Consultants Can Use Excel to Track Billable Time

 Ok, so I have actually used the same time tracker that I built back in 2017 for myself for the past 6 years. It is simple and I can do all the time tracking I need for all my clients. It works awesome and if you are a single person user, this solution is great and everyone has Excel so it is widely available to most people without any ongoing fees. I also like this solution better than web-based solutions that I've tried.


Why I like this?

  • Easy to adjust billable rate for any given job or a job where you have multiple rates to be billed at.
  • Easily see summary reports by month for a given client and the hours worked / amount billed.
  • Provides a nice clear audit report of what you were doing and for how long, this actually has been great for me when I needed to negotiate and the client wanted to see my total billable history for a few years.
  • The file is pretty lite and can be used for many thousands of rows. I am already up to 5,816 and it is running fine.
Want to build it yourself? here you go:

  1. Open a new Excel spreadsheet.
  2. In cell A1, type "Date" to label the first column.
  3. In cell B1, type "Start Time" to label the second column.
  4. In cell C1, type "End Time" to label the third column.
  5. In cell D1, type "Total Hours" to label the fourth column.
  6. Starting from row 2, enter the date of each day you want to track time for in column A.
  7. In column B, enter the start time of each activity you want to track. You can use the format "hh:mm AM/PM" (e.g., 09:30 AM).
  8. In column C, enter the end time of each activity. Use the same time format as above.
  9. In column D, enter the formula "=C2-B2" to calculate the total hours worked for each day. This formula subtracts the start time from the end time and returns the result in decimal format (e.g., 8.5 for 8 and a half hours).
  10. Repeat steps 7-9 for each day you want to track time for.
Note, in mine I put some advanced macros and reporting for 2-week periods and monthly summaries in total and by client.

Article found in Accounting and Finance.