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Bookkeeping Business Advice: Use Timesheets or Quickbooks to Track Your Time

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How many bookkeeping business owners track their own time when doing business related tasks? Are you one of the many bookkeeping service providers using QuickBooks to record your time? Can you see your customer gross profit? Do you put a value to the time you spend on your own business?

As a bookkeeping business coach, I tell my clients: “Tracking your time is the first thing you need to do to become a more successful bookkeeping business owner.” It is also one of the hardest tasks on which to keep current, and one that can be often overlooked.

When you start tracking all of your daily time – and detailing what you did in the “note” section of the timesheet – you begin to realize where you spend the majority of your time every day. This will show where your most productive hours are spent, as well as those that are not yielding much benefit leaving room for adjustment.

In my own QuickBooks file, I set up own company as a customer with sub-accounts. Some of those sub-accounts related to how I run my business are Marketing, Paid Time Off, Education, Administration Time, Letters/Contracts and Bookkeeping, for when I work on my own company’s bookkeeping. Breaking it out this way has helped me with my hiring process by providing a tool for calculating the administrative cost to run my company. It has helped me determine how many new clients I can take on, and the value of my unpaid time.

If you are an individual bookkeeper, you can enable the timesheets in QuickBooks and use them to keep track of your time and run reports. If you have more than one person in the office, as in my firm, use the QuickBooks Time Tracker, which comes on your QuickBooks Installation CD.

Although highly effective for businesses with more than one employee, QuickBooks Time Tracker is a little more involved to maintain, and could be well worth the effort for a more detailed account of where time is spent. For example, before you start you will need to get licenses to load the software on each computer for every employee that needs access. Once loaded, you will also set up a timer file for each individual employee and export your customer list into the timer files. And, lastly, you will need one person to export the time out of the timer and import into your QuickBooks file on a weekly/bi-weekly basis depending on where your billing or payroll falls.

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