Traditionally, many construction companies used physical timecards to keep track of their employee’s work time (or time spent on their allocated job). Timecards have also been effective at estimating project costs and client billing.
Why are timecards and attendance tracking critical for successful projects? Timecards effectively improve project execution and help to control any project cost escalation. Besides improving payroll management, organizations that are tracking time can easily automate their client billing and invoicing. With accurate timesheet data, time tracking solutions can expedite the invoicing process and improve revenues.
But project-based organizations cannot manage their project costing and billing at the level they need to without integrating time solution modules.
Flaws of Managing Project Costing and Billing Without Time Integration
Many organizations do not accurately track their project hours or consider this task as an additional activity. This flaw can lead to multiple project-related challenges like:
- Significant revenue leakage
- Inaccurate time tracking of project costs leading to cost escalations
- Poor project management and profitability
- Manual timesheet entries that need to be imported into payroll or accounting tools
- Incorrect payroll and billing processing due to lack of access to updated timesheets
Without timesheet integration, organizations also face major regulatory challenges with respect to industry standards. Additionally, with a gradual increase in the scale and scope of the projects, organizations find it challenging to manage the increase in project costing and client billing.
Without tightly integrated systems, organizations depend on project team members submitting their daily timesheets (with accurate data) on time. Furthermore, companies use outdated solutions to track employees’ paid time-off, vacations, and leaves. This leads to inaccuracies in payroll calculations at the end of each month.
How does time integration benefit project and payroll management? Let’s discuss that next.
Benefits of Integrating Time and Attendance with Payroll & Project Costs
An automated timecard solution linked to a powerful ERP can help integrate employee time and attendance with the overall project and payroll management. This capability is even more relevant for small businesses that want to know how employees spend their productive (or non-productive) hours.
Here are some of the benefits of an integrated time and attendance solution:
1. Accurate Payroll Calculation
An integrated attendance solution provides accurate real-time working hours automatically to payroll calculation. This eliminates any manual intervention or any delay in obtaining attendance data or raising the client invoice.
2. Time and Cost Benefits
Automated timecard solutions save organizations both time and costs usually spent in manually calculating project expenses and working hours. Real-time employee attendance solutions prevent any attendance-related time fraud and human errors.
3. Centralized Data
Be it for payroll or projects, distributed (or remote working) teams pose a challenge for both time and attendance management. The lack of centralized employee data can be challenging for HR executives. Integrated solutions serve as a “single source of truth” with centralized data storage. This enables multiple departments in the organization to access the updated employee and attendance data easily for their objectives.
4. Improved Transparency
With automated time and attendance solutions, employees can also view their daily attendance, leave, and project schedules. Project-based companies have real-time visibility and transparency into project working hours, delays, and work breaks. They can generate customized payroll reports to identify areas of improvement.
Popular accounting tools like QuickBooks and Penta are inefficient for organizations to track working time and attendance for project costing and client billing. Here’s how CEM’s solutions built on top of MS Dynamics 365 overcomes these limitations.
Powerful Integration With Project Costing and Client Billing
With its project management billing and invoicing functionality, a solution integrated with MS Dynamics 365 enables project companies to effectively bill their services to customers. They can also track employee work hours for efficient payroll management.
The MS Dynamics 365 integration enables project-based invoicing for the following types of projects:
Fixed Price Projects
In this case, the billed invoice amount is fixed and based on the billing schedule. For fixed-priced projects, customers are billed for each project or each project contract. With CEM solutions, customers can prevent an overage in working hours to maintain their profitability.
Time and Material Projects
In this case, the invoice amount (billed to the customer) depends on the transaction lines in each project. Again, transactions are billed for each project or each contract.
This offers a range of benefits with its integrated project billing and invoicing feature:
- Reduces administrative costs and efforts through automation
- Ensures an accurate billing amount on every customer invoice
- Identifies any outstanding balances automatically. This can include any external services or material costs.
Here are the necessary customer billing features:
- Integrated view for timesheets and billing
- Automatic generation of timesheets for customer billing
- Continuous integration with MS Dynamics CRM module
- Support for direct billing printouts in MS Dynamics CRM
Here are the necessary employee payroll features:
- Employee performance tracking
- Flexible billing schedules (monthly, quarterly, or other periods)
- Travel-related compensation
Project companies make a mistake by not integrating their project billing with time and attendance solutions. Besides that, popular accounting tools like QuickBooks and Penta do not feature an integrated time and attendance module.
With powerful integrated solution, small and large project companies can overcome this limitation with a connected and centralized billing and payroll solution. A centralized platform provides accurate timecards for correct payroll processing and client billing.
CEM Business Solutions is in the profession of providing cost-efficient and customized accounting solutions linked to Dynamics 365. We are specialists in the construction space and can help in improving your project billing. Book a demo today!