Accurately tracking billable hours is critical for construction companies to maximize project profitability. With reliable time tracking, firms can avoid revenue leakage, ineffective job costing and a lack of data to improve operations. Manually tracking hours using paper timesheets is prone to errors and inefficiencies. Construction companies need automated solutions designed specifically for their unique needs in the field.
Implementing best practices for tracking billable labor hours, validated by technology like mobile apps and GPS, is key. The data can help construction firms understand actual job costs, identify unbilled hours, optimize crews and schedules and validate payroll. Time-tracking platforms like ExakTime provide the construction-specific features and integrations needed to gain insights into fieldwork and prevent lost revenue.
The Problems with Paper-Based Time Tracking
Construction companies have traditionally relied on paper timesheets and manual processes to track billable time and employee hours. However, these paper-based methods lead to a multitude of problems:
- Inaccurate and Incomplete Data: Paper timesheets rely on workers remembering to accurately log their hours worked on various tasks. This often results in guesswork, falsified records, unbilled hours and ineffective job costing when workers forget or intentionally do not track their time correctly.
- Difficult to Access Real-Time Data: Paper records do not allow companies real-time visibility into who is working, where and on what tasks. Managers lack actionable data to adjust schedules, staffing and more.
- Prone to Errors: Manual data entry from paper into payroll and job costing systems is time-consuming and error-prone. This leads to incorrect client invoices and payroll and can provide an inaccurate reflection of time spent working.
- Compliance Risks: Lack of proper documentation around overtime, meal breaks, prevailing wage, certified payroll and more increases compliance risks associated with labor laws.
- No Analytics: Paper processes mean no effective analytics to identify productivity issues, problem employees and best practices needed for improving operations.
Features Construction Firms Need in Automated Time Tracking Systems
To overcome the shortcomings of paper-based time tracking, construction firms need to adopt automated solutions designed specifically for their unique needs. Let’s explore some features of automatic time tracking available from ExakTime. With these project management tools, managers can ensure accurate time tracking of billable hours and use data to make smart business decisions.
GPS Time Tracking App
A GPS billable time tracker app is like having a virtual foreperson overseeing clock-ins and clock-outs at each work site. ExakTime’s app offers GPS features that show you what’s going on across your team at a specific job site without you having to be there. Our mobile app makes tracking billable time simple and accessible. Plus, with location tracking synched to the cloud, this app is accessible from any mobile device.
Photo ID Capture
Photo ID features capture workers’ photos when clocking in/out to prevent buddy punching. ExakTime mobile comes with FaceFront Biometrics, a built-in biometric time attendance feature. With this intuitive system, you’ll know exactly who is clocking in and be able to review an entry instantly.
Rugged Time Clocks
Construction is a tough industry with challenging job sites. One feature companies should look for in a time-tracking solution is a portable, rugged tracker. ExakTime’s rugged time clocks come with wireless technology and tough durability and are built to withstand even the harshest conditions. Employees can easily transport these clocks and instantly clock in or out with different colored key fobs for different job codes/locations.
Reports and Analytics
One of the key features construction and field service businesses can benefit from is a time-tracking tool that generates reports and analytics. Through this data, business leaders and managers can make informed decisions about where to improve. ExakTime’s software allows users to pull more than 40 instant reports based on data like hours worked, regular or overtime hours, location and more. This is an invaluable insight into field service work.
Seamless Payroll Integrations
Automated transfer of verified hours into payroll systems ensures workers are paid accurately and improves invoice generation. At ExakTime, we connect to your accounting package. You can easily automate timekeeping and payroll processing, control costs, improve compliance and optimize field operations. We even offer live (direct database) integration with many payroll solutions
Best Practices for Tracking Billable Hours
In addition to using the right technology, construction companies should also follow best practices to ensure time-tracking data is complete, accurate and actionable:
- Require Real-time Entry: Mandate workers clock in and out of tasks as they begin and end them throughout the day using mobile apps or onsite clocks. Real-time entry prevents reliance on memory, leading to guessing, falsifications and missed billable hours. Set expectations during onboarding and provide frequent reminders. Perform audits of hours versus GPS data to identify areas of non-compliance.
- Separately Track Billable and Nonbillable Time: Require employees to accurately categorize all time as either billable work for a client or non-billable internal activities. Billable time should be tied to a specific project code for detailed tracking. This clarifies utilization rates and prevents revenue leakage from missing billed hours.
- Use Granular Project and Task Codes: Implement project codes for each client job site and task codes for phases of work. Tracking at this granular level feeds accurate job costing data and helps identify problem areas. Codes should match up with budgeting and invoicing terminology.
- Set Up Custom Alerts: Configure rules-based alerts for conditions like employees approaching overtime thresholds, taking excessive breaks or frequently forgetting to clock in/out. Proactive notifications enable managers to course-correct behaviors before they get out of hand. Alerts create a feedback loop to reinforce compliance.
Find Your Innovative Time Tracking Solution with ExakTime
Construction firms cannot afford to lose billable hours and profit due to ineffective time-tracking methods, construction firms cannot afford to lose billable hours and profit. Adopting automated solutions purpose-built for the construction industry allows companies to collect accurate field data, improve job costing, optimize crews, ensure payroll accuracy and maximize revenue.
ExakTime is proud to offer construction-specific features that give you visibility into real-time labor utilization. From rugged time clocks to GPS features, there are tons of ways to use our platform so it’s tailored to your needs. Get started with our platform today.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does time tracking software help construction companies?
Automated time tracking provides construction firms with real-time data on employee activities rather than relying on paper records. This improves the accuracy of job costing, prevents revenue leakage from unbilled hours, helps optimize crews and validates payroll – maximizing profitability.
What features should construction companies look for in time tracking software?
Construction-specific capabilities include mobile apps with GPS timestamps, geofencing, photo ID verification, custom alerts, robust reporting and seamless payroll integrations.
What are some best practices for tracking billable hours?
Require real-time time entry using apps or onsite clocks, confirm attendance with GPS, use project codes, configure overtime alerts and mandate frequent timesheet review. You should also analyze reports to identify improvement opportunities.