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What Makes a Good Timesheet for Professional Services Firms?

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    Love them or hate them, some industries have no choice but use timesheets. They’re still the most efficient way to get all hours clocked to a project and ensure the finance team has all the information they need to invoice clients in a timely manner. Professional services firms and project-based firms are among those, as they need to keep track of hours and billables. An integrated timesheet application like TEDI Time and Expense provides everything you need to facilitate invoicing and project control.

    It’s no secret that collecting timesheets can be a pain, but an integrated timesheet designed with the needs of professional services firms in mind can make your life infinitely easier. But what should you even look for? Here are a few essential timesheet features to improve your processes and the flow of data across your organization:


    Top timesheet features for professional services firms

    Integration to your ERP solution

    If it’s not already the case, look for a solid financial system like Microsoft Dynamics GP. A fully integrated timesheet application ensures that information entered into the timesheet is reflected automatically into your financial system, reducing errors and double entries. This also speeds up invoicing as the finance team has access to billable data in real time. Project managers can also access hours and reporting in real time for better project control.

    Intuitive interface for projects and tasks

    A user-friendly interface is a must as both employees and management will be using the timesheet daily. An integration to your financials and projects means you don’t need to manually enter billing details and rates, as these will be calculated automatically based on project configurations. Favourites, recurring lines and quick links also help users drill down to the appropriate task and fill out their timesheet easily.

    Integrated expense reports

    Managing both time and expenses from the same application makes it easier to match them together, ensuring they’re done within the same period. Receipts and other documents can be attached directly to the expense report, facilitating the billing process. A mobile app can also speed up the process by letting users simply take photos of their receipts and bills and attach them to the expense report.

    Leave and vacation requests

    Employees can submit a vacation or leave request directly from their timesheet, while supervisors can track, approve and reject requests easily. Employees can also review their accumulated vacation and PTO directly from the timesheet application without having to request this information. This reduces the number of requests made to HR, while also providing better visibility on who’s out of the office and when.

    Access to planned tasks

    Tasks allocated by the project manager are already entered into the timesheet, so the employee only has to adjust the actual hours spent on the task. This means less time spent finding the project as the correct tasks and project lines are already configured directly in the employee’s timesheet, and for supervisors, less time spent correcting timesheets.

    Easy timesheet correction and approval

    Managers can make quick corrections or send them back to the employee, while employees can see what has been changed and by who. No need to print and email corrections anymore: you can simply do it before timesheets are sent for processing. This ensures that the right hours and expenses are going to the appropriate tasks and budgets, speeding up the invoicing process.

    Automated alerts

    There’s nothing fun about having to chase after people on Monday morning to get everyone’s timesheets and expense reports on time, but automated alerts let you remind people running late to complete or approve their timesheets. This simple feature drastically reduces the time spent running around gathering all your organization’s timesheets.


    Bottom line

    No one likes filling out their timesheet, but advanced features and integration can make the process a lot smoother. The less of a hassle it is to complete, the better the chance employees will fill out their timesheet on time. Moreover, advanced timesheet features let professional services firms benefit from better visibility on billables and progress on tasks and projects. This means fewer errors and delays, and a reduced risk of write-offs as clients have all the supporting documentation they need. If your firm is in the professional services industry or if you manage by project, look for a timesheet integrated to financials and projects that offers some of the features mentioned above.

    By JOVACO Solutions, timesheet specialist for Microsoft Dynamics


    About JOVACO Solutions

    JOVACO Solutions is a leading ERP and CRM solution provider operating in Quebec for over 35 years. As a specialist of Microsoft Dynamics business management solutions, we offer a wide range of products and services to meet all the needs of professional services firms and project-based organizations. We also offer specialized project management tools and timesheet add-ons fully integrated to Microsoft Dynamics solutions. Visit our website or contact us for more information.

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