What are the Benefits of Time Tracking?

Modern bookkeepers and accountants share the benefits they and their clients recognized from monitoring how they spent their day. By tracking what they did, they were able to increase productivity, access key performance indicators, identify tasks for outsourcing, and keep clients happy.

Here are some of the benefits of time tracking put forward by modern bookkeepers and accountants.

Enhance Task Prioritization

The simple act of time tracking can help professionals better prioritize their tasks. By meticulously documenting the time spent on different projects or tasks, individuals can identify which activities require the most attention and resources. Time tracking can reveal patterns and trends that may not be immediately obvious. For instance, a certain project might be consuming a disproportionate amount of time because of inefficiencies in the workflow or because it is simply more demanding. Time tracking can provide this information, allowing professionals to realign their priorities and allocate their resources more effectively.

Optimize Time Management

Effective time management is a crucial skill in any industry, but it's particularly important in the realm of accounting and bookkeeping. Every second counts, and inefficiencies can lead to significant productivity and revenue losses. By tracking time, professionals can gain valuable insights into their daily workflows and patterns. They can identify where they're spending too much time, what tasks are taking longer than they should, and where they can make improvements. Armed with this information, they can make strategic changes to optimize their time management and ultimately boost their productivity.

Facilitate Team Coordination

Time tracking isn't just beneficial for individuals – it's also incredibly useful for teams. By tracking how time is spent collectively, teams can identify where there may be overlaps or gaps in their work. This can help to streamline workflows, eliminate redundant efforts, and ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals. For example, if two team members are unknowingly spending their time on the same task, this can be identified and corrected to avoid wastage of resources. This not only improves efficiency but also promotes better team coordination and collaboration.

Promote Accountability

Accountability is another significant advantage of time tracking. When team members know that their time is being tracked, they are likely to be more accountable for how they spend it. This means they are more likely to stay focused, minimize distractions, and complete tasks in a timely and efficient manner. Furthermore, time tracking provides tangible evidence of work done, which can be useful in performance evaluations or when discussing project progress with clients or stakeholders.

Establish Healthy Work-Life Balance

A surprising benefit of time tracking is its potential impact on work-life balance. By tracking how much time is spent on work-related tasks, individuals can ensure they are not overworking and set boundaries for a healthier work-life balance. If a professional finds that they are consistently working beyond normal hours, they can use this information to reassess their workload, delegate tasks, or discuss their concerns with their manager. Similarly, time tracking can help to prevent burnout by making individuals more aware of their time and encouraging them to take breaks when necessary.

Drive Business Growth

In the long run, the benefits of time tracking contribute to the overall growth of the business. By increasing productivity, enhancing task prioritization, optimizing time management, and promoting accountability, businesses can significantly improve their performance. These improvements can lead to more satisfied clients, increased profits, and sustainable business growth. Time tracking is thus not just a tool for personal and team management, but a strategic asset for business growth.

Increase Productivity

Time tracking increases productivity by making it clear where time is being spent throughout the day.

Before time tracking, Michele Grisdale, BAS Agent and Director of Rainforest Bookkeeping, in NSW, said her business was “unproductive”.

Sarah-Jane Bishop, BAS Agent at EMB Solutions, in NSW, noted that “we thought we knew what parts of the business were taking up the bulk of our time. But after tracking time, it was clear that the tasks without much value were taking longer than we realized.”

Access Key Performance Indicators

Key performance indicators in the bookkeeping and accounting industry include meeting deadlines, making sure all hours are billed, and identifying profitable service areas.

Jane Noller, the accountant at Jane L. Noller & Co., in NSW, says that thanks to time tracking, she now has “a close handle on the profitability of each client and each area of the business”.

Tamara-Lee Beveridge, BAS Agent at BizCore 360, in Tasmania, said her business saw an increase in cash flow by capturing time for invoicing. “Being able to run a report on what area of service offering the business makes more income from assisted in refocusing and readjusting the service offering.”

Identify Tasks for Outsourcing

The identification of time spent on non-billable work is valuable for determining what tasks can be outsourced.

Among the most popular tasks for outsourcing include administrative tasks and marketing. Neethu Stephen, Founder of Evalua8 Corp Limited, and Paula Byers, Founder and Director of Lime Cloud Limited, both based in the UK, noted they would outsource some of their marketing efforts as a result of tracking their time.

Keep clients happy

Tracking time makes it easy to show clients how their bill is calculated. Sarah-Jane Bishop stated that tracking time “has made us more efficient”, and one of Paula Byers’s clients added £50,000 to their bottom line by tracking time.

Della Hudson, author of The Numbers Business: How to Grow a Successful Cloud Practice, has a nice twist on why she tracks time: “I always track my hours to ensure that my flexible working doesn’t become overworking.”

Whether you’d like to be able to show clients the particulars of their bill, increase productivity, and potentially the bottom line of your practice, or embrace your desired work-life balance, there are many benefits to tracking your time.

Heather Smith produces a bi-weekly Accounting Apps newsletter. Learn more and subscribe on her website.

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