Online billing programs are indispensable tools for small- to medium-sized project-based businesses. Onsite or desktop billing and time management solutions are often too costly for smaller firms that do not have full-time IT staff to implement and maintain them. Most online billing programs have monthly subscription fees, which means there is no large one-time investment.
But online billing programs streamline the process of tracking billable hours and simplify invoicing. This convenience translates into capturing more billable hours and reducing administrative time—two things that lead to increased revenue and reduced overhead. The gains often pay back much more than the costs of a subscription. Not all online billing programs are created equal, so you need to know of some key features to look for as you consider moving to an online invoicing and time tracking system:
Syncing—Online billing programs are cross platform by their nature because they are accessed using the browser. Good solutions offer the ability to track time online or offline using a locally installed widget. Online and offline time tracking enables your staff to track time at the office, on the road, or from home.
One reason this feature is a must-have for busy businesses is that it allows employees to enter their billable time immediately. Getting closer to real-time entry of billable hours reduces reliance on memory and leads to much greater accuracy in accounting for time spent on projects and tasks.
Free Training and Support—Indicates commitment to the quality of the online billing product, and helps your staff work through the learning curve without additional overhead. Online billing programs with unlimited free support also cut IT costs by giving your staff the ability to resolve issues as they occur.
Scalable Pricing Structure—Business needs are always changing, whether because of overall growth or variable sales cycles. Tiered services and seat-based subscription fees provide the flexibility to pay for what you need as your needs evolve.
Project or Matter-Based Billing— If you provide services on a project or on a matter basis, you should look for a solution that allows you to bill by the project or by matter. It is also important that the solution is flexible enough to specify hourly rates by project, by task, by employee, or by client. This flexibility increases efficiency and enhances your ability to move quickly from entering billable hours to sending invoices.
Simplified Invoicing—The best online billing programs will allow you to automatically generate invoices. Full-featured solutions will generate clean-looking PDFs and e-mail them to your clients’ billing contacts. Streamlined invoicing speeds up invoice delivery so your company can turn billable work into revenue more quickly.
QuickBooks Integration—Chances are you are using QuickBooks for bookkeeping and accounting. The more full-featured online billing programs will work seamlessly with QuickBooks. Generally, online solutions beat in-house software because they will maintain compatibility with the latest QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online versions.
Are you considering making the change to an online billing program? Let TimeSolv show you what online time tracking and invoicing can do for you with a free 30-day trial that includes unlimited training and support. timesolv.wpengine.com
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