The landscape of business is changing rapidly. Businesses both small and large have been scrambling over the past few years to adapt. They are refocusing their efforts not only on how to best serve their clients, but also how to make sure their internal operations are sound.
Operational challenges in the consulting industry
Because of the dramatic changes in the business industry since the pandemic, it makes sense to conduct in-depth research about both critical movement and internal challenges of the consulting industry. At Time Analytics, we frequently organize focus group discussions with consultants in order to discuss their problems in business operations, and how they might improve their KPIs. Here is what we’ve found::
- Over 56% of consultants do not track profitability per client.
- More than 50% of consultants do not have evidence about cost allocation per project.
- About 61% don’t have insight into a reliable margin per each project.
- 45% of consultants do not have evidence about billable hours per consultant and project.
- Only 10% of consulting firms use some type of consultant time tracking.
- 45% of managers on projects have deepinsight into what their team members do, and how efficiently they work. The majority of consulting firms do not have a clear insight into they realistic number of billable client hours.
- Consulting firms lose time and efficiency when gathering information for invoice preparation.
All of these statistics add up to one thing: consulting firms would operate more smoothly and have more control over their time and money with a time tracking system. Let’s explore this idea.
Do you really need time tracking for consulting business?
The short answer is, yes! But there are a few things you need to consider before making a decision. Your consulting firm would benefit from our free online time tracking for consultants solution only if the following is true for you:
- You or your managers do a lot of operation work, i.e. they frequently support low valuable working tasks and they do not know how to efficiently to overcome this issue
- Your managers do not have time for strategic thinking and relationship building with new and current clients due their oversight of employee time
- You want to see what each team member does at any moment of the day or week, and to check their productivity and efficiency on long term projects and daily tasks.
- Your company income statements and key performance indicators require better control.
- You think that you do not have full insight in profitability or margin per each project and client, i.e. you cannot reasonably estimate the cost of engagement.
- You do not have insight into time consumption per client, people, overtime reasons, etc.
- Your Timesheet tracking should be organized automatically.
If you felt yourself nodding along to any of these ideas, you may be an excellent candidate for a time-tracking app. We’ve compiled a short list of some great options–keep reading to learn more.
Here are the top best time tracking tools:
1. Time Analytics – Easy to use time tracking tool for consultants
What is Time Analytics?
Efficient time tracking is so crucial for consultants. This is true regardless of whether they do their job independently, or as part of a large team. This is why learning how to track hours efficiently is key for any consultant.
With Time Analytics, the best time tracking software for consultants, you can check to see if your team is maximizing profits while providing exceptional service to its clients.
Time Analytics focuses on strategy, not spreadsheets. You will be able to measure employee capacity, improve forecasting, optimize budget and reduce administrative costs– all with this powerful consultant time tracking tool.
Time tracking software for consultants should simplify both recording your time and checking in on team members and client projects.
This automatic timesheet for hourly consulting work includes a record of billable and non-billable hours. The reason for tracking billing time is obvious – it helps you determine the exact price of the consulting services you provide and ensures that there is no loss of profit. When you follow both, you develop a more realistic picture of project profitability.
If you want to increase your profit and make more accurate reporting and better projections, you are on the right path with Time Analytics.
This tool quickly answers the question:What Makes a Perfect Time Tracker for Consultants?
mall firms in the field of:
- accounting, tax and audit firms
- law firms
- consulting firms
- advertising agencies
14-days free trial
- Free version for small teams
Up to 5 users, 30 clients, 30 projects, and 100 monthly time entries per user.
- Starter: $4.99 per user, per month
Up to 15 unlimited users and up to 150 clients and 24h e-mail support.
- Optimum plan $6.99 per user, per month
Compared to the Starter version, you get an unlimited number of users and clients.
- Premium plan $12.99 per user, per month
Available for up to 15 accountants and 150 accounting clients.
If you have more than 50 users subscribed, Time Analytics offers a special pricing discount.
