6 Tips For Tracking Time Accurately with Billings Pro

Quick Tips / March 22, 2016 / Kristie

We’ve all heard the saying “time is money”. Tracking time for client projects is important for freelancers and small businesses not only for accurate invoicing, but also for accurate estimating of future projects and adjusting your prices.

The more accurate your time slips, the better informed decisions you can make about pricing your services and knowing what type of tasks and jobs take up the most of your time. It also helps you to know what type of projects offer you a higher potential to make money on.

On top of using a time-tracking app like Billings Pro, there are specific features and workflows you can leverage to make sure the time you’re tracking is accurate and can be leveraged to make informed decisions.

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Here are 6  tips for accurate time tracking in Billings Pro.

1. Track time internally even for flat-rate projects

Even if you’re charging clients on a flat rate or per project basis, it’s still a good idea to keep track of the time you spend on your work. By tracking your time for each step of a project, even when the project is not billed by time, you will have a clear understanding of how much time you spend.

Tracking time for flat rate projects also helps you get better at estimating how many projects you can juggle at a time because you’ll know how many hours are involved in each one. This also helps you decide how to prioritize future tasks and know which projects you’re making the most money on based on the time it takes you to do them.

To track time for projects that aren’t billed by time, set your Billings Pro time slip to “My eyes only”. You can enter in an hourly rate so Billings Pro will still calculate the cost for each time slip, without including it to your billable hours.


You can also use the “Internal Project” feature to track time for your things that aren’t related to client projects.


After tracking time for a few different projects, you may be surprised to find you’re taking longer than expected to do various projects or tasks within a type of project. Knowing this information helps you make better decisions such as needing to increase your prices for various services or knowing when it’s okay to spend a bit more time on a project.

2. Track time from all your devices

Still relying on your memory or a handwritten note to remind you to enter in time you spend on a project while you’re out of the office? Save yourself the hassle and the risk of forgetting by using your time-tracking app on your mobile device while you’re on the go.

With Billings Pro on your iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, you can make sure you’re keeping accurate records of your time no matter where you are. From the iPhone and iPad in Billings Pro you can start a new timer from virtually anywhere in the app just by tapping the timer button in the bottom right corner.


And if you already have a timer that you’ve started, you can pause and finish it in one swipe with the Today Widget in the Notification Centre.

3. Set an idle timer on your Mac

If you find yourself getting distracted while working or you’re interrupted by phone calls, set an idle timer on your Mac so you’re billing your clients accurately. The idle timer will let you know when you’ve stepped away from your Mac so you can choose to continue tracking time or pausing that timer. This gives you a true representation of how much time you’ve spend on a particular task or project without you having to subtract the time it took to answer a call or finish watching an episode of House of Cards.

4. Jot down comments in your time slips

Using the comments in each time slip is helpful so clients know what work you did during that time, but it also doubles as a benefit to you. If you need to review a time slip to gauge everything done during that time period, you can go back and check the comments. This is helpful for estimating future tasks because you’ll remember all the work included and know how long it took you. These don’t have to be long descriptions of what you did, even point form notes are helpful.

5. Use the menu bar timer on your Mac

In general, multitasking reduces your efficiency. However, when there are times that you need to switch gears and respond to an urgent email or jump between tasks, use the menu bar timer on your Mac to quickly pause and resume a timer for client work without needing to switch between apps.

6. Run reports to review your time

It’s a good idea to get into the habit of running reports in Billings Pro every so often to gauge how much time you’re spending on projects vs how much you’re charging. This way you can adjust your prices as you take on new clients so you don’t get into the trap of working for more than what you’re charging.

For this it’s helpful to use the Activity by Category, Activity by Client, and Activity by Project reports in Billings Pro on your Mac. It’s a good idea to review these every few months to get an exact amount of time spent on each project, client, and type of project. You can then compare that to the cost of each project to average out how much you’re making overall.


By following these tips, you’ll be able to ensure you’re tracking time accurately and will give you data to leverage when making decisions. This will help you with client billing, estimating time for projects, and estimating cost for projects.


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