Keeping Track of Time and Expense for Billable Consultants with Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Ryan Plourde
| 3/26/2015

How do you track time and rate for billable consultants? Do they always enter their invoices in a timely manner? Do you have expectations, goals or even limits for this type of resource?

If this information isn’t properly tracked and easily accessible, you might be losing profits.

You can see accurate, up to date utilization rates and hours of your billable consultants right within your CRM system.

This is important for all organizations that use billable consultants because higher utilization rates equal higher profitability.

Crowe Project Management for Microsoft Dynamics® CRM

Easy Time Entry

Your team members should enter their time into Dynamics CRM on a daily basis, while the details are fresh in mind. They must account for 40 hours each week, which can be billable time for projects, or non-billable time, such as PTO or internal tasks.

Most time tracking systems are complicated and make it laborious to enter time, especially for a busy consultant who may be working remotely.  This is where Crowe Project Management solution comes in. Crowe Project Management is built right into Dynamics CRM and makes recording time quick and easy, so there’s no excuse for not getting it done every day.

Project Reports

Once time is entered, it can be calculated and tracked against defined projects, tasks and milestones.

Project management dashboards in Dynamics CRM can give you an up to the minute overview with the ability to drill down into project budget reports, profit and loss reports and resource utilization reports. 

Resource Utilization Reports

n terms of resource utilization, you want to know the time actually spent versus the time billed to the client and also the consultant’s time spent on non- billable activities.

You can see if a consultant is underutilized; you can see what sorts of other tasks they are performing. Time spent on “other projects”, e.g. things worked on now that could produce profit later or time spent improving internal processes, becomes transparent using your daily reports and you can reallocate available resources if you see the need.

How these reports can benefit your business

Recently an IT services company had a project where they had estimated 30 hours for a job. The actual time spent was 110 hours, but they could only bill 30 hours to the customer because we provide fixed bid proposals for our Dynamics CRM projects.

By looking at the reports you can gain some valuable information.

Perhaps a junior technician was assigned to accomplish the task. That’s fine;  even if they spent three times as long, there is still a profit and they are learning valuable skills.

Or it could be that a developer estimated the job incorrectly, maybe not factoring in testing, training and project management time. Having this information in a report allows us to see where we can make improvements going forward.

The Crowe CRM practice is built around helping companies use software to be more efficient and to work smarter. Crowe Project Management will help you see how efficiently your billable consultants are working.