time rounding is legal in most states and it’s done all the time by employers, but you should be aware of your state’s rules before you start.

Each state has its own set of rules around rounding.

Some states require that employees receive additional compensation at a certain threshold, while others simply don’t allow employers to round at all. For example, if you live in California, then your employer is allowed to round your time up or down so long as they keep track of any additional wages paid out with one second accuracy (you’ll see this referred to as “tenth-of-a-minute” accuracy).

The reason why these laws exist is that some states have minimum wage laws that require an employee be paid for every minute worked—but other states do not have such laws and thus allow for rounding practices like those described above.

Don’t change the rounding rules too often.

You should also avoid changing the rules too often.

I know this sounds counterintuitive, but if you want to make change stick, it’s important for employees to get used to the new system.

Don’t change them in the middle of a project or dispute: This can be confusing and difficult for people who are already working with these systems every day. If there is an emergency situation that requires an immediate solution, consider using a workaround instead of making changes during an ongoing project.

3 Best practices for time clock rounding

The four best practices for time clock rounding are:

  • Use a time clock that is easy to use. Make sure the time clock is accurate and easy to read, so you don’t have to worry about rounding errors.
  • Keep track of your rounding rules. Whether it’s on the back of the employee handbook or in a spreadsheet, keep track of how many minutes after the hour you’re going to round up or down so that it doesn’t happen by accident.
  • Make sure your employees understand how rounding works—and if at all possible, practice it with them before they start working! With time clocks like ours here at Time Analytics, there’s no need for awkward conversations about whether or not an employee has been paid appropriately (or even enough).

Communicate your rounding rules to employees

Rounding rules can be difficult to implement and even more difficult to enforce. They often require employees to track time and stay within certain bounds, which is not always easy or practical. But if you are going to use rounding at all, the rules must be communicated effectively and enforced consistently.

To ensure your rounding policy works well for everyone, consider these tips:

  • Communicate the rules clearly to employees so they understand why these policies are in place (and what will happen if they don’t follow them). Explain how important accuracy is in this situation, especially if it impacts billing or payroll calculations. This way, everyone knows what’s expected of them and why those expectations exist. You may also want to remind employees that they could face repercussions—like being docked pay—if they break the rules too often over time (or even immediately).
  • Use a consistent approach every time an employee clocks in or out of work so there’s no confusion about when their shifts start or end based on whether their manager has rounded up or down from their actual arrival/departure times during any given day (e.g., “You showed up at 9:10,” vs., “We clocked you at 9:08”).

Conclusion

There are a lot of ways to round time, but there is no one right way. You can change your rounding rules as needed, and you should do so with care. If you’re struggling with how to handle rounding, we recommend using the tips in this article as a starting point for your own solution!

 

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9 Tips to maximize time efficiency

9 Tips to maximize time efficiency

October 20, 2022

Time is the most precious resource that we all have. We can’t create more of it, but we can make better use of the time we do have. Here are some tips to help maximize your time efficiency:

time efficiency

Make time-related goals

Make time-related goals. It is important to set long-term and short-term goals for yourself, as well as a plan of action to achieve those goals. Think about which tasks are most important, then prioritize them. Make sure you have enough time available to meet each goal’s deadline, and write down your goals in an accessible area where they can be seen by others.

Create a plan of action for achieving your time-related goals. Creating a formalized plan will help you get organized, stay focused on the task at hand, and complete work more efficiently in less time than if you did not have a written schedule in place beforehand. Plan out which tasks need to be accomplished first so that they don’t get pushed aside later when more urgent matters arise during the day (or week).

Set deadlines for each task within your overall schedule so that nothing gets overlooked or forgotten about until it becomes too late

Make time-related resolutions

How do you get started on your resolutions?

Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Make a list of things you want to do. Don’t worry about how much time it will take or how difficult the task is just yet—just make a list of activities that interest and/or excite you. You can always break it down further later when we talk about setting deadlines.
  • Break each item down into smaller tasks and set deadlines for each one. For example, if one of your goals is learning Spanish, maybe one step would be “take an online class” and another might be “buy Rosetta Stone.” Then add those smaller tasks onto your calendar and set realistic deadlines so they don’t seem daunting or overwhelming!

Do the most important tasks first

The most important thing to remember is that you have a limited amount of time. You can’t do everything and expect to be successful at everything, so it’s important to choose your battles wisely.

The first thing to consider when deciding what order in which you get things done is the likelihood of success for each task. If we say that a task has a 50% chance of being successful, it means there is an equal probability that either yes or no would result from completing this task—a coin toss could decide its fate! This means that any given day, there’s nothing stopping you from doing this less important item as your first priority; if it doesn’t pan out how you hoped it would, then all the better if you were able to move onto another more promising project sooner rather than later!

