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Tracking Billable Hours? Here Are the Top 15 Tools to Boost Profits

Maggie Tully
|
June 6, 2023
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Billable hours are a crucial part of ensuring project profitability. In fact, if you aren’t currently recording your team’s billable hours, then it’s likely you’re missing out on earned project revenue. After all, how can you be sure that you’re billing clients the right amount if you’re not tracking the time you’re spending on each project? 

Luckily, there are a lot of software tools on the market that can help you effortlessly track every minute you spend working. In this blog, we’ll do a deep dive into the 15 best options. 

What are the must-haves in a billable hours tracker?

Every organization has different needs when it comes to tracking billable hours. But in general, you’ll want to assess each tool according to the following criteria: 

  • Ease of use: An interface with a steep learning curve can result in a lot of wasted time. You’ll want something that’s intuitive and easy to use. 
  • How time is tracked: Do you prefer to start a stopwatch as you begin each task, or would you rather enter a timecard after the fact? You’ll want to consider how time is recorded before landing on a tool. 
  • Ability to create invoices based on billable hours: Recording your time entries in one app and then having to manually enter them into a different app for billing is tedious. You’ll want a software solution that will help automate this process, allowing you to track time and turn those billable hours into client-ready invoices with very low effort. 
  • Reporting: Team utilization rate is a critical metric for understanding whether your team is recording a healthy amount of billable time, which is why it’s important to select a tool that turns these metrics into digestible reports. 

15 best tools to track billable hours and maximize profits 

Let’s dive into the 15 best tools to help you track billable hours and maximize your project profits

1. Rodeo Drive 

Rodeo Drive is a project management software solution that offers a comprehensive set of features to help creative professionals see their projects through from beginning to end. 

The platform offers budgeting, estimating, invoicing, planning, and reporting — in addition to time tracking — meaning you’ll have all of the resources you need to ensure project profitability available in just one app. How convenient is that? 

Here’s a look at how Rodeo Drive stands out against other time tracking tools on the market:

Time tracking that connects with your budget 

Rodeo Drive makes tracking time easier than ever, as your team can do so in two ways. You can either start the live timer when you begin working on a task or simply log your time later on. 

Ending a live timer in Rodeo Drive

Ending a live timer in Rodeo Drive

The best part is, every time activity you record in Rodeo Drive must be connected to a budgeted activity, which ensures that your project budgets are automatically updated as you work. 

This way, you’ll have a real-time understanding of the budget percentage you’ve already spent, meaning you can catch any overspending early on. 

Send invoices based on your billable hours recorded

Because you’re able to store employee and activity-specific rate cards within Rodeo Drive, you can invoice clients directly from the platform. Invoices can be generated in one click based on your billable hours recorded, without the need to enter anything else. 

Plus, you’re able to personalize your invoices with your own branding, terms and conditions, or discounts before sending them out. 

Creating an invoice example in Rodeo Drive

Rodeo Drive's invoices are fully customizable 

Access reports on your team’s productivity and utilization

Rodeo Drive's interconnected set of features allows us to bring you a set of detailed reports with insights on employee productivity, time registration, and project profitability for closed projects. 

For instance, the employee productivity report allows you to better visualize your team utilization rate, as you can see how much time your team spent on billable versus non-billable activities. 

Productivity report in Rodeo Drive

The Productivity report allows you to see your team's availability versus the hours they've recorded toward project work

Additional features 

  • Task planning: Effectively manage your team’s workload by planning and assigning tasks in advance. 
  • Estimates: Send a personalized project estimate to clients to approve, directly from Rodeo Drive. 
  • Live chat support: Rodeo Drive experts are always available to answer any questions via our live chat support feature. 
  • Integrations with QuickBooks (US) and Xero (UK): To assist with billing and bookkeeping

Rodeo Drive’s weaknesses 

  • No mobile app (yet): Rodeo Drive does not yet offer a dedicated mobile app, although this is something we’re actively working toward providing in the future. 
  • No HR features: Rodeo Drive was designed to cater to the needs of creative project managers. We see human resources as a different beast, and as such, we’ve made a deliberate decision to maintain our focus on delivering core project management capabilities. 
  • Limited customization capabilities: Our feature offerings have been curated to make life easier for creatives engaged in project-based work, meaning teams in other industries may find that the tool can’t be adapted for significantly different use cases. 

