saveThey say hindsight is 20/20: if I could start that project over, I would do this differently… if I could go back to when my kids were young, I would be a different parent… if I could go back to what I ordered at the Mexican restaurant last night, I would skip the jalapeños… You get where I’m going with this. Life is full of lessons through hindsight.

Contrary to that, is finding good advice and doing it right the first time. A teenager may choose the jalapeño and have to learn that lesson with a little next day regret, but as a business owner we are smarter than that, right? In business, it’s no fun realizing you could have skipped the headache and saved a whole lot of money by doing things differently.

So let’s talk about skipping the jalapeños now, and saving the regret we would feel later—in business. What if I said that “doing it right the first time” could save you thousands of dollars per year even before your business ever opened its doors (no multi-level or get-rich-quick schemes involved)? What if I said that one of the most straightforward parts of running a business—though often overlooked—can become one of your biggest hassles? A time burner, a stress-fueling machine, and even worse, a big black cash hole?

One simple change 

Ok enough suspense, I’m stressed out thinking of all these potentials. The answer is… the common, the un-dramatic, the often un-sexy, tracking of employee time. Whaaaa? It’s true. It’s SO COMMONLY overlooked because it’s so easy to track time on a piece of paper, a spreadsheet, or a good-old fashioned time card. The reality is, a business with only 10 employees making $10/hour that transitions from time cards to track time in real time (read as, accurate, down-to-the-minute and second time tracking) saves almost $5,000 per year. It’s true!

The American Payroll Association (APA) has determined that companies can save 2 percent of gross payroll costs each year if they automate their time and attendance tracking. Additionally, keeping payroll accurate will save an estimated 10 percent in tax obligations, paid on top of the hourly rate of each employee.

So how much would your business save? Use this Time Tracking Calculator and find out how much. We call it payback, since most businesses have already been paying the unnecessary costs of inaccurate time tracking.

If your business is still a startup, don’t be a follower—start smart and pay-forward with automated time tracking that integrates with your bookkeeping software (say, QuickBooks or Xero) saving yourself endless hours of data-entry, paper cuts, all the cash and the jalapeño regrets.

It’s true, and your future self (and your bookkeeper) will thank you.

AvatarMatt Rissell

As a seasoned entrepreneur and aggressive-growth business leader, Matt has run six successful start-up ventures, the latest of which is TSheets.