Use a to-do list

Your to-do list is the most important tool for maximizing your productivity. It’s the single place where you can keep track of all the things that need to be done in order for you to hit your goals.

With a good to-do list, it’s much easier for you to figure out how much time each activity will take, how long it will take, and whether or not any of them need more attention than others. The best thing about using this method is that if there’s something really important that needs doing right away, but maybe isn’t on your list yet—you can add it!

If possible try writing out the list on paper or whiteboard first because this way it’ll be easy for everyone else around too see what needs done next (or even by themselves). You’ll also have less chance of making mistakes when typing up tasks like spelling errors which could lead someone else into thinking they’re being sent somewhere when they’re really not supposed

If using an app then make sure it syncs with other devices so everyone has access whenever they need help organizing tasks within their own company

Spend the right amount of time on each task

  • Spend enough time on each task. It’s a common mistake to spend too little or too much time on tasks. If you spend too little time on a task, it won’t get done well and can result in mistakes that cost more than the extra effort required to complete the task properly. On the other hand, spending too much time on a task isn’t efficient because it means you’ll be less productive for other tasks that require your attention.
  • Spend only as much energy as needed for each task. Different people have different efficiency levels so what might be efficient for one person could be inefficient for another person.

Learn to say no

One of the most important things you can do to improve your time efficiency is to learn how to say no. This may seem counterintuitive, but it’s really not that difficult—if you’re polite and firm.

Most of us have been taught that saying no when someone asks us for help or favors is rude and selfish, but this isn’t true in all cases: if someone asks for something that doesn’t make sense for you to do, then simply saying “no” isn’t being rude or selfish; it’s just telling them what they need to hear in order for both parties involved to move forward with a clear understanding about where each party stands.

Learn to delegate tasks

Delegation is the key to efficiency in your role as a leader. You may think that you’re too busy to delegate tasks, but it’s important for leaders to learn how to delegate effectively.

  • Delegate tasks to other people
  • Delegate tasks to yourself
  • Delegate tasks to a team
  • Delegate tasks to a community

Identify your most productive hours in the day and use them as much as possible.

Identify your most productive hours in the day, and then use these hours as much as possible.

A lot of people have their most productive days between 10am-2pm or 3-6pm, but it’s probably different for you. If you can identify when your brain is firing on all cylinders, take advantage of that time by working on things that require creativity or problem solving. It might be tempting to check Facebook or play video games during this time (or any other time), but remember: procrastination is a killer! If you want to get ahead at work and make money, don’t waste those precious hours doing something else—use them wisely!

Use time tracking software like Time Analytics

Use a time-tracking software to keep track of how much time you spend on each task. This will help you see where the majority of your time goes, so that you can use it more effectively in the future.

Using time tracking software like Time Analytics can help you identify the most productive times of day and how long each task takes.

Time Analytics is a cloud based solution that automatically tracks all work performed on your which means no more manual timekeeping. It provides a dashboard where you can see what tasks took up the most total time during each day of the week, week over week, month over month, and year over year.

Time Analytics also lets you set up alerts to remind you of upcoming tasks so you won’t forget them!

Conclusion

We hope these tips have been helpful in making your life more efficient. Remember that it takes practice and consistency to create new habits and make them stick, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results right away! We wish you all the best in your journey toward being a more productive person.

 

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Top 8 Time Tracking Software For Developers

Top 8 Time Tracking Software For Developers

October 20, 2022

The use of time-tracking software is highly beneficial for software development firms and individual programmers. Businesses that use time tracking software gain enhanced productivity, improved working relationships with management and clients, and a competitive edge. 

Since it helps with keeping better tabs on projects and individual tasks, many companies use the finest time-tracking software to evaluate the efficiency of their teams and employees on the job.

time tracking software for developers

Time-Tracking App: Overview

Time management is the key to being more productive in your personal and professional life. In order to better manage your time, you should use a time tracking tool to see how much time you spend on various tasks. 

Workplace time tracking tools are helpful for companies and workers alike. With this data, employees can adjust their schedules as needed. As an added bonus, this lets individuals assess their own efficiency and take pride in their work.

Benefits of Time Tracking Software for Developers

  • Enhancing Productivity in Software Development

The best time tracking software allows you to examine every aspect of your day, from the hour you spent doing research to the twenty minutes you spent on a quick conference call during your lunch break. Such tools can monitor which activities took longer than anticipated and adjust your time allocation accordingly.

  • Analyze the Development Team’s Process

It is easy to assume that time-tracking software for software developers only keeps track of when the workday begins and ends. Among the benefits is the ease with which one may maintain tabs on one’s schedule, including such things as upcoming appointments, tasks, and opportunities to receive and provide feedback to clients. So, you may analyze the team’s process and see any potential problems.