- Starter: $4.29 per user, per month
- Optimum: $5.99 per user, per month
- Premium: $10.99 per user, per month
2. Toggl Track
What is Toggl?
Toggl Track is a cloud-based time tracker for consultants that automates how we bill clients and generate revenue.With Toggl, you can share comprehensive data with clients by providing the latest accountability.
Toggl Plan and Toggl Hire are two other tools that Toggl offers.
Toggl track browser add-ons allow you to integrate directly with online tools such as Asana, Todoist, Trello, and more.
For companies of all sizes.
- Free – Free for up to 5 users.
- Monthly: $ 10 per user per month
- Annually: $ 9 per user per month
- Monthly: $ 20 per user per month
- Annually: $ 18 per user per month
What is Clockify?
Clockify is one of the most popular free time tracking software for consultants. It is a project management solution designed to help education institutions, NGOs, and businesses of all sizes to monitor productivity. The platform allows managers to determine the duration of each project, track employee schedules, and visualize the distribution of time for different tasks.
Freelancers, consultants, remote workers, small and medium businesses, digital and marketing agencies, NGOs, universities, and enterprises.
- Annual plan: $3.99 per user, per month
- Monthly plan: $4.99 per user, per month
- Annual plan: $5.49 per user, per month
- Monthly plan: $6.99 per user, per month
- Annual plan: $7.99 per user, per month
- Monthly plan: $9.99 per user, per month
- Annual plan: $11.99 per user, per month
- Monthly plan: $14.99 per user, per month
What is Harvest?
As a consultant billing software, Harvest helps consultants to make the most of their time. The product offers integration with various other productivty apps, such as Asana, JIRA, Basecamp, GitHub, and Quickbooks.
Harvest makes it easy for you to keep track of time from your desktop and phone and other devices. It then combines this timesheet data into intuitive, visual reports that make it easy to see what your team is working on, catch projects before they go over budget, and make smart decisions about your business.
Harvest is ideal for client service businesses, small businesses, architects time tracking, and freelancers.
- Free (1 Seat, 2 Projects)
- Pro (Unlimited Seats, Unlimited Projects)
- Annual plan: $12 USD per seat per month
- Monthly plan: $10.80 USD per seat per month
What is Hours?
Hours is a time tracker that operate on iOS and in a browser. It makes it easy to follow in real-time by keeping an active list of timers you can go between with one touch.
Flexibility makes this a great tool to track all of your billable and non-billable hours quickly and easily.
Hours Time Tracking lets you track time as an individual, freelancer, employee, contractor, or as part of a team.
- Hours Personal Free (great for the basics)
- $80.00 / Year
- $8.00 / Month
- $6.67 / User / Month
What is Replicon?
If you want to manageyour consultant time-off and gain insightinto your employee time-off usage and availability, Replicon is an ideal time tracker for you. With this consultant time-tracking app, you can make faster, more efficient decisions, and improve profits.
Replicon is a great solution for project accounting, and deep project and resource management.
For enterprises of all sizes.
- TimeBill Quick Start
- $60 per month for up to 5 users
- $10per additional user
- TimeBill Plus
- $22 per user per month
- $18per user per month
- $22 per user per month
- TimeOff Plus
- $6 per user per month
- TimeOff Enterprise
- $8 per user per month
- Expense Quick Start
- $3 per user per month
- Expense Plus
- $5 per user per month
What is Rescuetime?
RescueTime is an award-winning tool that helps businesses become more focused, productive, and motivated. With this powerful time tracking and distraction-blocking software, you will work smarter, not harder.
The upgraded version has an advanced report, unlimited data, real-time alerts, and more!
For companies of all sizes, especially for remote work time tracking.
- Monthly plan
Lite: Free $0
- Annual plan
What is TimeCamp?
TimeCamp is a time and consultant billing software that helps companies to increase project profitability. And it’s 100% free! This simple, yet powerful, free consulting time tracking app helpsyou stay on top of work.
TimeCamp integrates with a large number of applications and comes with additional features for inreasedfunctionality.
Professionals across all industries.