Rodeo Drive’s pricing 

There are two pricing plans available in Rodeo Drive — the Free plan, which includes a limited feature set, and the Achiever plan, which gives you access to all features for $14.99 per user/month.  

Companies on the Free plan will have a limited number of seats, 3 active projects, no guest users, and no reports. You’ll need to upgrade should you need more than that. Get started for free today.

2. Toggl Track 

Toggl Track dashboard

Source: Toggl Track

Toggl Track is a time management software with a simple interface. The platform makes it easy to record billable hours by allowing you to attribute time activities to specific projects and start a timer when you begin working on each task. 

This way, your billable hours can be tracked down to the second. Some teams might also find Toggl Track’s round-up feature handy, which allows you to round up or down to your organization’s standard time interval. 

Related: Toggl Alternatives: The Ultimate Comparison of Competing Time Trackers

Toggl Track’s popular features

  • Time management 
  • Reporting 
  • Billing and invoicing 
  • Payroll 
  • Project budgeting 

Toggl Track’s weaknesses 

  • Toggl Track offers limited reporting features compared to other tools on the market. 
  • You’ll need to subscribe to Toggl Plan separately if you want access to a wider range of project management features, such as task planning or resource management. You can integrate Toggl Plan and Track, but each has its own subscription price. 

Toggl Track’s pricing 

  • Free plan: Up to 5 users
  • Starter plan: $10 per user/month 
  • Premium plan: $20 per user/month 
  • Enterprise plan: Custom pricing 

3. Time Doctor 

Time Doctor's dashboard

Source: Time Doctor

Time Doctor is one of the leading software tools for teams looking to track time and monitor proof of work. The time employees track can be attributed to a client or project, which makes it easy to track billable hours and accurately invoice clients.

But beyond time management, Time Doctor also serves as an employee monitoring app. This means employers can monitor employee activity levels, websites they visit, and even take periodic screenshots of what they’re working on. 

Also read: 15 Best Time Doctor Alternatives in 2023

Time Doctor’s popular features 

  • Employee monitoring 
  • Online timesheets 
  • Productivity measuring 
  • Distraction alerts

Time Doctor’s weaknesses

  • Privacy is a main concern among users since Time Doctor has full access to employees’ computer activity. This level of surveillance is seen as unnecessarily intrusive by many. 
  • Time Doctor isn’t an all-in-one project management solution, meaning you’ll need to rely on integrations to manage projects. It may not integrate with all of the tools in your tech stack either. 

Time Doctor’s pricing 

  • Basic plan: $7 per user/month 
  • Standard plan: $10 per user/month 
  • Premium plan: $20 per user/month 

4. Paymo 

Paymo's dashboard

Source: Paymo 

Paymo is designed to support projects throughout their entire lifecycle, with features like planning, tasks, and invoicing all available in-app. 

The platform is a suitable option for teams looking to track billable hours since the software offers a drag-and-drop feature that makes it easy to record time. Plus, you can also add time in bulk, which is especially useful when entering time for recurring tasks. 

Related: Paymo Alternatives: Top Competitors for Effective Project Management

Paymo’s popular features

  • Automatic time recording 
  • Team scheduling 
  • Task management
  • Invoicing and estimates

Paymo’s weaknesses

  • It can be difficult to manage multiple projects at once using Paymo, as the interface can get too cluttered to keep track of everything. 
  • Invoicing can be tricky — some online reviewers wish the software could invoice more granular items, whereas others aren’t happy with the way tasks are listed on invoices. 

