If you own a small business, your passion is in the services you provide and in what you can do for your customers. Time tracking and billing may not be the top thing on your mind or even the second or third. Still, it’s critical to you and your clients that you track time accurately and invoice correctly.

A lot of new small businesses initially do their time tracking and billing manually using paper, pen, and spreadsheets. As your business grows, however, this approach ceases to be good enough. It takes up too much time and creates too many opportunities for mistakes. To address that problem, many companies start looking for time and expense software that includes billing software to automate these processes. They might try to find the best free time tracking app so as to minimize their financial outlay.

As they’ve grown and acquired software, many organizations have built a patchwork of systems that consist of separate solutions for time tracking, billing, and invoicing. They might have to feed the output of one system into another or, worse yet, read numbers from one system’s report and enter them in the screens of another system.

The best time tracking software is software that provides all of the tracking and billing functions in an integrated fashion. When the billing solution is part of the same system as the time tracking solution, the only manual entry required is setting up the project tasks and inputting the hours. When it comes time to bill and invoice, all the necessary data is already right there in the system. If the invoicing system is tied in as well, all you need to do is click a button or let a scheduled process run.

Entering time, billing, and invoicing needn’t put a burden on you or your people, as long as you have a comprehensive system that stores all the information you require in one place.

Time Tracking and Billing Software for Consultants

BigTime has the time tracking and billing system that was designed with small consultancy businesses in mind. Whether your specialty is architecture, accounting, law, engineering, IT services, marketing, engineering or some other consulting practice, BigTime automates the administrative tasks that are eating up your time and keeping you away from the work you’re really good at. It helps you get back to the work that serves your clients and generates revenue for the company.

Our time tracking software for consultants centralizes your project data. Here’s how it works. When you start a new project, you enter all the tasks that need to take place during that project. You can assign people to those tasks. You can set up rates by individual and by task. As the project unfolds, employees enter their hours in a consulting time tracking template on a regular basis, depending on your billing cycle. BigTime provides a workflow whereby those hours are reviewed and approved. It provides the security so that only authorized staff can enter, view and approve hours. It locks a timesheet when the time period is over. It provides a controlled process for making changes to old time periods and documenting them.

In summary, it eases the administrative burden that’s been slowing you down and distracting you from your important work. But it’s more than an administrative tool. Its reporting system puts project status and key metrics at your fingertips. There are templates for reportables such as budget tracking and utilization rate, and it’s easy to customize additional reports.

BigTime is simple to get started with, and it scales as your organization grows. If you’re already using Intuit QuickBooks or Sage Intacct, keep right on using them. BigTime manages the integration with these tools, and you can map existing fields and codes right into BigTime.

Best Time Tracking Software Free

There’s a lot of free time tracking software in the world, and you may wonder why you should pay for BigTime when you can download something else at no cost. If you choose, you can even use Excel macros and templates to create your own free time tracking app.

It’s important to remember that the check you write to a vendor is only part of the cost of installing, running, and maintaining a time tracking system. There’s a cost, in hours and effort, of setting up your system and procedures. There’s the expense of making it work with your other systems. There’s the person-hours costs of entering data, approving hours, generating the output from your system, and using that output elsewhere. If your business or industry changes, or if the software changes, there’s the maintenance cost of keeping your solution relevant.

BigTime isn’t free, but we offer a free trial. It’s an opportunity to see what an easy-to-use, intuitive, integrated system can do. It’s not just that BigTime makes administrative work easier. It handles the entire project from initial set-up to the final invoice. It provides integration, reporting, functionality and flexibility that you won’t find in free or budget software solutions.

Time and Billing Software

If you’re in the market for a tracking and billing system, you may have accumulated a list of time tracking software for your consideration. Different time tracking and invoicing software packages have different features, but there are some basic attributes everyone should look for in a time billing app.

For one thing, data entry of hours should be easy. There should be no waste of time in entering time. For each user, the screens should show only the fields that are necessary. There should be auto-complete of search arguments and auto-fill of fields, with defaults presented whenever they’re helpful. There should be appropriate screen views for people entering hours and for those approving them.

The best time tracking systems provide workflow for entry, review, and approval. When it comes time to generate the bill and create an invoice, there should be an easily customizable invoicing process that allows you to present exactly the invoice you and the client want to see. The top systems generate the kind of reports that can be used for overall system management. They should report point-in-time progress on project tasks as well as outputs such as Gantt charts to show overall project dependency and critical path. Also, your time entry and billing system needs to integrate with the other software and processes you already have in place.

Best Time Tracking App for Small Business

The top employee time tracking software for small business has features and capabilities that a free time tracking app for small business can’t match. It dovetails with the way you run your projects and the way you expect your people to align to the projects. That’s why the best time tracking app is a total project management app such as BigTime, where time tracking is just one of the functions that is organically a part of the project management solution.

One of the key advantages of this approach is workflow management. Workflows that are straightforward and intuitive make people comfortable with BigTime and able to use it efficiently. Another key element is storing all the critical project management data in one place to support project management. It’s easier to stay on top of tasks and within budget when there are reporting views that show project status at a glance. You can see if any critical path tasks are at risk and need to have extra resources assigned to ensure their timely completion.

It gives a company an advantage when its time billing software for engineers, accountants, lawyers or any other group of professionals does more than just track time and bill. A system such as BigTime not only makes it easy to track time with little manual effort and to produce flexible, professional-looking customized invoices. It also empowers project managers in planning and oversight.

Not least, top time tracking and billing software is easy to adopt, simple to understand, and intuitive to use. After all, your project management tools should work for you the way you want them. They shouldn’t require you to modify your practices to work for them.

Best Employee Time Tracking Software

The best time tracking software for employees is a package that not only supports simple and accurate time entry. It’s a system that ensures the integrity of that critical data and then makes it available for use in project management, in interfaces with an accounting system and in a robust, flexible billing and invoicing system.

With the BigTime solution, the employee time tracking app is just one of the many overall project management tools you’ll acquire. From the time you set up your first BigTime project and enter the first tasks, codes, and billing rates, you’ll be on board with a system that provides advantages you might not expect your time tracking system to offer.

For example, you would expect to see WIP reports to help you keep up with the status of partially completed projects and tasks. But you can also generate WIP invoices. You can present an invoice to your customer for percent of work completed, for reaching milestones or for any other arrangement you and the client have agreed on.

One more key feature: we recognize that small business owners are often away from the office. That’s why BigTime provides a mobile app so you can monitor project progress and keep the time tracking and billing process rolling at any time, from any location.