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

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.

TaskBillable vs.
Non-billable
Initial meeting with client to understand his needsNon-billable
Drafting proposal for the clientNon-billable
Drafting contract with clientNon-billable
TravellingNon-billable
Calls after contract is signedBillable
MeetingsBillable
Doing services for the client that is agreed in contractBillable
Doing services for the client that is not agreed in contractNon-billable
Preparation of billBillable

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

Entry time Time Analytics

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

Time Analyics report

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:

Time Analytics report

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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