Paymo’s pricing 

  • Free plan: Maximum 1 user
  • Starter plan: $5.95 per user/month (maximum 1 user)
  • Small office plan: $11.95 per user/month 
  • Business plan: $24.95 per user/month 

5. ProofHub 

ProofHub's dashboard

Source: ProofHub

ProofHub offers a robust set of features that are helpful for teams looking to record their billable time. This includes functionality like creating time estimates, automating recurring tasks, and Gantt charts for keeping everything organized. 

That said, if your primary goal is to track billable time, time entries in Paymo aren’t connected to an hourly rate, which means you’ll be left in the dark regarding how much of your budget you’ve already spent. This might add more work to the project manager’s plate. 

Related: 15 Best ProofHub Alternatives to Consider [Free & Paid]

ProofHub’s popular features 

  • Tracking billable hours 
  • Task management 
  • Collaboration 
  • Reports 
  • Project templates

ProofHub’s weaknesses

  • It’s not uncommon for new users to experience a steep learning curve due to the platform’s unintuitive interface. 
  • You won’t be able to manage your project finances using ProofHub, which is often an important part of managing billable hours. The software lacks invoicing, estimating, and budgeting features. 

ProofHub’s pricing 

  • Essential plan: $50 per month 
  • Ultimate control plan: $99 per month 

6. Teamwork 

Teamwork's dashboard

Source: Teamwork

Unlike many of the other time tracking apps on this list, Teamwork is not just focused on helping track your billable hours. Instead, it offers project templates, resource management, and invoicing for a more complete all-in-one experience. 

As its name suggests, team collaboration is a big point of emphasis for Teamwork. Project dashboards help everyone understand progress at a glance, and the time tracking feature assists project managers in better understanding how long billable tasks take to complete.

Also read: 20 Best Teamwork Alternatives in 2023 [In Depth Review]

Teamwork’s popular features 

  • Time management
  • Resource management
  • Budgeting 
  • Tasks and subtasks 

Teamwork’s weaknesses

  • Many online reviewers say that Teamwork’s interface is confusing and outdated, making it difficult to navigate. 
  • Teamwork’s current reports leave much to be desired, despite recent improvements to their offerings. For instance, employee productivity and time registration reports are missing. 

Teamwork’s pricing 

  • Free plan: Up to 5 users 
  • Starter plan: $8.99 per user/month (minimum 3 users) 
  • Deliver plan: $13.99 per user/month (minimum 3 users) 
  • Grow plan: $25.99 per user/month (minimum 5 users)
  • Scale plan: Request pricing 

7. Productive 

Productive's dashboard

Source: Productive

Productive is a project management solution that caters to the needs of agencies across industries. The tool’s capabilities go far beyond simple time management, with features like sales and team leave planning included in their feature kit. 

Users have the ability to track their billable hours in several ways via Productive. They can create daily entries, weekly timesheets, or track hours from their Google calendar. 

Additionally, Productive’s reporting options can help project managers better visualize their employee utilization rate — an important metric in comparing the amount of billable versus non-billable time each employee records. 

Productive’s popular features 

  • Sales
  • Reporting
  • Billable hours tracking
  • Resource planning
  • Billing

Productive’s weaknesses

  • Productive is highly tailored to meet the needs of agencies, meaning it may involve a steeper learning curve for creatives working as freelancers or in a non-agency setting. 
  • Productive’s financial management features are somewhat lacking. For example, you may not be able to send project estimates to clients in the way you need. 

Productive’s pricing 

  • Essential plan: $20 per user/month 
  • Professional plan: $28 per user/month 
  • Ultimate plan: $39 per user/month
  • Enterprise plan: Contact sales 

8. Harvest 

Harvest's dashboard

Source: Harvest

Harvest is a software tool that offers time tracking in addition to reporting and invoicing. The platform might be best suited for teams in need of lightweight time management, as the tool doesn’t really offer any project management features. 

That said, Harvest can send you automated reminders to ensure consistent time tracking and provide reports to analyze time spent on billable projects. The tool also integrates with PayPal and Stripe so your clients can pay their invoices directly.

