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The Importance of the Project Timesheet
If you charge by the hour or by the project then NOT using a project timesheet is simply business suicide. If you decide not to use a project timesheet you can look forward to:
- Not knowing how much your project is really costing
- Not knowing how much profit margin (or loss!) you are making
- Not knowing whether the amount you're quoting on similar jobs is realistic or not
- Not knowing the current state of progress in your project
- Not knowing what your employees are up to
- Paying contractors for doing the wrong work, doing work too slowly, or even not doing any work at all
- Not getting paid for progress payments on time, or at all. After all how can you expect progress payments if you only have the faintest idea of what progress you're making?
- Not recovering project material costs, incidental costs, and travel costs.
- Increasing your end of month accounts work load and stress levels.
What sort of Project Timesheets Should I Use?
That depends on what you're using now. If you're using nothing then make your way to the nearest newsagent or stationer and buy some of those cheap little timesheet books for each and every person in your business. And start filling them in. Now.
If you're using a paper based system then consider a computer based system. There are free systems available for both Windows PC's and Linux PC's. If you run an Apple machine there are reasonably priced systems for those too. Honestly it's not worth the effort rolling your own system these days. For the cost of 10 minutes of data entry a day and $25 US I know of one manufacturing company who has converted their old punch clock system to a PC based system. This enables them to track sick leave by employees, monitor their leave liability, and examine their overtime costs on a day to day basis. All this tracking is done completely live, no waiting for the end of the month, week, or day, Managers can get the information in seconds.
Suggested Computer Project Timesheets Features
As a minimum you will need the ability to track time by project and user. If there is no reports module then the data storage should be open and some sort of standard (like MS Access, FoxPro, DBF, SQL Server etc etc). Ideally the system should allow users to enter their own project timesheets, or at a minimum a single person should be able to enter project timesheets quickly for all staff. Nice to have features would be time AND expense tracking. Even better would be to have time and expense reporting too.
Get a Project Timesheet Today!
If you're experiencing any of the 'benefits' I mentioned above then do something about it. Get a projec timesheet system up and running today. At least use a paper based system, or better still try a software project timesheet solution. The cost is low, the on-going expense minimal, and the potential benefits to your business bottom time huge!