Tech Edge Weekly

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A Guide to Time Tracking and Billing

Time is money, and no-one knows this better than people such as freelancers, legal professionals, and consultants. When you need to bill by the hour, it’s important you track every minute – because those few minutes definitely add up, which means you could be losing out on a significant amount of money. Just fifteen minutes of unbilled work per day equals over an hour of pay per week!

This kind of working life can get hectic, especially if you really love your job. You shut everything down for the day but before you do you check your emails one last time, you reply back to someone, which prompts something you meant to do earlier in the day. You could shut your computer down and do it the next day, but you already forgot once, and it won’t take that long, will it?

But sometimes it does, and before you know it, you’ve worked on something for ages and you can’t exactly recall how long you were working on it. This is especially problematic for those of us who have fluid working patterns where we may duck in and out of a task to take a break or take care of some personal business.

What often happens is we can’t exactly determine the time we spend, so we either round down, to save billing the client more than necessary (but will lose you money in the long term), or we round up, which means we are billing for work we might not have actually completed. Either way, you’re missing out or your client is – neither outcome is any good.

This can all be quickly and easily avoided by using a time tracking and billing application. There are many in the market, each has their own benefits and uses. Some, for example, offer a range of currencies if your clients require it, some are completely free (with limited options, but good for new freelancers) and some are very efficient and robust for a small fee, such as Alpaka where you can sign up from just £3 per month.

Time tracking and billing are vital applications that can save you time and money. Using accurate time tracking capabilities, you can see in real time how long a task or project has taken, tapping into those problem areas where you might be over or under charging for work. If you employ a team it’s also great for ensuring everyone’s doing what they should and how long for. If that one employee you see actually works through their lunch often then you can bill the client, and therefore know the value of your employee’s worth, accurately.

With integrated billing, these types of applications offer ease of doing business. You can set your pay per hour, per project, or per client. You can also automatically calculate any taxes due and apply discounts accurately.

Choose a platform like Alpaka to help take your business to the next level and realise the benefits of time tracking and billing software.