The importance of tracking non-chargeable activities
It’s often a misconception that timesheets should be used purely for chargeable time, to ensure invoicing correctly for the work completed and staff paid appropriately. Whilst this certainly is beneficial, there is great value in tracking non-chargeable time, whether that be time spent pitching, conducting internal admin or other internal matters. This can help your business increase in profitability and survive tough economic climates. Also, to help a business get a true insight into the amount of work put into clients and what any associated costs are.
Good evidence for restructure
Restructuring a business can often be a powerful move, to provide new offerings to clients or transition to a multi-discipline agency. Unfortunately, it can also become a necessity after a loss of work or unpredictable climate. Whilst we hope the worst case doesn’t hold true, having records or profitability by job title & department as well as utilisation can show scenarios where perhaps there is a surplus of specific roles. You can also see which clients require more attention than others, and whether this returns profit. It will become possible for you to spot departments, teams or job titles which are stretched thinly, and would benefit from additional resources.
In the example report above, we can see quickly how many hours your staff members or departments are pushing out and which ones are billable or non-billable. As well as this, the staff and department utilisation, how many hours are bringing in revenue to the business. Naturally, some roles will have a higher billable time output than others (PR vs Finance for example), but this information can still help to determine whether a re-assignment of priorities would benefit the team. In Tempora, it is possible to break this down ever further, by looking at which clients (or activities) this time was spent on, how much it cost the business and the revenue generated.
Which clients are you putting hours into, for little return
On a similar vein, a business may be putting time and effort into a client for little or diminishing results. Whilst boasting a large client collection can be desirable, there may be a time that you need to agree new rates or reduce the workload. Perhaps there was a retainer for a year, but with rising overheads that is no longer returning the margin required.
The report above shows a quick overview of all hours put into a client, the cost of hiring the staff to complete the work and the total billable revenue (using agreed rates). These types of reports will allow you to quickly identify your biggest (or lowest) revenue streams. The report below shows the same information but comparing cost of work completed against any income from the client. Depending on which practice of measuring profit and loss for your business you follow, it is important to ensure you encapsulate all time spent on client matters, as your staff will be paid, regardless of whether the client is charged for that time or not.
In Tempora, there are reports that can break this down further. It is possible to input adesired margin and the system will collate all time and costs from the timesheet to show what would need to be invoiced to reach that margin.
Knowing the full amount of time spent, will help make more informed predictions going forward. It will become easy to spot if budgeting is consistently over or under by a certain amount when looking at the full picture. Allowing you to make enhanced upfront quotes for time and cost when pitching for work.
As mentioned earlier, getting a true encapsulation of the amount of work put into the whole project, from pitch to completion, can help identify areas that aren’t always considered. It becomes easy to identify areas of business in which take slightly longer then predicted, using past data to check whether they are regularly taking longer than budget.
If you'd like to see any of these reports in action, or have a chat about how best to take your business reporting to the next level, why not drop us a call? We also have a similar blog, on how to check whether your clients are profitable.