Time Tracking Software for Consultants: How Automated Consulting Time Tracking Eliminates Costly Inefficiencies to Improve Profitability
When the COVID-19 pandemic landed, management consulting firms were thrust into a remote business model virtually overnight. As a result, management consultants needed to transition to new workflows and tools on the fly. Because full and accurate time capture directly drives revenue and profitability, savvy firms focus their technology investments on time tracking software for consultants that makes it easy for staff to log and categorize time entries in a complete and timely fashion.
Firms focus on consulting time tracking for a reason. When firms have consultant time management software in place, they’re in a strong position to improve processes that directly drive increased revenue, better resource allocation, and profitable delivery.
Realizing the Benefits of Consultant Time Management Software
Time tracking software for consultants provides a range of benefits to a variety of stakeholder groups. Fee earners enjoy streamlined, accurate time capture that eliminates the need to invest time into unbillable administrative tasks. Finance helps prevent revenue leakage with better outcomes resulting from comprehensive time capture, and operations boosts realization rates and collection cycles because of billing improvements.
Implementing Automated Consulting Time Tracking to Unburden Fee Earners
Best-in-class consultant time management software eliminates the inefficiencies associated with manual time capture. Using a time tracking software for consultants solution — like Intapp Time — consultants enjoy the benefits associated with accurate and complete time capture as well as categorization that eliminates the guesswork and unbillable administrative time associated with reconstructing untracked time entries.
Intapp Time captures activities continuously, and makes activity description and categorization suggestions to consultants. The solution also offers multiple interface options to match the ways that different fee earners prefer to track their time. For instance, some staffers like to track time contemporaneously using timers, some prefer to refine the automated suggestions made by the consulting time tracking solution, and others want to automatically populate a calendar view.
The value of time tracking software for consultants hinges on its ability to meet the needs of individual users by supporting multiple ways to approach and execute time capture. Rather than forcing consultants into a prescribed process, Intapp Time provides consultant time tracking software that incorporates tools and functionality to support various approaches based on user preferences, which increases adoption and ongoing usage.
Eliminating Revenue Leakage through Time Capture Improvements
Uncaptured time directly reduces revenue — because firms can’t bill clients for consulting time that they can’t substantiate — which means that firms that aren’t using consultant time billing software are leaving revenue on the table.
When consultants get immersed in their work, manual timekeeping becomes a tedious, distracting chore. And when consultants are forced to reconstruct timekeeping records after the fact, the likelihood of errors and omissions escalates.
When firms are required to track consulting time down to one-tenth of an hour — 6-minute increments — investing in a consultant time tracking solution helps ensure that firms are positioned to achieve their realization targets, prevent undetected revenue leakage, and accelerate the work-to-collect cycle.
Ensuring Profitable Delivery Using Time Data
Today, sophisticated consulting firms leverage automated consulting time tracking to improve a variety of operational functions, including pricing for new engagements and ongoing budget monitoring. Using the right consultant time billing software, firms can quickly and easily gather and analyze the data required to create budgets for new engagements with confidence.
However, firms that aren’t using AI-fueled consultant time tracking software are dependent on spreadsheets, time-consuming manual processes, and siloed data to gather the source materials and perform the analysis required to develop new budgets. The limitations associated with this process — including subjective estimation and unreliable data — open the door for significant scoping and pricing errors that can lead to unpredictable budget overruns and unhappy clients.
Leveraging AI for Reliable Pricing
Intapp Pricing leverages Engagement DNA™ — proprietary AI-based technology that automatically sifts, sorts, and categorizes a firm’s previous engagements using time capture data — to dynamically model pricing and profitability scenarios to optimize scoping, resourcing, pricing, and planning strategies.
Using Intapp Pricing, firms can apply data from similar previous engagements across a wide range of attributes, which helps define the scope and resourcing requirements. For example, information collected from Engagement DNA™ builds the detail required to optimize staffing strategies, including the number of staff required and the breakdown of skill sets, experience, and seniority. Analysis of past engagements and the profit margins associated with specific staffing decisions helps firms balance profitability with client value.
Monitoring Budgets on an Ongoing Basis
Because clients expect accurate pricing and predictable billing, ongoing budget monitoring has surfaced as a key driver of client value. To support this expectation, Intapp Pricing includes both budget-to-actuals analysis and a reporting system that automates notifications when budgets are approaching key thresholds so that consulting firms can proactively communicate with clients.
Using the advanced analytics features inside Intapp Pricing, consultants can pull together data for a report — for times when they’re meeting with a client that will expect an update on budget and engagement activity — that provides the transparency and evidence of collaboration that clients seek.
Intapp clients tell us that these analytics and reporting capabilities have proven particularly useful during the pandemic, because so many clients have been under pressure to reduce budgets. Using Intapp Pricing, firms can figure out how to cut a budget by modeling rate reductions and other factors. When firms are agile enough to respond quickly and reasonably to these requests, they stand out among competitors with respect to client-value delivery. Discover how your firm can strengthen client relationships and increase profitability with OnePlace Operations & Finance AI pricing software and profitability analysis tools.
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