How to track billable time
When you’re charging by the hour, you need to keep track of time you spend working so that you know how much to charge your clients.
In addition to tracking billable hours, you should also track non-billable time (e.g. emails, Skype calls, preparing invoices, etc.). You can’t have a real insight into your financial state if you don’t know how long tasks really take.
Clockify helps you see how much billable vs non-billable activity you do and how that affects your earnings.
Let’s say you have a new client and you want to track your billable rates. Here’s what your Clockify workflow would look like.
Set up projects
- Define billable rate for each person in Team section and a default billable rate in Workspace Settings.
- Add a client in Settings > Clients
- Create a new project in Projects section and select the client. If you want, you can also set up:
- Tasks, so you can select them when tracking time and later group time entries by task in reports
- Estimates, so you can compare estimated vs tracked time on projects, and budgeted vs spent money
- Project and task billable rates, so Clockify can use a different billable rate when calculating how much you’ve earned on that particular project or task
- Start tracking time when you start working: type what you’re working on, select the project, click $ to mark time as billable, and start the timer
- Stop the timer when you stop working and the time will be added to your timesheet
- When you continue working on something, press play icon next to the appropriate time entry to start the timer for that activity again.
- When you’re having a meeting with the client, start the timer, type “Meeting”, choose project, and mark time as non-billable. By tracking non-billable time such as this, you’ll have a more realistic picture of how much time you’re really spending on the client (and not just the time you bill). You can also add a meeting tag so you can filter time entries by tags in Reports.
See time breakdown in reports
- When the time comes to bill your client at the end of the month, go to the Summary report, select This Month, the project (or only the client if you want to bill for multiple projects you do for them), show only billable time entries, and click Filter to see time entries you need to invoice.
- Group by Project and subgroup by Time Entry to make data breakdown more useful.
- Export the report with a detailed time breakdown in PDF and send it to your client for review.
- If you have clients who want to see how much time you’ve tracked at any point, you can share a report and send the link to your client. Then, your client can then visit the report at any time and see what work has been done so far on their projects.
- If you need to “forgive” and write-off some time entries, you can go to the Detailed report, use filters to find the time entries you want to write off, and mark them as non-billable.
Invoice tracked time
- Create invoice for client
- Import billable uninvoiced time entries into the invoice and download the PDF
- If you have time entries that you don’t wish to import into the invoice: you can select a different time range, choose which projects you don’t need, or manually mark those entries as invoiced
- Mark invoice as sent or paid to know its status
- See all your invoices that are due soon and filter out the paid ones