We look at cloud apps that can take the hassle out of time tracking – and help improve productivity and profitability.
Time tracking and timesheets aren’t the same thing, but because they are related both sets of functions are often combined into one piece of software.
Timesheets are for recording the time actually worked by hourly paid employees. They are important for several reasons, among them to ensure that employees are paid correctly – including overtime rates when they are due – and that their hours comply with the minimum time between shifts specified in the relevant award or registered agreement.
Given the relationship between timesheets and payroll, good integration between the timesheet software and your accounting or payroll system is an important part of maximising the time savings that accrue from using timesheet software. Not only is it quicker if one feeds the other, it also removes the risk of errors being introduced while re-keying the data.
Time tracking is about recording how long people spend on particular tasks so that the actual cost of a project or serving a certain customer can be determined. That information can be usefully transferred into an accounting system so the client can be billed accurately for time, to get a more precise idea of the profitability of various business activities, and to help provide better estimates of the cost of future projects.
Ease of use is always an important consideration with software, but it is particularly important with time tracking. Employees are motivated to fill in timesheets accurately and promptly, otherwise they might not get paid properly. Generally speaking, there's no equivalent benefit from time tracking but the quicker and easier it is to record the details, the more likely they are to comply.
Cloud-based time-tracking apps can help with this, particularly if they offer mobile apps as well. Some also offer expenses tracking as well, so some of those covered here – Avaza, Reckon Time & Expenses and Rounded – were also included in our comparison of expenses tracking apps.
Next: we compare six cloud time-tracking apps