If time is money, a timesheet is the paper it’s printed on. Especially for companies whose income revolves around billable effort.
So why do so many agencies still struggle to keep track of those precious hours?
Sadly, ensuring each timesheet finds its way to the traffic manager is largely a matter of discipline. Creatives are notorious for not being fond of paperwork – even if it’s no longer on paper. Counterintuitively, the biggest complaint is that recording time is too … time-consuming!
But there are some ways to nurture an appreciation for the timesheet. Here they are:
Tell it like it is
Ever heard of the urban kids who think milk comes from cartons? Agency staff can be the same when it comes to their salaries. Even if it takes an explainer video, it’s worth educating them on agency economics. No timesheet, no income. No income, no agency … or salaries.
Set the example
In agencies where owners or managers form part of the creative team, set the example by submitting a timesheet for your own work when it’s due. People are influenced by the good habits of others. When your employees see you’re that serious about the practice, they’ll be more inclined to follow suit.
Make it easy
A complicated system is bound to be bypassed and timesheet entry delayed – or just plain ignored – by busy employees. Do the work for them with precompiled templates with most of the information already included, so there’s no duplicate data to enter. The only thing they should do is fill in their time.
Build the mindset
On the other side of the equation, your traffic managers need to closely track submissions to reconcile each timesheet back to its associated project and employee. If they let submissions slide, this fosters the idea that it’s not that important. So they need to act promptly to be taken seriously.
One thing staff are right about – submitting a timesheet can be time-consuming. Rather than using a manual system, invest in software that drastically reduces the effort involved. There are several good time tracking systems that feature timesheet capture. Not all of them do so from within a best-of-breed project management framework. The Chase Advertising Management System:
● Features a full project management system built right into the Job Bag, complete with Gantt charts for real-time time tracking
● Allows allocation of time for specific tasks
● Gives staff a timesheet form that provides all the information for a selected task – they just enter the time taken
● Reminds staff when submissions are due through electronic prompts
● Keeps managers informed of late submissions so they can quickly chase up
● Allows managers to check and approve timesheet entries across their entire project portfolio
● Provides management reports for reconciling and analysing productive, unproductive and lost time
● Offers financial reports to compare time to earnings
● Lets agency leaders determine their utilisation efficiencies and resource requirements
If you’re not billing time on a 1:1 ratio, Chase has all the tools you need to make timesheet submission a natural part of your agency culture.
Go to our contact page and ask for a demo today.