- Yearly: $ 25 user/mo
- Monthly: $ 5.25 user/mo
- Yearly: $ 50 user/mo
- Monthly: $ 10 user/mo
What is Timeneye?
Timeneye is the perfect consulting time tracking tool. It helps small/medium-sized companies track team productivity. Timeneye is much more than a timesheet for consultants:
- it shows the value of your time
- it allows you to track time accurately
- build stronger relationships
- make better business decisions.
For small/medium-sized companies.
- $6 per user per month, billed yearly
- $7 per user per month when paid monthly
What is actiTIME?
actiTime is the perfect tool for efficient time tracking in a Consulting Firm.
Use actiTIME to make very accurate time estimates for your consulting projects. This time and consultant billing software provides an appropriate way to assign and manage tasks, track time, and analyze your business achievement based on the data you collect.
For companies of any size and in any industry.
Monthly plan: $7 per user / mo
Annual plan: $6 per user / mo
What is TimeDoctor?
Time Doctor makes project and time management easy– with one customizable tool. It has a simple interface that allows users to create tasks and start tracking time with the click of a button.
Features include a productivity analysis in the dashboard accessible to both employees and managers. Another one is automatic alerts which pop up when the computer is idle, helping keep you and your team on track.
TimeDoctor also tracks the total time worked by every team member, providing a straightforward breakdown of time use. Customizable features in the dashboard let you control what you track and analyze.
Find all your reports here, including easy-to-read summary reports of the time spent on each project, client, and task. Daily, weekly, and monthly summary reports are also available to help you analyze behavior patterns. This allows teams to easily address time-wasting habits.
Digital nomads and remote teams, freelancers, and small to midsize firms from any industry.
14-days free trial
What is WebWork?
WebWork Time Tracker is your go-to tool to make the most of your team’s talent and time. Its multiple features and integrations simplify working processes and give insights about your employees’ productivity. This all-in-one software allows you to track time, record attendance, and monitor activity to make your work faster, smarter and more effective.
Remote teams and businesses of any size.
IOS and Android
What is Beebole?
Beebole is an employee time-tracking software for organizations of all sizes. With Beebole, businesses can efficiently measure the time spent on clients, projects, and tasks. With a simple dashboard and fully configurable reports, it’s also easy to control budgets, costs, leaves of absence, timesheet approval, and more.
Users will appreciate how easy Beebole is to use. The team overview lets managers check project status, team and employee performance, and overtime at a glance. Approval flow allows for easy bulk review, approval of timesheets, request changes, and lock time entries.
With Beebole you’re able to tap into valuable business intelligence by running reports on employee time, budget, margin, and profit. Managers can build the exact report they need or use the custom KPI dashboards to unlock this powerful insight.
Beebole is GDPR compliant, multilingual, and offers a 30-day free trial with no credit card required.
Consulting teams in need of an employee time clock OR project time tracking solution It’s a great solution for any team who’d like to go beyond their basic timesheet data to actually unlock powerful business data that leads to better, smarter decisions.
€6.99 per user per month
Quick software comparison
Time Tracking Features:
(e.g. if the free plan is marked with a circle it means that the product has a free version but with certain restrictions – number of users and the like)
Time Reporting Features:
Why time tracking is important for consulting business?
How do you make sure that each hour in providing services to clients is invoiced?
Each consultant and other employee has online access to the time tracking platform. After auto logging, they just need to fill daily planning tasks per client or project or to make its to do list. The optional field is “Details Field” where the Consultant may put a short description of selected activities.
The consultant has an option to primarily select that the current working task is related to the internal (in house activities) which means the time tracker automatically uncheck the billable box.
An example of easy data entry is given below:
All data enables automatic reports and advanced analytics.
Managers or Partners have access to the full timesheet module and can see all data for wished period: day, week, month, or another custom period per each employee, project, client, or task. A comprehensive timesheet could be exported in excel for each client or employee that is suitable for invoicing or consultant work assessment.
How does each consultant track his working time, is that easy?
