We've all heard the phrase "time is money" a thousand times before, but many business owners (and, yes, even employees) continue to underestimate the true cost of mismanaging time—and they're losing thousands of dollars because of it.
The true cost of time management goes far beyond the price of unproductive hours or wasted minutes—and failing to manage time could cost you valuable business insight, potential new customers, and, if you happen to get hit with a wage and hour claim within the next several years (after all, they're on the rise), it could even cost you a lawsuit.
Fortunately, there is a solution.
Leveraging cloud-based time tracking technology can help you eliminate those risks, make more money, and protect your most precious commodity: time.
We hear it all the time, "My business only has salaried employees, we don't need time tracking."
But tracking time isn't just about tracking employee hours worked, it's about tracking profitability, job costs, and labor expenses. Failing to do so can result in inaccurate billing, uninformed decisions, and misplaced money. Saying, "My business doesn't need time tracking," is like saying, "My business doesn't need crucial information." And we all know you wouldn't say that.
When it comes right down to it, every business can benefit from automated time tracking, even those with salaried employees.
Using an automated time tracking software like TSheets allows you and your employees to track time against multiple clients or projects throughout the day. The result is valuable business insight you wouldn't find anywhere else. Use that insight to...
- Determine which clients are profitable, and which are sucking up too much of your valuable time. Then, bill accordingly. Customers who use TSheets bill up to 20 percent more, just by making the switch. After all, studies show that humans naturally underestimate how much time it takes to complete a project by nearly 20 percent. Having that accurate time data in your arsenal will ensure that no hard-worked minutes go unpaid.
- Pinpoint exactly which projects are giving you the best possible results, and use that information to make smarter decisions about where and how you allocate your and your employees' time. Your timesheets can (and will) show you when you're most productive, and when you're just busy. The results may surprise you!
- More accurately and efficiently predict job and labor costs. With a backlog of timesheet data at your fingertips, you'll be able to make business predictions using actual facts, numbers, and statistics...rather than the old office crystal ball. A far more reliable method...if you ask us.
When all's said and done, automated time tracking not only saves your bottom line, but improves it. Still think your business can go without?
"To err is human," said Alexander Pope, an 18th century poet. And while he may have been referencing an error more egregious than misplacing a timesheet, his sentiment rings true: Humans, by virtue of being human, make mistakes.
Unfortunately, when it comes to running a business, a simple mistake (such as misplacing a timesheet—or forgetting to record a shift) can be costly. In fact, it could be costing you way more than you think.
Look at it this way:
- When your employees are expected to manually enter their time on a paper timesheet, you run the risk of opening yourself up to time theft. In most cases, time theft is committed ignorantly. Employees are expected to estimate how much time they've worked, and they almost always estimate in favor of themselves. But if each employee overestimates by just 10 minutes each day, you could find yourself paying for an extra hour per employee each week. It's not such a big deal if you've only got one or two employees, but if you've got eight or more, you're essentially paying for an unworked shift each week—and the numbers only increase from there. In a worst case scenario, you could discover that you've been paying for an employee who doesn't even exist—all thanks to poor employee time management.
- Time theft aside, think of the time it takes to manually hunt down, collect, decipher, and enter those timesheets into your payroll software. On average, this is a process that can take 10-15 minutes per employee (or more!). If you've got a team of 10, you're looking at several wasted hours each pay period—just to run payroll. Any more than that and payroll suddenly becomes an all-day event. Don't you have better things you could be doing with your time?
- Finally, consider the cost of simply fat-fingering the data as you manually enter it into your payroll software. You've got to take the time to double and even triple check the numbers before calling it a job well done—and when time is money, this can be a costly task.
But what if there were an easier way to manage your time? What if (hear us out) time management was as easy as the click of a button?
With automated time tracking, it is. TSheets saves business owners up to eight percent on gross payroll costs each year—just by giving them more of their most valuable asset: time.
Which brings us to...
Time management becomes even more important (and even more costly—when mismanaged) when you've got a mobile workforce. Not only do the odds of time theft and timesheet padding go up, but so does the amount of time it takes to run payroll, the time it takes to collect and decipher time cards, and the time it takes to communicate with your team.
That unnecessary time could be costing you money...but, more importantly, it's probably costing you customers.
- Without a cloud-based time tracking system to help you manage your and your employees' time, it's impossible for you to know where your employees are or what they're working on. Suddenly, jobs that should take two hours are taking closer to four. And unless you require your employees to call, text, or email the office when they move on to the next site (a hassle for both you and them), you're in the dark when it comes to which customers are being helped and which are put on the backburner. Poor customer service, missed jobs, or delayed appearances result in lost customers, bad reviews, and not a referral in sight.
- In the Know and On the Go with GPS Tracking
- Communicating with your team can be time consuming in and of itself. Manning the phones, answering texts, or constantly checking email can take hours out of your (and your employee's) day—and missing a phone call could mean missing a potential job. As you know, the more jobs you take in a day, the more money you add to your bottom line—having the ability to communicate quickly and easily could mean the difference between a full day's work and paying for downtime.
With a cloud based time management system, communicating with your team no longer requires timely phone calls or missed emails. Use TSheets to see at a glance exactly where your team is working, what they're working on, and when they're ready to move on to the next customer. When a customer calls in with an emergency, simply locate the employee closest to their location and alert them to the job (better yet, assign them to the job using TSheets scheduling!). No more missed calls, no more missed jobs—and happy customers all around.Learn More About TSheets Scheduling
Last but not least, consider this...
If you still think your business doesn't need a better time management system, think again. Even if you don't care about business insight, saving time on payroll, or managing mobile employees, you still have to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). And if you're not managing your time, you could find yourself hit with a costly FLSA lawsuit.
- If you DO happen to get hit with a lawsuit, the first thing your employment counsel is going to do is ask for your timesheet records. You know, the records that prove exactly how long your employees work, how long their breaks are, and how much overtime they've taken. Without those records, it's your disgruntled employee's word against yours—and that odds aren't in your favor. With those records, you could have a good chance of settling the dispute before it goes to court -- but it all depends on how organized you are and how quickly you move. Sorting through thousands of paper timesheets simply isn't going to cut it. When all's said and done, failing to provide the appropriate records could leave you responsible for several years worth of back wages (including overtime), damages, and attorney's fees (for both you and your employee). But with accurate-to-the-second employee time data in your arsenal, you've got a much better defense.
- With the new overtime rule on the horizon, a lot of business owners are taking a good, hard look at their employee classifications—and they're using their timecards to make smart, informed decisions about what to do next. For those who don't have timesheet data to work with, determining whether or not your employees are exempt or nonexempt can be a logistical nightmare—and misclassifying your employees, handing out unnecessary raises, or worse, doing nothing, can be a seriously costly mistake.
- On top of all that, failing to track time goes hand in hand with failing to track overtime correctly or consistently. And failing to correctly track overtime alone could cost you thousands. Here's the deal: If your employees are working overtime, you have to pay them overtime wages—even if you have a policy that prohibits it. If you're not tracking time worked, how can you possibly know how much overtime is owed? Or how much money you can expect to shell out come payday? The cost of not tracking overtime is huge, and it's only going to grow as December 1, 2016, approaches.
The solution is, as always, effective time management using an automated time tracking system. With TSheets, employee timesheet data is at your fingertips—providing you with the safety net you need to prevent or survive an FLSA lawsuit. What's more than that, the timesheet data your employees submit can be paramount to your success when it comes to reclassifying and reorganizing your employees in preparation for the new overtime law. Finally, using TSheets to track and curb overtime ensures that your payroll costs stay low—and that your company stays compliant.Back to Resource Center