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Tracking Time for Contractors or Consultants


When Do You Track Your Consultants or Contractor Time?

You do not because they are business owners.  Yes, even the little helper down the street is a business owner. You can verify time worked if your agreement is based on hours, but your contractors set their work hours. You may want to have a project management system so you can check off completed tasks. The contractor can track their time for each task in the project manager, and you can see completed tasks and hours. Remember, they are business owners. If you give them tasks that you understand, you will know how long it takes, and you give them hourly assignments. If it takes longer, question why? Ask what happened without accusing them of wrongdoing. Help the contractor with invoicing because it is up to them to provide that to you. You can request a timesheet report if they are tracking time and what you want to see as back up for the invoice.

I use time trackers to make sure I do not go over in hours, I do not work more than agreed, or to plan for future services. I understand how long it takes me to complete a task, and I do not want to mislead my clients, so I track time. However, what do you do if you are trying to protect yourself from dishonest business owners? Again, understand what it takes to complete the tasks you are delegating, and you can see if what they are telling you is correct. I understand how long it takes for blogging, so I know if they work within an hour, I know.  Next, understand the difference between delegation and hiring a professional service.

You will not need to request a timesheet from a professional service such as website designer or accountant.  I hired a professional website designer, and I trust that he will apply what he knows to create, maintain, and update the website. I trust he is honest and what he charges is what I pay unless I can't afford the pricing. You can check fair pricing by market standards. I also understand that I will pay a higher price for higher-skilled professionals. I don't expect him to lower his fee, but I return when I can afford the cost. I also don't track his time, and I don't need to know because he will give me a deliverable as long as I stay within the scope of services we agree upon for the price. He will provide me with an estimated date, and I respond to his emails and calls. Done and done, and I am less stressed because I did not try to build something I do not fully understand.

Would you like assistance to determine contractor types and management?   Purchase a consultation and let's discuss!

Author:  Y. Michelle Coard, B.A.S & A.A.S. in Accounting

Co-Owner of Business & Personal Accounting Solutions, Corp. based in Fuquay-Varina, NC

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