According to provost customer experience, daily time for filling data by the consultant should be in the range from 5 to 7 minutes. In order to avoid losing time while consultants fill repetitive tasks, a tool should offer customized templates for all users.
Additionally, each consultant should be granted his own dashboard and analytics. That may help him to analyze non-productive behavior and improve his performance.
Reports you should get from the time tracking platform?
Client related reports
Analysis of all clients for a certain period presents data on total hours spent for a certain client, how much of total hours is billable, what is labor utilization, how much are labor costs of engagement for the client, and what is the average cost per hour.
Costs of engagement for the client are calculated based on previously given costs of salaries and other indirect expenses and it is the basis of calculation of the client’s profitability.
Data on time utilization provides information on the percentage of total hours billed to clients and what is the amount of hours covered from internal resources and it is the basis for calculating the realistic price per hour. Data on spent hours and costs for each client provides the possibility to redefine contractual terms with a client in order to optimize profitability, as well as to decide on prices of new engagements.
People related reports
Analysis of the employees shows data on total hours an employee spent, then the number of totals billed hours, and how many hours stayed unbilled. Moreover, the reports show what the work utilization is, how much did each employee cost for a certain period, and what is the average cost per hour.
On the basis of these data, it is possible to minimize the unproductive behavior of employees. Also, you can efficiently evaluate employees, redefine work conditions, salaries and bonuses.
These data are the basis for decisions on work organization, stopping inefficient and unproductive activities, as well as for outsourcing of certain activities.
Analysis of projects or service lines provides data on total hours spent on a certain project or service line, how much of total hours was invoiced, how much of total hours stayed non-billable, what is the time utilization, how much did the project cost, and what is the average cost per hour.
With cost calculation, you can calculate project profitability, which could be essential for changes consideration in business and pricing policy.
Does time tracking for consultants provide critical KPIs for consulting business?
Time tracking solutions should provide critical KPIs for consulting business. You should see some of them within Dashboard and some of them are countable, based on platform data. Let’s consider the main KPIs.
Revenue per hour or actual billable hourly rate is critical KPI in the consulting business. Therefore, in our free time tracking online platform you have time allocation per each client and project. Dividing your revenues with the total time you get the total hourly rate per client or project while dividing your revenues by the billable hour you get net realistic billable hours per client or project.
Costs per project present the total cost of each project of the service line. For each consultant, you put a cost hourly rate. Besides the basic cost hourly rate of consultant, you can also add some fixed cost per hour (e.g. rent, phone costs)
The margin hourly rate per client and project shows the difference between revenue per hour and cost per hour.
Some of the commercial indicators very important for consulting business are:
- Total number of clients.
- Number of different services per client?
- Total hours spent on business development activities.
With our time tracking for consultant solutions, you easily monitor activities spent on commercial activities such as targeting, meetings with potential clients, networking, digital marketing activities, etc, and estimate the required ROI.
Employee productivity indicators
- Total hours (or billable hours) spent per consultant.
- Time consumption per different working tasks for each consultant.
- Overtime as a consequence of non-productive behavior of consultants.
- A number of consultants engaged per project at any moment.
Time-tracking makes a consultant’s time more efficient and effective
In summary, a time-tracking tool for consultants should focus on the following:
- Strategic thinking – Key performance indicators monitoring with an excellent dashboard.
- Simplified implementation and ease of use– fill daily activities and time in five minutes.
- More automation in planning and monitoring of business activities – use timesheet planning and editing module.
- More productivity, automatic performance tracking for each individual.
- Efficient remote work with monitoring all employee activities Time utilization measurement.
- Cost management with аutomatic calculation of cost per clients, project, and activities.
- More control over tracking billable hours per client and employees.
- Improvement in organization design.
If you want more control, more billable hours, more productivity, and more efficiency, try our time tracking for consultants. Check out our attractive pricing plans. You can use a free version for up to five users!
In the end, a simple online tool, can be part of the foundation for your consulting business growth.
FREE 14-days trial – no credit card required