Sloppy Timesheet Practices Are Wasting Us All Too Much Money.
You know how we tend to moan about the ‘burden’ of filling out timesheets? That face we make to each other in the office about what a faff it is to fill in timesheets, what a lot of bureaucracy it seems to mainly be.
Well, maybe it’s time to think less of the faff of keeping accurate timesheets – and start to worry a bit more about the financial costs we incur to our employers when we fail to keep data up to date.
And that’s a burden no CFO takes lightly.
There was an interesting (January 2015) article in the highly-respected Harvard Business Review as proof, if any were needed, of the serious face of the timesheet issue. I think its headline says it all, really: ‘Workers Are Bad at Filling Out Timesheets, and It Costs Billions a Day.’
Billions? Really? Well, the author wrote that title after completing her research – during which she established that the professional services sector in the US is losing the equivalent of 50 million hours a year of billable hours. A survey of some 500 staff in that sector found that each staffer tracked was losing their employer $50,000 per year in revenue due to insufficient tracking of emails with clients and others. In total, says the study, almost 40% of respondents reported never tracking time spent reading and answering email – and only 33% said they “always” or “often” do.
Now these figures are scary enough, but what the article goes on to detail in depth is how technology isn’t making things any better. We’re drowning in emails says the Review, which means that we’re firefighting that influx of information all week… making it insanely hard to try and get all the time info sorted out at the end of a week (the grudging Friday timesheet hour we all know).
I said ‘technology’ is part of the problem here. Well, we need to be more precise about that. The study the editors of the HBR based their feature on quotes data that shows that team members that record their project hours on a daily basis are much more accurate (and less encumbered by the process) than weekly summarisers… while the best group of all are those that did it on a rolling, multiple times a day basis.
Use the right technology – the sort that keeps your life simple!
So when we say ‘technology,’ what we really mean is the unhelpful sort – emails and spreadsheets.
Helpful technology – technology that keeps timesheet work quick, accurate, unobtrusive and slick – is what’s needed to stop all these billions from being wasted.
And that’s why Professional Services Automation (PSA) companies’ use systems like V1’s (http://www.wearev1.com/psa-software/) – as that’s just the kind of app the authors of this fascinating piece approve of.
Catherine Murphy, Head of Marketing
Please drop me a line if you’d like to discuss any of the issues I’ve raised in this blog: Catherine.Murphy@WeAreV1.com
Sloppy Timesheet Practices Are Wasting Us All Too Much Money. by