This blog was originally published on Firm of the Future.
At Capovario, we help our clients run all aspects of their businesses, including time tracking and payroll. At any given time, we have several dozen clients, each with hundreds of employees. That’s a LOT of hours to keep up with, and a lot of potential mess to clean up if something goes wrong. However, we don’t just do payroll and accounting; our clients rely on us to provide 360-degree business services with speed and accuracy. To do that, we try to get them to adopt tools that will both improve their own lives and workflows, and help us help them.
We’re often tasked with reviewing software and applications for our clients, and providing recommendations on which tools are worth their investment. While our firm is software-agnostic, and there’s no “one size fits all,” a large number of my clients can (and do) benefit from QuickBooks® Time. And they’re not the only ones! As accounting professionals, we benefit when our clients adopt technology that makes our lives easier. That’s why I wanted to write an article with five reasons why I urge my clients to ditch 3rd-party apps and track with QuickBooks Time.
- You’re already paying for QuickBooks Time
Accountants using QBOA can track time for their own firm at no cost. For clients already using QuickBooks Payroll Premium or Elite, tracking with QuickBooks time is the obvious answer from a simple cost perspective. Too many businesses spend money on redundant software, and time tracking is no exception. Whether your clients have 5,10, 100, or 500 employees, they’re paying by the head for payroll processing. If they’re also paying a separate per-employee, per-month cost for time-tracking, that’s money not well spent.
- QuickBooks Time integrates with QuickBooks Online
Lots of programs integrate with QuickBooks. Our “Zapier-style” world has brought the possibilities of software integration to a whole new level. But there’s no need to fuss with separate integrations, which can always have bugs, go down, and produce errors, when you’ve got QuickBooks Online with Payroll and QuickBooks Time. Seamless integration results in clean data. That results in me spending less time cleaning up my clients’ QuickBooks before I can even get down to the real work they’ve hired me for. Plus QuickBooks Time can integrate with other Payroll softwares such as ADP, Gusto, Square, and more!
- A deeper look into client data
Even if an outside time-tracking app brings employees’ hours into QuickBooks just fine, it’s likely missing the level of detail you want to see when you look at your clients’ books. This includes, for example, project-level or even task-level details, timecard notes relating to the work being performed, and billable vs. non-billable time. Analyzing the details becomes particularly important when a client asks me to assess the profitability of a project. QuickBooks Time allows me to see not only how many hours employees were paid for a project, but also any time spent by anyone in the company that is billable, to truly find out if a project turned a profit.
Project profitability is just one example of the deeper and better quality data I access when my clients adopt QuickBooks Time. The time I save because reports can run accurately without data cleanup is huge. I also appreciate the convenience of having everything I need in one user interface. No jumping between programs and tabs to cobble together the answers to my clients’ financial questions.
- The QuickBooks Time mobile app helps employees track time accurately
To some companies, tracking time is as simple as clocking in and out once a day. For others, it can be as complex as choosing which client you’re working for, which project you’re working on, and which task you’re specifically performing. My clients have found that with the QuickBooks Time mobile app, employees and managers have a great experience and capture more billable hours than using other programs.
Since the mobile app syncs with QuickBooks, employees have all the information they need, literally at their fingertips. They can choose from an approved list of clients, projects, and work types, but can’t create their own unless they have permissions to. This leads to much more consistency in time-keeping versus a more “free form” application that isn’t pre-programmed with your QuickBooks client data.
The mobile app also has features that make employees’, managers’, and my life easier! Regardless of where they’re working from, everyone can use the QuickBooks Time mobile app to track, approve timesheets, submit, or approve PTO, and clock in and out. For clients who have me managing employee time and payroll, this means I can do my job from anywhere as long as I have cell service or wifi.
- QuickBooks Time’s technology reduces errors and fraud
Speaking of the mobile app, some key features can be game-changers for business owners and the accounting professionals who work with them. When employees use the QuickBooks Time mobile app, you can enable GPS functionalities, including geofencing clock-ins and clock-outs. This feature is really convenient for employees and managers because it eliminates those “I forgot to clock in this morning” incidents.
For me, the geolocation services assure me that time cards are accurate (meaning I won’t have to do repeat work and corrections), and help me quickly identify discrepancies in timekeeping. If a client doesn’t want to use location-based time-tracking, they can still take advantage of other features such as pre-programmed schedules with reminders to clock in and out based on the employee’s typical working hours.
Just using these functionalities discourages employee time theft and dramatically reduces employee errors on their timesheets. On top of that, if a business owner comes to me with questions about possible time-related misconduct, I can easily see where employees have been clocking in and out from, and compare it to their work schedule to identify problems. For a firm such as Capovario where we help businesses with every angle of their bookkeeping, payroll, technology, and operational needs, QuickBooks time is one more tool in our forensic accounting arsenal.
Seize the day
The bottom line is: clients look to us–their business consultants and accounting professionals–to guide them. We have the opportunity to not just make their lives better, their work easier, and their businesses more profitable, but to do the same for their employees and for ourselves.
Sometimes clients are quick to take up our suggestions. Other times, they need a little convincing. If you’ve got clients you wish would use QuickBooks Time and they don’t see the benefits for their own company, I hope these tips will help you make the case.