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4 min read

100 tips for your requirements specification before buying software

Have you outgrown timetables in Excel? Has your finance manager gone grey when it comes to invoicing customers? Here are 97 tips to help you choose the right timekeeping system [Updated]

100 tips for your requirements specification before buying software

Tips for your requirement specification

But what should you look for?

  • Is it important that the system has a time tracking app?
  • What is the best time tracking system?
  • What does your time registration system need to do for invoicing, project management, and reporting?

After more than 10 years in the timekeeping industry (okay, maybe it's not a completely official industry), I've been asked most of the questions - and have answered them - when it comes to:

  • Choice of time registration system
  • Flexible invoicing
  • Project management for consulting companies
  • Management of salaries, expenses and more.

If I were to answer all these questions right now, it would be the world's longest blog post - you know, the kind you bookmark and then forget about.

So here instead is a top 97 list of questions you should consider before buying a (new) time recording system.

checklist


Time registration

  1. What would you like to improve about your current way of recording time?
  2. Do you want to record all your working time (internal and external) or only project time (external)?
  3. Do you want to be able to write comments on your timesheets?
  4. Do your employees do many different things during the day or do they work concentrated on one project for several hours at a time?
  5. Want an app for time tracking?
  6. Would you like to have the possibility of time registration via Outlook?
  7. How do you manage holidays, flex and absence today?
  8. How will you register absences?
  9. Do you want to manage vacations?
  10. Do you need an approval process for reporting hours?
  11. Do you want to support payroll calculations in your payroll system?
  12. Can all employees register time for a project today?
  13. Need to assign access to specific projects in the future?
  14. Should the timesheet be available online e.g. via a computer app, an iPhone and Android app, or a web browser?

Handling of expenses

  1. Do you need to record expenses or purchases?
  2. Do you need to register travel expenses?
  3. Need to register restaurant visits?
  4. Need to record journeys and make mileage calculations?
  5. Do you need an approval flow for employee spending?
  6. Do you need to distinguish between expenses on company cards or invoices and private expenses from employees?
  7. Do you record purchases or expenses for your projects?
  8. Are you recording travel expenses, meals or driving today?
  9. Do you have to invoice the customer?
  10. Are you working to increase profits relative to your expenses?

Salary management

  1. Should timesheets be used for payroll?
  2. What data should be included in your payroll system - for example, holidays, flexitime, absences, travel, meals and/or personal expenses?
  3. Do you have different working weeks or changed working hours?
  4. How many salary codes do you have?
  5. Which payroll system do you use?
  6. Should your time recording be integrated with your payroll system?
  7. Do you work with overtime or bonuses?

Project management and tools

  1. Do you need time registration for projects?
  2. What project management tools does your project manager have today?
  3. Do you need a project plan?
  4. Do you need to be able to use project management as part of your project management?
  5. Which contracts do you use in your project management: time allocation, fixed price, clip cards, prepayments, and others?
  6. Do you mix contracts on the same project?
  7. Do you have different costs per employee?
  8. Do you have different hourly rates for staff?
  9. Do you have client-specific hourly rates?
  10. Do you use different hourly rates on the same project?
  11. For fixed-price projects - should you be able to see the value estimate based on an average hourly rate?
  12. For fixed-price projects - can you see how much you could have sold the project for in the time it took?
  13. How do you budget your projects today?
  14. Do you budget in both hours and value?
  15. Do your employees have a personal budget for their work?
  16. Do you budget at the task level or only at the overall project level?
  17. Do you need templates for contracts?
  18. Do you need project templates?
  19. Can the value or hours in the project budget and contract differ?
  20. Do you budget in different currencies?
  21. How many task levels do you use for your most complex project plans?
  22. Do you want to allocate specific resources to your projects or should everyone be able to see all projects?
  23. Do you want to calculate work in progress?
  24. Is it essential to know about write-ups and write-downs on project invoicing?
  25. Do you want a Gantt chart at the project level?
  26. Do you work with milestones in your projects?
  27. Do you work with the ETC (estimated time to complete) principle in your project management?
  28. Do you have a start/end date for your projects?
  29. Do you have international customers and work with price lists or project prices in different currencies?
  30. Do you budget your projects in different currencies?

Invoicing

  1. Do you invoice your customers per project or on a single invoice?
  2. Do any of your customers have a billing address other than the visiting address?
  3. Do your customers want a detailed invoice or a very simple invoice?
  4. Do you invoice in different currencies?
  5. Need more invoice designs?
  6. Do you sometimes use upward and downward adjustments on your invoice?
  7. Do you need to make items non-invoiceable?
  8. Do you have a specific workflow for invoice approval and potential invoicing?
  9. Do you send invoices to the public sector?
  10. Do you have an overview of planned payments in the future?
  11. What is your financial system called?

Resource management

  1. Do you work with scheduling tasks based on how busy your employees are?
  2. Do you want to allocate resources to a project based on competence?
  3. Need to move hours or tasks between employees?
  4. Should you be able to see expected revenues based on planned projects?

Reporting and analysis

  1. Who are the key people you work with today?
  2. Would you like to be able to calculate the coverage per project, customer and/or employee?
  3. Would you like to see how many employees are used, e.g. how many invoices and how efficient they are?
  4. Would you like to see an analysis of what you have spent your resources on?
  5. Can you see which customers have taken up the most time and which have been the most profitable?
  6. Should you report on which business areas have taken the most time and which have created the most value?
  7. Want to know which projects have taken the most time and which have been the most profitable?
  8. What analyses or reports do you need?
  9. Want to compare the results of your projects regardless of size?
  10. Do you need to be able to report at the department and group level?
  11. Organisation and time registration for large companies
  12. Do you want to divide the system into multi-level departments?
  13. Do you have international employees or offices abroad and need your time-tracking system to be available in different languages?
  14. Do you use bonuses in your organisation - and if so, what ratios do you use to calculate the bonus?

Further considerations

  1. How do you ensure that your supplier complies with GDPR?
  2. Does your supplier have declarations that IT and security procedures are documented and quality-assured? 
  3. Do you need integration between time tracking and other systems?
  4. Need to transfer data to Excel, Word, PDF, XML, .txt or via an API?
  5. Do you want the sales department to be able to manage their pipeline in the system?
  6. Do you want to be able to segment your customer database according to your criteria?
  7. Do you support your customers today with a helpdesk system?
  8. Want to share information with your customers via an extranet?
  9. Do you need document management, or can you link to the client/project folder on your server?
  10. Does your future supplier have ISAE assurance?

Have you gone through the whole list? Feel free to share it with a colleague or print it out. 

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Do you need personal guidance?

You can reach us on +45 70 200 645, and we will help you further. 

 

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