Time & Expense Tracking Tools

Use A Different Approach To The Bunch Of Tools Your Agency Has To Use

By 29/05/2018 August 1st, 2021 No Comments

You could build a house with your bare hands, but there’s a reason construction companies are a thing. You could fix your car on your own, but there’s a mechanic close by who’s been doing this for years. It’s all about the know-how and the right tools for the job. We poured over a decade of agency management experience into Productive – a tool you will appreciate and love using, the right tool for your job.

The question is – are you willing to depend the profitability of your agency on spreadsheets or a patched up tool stack?

There are wonderful tools for specific parts of your business with beautiful UI. Many are easy to use and powerful in their own right. However, different learning curves and higher costs incurred by using a lot of tools are bad for your business.

The non-integrated nature of a complex tool stack creates a higher margin of error. Getting even the simplest of reports is usually a hack of some sort that takes time and effort to get right.

One such tool, Productive, was built with a modern digital agency in mind. It’s designed to follow your workflow and keep your data integrated under one roof. It gives you the power of clicking a button and getting the right information, without changing browser tabs or wasting time.

A Typical Agency Project

The growth of your business depends on new business opportunities. Whether it’s a referral deal or a cold sales effort, a typical project always starts with a sales deal.

There has to be a place where you will manage sales activities. Things like reminding yourself to contact a client or copying in the emails go a long way towards helping you close a deal.

Productive - manage sales activityOnce the deal is won you’ll have a track record that you can always learn from, and a new project that will grow your business further.

Planning For Success

Whenever you close a new deal, the next important step is to plan out the work.

Ideally, your team will be 100% booked on client work, which means your utilization is at its highest. Sadly, this often isn’t the case. If someone gets sick, or needs to be shifted to a project that got complicated, you have to act fast.

This is where the Scheduling feature comes to play. It gives you a top down view of your company and helps you understand the timeline of every project.

productive - scheduling featureProductive Scheduling also helps you understand the profitability of projects over time. We call this the progress report.

Revenue Across Time

Projects can last for months, especially retainers, meaning that your schedule can stretch for quite a while. The progress report will combine scheduling information and time tracking information. This will show you the current status of the project, and what will happen to the revenue if the same pace of work is kept.

productive - project revenue status

Tracking Time

The two most important things about tracking time is that it should be done, and it should be easy to do. Productive helps with this by offering time reminders, time suggestions, mobile apps and much more.

productive - tracking timeMost people, who don’t know this business, frown upon time tracking. They look at it as sort of a big brother that keeps an eye on everyone. The thing with tracking time is that it serves a higher purpose. Regardless of the deliverable, the hours you work on something is usually your main cost. This is why it’s important to understand what the hours are spent on.

Also, it’s often the clients who will request time sheets, as they want to be billed fairly. Productive has a nice feature that opens up your timesheets to clients so they can monitor their spend in real-time.

There’s a difference between what you’re charging your client and what you’re getting out of it. The $100.00 per hour you charge are actually $100.00 minus the cost of the employee, minus the overhead cost. Productive has support for calculating all of these costs, showing you the real profit margin without the struggle of managing Excel spreadsheets.

Project Management

A project is a bunch of puzzle pieces a project manager needs to place in order to keep the clients happy. Assigning responsibilities, and ensuring things gets delivered are what makes this job interesting.

productive - project management softwareAgain, no need to switch tabs and lose focus. A lot of stuff here you might be already familiar with: different view (list/board/calendar), multiple boards, tracking time on tasks, repeating tasks, filtering, we have it all. It’s all familiar and super easy to use.


Since all of the data is in the same system, creating Invoices literally takes 30 secs. There’s no need to prepare data, manually type over stuff to other systems or any of that nonsense. You will get an automatic invoice you can immediately send to your client.

Also, if you use external accounting software (like QuickBooks, Xero or Exact), Productive automatically integrates that.

Analyzing Profitability

At the end of the day, you want a report that clearly shows whether you’re making money, or not. You want to see who in your team is more billable or less billable. Also, some of your clients could be less profitable than others, and having this information is extremely important.

Sometimes you might want to drop a contract and shift your attention to clients who help you grow your business. The point is, you can’t decide if you don’t know. With Productive, this information is at your fingertips.

productive - profitability reportProductive removes the chaos out of getting the right information. Everything you need to really understand your bottom line is aggregated and available at any moment.

So, All Together

To summarize all of this – a life cycle of a project looks like this:

  1. Sales
  2. Planning
  3. Project management
  4. Time tracking
  5. Progress monitoring
  6. Invoicing

Productive follows this process and it will save you from juggling a complex tool stack you used before. The learning curves your new employees had to go through with many other tools will be replaced by a single solution that’s easy to get into. You won’t have to rely on 5 different support teams and depend on 5 different development roadmaps.

If you’re tired of looking for the right agency management tool, give Productive a shot. It comes with a free 30 day trial (no credit card required) with unlimited access to all features.

With Productive, things can get a whole lot easier, and the time you save will open up for actually running your business.

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Kresimir Simicic

Kresimir Simicic

Experienced in business development and setting up sales processes. Worked on SaaS within several industries and with customers all over the world. Managed mostly software implementation projects. Passionate about business development and growth. Love the feeling of really helping customers improve and scale their business.

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