California-based Contoural is a business and technology consulting firm focused on helping clients with litigation readiness, compliance, information and records management, and data retention strategies. Its client base is made up of over 20% of the Fortune 500 companies as well as a number of midsized companies and public-sector entities.
A primary component of a consulting firm is the ability to manage projects and bill according to time spent providing services. However, Contoural found that they had an inefficient process for time tracking and billing that was costing its nearly 50 employees valuable time and creating unnecessary administrative work.
“Our people were putting their timesheets into two different formats—one for internal timesheets so we knew what they were working on and one that we would send to clients when we billed them. It took a lot of time and was all done in Excel,” said Judy Gum, Chief Financial Officer. On the billing side, the same employee data then had to be manually entered into their QuickBooks accounting software in order to create an invoice.
A User-Friendly Solution with 24/7 Access
Contoural proactively researched multiple solutions, ultimately deciding on Replicon’s TimeBill to help streamline and simplify their administrative tasks. “We looked at four different companies seriously and chose Replicon because it met our requirements at the right price point,” said Gum.
Contoural was looking for a program that would be simple for their consultants to use and easily accessible. Replicon’s cloud-based solution met those needs with their user-friendly interface and 24/7 online access. “Our consultants work all over the country and sometimes overseas, so it was a requirement that we find a solution that they could access from anywhere at any time,” said Gum.
Saving Valuable Time On Billing and Reporting
In addition to needing a solution that was hassle-free and easy to learn, Contoural wanted software that could simplify its billing process. With the assistance of Replicon’s support team, it was able to easily integrate the Replicon’s TimeBill into its Web-based QuickBooks program, saving it considerable time on the billing side of the business.
“Now there’s no more double data entry to QuickBooks, which has saved us about 35% of time, administratively. It’s a pretty dramatic savings,” said Gum. In terms of time spent on reporting, Gum is now able to run utilization reports for employees with just a click of a button, whereas she used to have to compile them manually. “Consultants have billable goals every quarter and now we can look at that in Replicon and see where they are in terms of meeting their goals at any time,” said Gum.
“Replicon’s solution has personally saved me a lot of time because consultants no longer have to call me for a status update on how much time they’ve put into a project. Everyone has easy access to a record of the hours they’ve worked to date.”
And according to Gum, project managers are more efficient now that they are able to see an entire project instead of piecing data together through email and phone calls to individual consultants.
"We've become automated because of Replicon. The timesheet solution alone has saved consultants at least 30% of their administrative time which translates to having more billable hours and the opportunity to generate additional revenue."
When Contoural consultants work with a client, it's referred to as an "engagement," which often entails multiple projects that need to be tracked. Consultants require weekly status reports to help them stay on track with their many projects, which had been a tedious process in the past.
Replicon's support team worked with Contoural to tailor a status report to fit their needs. "There could be several people working on a project and multiple projects within an engagement. It was hard to monitor all of that activity accurately, but now with Replicon we are able to do that. Data gets entered by project, so everyone can see how many hours have been spent on a specific project and who spent them. It's very helpful," said Gum.
Contoural's clients are also enjoying the benefits Replicon offers. When clients receive an invoice from Contoural, they also get documentation of the time spent on projects. Because there are usually multiple people on one project, clients were receiving multiple timesheets for their records. "Now with the report we were able to create in Replicon, Contoural clients get just one comprehensive report. It has made our life easier and undoubtedly theirs," said Gum.
When Contoural chose Replicon, there were a few features they needed to add that were specific to their organization's needs. Replicon provides the flexibility of tailoring its solution to its customers' needs, so Contoural made some customizations to the appearance of the interface, created reports specific to its organization and used the expertise of the Replicon development for a custom integration.
"Our experience during the implementation was great; Replicon was very receptive to what we needed and the development team was extremely supportive. If there's ever an issue, the support team is very responsive and proactive about helping us and keeping us updated," said Gum.
Contoural has been with Replicon since 2010, with about 80% of the company using it as part of their daily workflow. The solution has streamlined time and project tracking, simplified their billing process and eliminated the use of multiple spreadsheets.
"We've become automated because of Replicon. The timesheet solution alone has saved consultants at least 30% of their administrative time which translates to having more billable hours and the opportunity to generate additional revenue," said Gum.