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There are a range of benefits to using Online Time which make it effective for every size and style of business

Before we venture into examining each section of the business benefits of Online Time, an overview of the different data that is collection by the system is required. The following data is available to you within the system:

Disbursements:

  • actual cost to you
  • intended amount to bill the client
  • actual amount the client was billed
  • whether the expense is re-billable, or allocated to overhead costs

Work Hours:

  • employee pay amount
  • actual cost per hour including CPP, UI , statutory holidays, and fixed overhead costs allowance
  • actual amount the client was billed (resolved to a per-hour amount per project)
  • intended amount to bill the client
  • deviations from estimate on client billing
  • whether the time is re-billable, or allocated to overhead costs

With the following root values for every dollar spent in either direct expense or salary, there is a nearly immeasurable array of analytical reports and analytical views that can be presented.

 
 

 

Billing all your time:


Apart from all the benefits of tracking your working activities with detail, we say that finding the small gems of un-billed time is the one that will pay for the cost of this application many times over. We know you will find this to be true, and to pay for this application, you will need to have saved only one hour, per employee, per year, to make this a reality. The system ensures that whenever you go to bill any project, you see a list of all projects with un-billed time. Your Work-In-Progress is always ‘in your face’ to ensure time booked against projects that are closed, or small additions are immediately brought to your attention.

Further to finding the lost gems of time logged against projects that have already been billed out, is the ability to easily and accurately review all the work done on a project while creating the bill. Not rolling into the invoice based on the estimate for small additions can be captured easily, and it gives you the opportunity to either bill, or indicate to your client your generosity in going beyond the initial scope of work. Either way, you win.

 

 
 

Improving your estimates:


Once the system has collected a reasonable amount of data, the summary financial reports will permit you to view your revenue by project type, your revenue by client, and your true costs for each of these breakdowns. Knowing where you have room to move on pricing may make the difference between winning a bid and losing money on the contract overall.

Beyond determining your revenue by a specific breakdown of work activities, one of the most powerful features on this package is the ability to calculate your actual un-billable to billable ratio for employee time. Knowing how much overhead you actually have per billable hour is one of the most valuable figures you will every glean from this application.

 
 

 

Analyzing your TRUE income per project:


Billing a client is easy, but knowing how much profit was realized in the work done is much more difficult. Online Time permits you to view a project cost report which takes into effect a scaling effect for both fixed and per-rate employee expenses beyond their wage amounts. This encompasses employer CPP and UI contributions, administrative overhead, and allowance for vacation time and statutory holidays.

Most importantly, project cost analysis reports are viewable from the invoicing window, so BEFORE you create your invoice and make a decision to adjust an invoice, you can examine your true cost for that work performed.

 

 
 

Justifying your work activities:


Documentation is citical in today’s fast-paced world. Utilizing a system such as this ensures that every activity of you and your employees is not only recorded, but is done in a way that makes it quickly accessible years later. When a dispute arises around work that is performed, you will always know who was there, who did what and when, as well as having their notes recorded electronically for reference.

 
 

 

Employee time entry.


There is only one way to ensure that your employees invest an adequate amount of effort in entering their work activities into the system - they must have some personal benefit. Because the employee time sheet is incorporated into this application, the employee’s pay will be based on the hours they enter. Further, they cannot enter time without assigning it to a project and a client. This ensures that the data you use to generate your client billing is accurate and complete.

The next way we ensure your employees enter their time accurately is to make it simple and straight forward. If your employees work in teams, team leaders can enter time as a unit. By doing so, only the team leader would be required to make entries for up to three employees working on the same items for a day. Time entry is simple and utilizes non-typing entry as much as possible.

 

 
 

Disbursements and Expenses.


Disbursements are entered on a simple principle - it takes time to spend money. Thus, an employee cannot record money spent without entering a time value first. That said, it should be noted that it is possible to enter a 0 hours time entry, permitting you to demonstrate to the client that time was spent doing a task, even though they are not being billed for that time.

Every time money is spent, it is tracked in any of three ways:

  • Re-billable to the client. Re-billable disbursement entries will be listed with, and summed up with the un-billed amount in the Work In Progress list, and will be displayed on the project billing form. For each disbursement type, you can specify a markup, so when the client is billed, the calculated amount will be greater than the actual cost of the item if you wish. Further, when items are billed, you may manually adjust this actual billed amount.
  • Non-re-billable to the client. For financial analysis purposes, any expense logged against a project but not recaptured independently, is considered a direct expense against that project and is accounted for in analytical reporting.
  • Reimbursed to the employee. Some expenses are paid directly by your employees and need to be repaid to them. As the administrator, you can decide what an employee is permitted to mark (at the time of data entry) as reimbursable. Items that are to be repaid to the employee are reported on the employee hours worked report for each pay period.
 
 

 

The Billing Cycle.


Our online time and billing application makes the billing cycle simple and fool-proof by creating a flow-through concept for every hour entered into the system. After time is booked against a project, that time remains in the Work-In-Progress section of the application until an administrator either bills that time or passes the time with a zero value.

