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Timesheet apps: projects rather than clients???

Timesheets app log time

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We have a couple of staff working remotely and use excel spreadsheets to log time. We're looking at two apps for documenting time i.e. toggl and timelyapp however they seem to document time by project rather thank by client. What is the rational behind this, surely most professional service providers document time by client and then into a particular project? Am I missing something here?

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By atleastisoundknowledgable...
10th Sep 2019 21:45

We list each client billing cycle as a project eg Client A 2018; Client B payroll 19/20; Client B YE 19 etc. But we use Harvest so that’s so I can track profitability on a billing cycle basis.

If you’re not doing that, just have a ‘project’ for each client.

The reason they do it, is because they’re built more for eg design agencies that have a few short term projects on the go, rather than long term regular work.

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By kathyray
11th Sep 2019 10:41

We use Toggl (free version) and it documents time by both client and project. Both very handy for billing when, say, you're billing the same client for both payroll and prep of VAT returns.

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By andyscotland
12th Sep 2019 10:01

Same here, we use toggl - each project can be assigned to a client. As a minimum we use a separate project for each financial year's worth of work. This makes it easy to track and analyse work done / billed for across our own financial year-end, and to match it up to client estimates, quotes and budgets. If the client has multiple budget lines for our services then we use a project for each one.

We also use tags for some things to track particular types of work across all projects/clients so we can see roughly how long we spend doing each type of activity.

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By normanwl
12th Sep 2019 10:02

One important thing to consider when adding apps is he degree of integration they offer with your accounting package.

No one likes completing timesheets. They should be completed at least daily otherwise they will have no accuracy. the knowledge that this can and will be seen is good.

These are easily fund on the websites of the accounting packages.

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By ara.martirossian
12th Sep 2019 10:32

In Sage 50 Projects, you could setup a hierarchy to have customer at the top and then sub-projects below it. Timesheets can then be captured at the sub-project level via an iPhone \ iPad \ browser using Mobile2Sage which can then be imported into both Sage 50 Projects (as well as Sage Payroll if required). Excel exports are available which can provide the data in any order (e.g. customer, sub-project,...) which can be further enhanced using Excel Pivot Tables. There is also a free trial at https://www.red-it.co.uk/mobile2sage

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Emanur Rahman CEO at ONKHO
By emanur
12th Sep 2019 11:44

The answer lies in the genealogy of these platforms. They were built for project management. But they will work for you as well. You should think of a project as a bucket into which you record time. While the bucket might be called a project, you can simply think of it as a client.

Separately do you mind me asking why you track time? Is it for productivity or for billing or both?

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Replying to emanur:
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By Tickers
17th Sep 2019 15:02

emanur wrote:

The answer lies in the genealogy of these platforms. They were built for project management. But they will work for you as well. You should think of a project as a bucket into which you record time. While the bucket might be called a project, you can simply think of it as a client.

Separately do you mind me asking why you track time? Is it for productivity or for billing or both?

Productivity and to give me an idea of which clients are the most time consuming. We also have staff who work remotely.

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By Munch
21st Sep 2019 07:50

If you cannot link projects to client then move away. The hierarchy is crucial. If you have the need for multiple reporting tiers for managing your client time (or fixed fee/activity based billing) then you should be extremely wary if you immediately starting to manipulate the offered hierarchy. eg "We use projects for client".....as you work down you will start having issues. Also be aware of future flexibility......are you expanding internationally and will need to report/manage cross border client work etc.

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