Project Management

Simplify your bookkeeping with this Billable Hours Tracker

Keeping track of those billable hours is tedious but essential. So IT consultant Susan Harkins built a little automated tool to make the task a bit easier.

Tracking billable hours is a huge part of any consultant's business. In fact, it's critical to a number of other job roles as well. For instance, clerks, assistants, data input operators, and paralegals are sometimes required to track their work by client or by project.

A simple, generic tool for recording billable hours can be a big help. But developing a format that works for everyone is tricky. You might work a full week at a client's, billing the client your entire week. Or you might work on several projects for different clients throughout a single day, billing for time periods as small as 15 minutes. A generic sheet needs to handle all the possibilities.

We kept our Billable Hours Tracker very basic so that it can accommodate as many billing scenarios as possible. You enter a client and a project description, if applicable. Then, you enter the date and time you started and ended work on that particular project. Each row represents a single billable block for a single project for a single client. You can enter as many time blocks as needed. Just remember that each billable block requires all four time values.

Perhaps more important, this sheet can handle start and end times for the same 24-hour period or that extend beyond the same day. One formula handles them all.

Download the tool and give it a try. Then, let us know what sorts of additional features or modifications you'd like to see in the next iteration.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

7 comments
ferryjason68
ferryjason68

Hours tracking and management practically makes a difference for a respective end up with the segment where in the productivity and the revenue some what directly or indirectly keeps importance as such. More or less the the acceptable look over of the practice makes a specific end result in the possible way. One of the white paper that I encountered recently defines the ROI with respect to the timesheet. Here it is - http://www.replicon.com/white-paper/calculating-return-investment-timesheet-applications

pflapham-23737826629493199154303227527571
pflapham-23737826629493199154303227527571

ManicTime.com the free version is enough for me. As a contractor, I needed something I didn't need to maintain. It's a nobrainer. It's easy. It's flexible. It exports everything I need. WTG TechRepublic!

DonWagner
DonWagner

Thanks Susan for the straight forward and simple to use report. Of course, entering dates and times with Excel requires more keystrokes that I care to enter, so I made a few changes for you to consider. Our (in house) CRM software suite includes this familiar function. I've taken your 'xls' file and expanded on it 'a mite' :-) Tell me where to send it if you're interested. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to TechRepublic/CNET DonWagner@fccss.net Z01.00~20101207TU@070103840~ IDtLine Our Global LOG Format

rcstan
rcstan

If the worksheet is intended to be used for multiple clients and/or projects, sorting is required and the worksheet must be unprotected to do so. I prefer dedicating a worksheet to each client. I recommend adding this comment somewhere on the worksheet: To quickly enter Date & Time values, use these shortcuts: For current Date: type Ctrl + ; For current Time: type Ctrl + Shift + ; I recommend formatting Hours as a Number with 2 decimal places, and Amount as Accounting.

gparry1
gparry1

Great idea, in keeping track of hours and work done!

Madsmaddad
Madsmaddad

As a Part Time Hourly Paid lecturer I have to put in a time sheet, supplied by the university. I get paid at two rates depending on teaching/non-teaching(marking) duties. Dont' get paid for prep, but that's another story. Last month my new boss put in all my hours at the lower rate, so I have now modified the spreadsheet with a column for each rate. As previous contributor, I will send you a copy if you give me an email. I first modified it in Open Office, then discovered MS Excel didn't like that, so modified an MS version, which worked happily in OO. The 'A' rate column in the spreadsheet looks like this: =IF(F21 = "A", H21-G21,"") where column F sets the rate (A or B). The B rate column is similar except for one character.

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