As a multitude of industries are being pushed further ahead through technological innovation, it’s clear to us that such innovation hasn’t been so prevalent in the professional services sector. One task that plagues professionals, which hasn’t changed in years, is how they log their time (otherwise known as filling in a timesheet).

For decades (and still today), professionals have logged their time with pen and paper, spreadsheets, or manual time entry software systems. These solutions, though they have worked, are the cause of many problems. One of these problems, and the one we want to talk about today, is the inaccuracy of timekeeping with current solutions.

Prevalence of Inaccurate Time Tracking

We performed a survey and found people thought they were off on each of their timesheet entries by 15-30 minutes. If you assume an average of 4 entries per day and 15 minutes of inaccuracy for each entry, then at a minimum that results in one hour of miscalculated time entry each day. If you sum this miscalculated time over a week or a month, then you begin to see how such inaccuracy is problematic.

Why Accuracy Matters

For the professional services sector where 90 percent of costs are people-related, inaccurate timekeeping has the potential to expose a firm to non-compliance with billable time legislation, unhappy clients, and reputation damage.

It may be fascinating to learn that of all federal and state collective or class actions filed in the US, 90% are hour and wage claims. Even more worrying is that 73% of investigations result in practical findings. Precise, consistent recording of billable time and adherence to rules specified by the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) are crucial to avoiding non-compliance fines and penalties, maintaining healthy client relationships, and upholding the positive reputation of your company.

Beyond legal implications and potential damage to one’s reputation, accurate timesheet data is important for understanding the health of your service based business. Timesheet accuracy is critically important - not only for accurate billing, but, more importantly, for forecasting demands for future projects, managing projects, understanding project budgets, and resourcing projects. Thus, improving timesheet accuracy is a useful endeavor if you want to improve the way that your company delivers projects to your clients.

How automated time tracking can help

Without going into too much detail (for more detail on how automated time tracking can help you, please see this post), automated time tracking can improve timesheet accuracy in the following ways:

  • Helps you remember what you did - It keeps a smart, aggregated, organized log of your activity, so you won’t forget
  • Helps you know how long something took - Computers are much better than humans at knowing how long things take. Automated time tracking leverages this.
  • Helps improve the consistency of timekeeping processes - Often, one of the most challenging things about timekeeping is just knowing where to bill your time. With an automated time tracker, you will be guided by the system to bill similar activities to the same entry, so you will have more consistency in your entries.
  • Makes time entry less of a chore - Yourself and your employees won’t dread time tracking because it is made much easier. Let AI assist you in the process, so you can stay focused on the work you love.

As we mentioned in the introduction, some industries are lagging behind in their adoption of technology that can help them run better organizations. By leveraging AI, we’re able to help professional services get a better grasp on their time so they can do the following:

  • Bill more accurately
  • Build trust with clients
  • Have accurate data to forecast / plan for future projects
  • Understand project budgets
  • Course correct midway through a project
  • Elevate employee happiness
  • Build a more profitable business

That’s a wrap. As always, please reach out with any questions to support@allocate.ai !