With cost and efficiency dominating the corporate agenda in today’s constrained operating environment, the ability to compare and contrast planned versus actual time and costs provides professional services firms with greater visibility and tighter control of performance in billable markets where time is money.
The ability to plan effectively is crucial for professional services firms operating in billable markets such as accounting, consultancy and law. But being able to allocate time and cost (of resources) with absolute confidence that financial and project targets will be met is difficult if resource planning tools and timesheet systems are being used in isolation, as they typically are today.
Timesheets provide an accurate view of the hours being billed at the end of each week or month, making it relatively straightforward to calculate the actual cost of resourcing a project and the revenue generated as a result. However, if these calculations are not being compared regularly against the time and resources originally allocated to projects, there is no way to assess whether the firm or its staff is performing as efficiently as it could.
Abstract from; ‘PM Hut’ by Peter Collins, director, Retain International
..citing billable hours and why these sources and demands on time are not De facto standards..