The study reveals that the top 'must have' timesheet features are (1) entering time in a weekly view (2) expense reporting (3) billable vs non-billable distinction (4) accounting integration, and (5) a custom report builder. A more extensive list showing the 13 highest ranked timesheet features is available on the Software Shortlist blog.
It is clear from the analysis that usability is critical to the timesheet purchase decision. Examples of highly rated features that help users track time more easily include weekly time entry, timesheet reminders, and copying records from one time period to another.
Web or remote access was a popular feature coming in at #8 on the list, but surprisingly it was closely followed by printable timesheets at #10. It seems that despite the strong demand for internet-based access to business software, the paperless office is not likely to be achieved any time soon.
Accounting and finance needs were also top of mind for prospective timesheet buyers, with highly rated features including expense reporting at #2, accounting integration at #4, budgeting time for jobs at #9, and built-in invoicing at #13.
Interestingly, nearly three-quarters (74%) of searches did not specify any 'must have' features. Possible explanations include these people not having yet finalized their requirements, or not wanting to exclude any results from the online search.
However, when participants did specify a 'must have' feature, they typically specified more than one as being critical to their decision. In fact, participants with must-haves identified an average (mean) of 3.7 and a median of 3 features.
This timesheet feature analysis is based on a representative sample of 911 completed searches for timesheet software on Software Shortlist's patent-pending online comparison engine. Participants were mostly from professional service firms located in English-speaking countries (including the US, UK and Australia).
For more information on the findings (including a list of the top 13 must have features) as well as the data and methodology used in the analysis, see http://www.softwareshortlist.com/
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