Billing time against a project can follow three models:

  • Hourly billing - Time entered is billed at the set rate, or an adjusted rate per hour. Each time entry is cleared when marked to appear
  • Billing on a fixed amount - Time entered is billed by a ‘fit’ method, having the administrator mark all time relevant to the estimated bill, and then requesting a ‘fit’ calculation that will balance the hourly rate evenly between the selected entries to meet the estimated amount.
  • Custom Billing - Time entered is individually adjusted to accommodate fluctuation in efficiency, estimate or agreed price, and unique situations.

One benefit of Online Time is that any combination of the above methods may be used to bill any one project. Portions of a project may be billed on a fixed amount and remaining time can be billed hourly (additions to the contract), and portions can be custom billed to accommodate for error or oversights during the performance of the work. In all cases, a per-task and per-employee model of billing efficiency is created, permitting outstanding analysis of year-end data.

 

 
 

Project Summaries.


When the phone rings - you know what you are talking about, even if you haven’t spoken to your office staff or your on-site team. Online Time equips you to quickly move from client lookup to a detailed project by project view, showing every work entry with comments and every disbursement to date in real time, even if you are traveling, at home, or on a mobile device.

The following reports are also available through a project summary view:

  • Project Cover Report - a simple printout of all relevant project and client data useful as a cover sheet for the file, or a contact sheet for involved staff.
  • True Costs Report - A report which is very useful when a project requires variations of billing due to complications. This report displays the true costs incurred on the selected project, including non-re-billable disbursements, staff wages and associated employee costs (CPP, UI, etc), and a balanced portion of overhead costs to be assigned to the project.

 

 
 

 

The Case for Going Web-Based.


For many of our users, this will be the first time they will have purchased a service in an online application, in place of purchasing a CD and installing an application directly on the office network of computers. The next move in technology is to facilitate centralized application services. This June 2004 article in the Globe and Mail does a good job of forecasting this next phase of growth in the technology marketplace.

 

 
 

Getting Started:


Unlike traditional applications, using a web-based application ensures that you are able to begin the use of the product almost immediately. No installation, server or overhead are required. There are no restrictions on computer operating systems and no networking requirements, except than every computer must be able to access the Internet. Software developers share the benefit with the consumer surrounding deployment - where typically 95% of support issues arise from the installation and configuration of the software. With online applications, this is gone. Pricing and consumer satisfaction both reflect this benefit.

 

 
 

 

Security:


You are storing critical data in this online time and billing system and one of the biggest points of hesitation is letting that critical data be stored somewhere outside of your own offices. In many cases, we are better able in both experience and equipment to protect your data from loss or theft than you are. When your data resides with a professional application service provider, your data is stored behind state-of-the-art firewall protection systems and is stored on computers with redundant storage devices. Backups are done systematically and verified regularly. Because we maintain such a large amount of data on our array of servers, procedures are followed to ensure the integrity of our monument of that data, and this in almost all cases, exceeds the steps taken by small and medium businesses in managing their electronic property.

 

 
 

Upgrades and Changes:


As many consumers are aware, you must keep your software current and up to date. This means paying for updates, receiving CD’s and installing an upgrade on your system. This costs both in direct expenses and employee time in performing the upgrade, not to mention the issues from upgrading that can arise. Because of the costs of such an upgrade offer on the part of the software vendor, new releases are usually provided annually, but features are being added to that upgrade set daily. With online applications, you never have to pay for the use of the service, not the software. All upgrades are not only included, but are installed on our server (not yours), and are rolled out when features are finished - not at the end of the year for the next CD. The benefit - you get timely updates, and which cost you nothing in money or employee time.

 

 
 

 

True Financial analysis


Having every hour tracked in a logical and usable package permits the calculation of some very important values for every business owner.

  • Un-billable time - Knowing exactly what percentage of time is spent on internal activities.

  • True Employee Costing - Showing a per employee breakdown of typical un-billable time such as sick time, holiday time, and statutory leave days, as well as a breakdown of lost billable time per employee.

  • Income by project type - This report not only permits you to view each project’s cost, billed amount, and income, but does so in a comparative format and permits you to export your data to a spreadsheet for further financial analysis.

  • Work In Progress - A straight forward report that every bank manager should understand. The perfect tool for providing up-to-the-minute values of how much outstanding un-billed work has been completed. Not only will you be equipped to demonstrate your true current financial position, your bank manager will wish every client arrived as organized as yourself.

  • Estimate Accuracy Report - Showing a comparison of the anticipated hourly billings, and the actual hourly billings, against the estimated value. Further, this report creates a project type summary of billing vs. estimation and anticipated billing vs. estimation.

  • Project Type Work Allocation Report - Showing the average number of hours, as a percent of the overall hours worked. This report will indicate the balance between all the components of work involved in each project type.

  • Custom Reports - Each user of the online time and billing system can request custom reports. The system was specifically designed to accommodate customization at this level. For pricing information, click here.

     

 

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