Since 2007, Connery Consulting has provided Human Resources advisory services to companies in the technology and financial services markets. Its team of more than 20 business consultants and research associates is committed to excellence and personalized service that helps clients grow their businesses.
- Spreadsheets proved to be an inefficient solution to track employee time on projects, and invoices
- It was extremely challenging to manage customer billing at the end of the month
- Billing accuracy was also a big challenge for their business
- Reduced billing time from a full day to 2 hours
- Achieved 100% adoption in first week after rollout
- Minimized costs with cloud solution
“On a day when I would have spend the entire time doing billing, it now takes me an hour or two hours to get all of our invoicing done.”
Founder and Principal, Connery Consulting
In its early days, Connery Consulting relied on spreadsheets to track employee time on projects, and then create invoices. This was an inefficient solution. Company founder Nancy Connery says, “Everything we do is on an hourly basis. To account for that we used spreadsheets, and at the end of each month it was extremely painful to sit there and go from spreadsheet to spreadsheet and also invoice to invoice.”
For Connery Consulting it was critical to be able to track time against projects. But without real-time visibility into this data, it was difficult and time-consuming to bill clients accurately for completed work.
“Everything we do is on an hourly basis. To account for that we used spreadsheets, and at the end of each month it was extremely painful to sit there and go from spreadsheet to spreadsheet and also invoice to invoice.”
Connery Consulting found the solution it wanted in Polaris TimeBill. The company got the centralized billing data it needed, and was easily able to see its profitability. “Polaris gave us the opportunity to track everything, to audit all of our files [including] profit versus billing…and keep very clean records, which we weren’t able to do using spreadsheets,” Connery said.
TimeBill also gives Connery Consulting the ability to keep clients up-to-date about their projects. Nancy Connery: “It allows me to give our clients real-time information in terms of the hours that they’re going to be billed for the month, which comes up a fair amount in the consulting business.”
The company generally bills once a month, but now can readily accommodate clients who want bimonthly billing, or even weekly. “Polaris lets me do this without having to go to my consultants at the end of each week and ask them [about their hours].” This makes things much more accurate when Connery’s consultants work on multiple projects. Now, they just log in to their web browsers each day and enter their time. That way they don’t have to try to recall later what they did for three, four, or even five different clients.
The software’s easy-to-use interface made it easy for users to adopt it quickly. “We had 100 percent adoption within the first week of rolling out the product. No grumbles from employees about moving to a new solution…everybody fell off of sending me invoices and spreadsheets and really just moved to using the system,” said Connery.
Polaris’ software is also a significant time-saver. It streamlines several otherwise laborious business tasks. “It’s allowed me to have about an additional 10-12 hours of time to do other kinds of work,” said Connery. “On a day when I would have spent the entire time doing billing, it now takes me an hour to two hours to get all of our invoicing done.”
Cloud-based Software is a Perfect Fit
Like many small businesses, Connery Consulting didn’t have internal IT resources, so it needed a way to minimize the costs of supporting a solution. Polaris’ Software-as-a-Solution model (SaaS) was an ideal fit. It puts its customer’s data, and the software itself, on a server “in the cloud.” They’re hosted remotely at a highly secure, fully backed-up data center. Hardware and IT infrastructure are Polaris’ responsibility, as are maintenance, upgrades and data security.
“Having come from Salesforce.com, which really was the beginning of the SaaS world, I was a big believer in it,” said Connery. “It was definitely a prerequisite for us. And it was very easy. I would go so far as to say painless.”.
The company’s day-to-day use of the software has been similarly pain-free. “We have not had to interact with the support team too much, which is a testament to Polaris,” said Connery.
Polaris TimeBill helps Connery Consulting meet its overall goal of streamlining operations. It puts all consultants’ project data in one place, accessible in real-time from anywhere with an Internet connection, and makes billing both faster and hassle-free. It also gives the firm an overview of where its business stands: Reports about utilization and project profitability are available instantly. It saves the company money by eliminating the costs of maintaining software.
“Everybody at Connery Consulting uses it,” says Nancy Connery. “I use it myself to track my own hours. Polaris is a system that we really live by.”
“We had 100 percent adoption within the first week of rolling out the product. No grumbles from employees about moving to a new solution…everybody fell off of sending me invoices and spreadsheets and really just moved to using the system.”