4 min read

This is actually a two part question:

 

  1. What is Time Tracking Software?
  2. What is Online or Cloud Hosted Time Tracking Software?

Let’s start with question 1. What is Time Tracking Software?

Time Tracking Software allows users to track time outside of the traditional paper timesheets. The software typically will look like a timesheet with input areas for days and hours. The great thing about time tracking software is that once those numbers are put into the system, all kinds of other powerful tools can be employed to analyze, invoice and track that time across a variety of areas.

 

Let’s start with an example, John Smith is an employee at your business. He comes in at 8am and leaves at 5pm. What did he do today at work? How did he bring money to the business? What projects did he work on? Who should you bill for his time?

 

All these questions can easily be answered if John is using time tracking software. The software opens when he logs into his work station and John then inputs what task he is working on and when that work ends. That slot of time can be applied to a client, project, or to the business as research or a break. As the day progresses, each task that John does is put into the system, so at the end of the day, a report can be pulled up showing what John did during his eight hours, and how much money he produced through billable hours to a client.

 

Time tracking software can also be used to track time that an employee is not at work. For example John wants to go on vacation and has seven days paid time off for the year. In the old days, all of this was recorded on paper in ledgers. Fraud and abuse were common place as it was easy to fudge the numbers and get a few extra paid days off at the company’s expense.

 

Now using time tracking software, companies can easily track the vacation time that John requested and apply that his balance of allocated paid days off. The company and the employee can easily see what days were taken off and what days remain.

 

Time tracking software is also an excellent way to monitor employees and remain in compliance with FLSA laws that regulate the amount of work a person can perform in a given week. If an employee is approaching their maximum time worked in the week, a manager can relieve that person or approve overtime pay. All of which is documented in the time tracking software.

 

Another great feature of time tracking software is reporting. Once the numbers are put into the system, the software can produce reports that can help a business owner analyze productivity and areas where improvements can be made. It can also give project managers a quick view of where the project is against the budget and help keep things on track, helping the corporate bottom line.

 

All said, time tracking software is an indispensable business tool that is more or less a requirement in today’s business world.

 

The next level of time tracking software is Online Time Tracking Software, which leads to the second question.

Online time tracking software is time tracking software that is hosted outside of the local office. Traditionally software was installed on the computer or office network where it would be used. That model of use has many weaknesses, including having to hire and maintain a professional IT staff that will manage servers, computers, software updates and bugs in the program. This is a costly part of doing business, especially for small to medium size businesses.

 

Now there is a new way to use software. It is called cloud hosted software, or online software. The idea is that the software is hosted on a computer that is connected to the internet. It is maintained and updated by the owner of the software. The end user can now access that software for any computer or device that is connected to the internet through a web browser. The end user will go to a web page, login and start using the software no matter where they are at.

 

The biggest advantage of the cloud hosted software model is cost to the end user and business. They no longer have to buy a full license to use it, but can instead go to a monthly, per user cost basis. There is not the need for internal IT staff to manage the software and updates. Data is stored and backed up automatically, software is updated in the background, all allowing end user productivity to increase.

 

Another advantage of online time tracking software is that is can be used anywhere, anytime. Workers are increasingly mobile and cloud hosted time tracking software allows that employee to continue to track time outside the office when in meetings or on the road. All of the data entered either from a laptop or mobile device, is sent back to the central data storage where it can be reviewed from any other computer in the company.

 

Online time tracking software is the way to go if you are considering any of the time tracking software options out there. The days of purchasing software in a box and installing it on your local computer that cannot be used outside the office are over.

 

Flapps is a great option in the online time tracking software arena. Check it out and see for yourself!

 

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