How to Track Time in OfficeTools
Time tracking is an essential part of a staff member's daily routine. Time tracking helps to pay the hourly staff, gauge what amount to bill a client, and helps budget workload. It reaches its hand into every aspect of an office. Even though there are some in the industry who want to do away with time tracking, it is important to implement it in some form. Within OfficeTools, there are three methods of tracking your time: using a time card, managing a timer, or manual entry on the timesheet.
How To Track Time By A Time Card
Using a time card upon completion is OfficeTools' best practice for time tracking. When a task is completed via the Activity list, a time card should automatically pop up with the details on the task.
You can choose which task completions allow an automatic time card by going to Setup> My Settings> Auto-create Time Cards for> then select the tasks.
Plug in the Work Code, time spent, project, notes and that will be sent right to the timesheet on the time tab. It is quick, easy and happens automatically. A time card will automatically generate when completing an item from your activity list, but can also be generated by right-clicking on the activity and choosing create time card. Lastly, in the toolbar of many of the tabs, you can create a time card by selecting the icon that looks like a clock with a paper behind it.
You can also track Expenses from the Automatic Time Card using the Expenses tab.
How To Track Time By A Timer
The Timer function can be the most accurate method of time tracking if used properly, or it can be the most inaccurate. Timers work in a start and stop function. To start a timer, click on the image of the clock in the toolbar and a timer window will come up.
Choose your contact, work code, and notes if applicable, and press the play button. This will start a running clock that will keep track of your time for you.
Please note that the timer window can end up behind other programs that may be in use and possibly forgotten about.
If you plan on using timers, it is recommended to have a spot on your screen that does not get covered by other programs specifically to put the timer window. To stop your timer, click the pause button. Although the graphic indicates that you have paused your timer, please be aware if you click the play button again, it will start a new timer. This is for the ease of switching between different client's work, getting interrupted by phone calls, or even staff. You will notice at the bottom of the timer window that the timer has been recorded and has not been lost. You can collect timers throughout the day and, when desired, you can click on Create Time Card to take your timers and send them to the Time Sheet. At that point, OfficeTools will ask you if you would like to combine timers with the same client, work code, and project. If you were interrupted and recorded several timers, you can combine the time cards that are all for the same thing- so it would only show as one time entry on the timesheet, instead of 5 minutes here and 30 minutes there.
How To Track Time On The Time Tab
A lot of firms elect to track time in a more old fashioned way via the Timesheet. If you navigate to the Time tab at the top of the screen, you will see the daily timesheet for the staff displayed in the middle of the screen. A calendar will be displayed on the left-hand side which allows you to choose the day you would like to view tracked time for. A summary of the day will be displayed under the staff name including things like: total time tracked, billable hours generated, billable amounts, etc.
When keying Time in this screen, it is important to remember that OfficeTools is a Tab key-based system, not an Enter key based. To move through fields, you will need to hit the Tab key.
On this screen, you will always see an empty line under the fields at the top. This is your editable line. To key time in, select the empty line, click on the Acct # / Name field at the top and key the client information in. Hit the Tab key and type in the rest of the information including Work Code, Start and End times (or just a total quantity), and notes if applicable. Continue tabbing all the way through the fields and your time entry will be solidified and tracked.
Expenses and Mileage are also tracked from here as well. In the toolbar, you will see a button for each that allows for non-time based billable amounts to be tracked.
Please note all expenses and mileage need to be associated to a time entry tied to the appropriate client, even if the time entry is for zero hours.
On the small calendar on the left, the days that have time tracked on them will be highlighted in yellow. So at a glance, you can see exactly which days you have tracked time for.