It’s About Time – Re-capturing Lost Billable Hours

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The elusive billable hours and the hours that the customer will challenge are siblings. The hours you don’t bill, and the hours the client won’t pay for, are the twins that reduce your utilization rate and push your profits down. Let’s tackle the second one for just a sec.

 When it comes to “Time and Materials,” the client wants to know that each hour was used to his benefit, even if he was not around to evaluate each and every hour. This is his right. It is up to the professional consultant who touts his specialized services to be productive and give the client a quality consulting hour, provide engineering skills, planning acumen, or trouble-shooting expertise, and let him know about it quickly and effectively. But how is this done?

 I have noticed, after more than two decades of providing oversight to consultants, that the highly skilled and highly educated professional consultant imagines that somehow the client will know and appreciate all the hours put into a project. And this can be the case; nonetheless, what happens when a project’s timeline slips and the hours of trouble-shooting and problem solving need to be justified? The hours are all meticulously listed on the invoice, but does the client know exactly how valuable those hours were?

 Time tracking can be a headache for any highly-focused consultant. Engineers and programmers can be so immersed in their work that recording and submitting their billable time is left to the very last minute, literally! They need something to JOGG them into reporting their time. This problem is so pervasive that there are innumerable computer programs, self-help books on time management, and now mobile applications to help the overloaded professional.

 The Holy Grail is a solution that conveys the projected scheduled hours directly to your phone or mobile device, and after a quick input from you, the activity is recorded, assigned to the right project phase, and linked to the right account in the accounting system. Then, at the end of the day, the client’s project manager receives a report for his approval and the resulting response is then forwarded effortlessly to the SharePoint server where other stakeholders are able to review the day’s progress. The data then flows into the company billing system where the hours are totaled up ready for the next invoicing period.

 All of the following activities – time keeping, task completion, project management, supervision, approvals, billing, and cash flow – are part of normal Professional Service activities that if executed smoothly, make for best practices in the profession. So, the question now is not “what’s in your wallet?” but rather, “what’s on your phone/mobile device?” If coming to AXUG, looks us up. We’ll be at booth #120 and give this mobile App a test run.

by Solugenix


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