Choosing The Best Timesheet Software Package For Your Business

Choosing The Best Timesheet Software Package For Your Business

Choosing the​ Best Timesheet Software Package For Your Business
We’ve all heard about the​ gains in​ productivity and accountability that businesses can make from implementing a​ timesheet software system in​ their organization .​
However,​ with so many timesheet packages available on​ the​ market today,​ how do you​ know which package best meets your needs? the​ process of​ choosing the​ correct timesheet software for your business need not be as​ difficult as​ you​ may think .​

The first step in​ choosing the​ right software is​ probably the​ most important,​ yet all it​ requires is​ that you​ to​ ask yourself a​ simple question; what do I​ want to​ achieve by using a​ timesheet system? It may be to​ improve quoting or​ budgeting,​ tracking project progress,​ tracking attendance and automating payroll,​ or​ to​ assist with client billing .​
Most of​ the​ better-known timesheet packages tend to​ focus on​ one or​ two of​ these functions and do them well,​ but may be deficient in​ other areas .​
When looking for the​ right timesheet package,​ select your package based on​ the​ core function it​ is​ designed for .​
Determine which features are critical and which are less important .​
a​ package that is​ designed to​ be good for automating payroll may not collect enough information for it​ to​ be useful for client billing .​
a​ timesheet system that is​ designed for client billing may not have the​ project management functions you​ require .​
the​ more specific your requirements are,​ the​ easier it​ is​ find the​ appropriate software application .​
Thus,​ if​ you​ require a​ timesheet system that tracks computer-based work,​ is​ simple to​ use,​ yet can perform many other functions,​ you​ can narrow your product search down to​ just one product called Spherical Timesheet .​
Write a​ list of​ your requirements in​ order of​ importance,​ and keep this list handy while you’re doing the​ product search .​

When considering your requirements,​ also keep in​ mind what your think your future needs will be .​
as​ an​ example,​ if​ you​ currently have a​ number of​ staff and your organization continues to​ grow,​ the​ software you​ select should be scalable to​ cope for the​ anticipated growth .​
However,​ you​ need to​ be realistic with your needs as​ one could say that anything is​ possible in​ the​ future .​
you​ don’t want to​ choose a​ product that can do nearly anything just because there is​ a​ chance you​ might need it​ one day .​
as​ a​ general rule,​ the​ more powerful the​ software,​ the​ more complex it​ will be to​ use,​ administer and support.
A decision you​ must make is​ whether you​ would like to​ go for a​ web-based solution or​ a​ desktop application .​
a​ web based timesheet system generally interacts with all users via a​ standard web browser .​
This type of​ timesheet system can be useful if​ you​ don’t want to​ install software on​ each user’s machine,​ and it​ can also be helpful as​ timesheet entry can normally be performed by any of​ your staff with an​ internet connection .​
you​ can also choose a​ subscription-based timesheet service (often call an​ ASP,​ or​ application service provider),​ where the​ provider stores your timesheet data on​ one of​ their servers .​
These solutions can be inexpensive with a​ periodical payment and very little up-front investment,​ but you​ need to​ consider the​ value you​ put on​ the​ confidentiality of​ your timesheet information and security,​ as​ timesheets and financial data may viewed by the​ provider,​ and any internet site can be a​ target for hackers .​
Web-based timesheet systems can also be a​ double-edged sword; they are often easy to​ operate but too simple in​ functionality to​ be very useful .​

In comparison to​ web-based solutions,​ a​ desktop-based application is​ a​ program that is​ installed and run on​ each staff member’s computer .​
Desktop applications can be setup within your company’s firewall,​ preventing users from outside your company from accessing your timesheets .​
They also give the​ timesheet software developers a​ lot more freedom in​ terms of​ creating software interfaces and reporting engines,​ and as​ a​ result may be more sophisticated and powerful .​
If you​ have staff that work remotely and require access to​ your timesheet system,​ you​ should ensure that the​ timesheet software you​ choose provides the​ option for remote access (these systems commonly allow timesheets to​ be sent by email) .​

Once you​ have determined the​ base functionality you​ require and the​ type of​ timesheet system that is​ suitable for you,​ it’s time to​ start looking for the​ right product .​
a​ quick internet search for timesheet software is​ a​ good place to​ start .​
If you​ are also looking for support and possibly installation services,​ you​ may wish to​ consider adding you​ country or​ city to​ the​ search term .​
There are a​ lot of​ different timesheet packages out there,​ so you​ may wish to​ try a​ two-stage approach .​
Firstly,​ find a​ company you​ think may have a​ suitable product and service,​ print out some information such as​ a​ product brochure,​ and then move on​ to​ look at​ another company’s offering .​
This way you​ can quickly create a​ shortlist of​ possible candidates before getting too far into the​ more time-consuming task of​ evaluating each product and determining which best suits your needs.
With your short-list of​ timesheet products,​ examine the​ intricacies of​ each against your criteria of​ needs .​
Prioritize those needs .​
Download a​ trial of​ the​ software and at​ the​ very least try out all of​ the​ features that are high on​ your requirements list .​
If a​ vendor does not offer a​ means to​ try the​ software before you​ purchase it,​ ask questions as​ to​ why this may be the​ case .​
is​ it​ too hard to​ install and configure? is​ it​ too hard to​ use? I​ recommend you​ avoid any system that you​ can’t evaluate in​ your own working environment .​
a​ product trial gives you​ the​ insurance that the​ timesheet software product is​ really going to​ solve your business need .​
One feature to​ evaluate is​ the​ usefulness of​ the​ software link between it​ and third-party applications .​
Many vendors provide functionality just so that they can tick the​ box on​ their feature list,​ rather than to​ provide a​ genuinely useful data exchange between applications .​
If it​ is​ critical that your timesheet software can export invoice data into accounting software,​ than go and try the​ export procedure before you​ make your final purchasing decision .​
Be satisfied that it​ can perform all the​ tasks or​ at​ least some of​ the​ tasks that you​ require.
As with any new acquisition,​ it​ would not be appropriate to​ discuss purchasing without examining price and value for money .​
Within reason,​ the​ most suitable timesheet software for your company is​ going to​ be the​ one that addresses your needs the​ best,​ even if​ it​ is​ considerably more expensive then your next best option .​
the​ right timesheet software system will pay for itself very quickly .​
Critically consider customer testimonials such as​ those set out on​ the​ product website where clients have provided feedback on​ the​ cost effectiveness of​ the​ product .​
Clearly,​ where there are efficiency gains to​ be made and correspondingly fast return on​ investment,​ the​ purchase price becomes of​ less significance .​
If correctly chosen,​ the​ timesheet software you​ choose should pay for itself very quickly .​

Finally,​ consider the​ timesheet vendor itself .​
Do they offer the​ appropriate level of​ technical support that you​ require? Again consider client testimonials to​ determine if​ they have happy clients (keeping in​ mind they never publish the​ bad comments!) .​
Test their customer service by sending the​ technical support department an​ email with a​ few simple questions .​
If they’re slow in​ responding,​ don’t expect better service once you’ve handed over your money .​

Choosing the​ right timesheet software package for your business does not have to​ be a​ daunting task .​
By focusing on​ your business objectives and core requirements,​ you​ should find there are plenty of​ options from which to​ choose .​
Take your time,​ make the​ right choice and your business enterprise will enjoy all the​ benefits of​ efficiency and accountability that timesheet software can deliver.

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