Looking for a way to increase efficiency and productivity on your teams? Wondering which tools you need to know how to calculate project profitability? Learning how to incorporate timesheets into your workflow and then choosing the best employee timesheet app for your organization can help you achieve that.
Agencies that don't feel the need to use a time tracking app are oftentimes the ones that need it the most. This is especially true if they have small teams and issues with budget forecasting. These are the chief reasons, among many others, why PR agencies should track time.
Simply put, outdated honors systems fail to capture crucial data and lead to messy bookkeeping. Some experts even assert that time management is the key to a better life both inside and outside the workplace.
Luckily, it doesn’t take much to get started. All you need is:
- A clear understanding of the benefits. Knowing the practical and tangible results of time tracking will drive goal-setting and help you select the best tool for your team.
- Knowledge of how to do timesheets. Most tools come with templates but we’ll have plenty of tips for you below.
- An employee timesheet app. Preferably one that offers mobile options and automated features.
In a nutshell, time tracking for creative agencies matters, and here’s why.
Why do companies need to time track?
Generally speaking, businesses in any industry need to keep tabs on how their greatest resource is being used. And time tracking is the best way to track hours when invoicing clients. Accurate billing and budget projections help keep companies profitable, as does the reduction of nonbillable project tasks.
With a solid time tracking app, professional service managers can get real-time progress updates, data-backed timelines and increased transparency–which is a huge plus for clients.
What do marketing agencies time track?
With so many moving parts to consider, time tracking for agencies can be hectic. Diligence and efficient use of time are a must. Enter the timesheet app.
Why are paper timesheets bad? Because they don't have the comprehensive capabilities that time tracking apps. The best timesheet apps can help marketing agencies do so much more than just see when employees clock in and out. For example, timesheet apps for employers give managers more insight into proper client billing arrangements based on documentation from similar past projects.
Marketing agencies also need to time track because it gives them a detailed picture of how long each individual task takes. When it is laid out clearly, it becomes easier to discover and restructure inefficient processes.
On the other hand, you may find that your processes are working, but you’re in need of more staff. Lightbulb moments like these can help with issues like burnout and, ultimately, improve your agency overall. When it comes to the pros and cons of advertising timesheets, it’s easy to see how the benefits make the investment worthwhile.
How to use an employee timesheet app for billing and invoicing
Use these actionable ideas to jump-start your time tracking workflow.
- Set individual task timers. This clear and simple approach will make invoicing easier and help employees stay focused.
- Specify billing type for all timed work sessions. If you offer multiple services at a variety of price levels, this is a must-have feature.
- Automate time tracker tags for both billable and nonbillable tasks. It’ll help speed up software adoption and keep your team focused less on admin and more on their most important responsibilities.
- Integrate your timesheet with Google Calendars. Don’t let billable time spent in meetings over the phone, on Skype, or in-person slip through the cracks.
- Use timesheet apps for offsite meetings and events. Mobile apps that instantly sync time tracking input with the rest of your team’s work will help keep everyone on the same page at all times.
- Access detailed views of individual and team hours. Investments in marketing are notoriously difficult to measure. But having time tracking data on hand to answer client questions will provide additional value to their experience as well as peace of mind for your team.
- Export timesheet reports for clients. Transparency in marketing spend is one of the best ways to build trust with your clients and keep them coming back in the long term.
Using timesheets to track client campaigns
As you can see, timesheet apps are far more robust than they may appear at first glance. Besides being an excellent tool for businesses in general, they’re especially helpful for marketing agencies looking for new ways to be more efficient and profitable.
If you’d like to experience their benefits firsthand, why not take Wrike for a spin? Our free trial will give you a good sense of how you can use our suggested action items to up your productivity game on every level.