How to Improve Your Time and Billing in 2023

Tim Sines

How to Improve Your Time and Billing in 2023 Blog

Now is the perfect time to analyze your accounting firm’s processes and see where you can improve for the new year. An easy place to start is to look at your time and billing practices. While these are often overlooked as minor or unimportant factors, they play a huge role in understanding your productivity and efficiency. 

If you don’t track time properly, it’s impossible to be strategic about what rates to set and where you can increase your billable hours. Timely invoicing helps ensure that you are paid promptly and secures a higher cash flow. Streamline time and billing at your accounting firm by using Mango’s time and billing software. 

If 2022 hasn’t been your most productive or profitable year ever, here are the steps you can take to make 2023 that year for you using Mango. 

Make sure you’re tracking time (at all!) 

No matter if you bill by the hour or by value, you need to track every minute you work. If you’re still using an array of Post-It notes to log your minutes, it’s easy to miss billable hours from a meeting or phone call in your monthly invoice.  

It can be even easier to miss tracking non-billable hours! But these need to be quantified, as well, to run a profitable business. 

To capture the full extent of your hours worked, adopt a time-tracking solution that tracks every billable minute for you in one place. Optimize your time tracking with Mango’s time tracking software 

With Mango, you can: 

  • Run multiple timers with every project you’re working on—track time using the timers to invoice for every billable minute, even if you only work on a task for five minutes 
  • Track time on Mango’s mobile app so you can bill for time no matter where you’re working. If you have to pick up the phone after hours, bill for time on your phone and it saves it with the rest of your tracked time 
  • Customize time entries to the type of work you regularly do. Save shortcuts for your work description so you can choose it as a time entry from a drop-down list 

When you track your time thoroughly, you can use the data to set accurate hourly rates or implement value-billing that will actually be profitable. 

Set time budgets 

Sometimes, a new employee may not know how much time to spend on a certain task at your firm. Help them work productively by setting time budgets for their projects so they don’t go down a rabbit hole. (And tell them to check with you if it seems like the task will take longer than expected so you can find the bottleneck in their workflow before it costs your firm money.) 

Also, it’s normal for a task to take longer when someone is new to your firm. Allot more time for tasks in the beginning, then shorten it as the employee feels more comfortable with a given client or project.  

Communicate time budgets easily using Mango’s task management software (included in our all-in-one accounting practice management software). When you assign a task to an employee, outline in the notes how much time the task should take them.  

Review weekly time cards 

It’s tempting to just sign off on a time card at the end of the week, but this stops you from fully understanding where your employees’ time is going. Thoroughly review timecards at the end of the week to track how many non-billable hours they work and how long projects are taking them. 

Instead of trying to do this with paper time cards—which are prone to unnecessary errors—use Mango’s time tracking software. At the end of the week, employees can convert time into their time cards. They can make adjustments as needed before they send it your way for review.  

All of this time data from their employee cards can then be reviewed using Mango’s analytics software to understand which team members are most profitable and which ones aren’t hitting their targets. 

Train your employees on time tracking 

If employees aren’t used to time tracking, it can be difficult to implement. Some employees may feel like they are being micromanaged, while others may struggle to adopt the new workflows involved in time tracking.  

When you use intuitive time-tracking software like Mango, the learning curve is much shorter. This makes getting team members on board with new processes easier. It’s also critical to ensure that your employees understand the benefits of time tracking 

These benefits include: 

  • Better workload distribution 
  • Fairer distribution of resources 
  • Improved project time budgets 
  • Increased transparency  
  • Increased accountability across all levels 

Mango also offers monthly workshops on our time and billing features. Carve out time for the whole office to sit down and take the workshop. This will help staff members feel prepared to use and implement the software to the fullest so they can properly track time. 

Set up invoice templates 

Manual paper invoicing is a tedious process that takes up unnecessary non-billable hours. Speed up invoicing and use the same template over and over again with Mango’s invoicing software 

Choose from a variety of invoice types created for you by Mango, including: 

  • Retainer 
  • Recurring 
  • Fixed 
  • Hourly 
  • Phased 

If you want to create something more specialized, Mango helps you customize templates to design invoices that meet your needs. Save these customized templates so you can use them every month and avoid starting from scratch each time. 

Track expenses 

If you dread going through your envelope of expenses every year, take heart: there’s a better way to organize them. Use Mango’s time and billing software to track expenses as you go. You can also use Mango’s app to track expenses from your phone, so you never miss writing off items like business lunches at the end of the year. 

Automate invoicing and billing 

Manually creating invoices wastes time that could be spent on billable hours for your clients. And more billable hours means higher profits.  

Automate your billing as much as possible with critical invoicing features from Mango. Our software offers: 

  • Batch invoicing: Create, edit, and send multiple invoices from a single screen for different projects and clients 
  • Recurring invoicing: If you bill a client for the same amount every month, you can automatically release time records on a certain day 
  • Retainer invoicing: Allow clients to pay upfront on retainer so you know exactly how much cash flow you’ll receive for work every month 

Online payments 

The main reason people give for why they pay late is that the invoice was lost or never received. If you have to hound clients to pay you via a paper check every month, you’re wasting time. Get what you’re owed sooner by implementing online payments at your accounting firm. With online payments, clients can pay you from anywhere using their smartphones. This means they can take care of their bill as soon as they receive the notification on their phone. 

Start off 2023 right with Mango Practice Management 

Mango’s practice management software was made by accountants, for accountants, so we know the exact tools you need to streamline your time and billing. Mango’s clean, intuitive interface is easy to understand so your team can adopt the software quickly and start tracking time ASAP. 

Schedule a demo with Mango today and get ready to optimize your time and billing in 2023.