  • Client Billing Made Simple

A developer time tracking system allows you to easily record billable hours, which may be used to generate invoices for payment. This week, team A, for instance, devoted 22 hours to the client’s project. Team B continued their study and adjustments for another five hours. 

You get access to every detail of every assignment, as well as the efforts of every member of the app development team. You may save yourself time and avoid data migration headaches by using one of the many time-tracking software designed specifically for app developers that also include an invoicing feature.

  • Increase Software Developer Accountability

One of the most popular uses of time tracking software is to keep tabs on how much time employees spend at work. It’s easy to keep track of when employees arrive and leave work for the day. 

Not only that, but you can watch them at work while they do it.  Employees are held accountable for their actions while yet having the freedom to set their own schedules thanks to this software.

  • Eliminate Duplicative Steps in Payroll Processing

Traditional payroll relies heavily on time-consuming manual data entry. You need to compile all-time cards for app developers for each division. Then multiply their hourly rate by their pay rate to get their total weekly income. 

Payroll processing is taken care of by the software developer’s time tracking system. Just enter the worker’s details, like their hourly wage, and the software will take care of everything else. It is still possible to change their weekly salary by hand inputting new figures.

  • Gain Influence Over The Developer’s Finances

Time tracking software for developers can help you see the big picture of your company’s human resource costs and the revenue generated from client billing. You’ll also gain a deeper understanding of how team members’ efforts add up to a successful business.

  • Serves As A Method of Diagnosis

A manager can see which developers put in extra time in order to finish their tasks by tracking their time spent on each task. Through these tools, a manager can determine if the existing team of developers needs any help or if it’s time to hire developers for expansion. 

When a specialist puts in fewer hours than expected, it may be a sign that they are struggling.  Therefore, a time tracking tool for software developers is an important tool for keeping tabs on the efficiency of a team.

  • Maintain Time Logs For Developers

Software developers can use a time tracking tool to monitor their active and inactive periods. Therefore, managers won’t have to keep tabs on what their software developer is up to while at work. Software development firms or their management can benefit from keeping track of developers’ output in this way. Managers also determine which tasks actually need employees and which do not. Having access to more technological resources is usually beneficial because it accelerates a company’s development.

  • Check the Job’s Progress at a Glance

While some HR departments have automated the application evaluation process, others still manually examine each and every resume that is submitted. Typically, in this situation, a manager will investigate the developer’s resume, work history, and current or prior companies. 

  • Streamline Software Project Timelines

Even if you are not in charge of managing the team’s project schedule, it is still a good idea to have the team use app developer time-tracking software to keep track of their time spent working on the project. The explanation for this is straightforward: repetitive jobs make it easier to lose track of time. 

In addition to alerting you if you’re about to go over your allotted time for a project, time tracking software can also help you determine how much time you’ve actually spent on it. Your sanity can be preserved by doing this.

  • Keep Your Eyes On The Big Picture Projects

Time tracking software provides a fantastic means of coordinating personnel and assets, which is a necessity for any project. Since the software is tied to the person in charge of a project or task, it can record any changes, milestones, remarks, or conversations that arise while working on the project or task. It’s a great tool for facilitating team collaboration and maintaining attention to high-priority initiatives.

  • Examining Multiple Projects Side-by-Side

In a nutshell, development projects can be compared over time using tracking software. Whether you prefer a sorted list or a graphic timeline, you can easily discover which initiatives have been the most successful and apply this knowledge to future endeavors. In order to maximize the value of your work, you should also be familiar with the various ways in which projects might be categorized.

  • Check the Team’s Results

Managers can gain valuable insight into their teams’ efforts through the use of tracking. In order to keep your developers in check, tracking software is a must. What this means is that you can communicate to your developers exactly what you expect of them, and check in with them to make sure they’re meeting those expectations.

  • Determine Improvement Areas

Tracking developer time is a low-cost way to quickly determine where your team can make the most progress. While it does require additional effort on your part, the results will provide you with valuable insight into your current work patterns and suggestions for improvement. 

If you keep track of how you spend your time, you can determine the most productive times of the day and consider shifting less important work to those times. Indeed, you should strive to achieve maximum efficiency without compromising quality.

Top 8 Time Tracking Software For Developers

Waka Time

Waka Time is a time-tracking app designed specifically for software developers. Waka Time is a suite of free, open-source IDE add-ons that provides comprehensive visibility into your ongoing projects. It’s an easy-to-use timer that provides precise information about how long different types of coding tasks actually take.

