Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

If Your Accounting Firm Uses Timesheets, For the Love of God, Track Your Time Daily

Let me preface something here in order to prevent a flood of hate-emails from Ron Baker and his ilk — timesheets need to die. They need to die a slow and agonizing death.

But actually, a quick death would be preferable so accountants could immediately cease wasting time on them and start doing something useful with those precious hours. Regardless, timesheets are the worst.   

HOWEVER! I'm known as a voice of reason around these parts so until the accounting profession succumbs to the inevitable value pricing utopia, I will do my best to make the lives of accountants who must fill out timesheets slightly less horrendous. 

Yesterday we linked to this post from Harvard Business Review that summarized a whitepaper from AffinityLive, "a company that specializes in professional services automation." It states what we already know — you people (and others) suck at filling out timesheets and it costs your firms a lot of money.

But what can you do about it? You can always hit the bricks and find a firm that does not cling to grossly outdated practices but if that's not an option, the simplest and definitely least fun thing you can do is to track your time daily.

Here's a chart!

As you can see, if you go for once-a-day timesheet fun, you're more likely to have accurate results and, thus, happy partners. Multiple timesheet encounters a day is slightly less accurate for whatever reason; if you're not diligent enough to keep a once-a-day habit, you're probably making a few mistakes; once a week might prevent you from having to explain your timesheet on a regular basis; and if you're one of those people who just jams everything in before the end of the billing cycle, well, then, your timesheet is a recurring nightmare.

So there have you have it; resolve to track time daily and you'll have a happy and prosperous 2015.

But seriously, fuck timesheets. Get rid of them. As soon as you can.

Workers Are Bad at Filling Out Timesheets, and It Costs Billions a Day [HBR]