It’s conventional wisdom that the three things employees hate having to do in their jobs is fill out time sheets, account for paid time off, and complete expense reports. Today, companies are looking to automated and SaaS-delivered software to take some of the drudgery out of these tasks.

BurnsGroup is a 30-employee advertising agency and marketing firm in New York City that just started using time management and project tracking software, delivered SaaS-fashion, to detail how many hours employees were working, and which clients they were serving when they did.

The SaaS-delivered app is the first time tracking software the agency has used, and it’s made things much easier than the manual processes it replaced.

“Being cloud based not only keeps us all on the same platform but has allowed us access to the mobile app, making it even easier for folks to manage their time in a timely and accurate fashion,” said Ann Morton, group managing director at BurnsGroupNYC, in an email interview.

The company purchased the “Time Cost” and “Time Off” applications from a company called Replicon, based in San Mateo, California. Its latest version adds access to the apps on mobile devices. Replicon is one of a number of emerging time and project tracking software companies in this space.

“Before we had Replicon, our CFO had to chase people down and make a leap of faith that what she was getting was accurate,” Morton said.

Largely gone are the days when workers would punch a time clock or fill out a time sheet to track their hours. Big name “time and attendance” tracking services such as ADP, Ceridian, and Kronos are well known, but there are other companies that do more — tracking how many hours to bill to a client, or how much time is spent on a project in order to improve time management. Besides Replicon, those companies include JournX, Pacific Timesheet, NetBase, and TenRox, said Paul Hamerman, an industry analyst at Forrester.

“Time is inventory,” Hammerman said in a phone interview. “If you’re not capturing all that time then you’re not collecting revenue for it.”

And delivering time management software via SaaS gives a customer the same advantages they get from other SaaS applications, he said, adding that some competitors of Replicon have a SaaS option, but others don’t.

For BurnsGroup, it was imperative that it had a SaaS option.

“Nearly all of us work across multiple clients and projects, so we needed to make it easy for people to do their time sheets on a timely basis, and for those of us in management to get real-time reporting that’s easy to understand.”

In addition, she said, the agency sometimes needs to bring in freelancers to work on a client project, and it’s critical to accurately track what hours they work and for which client, while at the same time being mindful not to overcharge a client. Lastly, SaaS-delivered project tracking software helps improve efficiency by comparing the hours spent on one project with the hours spent on another to see where time might have been wasted.

With a SaaS deployment, everyone in the organization is working on the same version of the application and always the latest version because the SaaS provider constantly updates the software on their network.

And, like other SaaS deployments, people using SaaS can access the application anywhere in the world where they have an Internet connection. BurnsGroup’s employees are mostly in the New York City area, but other organizations have employees scattered globally, many of whom would not be able to access an on-premises version of software if they’re not on the corporate network.

Replicon has just introduced version 3.0 of its time and project tracking platform, offering customer modules for different tasks, including project cost estimating, professional services billing, expense tracking, and a cloud version of the traditional time clock on which workers would punch in and out at the start and end of their shifts.

Replicon offered an on-premises app when it began in 1996, but has been SaaS-only since 2008, said Keri Brooke, vice president of product marketing for the firm. SaaS makes it easier for companies to take the pain out of those three mundane tasks of tracking hours, vacation time, and expenses.

“If you can solve those, you can make employees much happier,” Brooke said.

Original Source: SaaS In The Enterprise

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