Key Features:

  • Ability to keep track of time automatically
  • Accurate data
  • Uninterrupted project detection automation
  • Over 600 languages are supported
  • Keep in touch with the team via a private leaderboard

Harvest

The software developer community generally agrees that Harvest is the best tool for keeping track of time and money spent on projects. Its usefulness extends to endeavors of every scale. As a robust time tracking tool, Harvest enables businesses to assess the efficiency of their teams, the quality of their projects, and the overall state of the company.

Harvest may help businesses in a wide variety of ways, including but not limited to: time tracking, expenditure tracking, project management, tracking billable hours, budgeting, scheduling, and many others.

Key Features:

  • Gain an understanding to enhance efficiency
  • Provides tools for tracking the time spent on creating software
  • Automatic prompts are at your disposal
  • Simple adaptability to existing systems

Time Analytics

Time Analytics is a time tracking software designed for consulting firms, contractors, IT firms, engineers, law firms, and more.

It offers features such as time trackers, timesheets, team overviews, client invoicing, expense reports, productivity management, and more.

Time Analytics helps managers to be focused on delivering projects on time and within the budget– by taking care of administration and time utilization.

Key features:

  • Developers timesheet tracking — manage employees’ time and track billable hours and rates.
  • Performance management — dashboards provide an overall picture of organizational performance
  • Cost tracking — cost tracking per each project, client, or working task
  • Clients monitoring — monitor the profitability of a client 24/7
  • Accurate reporting — reporting tools for workers, clients, projects, and tasks
  • Invoicing assistant — create invoices based on time utilization
  • Productivity management — reduce nonproductive working hours and improve project profitability

7pace

7pace time tracker is a cloud-based time tracking software primarily designed to assist software developers and companies with the administration of projects, user approval procedures, activity tracking, attendance tracking, and more.

Using 7pace’s time tracking software, businesses can get a clear picture of the hours put in by employees, the tasks completed by the team, and the total amount of time it has taken to complete the project.

Key Features:

  • Limits on entry
  • Activity dashboard
  • Workflow approval
  • Automatic time capture
  • Activity tracking

Apploye

Apploye is a popular time tracking tool that was carefully made to assist organizations of all sizes in tracking and controlling the progress of their various projects. In addition, this software provides numerous capabilities that are utilized on a daily basis by firms of various sizes, including staff tracking, activity tracking, screen observation, application testing, GPS tracker, and job site tracking.

Apploye also facilitates the assignment of roles to administrators, supervisors, and staff members. In addition, the software manages time and attendance, leaves of absence, payroll rates, etc.

Key Features:

  • Automatic time capture
  • Costing and Invoicing
  • Tasks and scheduling constraints
  • Controlling attendance
  • Observational dashboard and activity tracking system

QuickBooks Time

There are more than 30 nations where QuickBooks Time is actively used. By cracking the code, QuickBooks developed a time tracking application that was simple to use and accessible by anyone. This flexible tool allows software developers to record their hours worked on any device, be it a smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer. 

Owners and managers can monitor a wide variety of employee data, including where they are and when they are working, as well as their notes, job classifications, paid time off, and vacation time.

Key Features:

  • Autonomy of team members
  • Skillful reporting
  • GPS capability
  • Real-time schedule modification
  • Controlling tasks

Hubstaff

Hubstaff is the most effective time-tracking software available to help designers organize their schedules and stay on track with their work. To help software development teams improve their workflow and productivity, it provides accurate, real-time data on how team members are spending their time and effort. 

In addition, Hubstaff provides extensive reporting tools, automatic payroll, GPS location tracking in real-time, and the ability to capture screenshots of employee work in progress.

Key Features:

  • Facilitates tracking of user engagement, revealing which team members are devoting the most time to a certain task
  • The process of establishing a repayment plan is streamlined
  • Obtain comprehensive reports
  • Registering and analyzing attendance data
  • Automatic time capture

Tracking Time

Developers and freelancers alike use Tracking Time, another time tracking app that works in real-time. It’s a timer and task manager in one, making it ideal for software developers. 

It’s easy to monitor and control how much time each member of your team spends on tasks related to clients, projects, and workers with the help of this software. The Time Tracking tool’s ability to provide an overview of all active projects and clients is one of its most valuable features.

Key Features:

  • Costing and planning for a project
  • Timesheets for reporting purposes
  • Effective administration of teams and personnel
  • Receipt of attendance reports
  • Easy timekeeping with a clock-in/clock-out functionality

You can read about Hubstaff pricing here.

Bottom Line

There is a lot of pressure on people who work in software development because of the short timelines under which most development projects are completed. A developer’s life can be simplified and accelerated with the help of efficient time-tracking tools. Powerful time tracking software can help you increase productivity, complete projects on schedule, and send correct invoices to clients.

 

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