Also read: Harvest Alternatives: Exploring the Top Competitors in Time Tracking Software

Harvest’s popular features 

  • Time tracking
  • Invoicing and payments
  • Reports and analysis 

Harvest’s weaknesses

  • Non-admin users can’t easily get an overview of their tracked time without having to manually add up all of their hours. 
  • The cost tracking feature can be difficult to work with, meaning that changing one rate will also change your past rates as well. 

Harvest’s pricing 

  • Free plan: 1 seat, 2 projects 
  • Pro plan: $12 per user/month 

9. Hubstaff

Hubstaff's dashboard

Source: Hubstaff

As a project management tool, Hubstaff’s main features fall into four categories: time tracking, employee monitoring, workforce analytics, and agile project management. 

These categories include offerings like online timesheets, geofence time tracking, employee scheduling, and invoice tracking. Hubstaff’s project management capabilities are really only suited for agile teams though, with features like sprint management and automated stand-ups. 

Also read: Hubstaff Alternatives: Your Guide to the Top Competitors

Hubstaff’s popular features 

  • Time tracking
  • Reporting 
  • Payments
  • Team management and GPS location tracking (Hubstaff Field product)

Hubstaff’s weaknesses

  • In order to gain access to a robust set of team management, time management, reporting, and proof of work features, you’ll need to subscribe to all three of Hubstaff’s products: Hubstaff Time, Desk, and Field. Each one is a separate subscription. 
  • Because Hubstaff measures your productivity based on your mouse and keyboard usage, online reviews suggest that it can create an unhealthy work environment for some employees. 

Hubstaff Time’s pricing

  • Time Free: 1 user only
  • Time Starter: $7 per user/month (2 user minimum)
  • Time Pro: $10 per user/month (2 user minimum) 
  • Enterprise: Custom plan

10. Scoro 

Scoro's dashboard

Source: Scoro

Scoro is an incredibly robust project management tool with dozens of capabilities, including time management. This involves the ability to record time in-app and optimize team utilization to ensure everyone’s capacity is appropriately distributed. Beyond this, you can also automate tasks, track deals, and send invoices. 

Related: 15 Best Scoro Alternatives to Consider in 2023

Scoro’s popular features 

  • Built-in time tracking
  • Gantt charts 
  • Quoting and billing
  • CRM

Scoro’s weaknesses

  • Scoro is an extremely expensive solution compared to competitors. Because its plans require a minimum of 5 users, you can expect to pay a minimum of $355 per month for the Pro plan, for example. 
  • The custom PDFs for quotes, purchase orders, and invoices can be rather limited. 

Scoro’s pricing 

  • Essential plan: $28 per user/month (minimum 5 users) 
  • Standard plan: $42 per user/month (minimum 5 users) 
  • Pro plan: $71 per user/month (minimum 5 users)
  • Ultimate plan: Contact sales for pricing 

11. HoneyBook 

HoneyBook's dashboard

Source: HoneyBook

HoneyBook is a project planning software that helps small businesses and freelancers plan and deliver on their client projects. As such, the tool offers many capabilities that a medium-sized organization won’t necessarily need, such as contract assistance, proposals, and payment processing. 

Honeybook can help users keep track of billable hours by allowing you to add time to a project through the desktop platform, or use the stopwatch feature that’s available on the tool’s mobile app. 

Related: 15 Best HoneyBook Alternatives for Projects [Free & Paid]

HoneyBook’s popular features 

  • Online invoices and payments
  • Contracts
  • Scheduling
  • Templates

HoneyBook’s weaknesses

  • HoneyBook is made for freelancers, which means it’s not optimized for a project team. Communication features are centered around client communication rather than communication with other teammates, for instance. 

HoneyBook’s pricing 

  • Starter plan: $19 per month
  • Essentials plan: $39 per month (up to 2 team members) 
  • Premium plan: $79 per month (unlimited team members)

12. Accelo 

Acello dashboard

Accelo is a project management tool that can be used by agencies, consultants, IT firms, engineers, and architects, among other industries. The platform itself offers sales, tickets, billing, and reporting capabilities. 

