Consultants are usually paid for the amount of time they spend on working on a particular project and that makes billing and time tracking an inevitable part of their job. With a rise in consultant fee, the clients have become more cost-conscious. A consultant must present a detailed invoice to let the client know about every step of the process for which he was charged for. Tracking billable hours is a task in itself must be devoted proper attention.
Here are five essentials of time tracking for consultants that can make tracking billable hours easier and help in quicker payments:
Understand The Client’s Billing Policies
To ensure better tracking of time, many clients offer billing guidelines. These guidelines are present in the contract letter, offered by the company. These billing policies may include budgetary guidelines, staffing limitation and time keeping instructions. To provide an excellent service, it is better to understand these policies and respect the agreement. With proper knowledge of billing guidelines, one can track the billing hours accordingly and meet the expectations. Ignoring these instructions may slow down the process of payments and degrade the relationship in the long run.
Use An Appropriate Tool
There are many time tracking software available for consultants to keep track of their time. These tools automate the process of accounting billable hours and eliminates the need of keeping manual logs. They also provide a better view of engaging the time of a consultant. Use of these online tools, gives satisfaction to clients regarding their billable hours. Invoicera helps you track your time effectively and bill accurately for your work.
Listing a group of tasks under a single time entry shows lack of authenticity. It is considered as a strategy to disguise inefficiency by professionals. The more effective way of billing is to list each activity with its corresponding time and description. One should keep the description clear and concise. It should be just enough to let the client understand what was done during that period of time.
It has been observed that many consultants include irrelevant tasks in billable hours, that increase the overall cost. Irrespective of the quality of the project, this creates obstacles for long term growth of the business.
One should know the difference between project work and non-project work, and should bill the clients accordingly. One should double check all the billing hours to eliminate all unnecessary entries.
Use Templates For Repetitive Tasks
There are always some repetitive tasks associated with our daily work routine. Completing these tasks consumes a lot of time and reduces productivity. One should use templates for better management of such daily routine tasks. It increases the efficiency of a consultant and allows him to focus on major issues. Use of templates reduces the overall time of project completion and strengthens the client – consultant relationship.
Time plays a major role while working as a consultant. Tracking the billable hours not only satisfies the clients, but also allows the consultant to do a self analysis on a monthly basis.