Organizations as well as independent consultants and freelancers both need project management and time tracking applications to track and register all billable hours and project expenses in order to bill the clients in a timely fashion. However, criteria for selecting a time and expense tracking software is not same for an organization and a freelancer.
Big organizations operate with huge resources, large manpower and high budget. They have to manage enormous amount of time, expense and billing data related to all the employees and clients. Therefore, most of the organizations have their own set of standards and they follow same processes to deal with each and every client.
On the other hand, freelancers and independent consultants work alone or sometime in small groups. They can deal with each client differently and has the choice to customize certain processes as per project requirements. Therefore while choosing a time and expense software, they focus on the features and practices that are most relevant for their business. Also, price is a very sensitive factor for freelancer while choosing time tracking software.
A freelancer should focus on the following three criteria while choosing time management software:
A] Free access:
Freelancers often work from their own places using their personal systems. Therefore, they need a time and attendance software that they can use from their convenient places to enter weekly time sheets and expenses. A cloud based online project tracking software is perfect choice for freelancers. A cloud based application does not require any additional hardware or software installation. Freelancers can just connect to internet and access the application from anywhere anytime.
Freelancers are very price sensitive as they operate on limited budget. They do not want to pay premium for unnecessary features or add-ons. Almost all employee time tracking software in the market offer separate software package and pricing for freelancers. Although price is not the ultimate factor, freelancers do pay a significant amount of stress on 'high value for money' factor while selecting time and billing software.
Different freelancers give priority to different aspects of time and expense tracking and invoicing. For example, some want flawless hassle free user interface for easy navigation and simplicity. Some want to impress clients with stylish professional online invoices. Some may want efficient software only for time tracking whereas some may look for both time and expense tracking.
A single online time and billing software may not provide all the options and features that a freelancer is looking for. Therefore, freelancers must choose wisely from a plethora of choices available in the market keeping in mind that it fulfills most of the requirements they are looking for.