Client billing for time and expense reporting can be cumbersome – it’s time to make it simpler. Here are seven tips to help you do just that.
1. Put your employees first
The processes and tools you put in place, such as an online time tracker, for individuals to log their hours and submit expenses (as well as for supervisors to approve said hours and expenses) should aim to reduce the administrative burden on project teams and therefore more likely to get these tasks done on time.
2. Go mobile
Everything from booking travel to snapping photos of receipts to project management tracking is available now on mobile devices. Using a time tracker app immediately after time is used or snapping your expense receipt image while you’re at lunch means it all gets into the system faster and with greater accuracy so you can keep tabs on your project in real-time.
3. Keep it simple
Create only the projects you need to track with a manageable task structure. Use standard limits with all clients for things like hotel rates or daily travel allowances if you can. That way, you can set your expense policies once and your employees will be less likely to make mistakes when the rules are always the same.
4. Streamline billing with integration
Even if you’re already using time tracker software to track your billable hours and expenses incurred, your business process is not optimized if your time and expense reporting systems are not tightly integrated. Same goes for your ERP solution.
5. Let your tools enforce your agreements
Keep costs in control by not expensing anything your client isn’t going to be willing to pay for. Your travel booking tool should only give users the green light to book travel options that fit rates agreed with the client. Your expense solution should also enable the setting of per diems or travel allowance rules and give the option to either cover overages or take a more stringent approach and only reimburse expenses that match the agreed limits.
6. Approvals should work like dominos
Getting time and expenses tracked is only half the battle. Be very clear for new managers so they know what to look for when approving, ideally providing a short training session. From there – your system should move from one approver to the next automatically based on who is leading that project.
7. Look at your internal processes holistically
For example, rather than having a separate expense cycle to reimburse your consultants, align reimbursement payments with your payroll cycle, and eliminate extra checks and processing.
Download the full whitepaper to get great tips on streamlining your travel, time tracking and expense reporting.
About the Author: Replicon is a Concur App Center Partner and has integrated their project-based time tracking solutions with Concur’s Expense solutions creating the first integrated Travel, Time and Expense solution for Professional Services companies. Find out how their app in the Concur App Center can help your project-based business.
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