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Best Practices for Using Timesheets for Billing

Maximizing Efficiency and Accuracy of Your Billing Processes

For businesses that provide contract services, an effective billing system is key to optimizing cash flow and getting their revenue on time. Despite this, many businesses fail to see the importance of good time-tracking or underestimate the need for billing data accuracy.

If you don’t pay attention to those you might end up with:

  • Incorrect billing data

  • Overly complex processes that cause delays and negatively impact your company's cash flow

  • Unbilled hours leading to lost revenue and decreased profits

  • Overbilled invoices that ruin your relationship with customers, eroding customers' confidence and loyalty to your company

Clearly, timesheet accuracy and the efficiency of your billing process are crucial for the health of your company.


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Let’s explore the best practices for using timesheets to streamline billing processes and improve your overall invoicing efficiency.



Establish clear guidelines and standardized formats for time entries across all your teams. Remember - less is more. Don’t require your teams to provide too many details on each worklog. Focus on what’s most important and educate your teams on the process. Consistency in time tracking:

  • Enhances accuracy

  • Ensures that no billable hours are overlooked

  • Make data analysis easier

Consider using additional worklog attributes to differentiate between billable/non-billable activities, customers, or activity types.



Encourage your teams to track their time as they work on each task or project. Real-time tracking:

  • Reduces the chances of errors

  • Ensures a comprehensive record of billable hours

  • Allows for immediate adjustments if necessary

This practice also enables project managers to monitor progress and identify potential bottlenecks quickly enough to avoid future problems.



When assigning tasks to your team members, provide them with realistic time estimates or deadlines. This practice helps to manage customers' expectations and prevents the accumulation of unbilled hours due to overruns. It also encourages employees to be mindful of time management and ensures accurate invoicing.



Establish a regular review of timesheets. Encourage project managers or supervisors to review timesheets for accuracy, completeness, and adherence to company policies. A regular review helps identify discrepancies, quickly address any issues, and ensure that clients are billed correctly. Make sure no time can be edited or deleted after the billing period is closed and your customers are invoiced - this will help avoid future problems in case you receive some billing questions from your customers or need to run a timesheet data compliance audit.



Some customers may require you to provide detailed timesheet reports on the work done. Be open and transparent in communication with them regarding time tracking and billing. Regularly sharing detailed timesheet reports with clients enhances trust and transparency, reducing the likelihood of billing disputes.



Leverage the reporting capabilities of your timesheet system to gain insights into time spent per project, customer, billable versus non-billable time, etc. Analyze reports regularly to identify trends. This data-driven approach enables you to make informed decisions and optimize your business's efficiency.



Investing in a reliable timesheet system or software is the first step toward streamlining your billing process. Look for a solution that is user-friendly, adaptable to your business needs, and provides robust reporting features. When using Jira, you might want to consider adding a time-tracking app from the Atlassian Marketplace.  (Note that I'm part of the Clockwork Team at HeroCoders.)



While native Jira does allow you to track time against issues, it does not give you the abilities that could support you in the billing process.

To facilitate this process, Clockwork Pro provides multiple options to build and save your billing reports, using various filters and breakdowns of data. You can, for example, create a monthly billing report, just for your team so that you always have quick access to the insights you need for billing your customers.


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If you need to provide the customer with more detailed time reports, for example about the type of work done on a task, you can use worklog attributes to categorize the time and then create a report based on this data.


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Additionally, Clockwork Pro now allows you to define your billing periods (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or any other) and automatically lock them on a selected date. This prevents users from adding, editing, or deleting data after the close of the billing period. So … no more chaos at the end of month time!


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Whenever you need to ask a user to correct their timesheet, you can unlock the billing period. Then use the built-in email notifications to let the user know their timesheet is ready for corrections .


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As you can see, there are multiple tips and tricks you can use to optimize your billing processes. Maintaining accurate records, and billing efficiently without delays is key to elevating your business to new heights. Remember that effective time tracking and billing practices not only benefit your organization but also establish a foundation of trust and professionalism with your clients.




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