The Complete Guide to Increase Billable Hours Best practices

Billable Hours

By tracking both billable and non-billable hours, you can better understand how much each of your clients is costing you and which ones are the most profitable. This can help you better quote clients in the future and possibly help you balance the time spent on certain types of work to foster growth. How much time does your team spend looking to better themselves for the company?

Billable Hours

Years ago, as a CIO, I oversaw a major core systems redevelopment for a company I worked for in Australia. We engaged a bespoke software development business that happened to have some of the best technical people in this particular field. They were superb people, incredibly gifted and highly committed to the pursuit of excellence. Unfortunately, their ability to manage the project was not quite up to the same standard, and the fixed price model was not their friend. We’d originally intended to pursue a time and materials contract with them, but things got a little sticky. I’ll move on to some of the issues that occur for both the company and its clients in the billable hours culture.

What are billable hours?

Once we multiply the quotient by 100, the result will be the realization rate of 75%. Learn how Clio Manage & Clio Grow have helped him be more efficient and have fast tracked his business. Tools you need to start optimizing outputs as soon as possible. Leadership skills are the strengths and abilities individuals demonstrate that help to oversee processes, guide initiatives and …

Billable Hours

Check out our support guide on ‘Billable rates’ if you want to learn more. It takes a few seconds to switch your timer to a different task and drastically improve the accuracy of your billable hours. You might want to look at how long you take to do low-value tasks or the time spent procrastinating on tasks. There are other distractions like social media or calls that need looking into.

Billing Structure: Determine Your Pricing

According to this research, out of the 8-hour workday, only 2.3 hours of the day were marked as billable. Not every company can afford the ante to engage the top-end-of-town consultants. And those that do, often fall into the trap of feeling like it’s just monopoly money.

Here are some ways to use software and solutions to help track billable hours accurately. This is probably the most obvious and the most difficult way to increase your billable hours. Stop goofing off during business hours and you may be amazed to see how much your billable hours increase.

What is the difference between billable and non-billable hours?

You will also know when your employees are spending more time on non-billable hours than billable, and can then address the issue. Non-billable hours also include activities that employees do for their own benefit, for example, taking a 5-minute break to freshen up, or eating. These activities are not directly related to work tasks but contribute to the employee’s total hours. You might think you’re only spending five minutes on a task, but when you look at the clock, it’s been an hour! Tracking billable hours will help you keep your finances in order and make sure you get paid for every minute of work you perform for clients.

Not to mention the regular daily activities like having lunch or taking a short break from work. Even though the term billable hours is vastly used in legal practices, it is also used in all other sectors where someone needs to be reimbursed for working on a project. This term defines how your time can get invoiced and compensated.

Welcome to Attorney at Work!

Tracking billable hours allows you and your team to have a clear picture of how much time is spent on each task. This way, you can identify where you or your team can improve and how to maximize earning potential. Tracking will help you know how much time you spent on a project and what tasks took up the most time. This will help you create better estimates for future projects, and reduce the chance of unhappy clients. You’ll also be able to identify which clients or projects use more of your time than others and adjust your rates accordingly. Here’s an example of billable hours from the accounting industry. When an auditor performs an audit of financial statements, they record the number of hours worked on the audit and these hours are then billed to the client.

How do you calculate billable hours?

Calculating billable hours is straightforward: you take how much you've worked and multiply it by your hourly rate.

You’ll first need to enable the feature in your QuickBooks account and set up your preferences. QuickBooks offers intuitive tools and solutions to track billable hours, timesheets and more. Totaling billable hours takes into account how many paid holidays and vacation or sick days each tech gets in a calendar year, so grab your PTO calendar and start counting. Billable Hour Requirements at Law Firms — One of the most sought after law firm measures, after salaries, is the billable hours requirement.

Use the “Client” or “Project” filter to display data only for the relevant client. It can also be tedious, especially if your team is a decent size and/or you’re working with contractors. Your typical timesheetBut you’ll quickly realize that they can be overly complicated, aren’t user-friendly, and can be prone to human error.

This method is easy to set up across your Tempo instance and you can control who can bill their time. However, the Billable feature is even more effective when you use it in conjunction with a billable account – you’re going to get better data for reports that you need for invoicing. And associating billable data to a customer via an account makes lots of sense. Your invoice must include a list of the services or tasks you conducted on behalf of the client during the billing cycle. You also must include the hours worked on each task and the hourly rate of those services. This itemized list ensures that clients understand what they are paying for and whether it is accurate. Some positions require the use of billable hours, and your company may have specific policies or requirements in place.

