Two commenters were in favour of "trashing the timesheet" pace Ron Baker, the other was not. Ali said, in answer to my point that there would always be "fudging" with a timesheet and that they take time to fill in:
I wouldn't think the fudging would have a significant impact on results. Getting minute-by-minute detail would be counter-productive if you're trying to foster efficient working habits.To answer that, I'd like to quote again from Hugh Williams, this time from his book "Life Without Timesheets; The Freedom to Charge what you are Worth".
Let's face facts; we make up a very great deal of what we put on our timesheets.Some practices get round this by charging time in 5 minute blocks. But to that I say - OW. As far as billing goes, that's so petty it's untrue. I hate it when I know a solicitor is doing that to me.
If you don't accept this accusation, then let me put something to you. For the last hour you have been working on client A's affairs but, during that time, not only did Client B telephone you to ask if he has to pay his latest tax demand straight away, but your fellow partner also called in to ask you if you saw that great programme last night on TV - and you went to the loo.
Now you may have a policy of not charging less than 1/4 hour for any work you do for a client, and if you follow this policy you will end up charging 1 1/4 hours for just one hour's work - 1 hour to client A and 1/4 hour to client B. But in fact you worked for less than an hour, if you take account of the loo break; yet you charged your clients 1 1/4 hours. This is wrong. The clients know we do this and they hate us for it.
And as for the effect on your staff, having to account for every 5 minutes of your day is what you do to primary school children.
I simply can't see a fair way to record time (fair to the clients, that is). If anyone else can, please comment.