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Time tracking

Must-Have Features for Time Tracking Apps

The best time tracking app should provide your small business with all the tools necessary to accurately and efficiently track your workforce's hours to streamline management and the payroll process. Small businesses use these tools to boost productivity and improve the basic functionality of the business’ daily operations.

But what exactly do those features look like, and how can they help your small business? Find out what to look for in a time tracking app when browsing the market for your business needs.

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What Are Time Tracking Applications?

Time tracking apps, or applications, refer to the software created to help companies track their workforce’s hours and streamline the payroll and operating processes.

A tracking tool provides businesses with the ability to:

  • Track time and costs by customer, employee, project, or task
  • Accurately records and tracks all billable hours for invoicing and payment processing
  • Check employee productivity
  • Project future timelines for tasks, projects, and employee shifts
  • Improve project management with multi-project tracking
  • Give detailed and accurate estimates and quotes based on previous data logged
  • Save time on manual entry with the software’s automatic updates in real-time
  • Avoid micromanaging of teams as you can see what your workers are doing throughout the workday

Overall, tracking software and applications provide a vital service to small businesses across the globe, making them a necessity for management teams everywhere.

What To Look For In A Time Tracking App

Keeping track of the time and tasks of employees and management is an essential part of running a small business. As a business owner and project manager, it will fall to you to research and choose quality time tracking software that will work with your processes and operations.

Before settling on one product, ensure your tracking tool of choice possesses these must-have features when it comes to time tracking for your small business.

Mobile tracking capabilities

As your employees will need to access the tracking app to input their data, the software you choose should provide accessibility from any smartphone device or computer. Mobile time tracking allows employees to clock in and out from any smartphone, with or without network coverage.

Therefore, look for time tracking applications that are accessible as a mobile app on iOS and Android alike. It is up to you to ensure the app’s compatibility with all of your employees to successfully use the software or mobile app no matter their device.

GPS tracking with geofencing

An essential must-have feature for time tracking applications is GPS and geofencing functionality. Whether your employees work out of an office, from home, or on the go, GPS tracking makes it easy to manage your workforce in every way. Keep your team accountable and check employee performance with GPS tracking on mobile devices; as your workforce clocks into the app, it will automatically log their location and automatically updates throughout the workday.

Geofencing is a bonus for GPS tracking, as not all products offer this added feature. Geofencing works by sending reminders to clock in and out when users enter and exit specified job sites. Geofencing means less work for you, as it helps employees keep accurate timesheets so you won’t have to make adjustments.

Desktop application

A quality time tracking solution should be accessible by phone or computer. On top of smartphone device functionality, your business will need an application that works on desktop computers just as well as it does on the go. Desktop applications provide a greater level of customization for companies, offering additional features that will come in handy when monitoring and managing your workforce.

When making your final decision on a time tracking system, take into account the desktop hardware needed for running the application. Typically, standard computers these days can tackle almost any software. However, you will want to double-check that the functions and capabilities of the app will work for your computer- whether it uses a Mac or Windows operating system- and if you will need any browser extensions.

Invoicing features

Tracking the hours worked by employee, project, or task comes in handy when creating online invoicing per client. It is best to look for an application that offers invoicing processing alongside its time tracker features, as the two go hand-in-hand when tracking billable hours for customers and projects. Software that tracks billable hours and then implements them into an invoice can save you time, money, and stress all year round.

Easy-to-use interface

An intuitive interface is a must when it comes to applications with numerous features and capabilities. You will want a quick learning curve for you, your management, and employees when first integrating time tracking apps into your business processes. An easy-to-use interface can help immensely with this integration process, as it will take less time to learn how to use these tools within your team correctly.

Cloud capabilities

The best time tracking app or software should provide you with cloud capabilities. When we refer to the cloud, we are talking about the ability to access and store data online. Choosing an app that uses a cloud-based system means you can connect to your essential data stores online automatically from anywhere in the world while on the go.

Hence, using cloud-based apps is highly beneficial as you can monitor your workforce and projects at all times, accessing vital business information whenever you need it.

Versatile timesheets

Time tracking tools need to be adaptable to cover as many business needs as possible. As all business industries will need to use this necessary function of tracking employees and their hours, such applications must account for the various requirements of business operations, including timesheets.

Not all time tracking applications will offer a timesheet feature to users, so you will need to weigh up whether or not timesheets, which can help you effectively manage payroll and invoicing, is a prerequisite for your business needs. If you require timesheet functionality, look for an app that also offers timesheet digital signatures and online time cards for employee monitoring.

Real-time alerts

Look for an app that has a notification feature. Customize your alerts and set up notifications to ping your phone with relevant information when you need it. There are many moving parts when it comes to the recording and scheduling of your employees and their workable hours. So you will need a tool that notifies you, or your team, in real-time when something goes wrong.

Don’t let information fall by the wayside. Find and use a time tracker app that sends real-time alerts and reminders to keep your business on schedule at all times.

Project management tool

A quality software brand should offer project tracking on top of time tracking, so users have the project management tools required to complete projects successfully- on time and under budget.

Communication is key to the success of a project. As management, you will want to keep a clear line of communication open between team members. Consider using an app that offers an in-app project feed that keeps project members on the same page. Look for project management features that let you compare budgeted hours to actual hours worked, track various tasks within each project, and real-time project projections and reports.

Multi app integration

Find a product that integrates with various other business and accounting software so you can cover all your business needs in one place. Time tracking tools should sync with other software solutions, like QuickBooks Online and other bookkeeping programs, as a means to streamline the management and payroll process, as they are intrinsically linked.

A Time Tracking Tool That Works For Your Business

With these must-have features fresh in your mind, now is the time to determine what you should look for in a time tracking app. Weigh up which parts are a requirement for your business and which features you can do without when settling on a product and pricing.

If you require all features listed above, consider using QuickBooks Time, as it boasts a long list of must-have features, this software provides companies with the capability to track, record, and manage your team’s work hours, productivity, and project tasks. Start your free trial today!

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