From a billable hours perspective, one of the features that set Accelo apart is its retainers tool, which helps you track your ongoing contracts that might have a different billing process. Users can also create and send invoices for billable time through the platform. 

Accelo’s popular features 

  • Retainers
  • Billing
  • Ticketed work requests
  • Resource management

Accelo’s weaknesses

  • Online reviewers say that Accelo’s customer support isn’t as good as it should be. 
  • Accelo tries to offer a lot of capabilities, but many of them aren’t as robust as many teams need them to be, according to some users. 

Accelo’s pricing 

  • Plus plan: $30 per product/user/month (minimum 5 users)
  • Premium plan: $49 per product/user/month (minimum 5 users)

13. Timely 

Timely's dashboard

Source: Timely

Timely is a time tracking software solution that connects time registration with budgets to make it easier to invoice clients for billable hours worked. Helping teams strike a healthy work-life balance while still maintaining a steady employee utilization rate are two of the platform’s other objectives. 

And unlike similar apps like Time Doctor, Timely proudly declares itself “creep-proof,” meaning it does not support employee screenshots, keyboard monitoring, or any of the other controversial features that other competing software offer — and many claims to be a violation of employees’ privacy.  

Timely’s popular features

  • Automatic time tracking
  • Profitability tracking
  • Budget and resource management

Timely’s weaknesses

  • As a time tracking tool, Timely lacks some crucial project management features. Tasks are only available as an add-on for $5 per user, for instance. 

Timely’s pricing

  • Starter plan: $11 per user/month
  • Premium plan: $20 per user/month 
  • Unlimited plan: $28 per user/month 
  • Unlimited + plan: Custom pricing 

14. TimeCamp 

TimeCamp's dashboard

Source: TimeCamp

TimeCamp helps project managers maximize their team’s billable hours by monitoring the amount of time each employee spends on productive work versus idle time spent on personal business. 

This employee monitoring data connects with your timesheets, invoicing, billing, and budgeting to ensure clients are charged for the appropriate amount of billable time. 

TimeCamp’s popular features 

  • Productivity tracking
  • Budgeting and billing
  • Project planning
  • Timesheets

TimeCamp’s weaknesses

  • Because TimeCamp monitors the websites employees are accessing, some have raised concerns about how the app interferes with employee privacy. 

TimeCamp’s pricing

  • Free plan
  • Basic plan: $7.99 per user/month 
  • Pro plan: $10.99 per user/month 
  • Enterprise plan: Contact sales 

15. Streamtime 

Streamtime dashvoard

Source: Streamtime

Streamtime is a project management software outfitted for the needs of creative businesses. The platform aims to help teams turn a profit with its planning, time tracking, scheduling, and invoicing capabilities. 

Streamtime is opposed to the use of traditional timesheets. Instead, it has developed the to-do list method for tracking time. Time is logged automatically as you drag each of your to-do list items into the “done” column. This way, you can move around your task cards as your day evolves. 

Streamtime’s popular features 

  • Job planning
  • Quoting and invoicing
  • Billable hours tracking 
  • Reporting 
  • Scheduling 

Streamtime’s weaknesses

  • When viewing the project portfolio, there’s no “big picture” view, as you’re unable to view projects by days, weeks, or months. 

Streamtime’s pricing 

  • Streamtime is priced according to your team’s needs.  

Takeaway

There you have it — our complete list of 15 of the best software tools with time tracking capabilities. 

Before you decide on one, you’ll want to first evaluate what you need in a billable hours tool. Some tools offer lightweight solutions that are primarily focused on recording time — like Toggl Track — whereas others are centered around employee monitoring, like Time Doctor. 

But others, namely Rodeo Drive, don’t require you to sacrifice project management features in your search for the right time tracking app. With Rodeo Drive, you can log time toward each project task, invoice clients for your hours worked, and still access reports on metrics like your team utilization rate. 

Don’t just take our word for it. Get started with Rodeo Drive for free.