Add up your billable hours

However, unlike freelancers, some law firms require that their team members meet a minimum number of billable hours each year. Sometimes their bonuses are even based on their hours logged per year. So, as you can imagine, keeping track of your hours as a lawyer is extremely important. For one, it largely depends on the kind of business you run. While a cleaning company may only spend a few hours on the job, they’re normally charging a flat rate to their clients while a law firm might charge by the hour. Here’s a step-by-step guide for accurately tracking billable hours that will help you increase your profits and maximize your billable time.

  • This saves time and increases the speed with which a project is undertaken.
  • The term is thrown around so often (especially during On-Campus Interviews) that it’s almost assumed everyone knows what it means.
  • This software not only helps offices keep track of billable hours, but also makes other useful tasks easier, like productivity analysis, costing, reports, invoicing, and accounting.
  • Don’t worry about the task at hand, just start tracking your time and get on with it.
  • Time tracking gives you reliable information, including the employee’s start time and a project’s details and scope.

It’s only natural to prefer to be spending your time on work which you will actually charge for. So how do we try to minimize the number of non-billable hours we accumulate, without sacrificing the benefits that those hours can provide? One good trick is to try to use as much automation in your non-billable processes as you can.

Install a browser extension that limits the time you spend on time-sucking sites or completely blocks you from accessing them. Social media sites and even news sites are common culprits to target first.

Below we’ll uncover how billable and non-billable hours work for businesses and how you can make those working hours even more valuable. Approve time registrations and put all the billable hours together. In 2017, their average utilization rate was 78.8%, but in 2018 – 79.3%. Aside from account managers, account coordinators also did well. When it comes to productivity levels in PR agencies, which is expressed by the utilization rate, it seems like productivity levels are still below perfect. For instance, the average utilization rate of presidents/CEOs of PR firms was 32.6% in 2017.

An organization’s growth is dependent on the customer base. Working with existing customers and signing in new ones is the desire of every business. With more projects, there’s a high chance that the organization’s top line will go up. Vishal Sanjay is a content writer with a passion for finance, business, and investments. With a background in accounting, he revels in digging deep into complex topics to create elegant and engaging articles that inspire readers to take action. His works have been published on leading sites such as ThriveGlobal, INTStaffing, SellCoursesOnline, and more.

The simple exercise of writing down a policy can change the mentality and culture of your firm. This will help attorneys ensure that they are capturing and billing as much of their time as possible. Instead of immediately clicking your time tracker back on, you decide to have a quick check of Facebook, and then half an hour later, you realize that you’ve wasted your time being distracted. If you do need to create an invoice from scratch, you can use one of Indy’s free invoice templates.

Once you have established your salary, divide it by the number of hours you plan to work during the year. Asanais a great tool for teams looking to “organize, track, and manage their work.” Plus, Asana integrates with hundreds of apps to create a suite of business tools.

That means it’s good to try and reduce non-billable hours as much as possible while ensuring you increase billable hours. As you allow the account to track customer hours, it starts tracking time-based on your chosen preferences. Whether you’re using QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Pro on desktop, there are several ways to track billable hours. For most service companies, 30 percent is considered a good efficiency rate, while 50 percent would deliver extremely efficient employee costing. That means out of eight hours, if a technician does approximately 2.4 hours of billable work per day, the billable hour percentage averages 30 percent. To determine projected billable hours per tech, you must calculate what percentage of a technician’s workday results in billable hours, on average. This content is for information purposes only and should not be considered legal, accounting, or tax advice, or a substitute for obtaining such advice specific to your business.

How many billable hours are “normal?”

We’re going to take a look at that here so you can make the most of your time. By tracking Billable Hours, you ensure nothing goes unnoticed and that every minute or hour is accounted for.

By billing in standard time increments and using an attorney billable hours chart, you can spend less time trying to calculate your billable hours manually. Once you have your hourly rate set, choose the invoicing schedule you’ll follow.

  • Customer Success Protect revenue, increase customer lifetime value, and strengthen customer relationships.
  • Once you complete the project and your billable hours, you can feel confident that your books are in order.
  • It’s a great way to avoid letting work hours go uncompensated.
  • Business professionals with a proven track record of working for large professional services firms offer their knowledge on our platform.
  • While service providers would love to have as many billable hours as possible, this is easier said than done.

Taking another short break a couple of hours before finishing work for the day. Education and training are essential, but these periods should be limited to only a few hours per week or per month.

Seven Best Practices for Capturing More Time

You might think spending only a few hours on such tasks daily might not affect your overall productivity. As you spend more time on the actual work, you will be more efficient. This means there will be an increase in billable time and a reduction in non-billable ones. Examples of instances that are difficult to itemize include billing for meeting attendance, communications, and correspondence.

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