Do you track time for your employees? If not, you’re missing very important information to determine the success of your agency. For service-based industries like advertising, time tracking is critical. Without it, it’s impossible to see the full picture of your business.

Perhaps you tried (and failed) to get your staff to do timesheets in the past. But it’s worth your while to figure out a way to make it work. According to the Harvard Business Review, the US economy is losing 50 million hours (an estimated $7.4 billion) a day because time was not tracked.

Profitability and Utilization Reports

Which client takes up most of your team’s time? Is the client’s portion of the revenue pie proportionate to that time? Without information about employee hours, you would be unable to run a complete Client Profitability Report. And with no employee time data, running an Employee Utilization Report is impossible.

Employee Availability

To be effective, Project Managers need to know there are enough resources  available to complete assignments and meet deadlines. Do you know if your employees are over-utilized? Over-worked employees are subject to decreased productivity and burnout. Knowing how many hours they work tells you if you need to hire more people. The same is true for under-utilization. Avoid employee downtime by tracking hours. Keep your most talented employees engaged by giving them work that has been on the backburner.

Client Audits

It is common to be audited for time reports by government clients and those whom you bill by the hour, but it can happen with any client. In addition to the number of employee hours, an audit would typically request project reference, dates, and the function the hours were for. Not collecting this information leaves your agency vulnerable to not being able to produce the data to survive the audit.

“So, how do I get employees to log their time?”

When it comes to motivating employees to track time, honesty and transparency go a long way. First of all, assure them that the purpose is not to spy on them. Here are some points you can make to foster support for time tracking:

  • Their time is valuable and you want to be sure no hours fall through the cracks so clients can be billed accurately.
  • Time tracking benefits employees because you can identify over-utilization and get work off their plates before it stresses them out.
  • Information from timesheets can help you improve workflows, resulting in a streamlined (i.e. easier) process.

Last but not least, make it easy for them to track time. The fewer clicks, the better. Be sure to train them if necessary. A time tracking system that integrates with your Project Management and Accounting systems makes it easier for employees to track time and provides quick access to the data you need.

Advantage Software is perfect for full-service advertising agencies of all sizes, creative and production shops, public relations and marketing firms. Over 850 agencies use Advantage for Project ManagementAccounting and Media. We build our software with the right mix of browser-based and other tools that maximize productivity, efficiency and profitability. This means something for every employee associate in every department. Find out how we can help you by contacting us for a demo. If you simply would like to learn more, sign up below for our free Newsletter.