Project Time and Expenses
Let's say you're the Project Manager in a company and you have a team of people working away on projects. It's now the end of the month and the Financial Director is jumping down your throat looking for your teams' time & expenses. It's the same story month after month. Late entries, missing entries, illegible entries.
What can you do to motivate your team to get moving and get their time & expenses in on time??
Here are a few tips that may help you:
1) Chat with your team
There may be several different reasons why your team (or individual members of your team) are late with their time & expenses on a regular basis. Ask them what the problem is? There could be lots of logical explanations from no internet access through to complex processes and procedures. It's worth gathering the feedback and then seeing how best to solve the problem.
2) Keep things simple
The last thing your team needs after an 8 hour day on-site is to have to wrestle with complex forms and processes. It really needs to be a simple few clicks and the job is done.
If you have a slick approvals process in-house, this means that t&e won't be held up waiting for approval. What if a timesheet is submitted on the day you go on holidays, what happens it then? Who makes sure it is signed off, so that there is not a big pile of paperwork waiting for you when you get back and a very annoyed Financial Director greeting you on your return!
Don't rely on paperwork. It's messy, it can go astray easily and it just adds more work for everybody involved. Best to keep things electronic and reduce any potential for excuses. Also, if relying on papwerwork (including Excel Spreadsheet), for the Project Manager, it's not that easy to see at a glance who has not yet submitted their time or expenses. And by the time you start to kick and shout, you are already late and are in the bad books again with your Financial Director.
5) Make it relevant
If your project team have to wade through codes and endless lists of projects just to do a simple expense claim, then you may be putting stumbling blocks in their way. Make the timesheet and expenses task relavant and simple.
PS - If you are struggling to get time and expenses in on time, you are not alone. From speaking to lots of project-based organisations over the past number of months, it seems to be the number 1 cause of frustration!
I hope this helps. Spreadsheets seems to be the most commonly used system out there for time and expenses. But this too, can bring it's own set of problems.
Ideally, you don't really want anybody in the organisation to have to re-enter data. So, if the timesheets and expenses are processed first hand by the members of your project team, then the information should just flow through to the project record and the financials.. keeping everybody happy. It means complete visibility, transparency and virtuallly no excuses going forward!
We have a couple of options in our product portfolio that may help you if you are experiencing any of the above problems. The first is Sage 200 Project Accounting with the standard Web Time & Expenses portal for entering data through a web portal. It's simple.
We also have a more advanced and more flexible solution called WAP (Web Authorisation), which also integrates with Sage 200 Project Accounting but offers a more comprehensive list of features such as:
- New subsistence features with pre-configurable rates and durations
- Enter time directly against jobs / projects and cost headings - jobs / projects and activities can be configured against each employee.
- Build work patterns and assign users to specific work patterns.
plus lots more...
- pre-configure Nominal, VAT and limits per user, per expense type
- track private and business mileage
- scan receipt and attach to expense claim
plus lots more...
Either way, the process of getting time and expenses into the system is really really simple and the knock on affect is huge. Project profits can be accurately evaluated, employees get paid their expenses on time and everybody will be on board with this new, simple way of managing time and expenses. No more pulling your hair out at the end of the month!
Upcoming webinars that may be of interest....
Sage 200 Project Accounting ......
Web Time & Expenses (WAP).....