1st Year Associate Guide To Managing Billable Time

how to calculate billable hours

By recognizing the important efforts employees make to benefit your organization, you can attract and retain team members who are always looking for ways to improve. “When review time comes around,” Moss says, “leadership will not have a true picture of the contributions an employee is making. This affects compensation, recognition, and promotions.” Employees whose hard (but non-billable) work goes unrewarded will stop using their time to grow and improve your company . They’ll leave your company to work for one that values their efforts, or they’ll disengage, turning in only the work that’s asked of them. But whether you’re doing a rebrand, consulting on a product launch, or designing a new logo for a client, there are trends over time that indicate how long a project typically takes. And if you know how long a project or job will take , then you know how much it will cost. Then, subtract that total from the 2,080 hours available for work each year, and enter the total available working hours per year into the employment costs calculator above.

  • Load them into your time-tracking tool if it allows you to do so allowing you to more easily and quickly get a directional sense of earning efficiency on your projects.
  • For activities within the category of non-billable hours, they’ll be charged to an organization’s account since there won’t be any compensation expected from a client.
  • Have you ever been so focused on a task that you can’t remember when you started working on it?
  • This makes it a lot easier to track time for your work tasks and be confident when invoicing for your billable hours.
  • You can also enter a target amount or the maximum agreed-upon amount.

All data, once approved, can be visualized in the system as expense connected to that project. “The reason,” he says, “is that your billable hour cost is $50 dollars an hour, and you’re charging that $50 an hour to your client. There are many software options out there, designed to aid resource and practice management. 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.

Timekeeping Legal Timekeeping Pushed Automatically To Your Invoice

It is standard practice to send invoices monthly but for projects that need more resources, you can work out a bi-weekly schedule with your client. Historical timesheet data from previous projects can make it much easier to provide accurate estimates when you bid for new business, or when you have ongoing projects with changing scopes. Approve time registrations and put all the billable hours together. Liam Martin is the co-founder of Time Doctor—one of the world’s leading time tracking software for remote teams. He is also the co-organizer of Running Remote, the world’s largest remote work conference.

Tracking time ensures a team’s working hours are adequately compensated and that the billable time is paid for. A few examples include freelancers, law firms & legal professionals, accounting firms, and advertising agencies. Harnessing the power https://quickbooks-payroll.org/ of time tracking software to accurately monitor time spent on tasks and projects and bill clients accordingly. Determining the frequency of accounting billable hours – some businesses do it on a weekly basis, while others do it once a month.

It is also quite common to bill clients per hour in the service sector. In general, the term “billable hour” refers to time spent on a specific client matter, and general administrative operations, etc. are not considered billable hours. PracticePanther is a leading cloud-based law practice management software solution that serves tens of thousands of legal professionals in 170 countries. In the example below, you can see the variations in what your billable rate should be based on the profit margin in the columns to the right.

The Best Employee Attendance Tracker Free Template

This method will help you identify who is approaching the work in a way that is too laid back, and those who work overtime and put in too many hours. You will also be able to keep tabs on the project and improve profitability. All the non-billable and billable tasks you create are automatically tracked under the project name so that you can know the amount of time you worked for a particular client. Time Doctor is an employee productivity management tool that makes it easy to track working hours, manage your work performance, and bill clients correctly. However, the manual method is not the perfect solution to calculate billable hours. Next, you should keep track of the total hours spent on a project to report to the client and bill them for it. Divide your annual income goals with the annual billable hours .

how to calculate billable hours

Non-billable hours are time spent on doing activities that benefit the organization as a whole and not just one specific client and cannot be charged to a client. In terms of the business model, you’ll see widely differing utilization expectations depending on the type of firm, culture, and competitive landscape. ClickTime’s time tracking software makes it easy for employees to track time throughout the workday, giving you a full picture of their workloads. Automated reminders and approvals done at the click of a button reduce the amount of time managers will spend sifting through timesheets or tracking down employees with incomplete timesheets. And custom reporting options help you pull the data you need to understand the true value of every employee’s time — whether it’s billable or non-billable. You shouldn’t think of non-billable time as time that wasn’t valuable. In fact, time spent on non-billable activities is probably the most valuable to your company in the long run.

Building A Company For Success

When managers and project leads understand that they can’t book employees at a 100% utilization rate, they’re less likely to burn out their teams. But as we already discussed, you have to track both billable and non-billable time to calculate a reasonable utilization rate for your staff. As your utilization rates go up — and your total billable hours increase — there should be a corresponding increase in profitability. Non-billable hours, on the other hand, are often spent on activities that benefit your organization at large, not just one specific client. Businesses that use billable hours charts are more likely to round their billable time much more reasonably. For example, without a billable hours chart, professionals might round a seven-minute meeting up to 15 minutes.

