For many companies, hiring consultants is valuable. However, tracking consulting hours may prove challenging. How did they spend their time? What do you need to pay them for? You might hire a sustainability consultant, marketing consultant or another type of business specialist. In most cases, businesses owners need efficient ways of tracking their consultant hours. The following is a guide for tracking consulting hours. Here are the best ways to manage your consultant time tracking efficiently.
Create A Spreadsheet
To track consulting hours, make a spreadsheet. You can list start times in one column and end times in another. To calculate the elapsed time, simply subtracting the first from the second. You can even write formulas to calculate for you. Create more columns to itemize other services. A spreadsheet will itemize, visualize, and organize data, necessary in tracking consulting hours. This is one of the simplest ways to track hours for consultants.
Use Time-Tracking Software Or App
While spreadsheets are a great solution, this can become overwhelming when you have a lot of consultants. Fortunately, there are robust software and apps offerings that enable you to track time spent. The best software and apps employ fast, user-friendly interfaces. They provide real-time reporting tools that allow access to time, projects, and budget. You can even send your staff automated notifications to keep them on track. Use these information management tools to your advantage. The right software could completely automate time tracking for consultants with your company.
Itemize Time Usage For Accountability
Consultants use their time in different ways. Whether it’s traveling, in office or a client location, you will need to track time usage specifically for accountability. Where was time wasted? How can time be better allocated? Enter this information using the aforementioned spreadsheets. You can also use software and apps, as previously stated. Account for every item to reward your consultants appropriately. Whichever format you decide to use, proper itemization will keep your consultants accountable for the
Trust-Based Time Tracking
Consultants work better when trusted. Monitored time tracking with privacy-invading tactics, such as keystroke measuring and random screenshots, usually produce toxic work environments. Hire people you can trust. This is one of the proven tactics on how to improve productivity. Track consultants’ work based on results. After all, being physically in an office doesn’t always mean being productive. If you trust your consultants, you can save plenty of time tracking hours. However, you open up the possibility of risk on over-reported hours.
Use Billing Software
At the end of the day, you have to pay your consultants. Leverage billing software for this. Many of the time-tracking software and apps mentioned earlier have an integrated invoicing feature. Offer online payment options to pay your consultants faster. Not only will they be happier, but they’ll be more likely to work with you again in the future.
Tracking consulting hours can be a simple process. Make a spreadsheet to itemize and organize time spent. Use time-tracking software or phone apps to take the guessing out of time expenditures. Itemize time usage (travel, phone, physical presence) for accountability, to know where time can be better spent. Even with all this tracking, trusting your consultants to produce results is the best way. And to pay them, use billing software to expedite and simplify. Apply the above, and you’ll be tracking consulting hours with ease.