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Inaccurate client billing and timesheet submission – the true cost.

Very few small businesses have a great timesheet and client billing process. To many business owners it is not seen as a benefit to invest in a better system since it only takes staff a few minutes to fill in their timesheet – right? Plus they can easily track their billable hours with a spreadsheet – really? Dear reader, that is about to change.

Did you know that the average employee spends 3.1 hours per month filling in their timesheet? That is 36.12 hours annually per employee. If you multiply that by the number of employees in your business and multiply that by their hourly wage you are on your way to knowing the cost of a bad timesheet process, but you aren’t there yet…

This is not the only cost of an out-of-date process for tracking staff time; time spent on tasks or projects for clients is a far greater source of inaccuracy and this is where the greater loss lies. Guessing at productivity means you have no real idea of your company’s running costs and therefore your billing, how can you accurately bill clients if you don’t know the resource you put into completing the work?

Using a paper or spreadsheet based process puts you at risk of leakage since employees miss out logging the five minutes here and there when they answer ‘quick’ phone calls or emails from clients. Those quick distractions soon add up to hours and are more likely to be recorded (and billed) if a more simple, automated system is used.

There are also the consumable costs of using paper-based client billing. These expenses quickly mount up:- paper, pens, printer cartridges, stamps, envelopes.

So the only question to ask yourself is – why, in a time when the technology is far cheaper than the problem, are you still using a spreadsheet or paper and pen to track billable time and submit timesheets?

You could be using a low-cost, secure, cloud-based system with a user friendly app that can centralise, collect and manage all your data and integrates with other packages you use, as well as generating timesheets and reports at the click of one button. There really is no contest.

If you think your company could benefit from streamlining its client-billing and timesheet process, then take a look at Alpaka and the free Alpaka Punch app. You will soon be freeing up staff time, enjoying accurate billing, filing timesheets more efficiently and planning resources more thoroughly.

If you are want to read more about the considerable costs of a poor working practice here are the results of a time tracking survey.


Kate balances being COO for a workforce management software product with being an almost perfect human.

Her blogs and expertise are about efficiently handling three obnoxious children and a difficult 42-year-old who wrote this bio.

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