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.
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.