I can't believe what I heard at conference.
A job gets opened, you do the work, then it gets billed. You go to work, then you get paid.
In order to bill that job so you can get paid, someone probably did an estimate – which the client approved. Then you got the parameters of the project, and then off you went!
You worked a bunch of hours this day and that, maybe you worked on the project for a week solid. Plus overtime.
Sometime a week or a month (shame on management for allowing this) later, you are scrambling (and bitching) about getting timesheets done.
It takes for-ever. Why do we have to do timesheets?
Oh, it’s the end of the month and the agency has to do billing.
Because the agency needs cash flow.
The agency needs cash flow so they can pay you. They’re required to.
The problem is, you don’t remember exactly what you did and when. So maybe you go through email, or your notes, and you come up with an idea of what you think you did on the project.
I’ll bet you are way off. I'll bet you filled your required 8 hours per day. Because you're on salary - even though it actually took you 12 hour days. Hmm.
Why is this a problem? Because the estimate the client agreed to probably doesn’t match the hours you posted. Then the billing folks adjust the time.
Or worse – you’re on the hot-seat because you’re constantly over on hours. And that doesn't even count the hours you didn't post. It actually took a lot more time than anyone knows.
No record of reality.
The agency is losing tons of revenue because of you.
You are choosing to give away your raise.
Bottom line: if we don’t know exactly (or as close as possible) how many hours you are spending on a particular project, we will continually estimate incorrectly; the client will continually expect the same level of service for the same price – and the client will continue to make changes because they never seem to get billed for all those hours.
Do you work for free? Nope.
Do your timesheets. Every. Day.
Are they a giant pain? I’ll bet the system you’re using is actually very easy. You just have to quit whining, open the program and click a box.
Wow. That’s not so hard. Try it for a week. You'll be surprised at the free time you'll have at month-end. To do more billable work.
Wow, I see a bonus coming.
I’m currently attending the Advantage User’s Group Conference at Red Rock Casino in sunny Las Vegas.
Advantage has awesome tools that make time entry super easy. Having a hard time with timesheet compliance? Call me.
I am the PM second from the left.