Drag and drop tasks give your timekeepers no more reasons to delay. Finally, I won’t defend the entirety of the scientific management movement as envisioned by Taylor. At the same time, I’m not sure I agree that all of Taylorism is archaic nonsense that lacks relevance in a modern services economy. His emphasis on standardization has led to adoption of templates and best practices today, which is key to scaling a professional services firm. His focus on empiricism manifests itself in the deployment of the metrics, scorecards, and dashboards that are used across industries. His drive towards waste elimination has evolved into the very useful philosophies of continuous improvement and lean manufacturing itself.

Block billing is often frowned upon by clients and can be seen as a way to disguise a lack of organization. Worse, clients might think you’re not transparent or genuine and are trying to overcharge them. Make sure to use free real-time billable hour trackers such as Toggl Track or ClickUp. Have you ever been so focused on a task that you can’t remember when you started working on it? Setting a real-time timer whenever you start a new task is the best way to maximize your time and improve your profitability. However, if a project involves a lot of work and requires many resources, you can also choose to invoice bi-weekly.

And that’s just one step to recording and being paid for billable hours. Once you have separated billable from non-billable time, you can set hourly rates so Clockify can calculate how much money you’ve earned.

To start time tracking, all you’ve to do is open Time Doctor in the manual mode and click the ‘Start’ button. All you’ve to do is track time for your work hours and deduct the non-billable work time from them.


That’s the kind of schedule an attorney would need to keep up to hit 1,892 billable hours in a year. It means never letting a meeting run over 30 minutes, never leaving work early for an appointment. And in the end, the result isn’t just 1,892 billable hours—it’s 2,480 hours at work. Clockify has a powerful integrated reporting system so you don’t have to count billable hours and add them up manually. All your time is automatically updated and sorted, and can be instantly viewed. Within a billable project, for example, there can also be some activities that you cannot bill the client and include in the invoice. But those activities must end up in your timesheet otherwise you’ll never know about them.

With retainers, the budget is dependent on how you want to break up the retainer. Utilization differs per organization, but it’s typically in the range of 50% – 75%. Higher than 75% may be unhealthy for an organization over a long period of time. Every company wants to increase their profits while having a secure financial situation. Some guess and some do it manually whereas others may use the many different types of software available.

  • Helpful Tips 5 Law Practice Management Software Myths Debunked As a whole, the legal industry is traditional and adverse to change.
  • While charging your clients hourly has many advantages, the approach also has some major drawbacks that could compromise your relationship with existing or potential clients.
  • Drag and drop tasks give your timekeepers no more reasons to delay.
  • The bottom line is that if we’re looking at the project/client level – we generally want to focus on Gross Margin first.
  • Next, we want to figure out how much it costs to earn our AGI based on the labor costs incurred on the project.
  • Budget status show if you’re below, meeting, or over your profit goal.

Lawyers trying to increase their billable hours may behave in ways that are not in the interests of the client. Still, many organizations and firms today utilize billable hours in measuring revenue that comes directly from clients. Tracking and automating billable hours also enhances project profit because billing clients would be more accurate. To capture the hours spent on a project, you’d better use time tracking software to make the process easier and more convenient.

Calculate Estimated Project Costs

How you calculate employee cost-per hour is an important thing to define internally so you can ensure consistency in the way things are modelled, especially how to calculate billable hours when it comes to project profitability. I’m going to discuss how to Calculate Billable Employee Cost Per Hour for the purpose of calculating Gross Margin.

how to calculate billable hours

The feature is free and can be used by up to 200 employees per organization. That’s why in this case, we’re looking at cost per hour based on gross capacity. If you’re more like the former, then you’ll need a more robust solution for tracking your billable hours. There is time tracking software available that allows you to have multiple projects and track billable hours with evidence. Keeping track of billable hours isn’t just for creating invoices for clients.

Other instances include project-related research, site visits, and modifications or revisions done at the client’s request after the initial deliverable. Thus knowing how, where, and when an organization is spending its resources is important. Equally important is how much of these resources are utilized in creating deliverables.

Don’t offer to work for free, but do tell the client about the changes. There are some websites such as UpWork that lock in the payments for both client and freelancer and will automatically pay you after a set period. Procrastination is something that all employees do give innumerable workplace distractions. Employees often tend to take a lot of coffee breaks in between, visit random websites and mindlessly browse social media. If one can control these distractions, they will be directing their time more towards getting more work done. Service providers who are not even lawyers love our software because of its deep integration with QuickBooks Online, giving you a true sync rather than something you have to rectify later.

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