Spreadsheets are powerful, but lifeless. A spreadsheet can have fabulous pivot tables, line charts and colored graphs to provide vital information as long as human hands are entering the data…and keep entering the data. The information spreadsheets provide to assist with business decisions is only good if the data is current. For a small business owner with hourly employees who use handwritten timesheets, maintaining job budgets on a spreadsheet is nearly impossible. Yet it’s worse for a company whose only mode for tracking success or failure is whether or not he has any money left in the bank at the end of the month. There’s a better way to monitor hours worked at jobs than tedious drudgery or sheer luck.
In this third installment of our Managing Remote Employees series we would like to suggest the best business practice on tracking job budgets. It begins with using a phone and app-based timekeeping solution that automates the employee time collection process. Employees need a simple way to clock in and out whether it is with a phone call or by using the app. With either method, automated time cards are created by the system to bring life to the data evaluation process.
With our timekeeping solution, the best method to track actual job site hours worked is with our Budget Manager. It provides a small business owner with vital up-to-date information on worked hours compared to the budget numbers. Of course, too many employee hours could indicate several things: the job was underestimated, employees are padding their time cards, or they are working too slow. But too few hours might mean that employees aren’t spending enough time on the job and the quality is poor. Either way, a small business owner needs help. She needs current information to make important management decisions.
For each job, create a budget for the contracted hours. Then without any more effort, our timekeeping solution will crunch the numbers and quickly report actual hours versus budgeted hours for each job. Create job budgets for the entire year and then monitor the hours by week or month. Know in dynamic, digital color-coded clarity via the Budget Dashboard if your budgets are on track, where they are headed, and if necessary make on-the-spot future scheduling changes to bring the budget back in line. No need to wait to enter the daily timecard data into a spreadsheet to know how your jobs are doing. The Budget Manager information is automated, live and predictive.
Breathe life into your management processes. Each morning instead of stretching your hands to do a morning full of data entry, simply log into your dynamic Budget Dashboard and welcome the new day with the current information you need to make the decisions when they need to be made. That is the power of using budgets in an automated phone and app-based timekeeping system.
Please check back with us for our next installment of Managing Remote Employees when we give smart tips on how to prepare for payroll. Or make it easy on yourself to stay updated by subscribing to this blog and following us on Twitter.