Investors get asked a similar question: “When is the best time to invest?” They always answer with: “The best time would be at birth, the second best time would be today.”
Ok, kidding aside, there are some rules about when would be a good time to invest in a timesheet system like TimeControl and they have everything to do with the cost/benefit perspective. If you are an organization of 4 or 5 people, then you probably know what everyone is doing with their time already. Getting the benefits from a formal timesheet system is more complex.
Once you get to a size where that kind of information isn’t as readily available, you’ve got to start thinking of a timesheet. Another way to look at this is to think of where the timesheet data will be used. If you’re going to claim R&D tax credits from the government, then formal documentation of the expenditure of time is a must regardless of your size. So, the value of the tax claim has to be factored into your decision and the return on investment is easy to see.
Same thing goes for those doing formal project management. If your business is such that you need to do better tracking of how the tasks are being progressed, then a formal timesheet system makes more sense.
If you are thinking of your cost/benefit from an efficiency perspective, we’ve created a Return on Investment calculator that lets you factor in some of the cost and benefit numbers and show you the break-even point of going with TimeControl.
The spreadsheet is downloadable by clicking here or by visiting the TimeControl Buyer’s Guide area of our website.
This is a great question and one that is asked all too rarely. Most people don’t even consider that there might be more than one kind of timesheet.
When prospective clients call us and ask about TimeControl, our first question is “What kind of timesheet are you looking for?” The most popular timesheet type is time and attendance.
If all you need to do is collect time for payroll, then this would be right for you. There is a simple time and attendance timesheet available with every major ERP and Finance system in the market today. Payroll systems are less concerned with what did you work on and more concerned with when were you at work?
Next most popular would be a Time and Billing timesheet. For professionals who need to invoice their time, this is critical. It’s not just when were you at work, it’s what client did you do work for and what is the rate we charge you out at for that client and that work? Time and Billing timesheets are less concerned with what tasks were you working on or when you were at work and more concerned with the right rates for the right time and right client.
Project update timesheets are designed to progress tasks planned in the project management system but have less interest in complex payroll rules or invoicing rates.
Flexible timesheet systems like TimeControl are somewhat more rare as they cater to multiple needs at one time.TimeControl can be used for payroll, HR exceptions like sick leave or vacation tracking, billing and project updating all at the same time.
We’re the Swiss Army Knife of timesheets and our motto around here is Semper Gumby (always be flexible). For your own decision, it’s good to determine what the timesheet data could be used for, what systems it could integrate with and, most importantly, avoiding implementing multiple timesheets when one might do.
For more on TimeControl flexibility, visit www.timecontrol.com/features/flexibility.
You certainly can. We released mobile interfaces for TimeControl as part of TimeControl 6.2 in June 2011 to work on your smartphone and tested them with iPhones, Android, Blackberry and Microsoft Mobile devices.
The interface still requires a connection to the Internet and access to your TimeControl (not all organizations allow their TimeControl to be viewed from outside their network). In fact, HMS did extensive research on a mobile version back in 1999 and 2000 for the Palm Pilot. (Remember those?) But the technology we needed wouldn’t catch up for another 10 years.
If you’d like to try TimeControl Mobile right now, you can do so on the TimeControl Trial site. Register for the site at timecontrol.com/free-trial then once you receive your log-in information, point your browser to tc6eval.timecontrol.org/mobile and use the log in information we emailed to you.
You can get more information on TimeControl mobile right here on the website at www.timecontrol.com/features/mobile.
We’ve been updating our Frequently Asked Questions this year but it occurred to us that people who check the Blog for the many technical answers that are included here might not think to look there. So we’ll be cross-posting the FAQs onto the blog here over the coming weeks.
You can see the FAQs at www.timecontrol.com/support/faq and we’ll continue to keep that section of the support database up to date even while we cross-post here.