Member Discussion

Recommendations For Technician Time Tracking, Etc....

Question on how best way technicians time is tracked:

1) Is travel to and from each job location? (Assuming multiple jobs per day)

2) Is travel from home (if they take home vehicle) to job site in the morning and then back home from their last job in the evening paid?

3) How are lunch breaks compensated/tracked if they are paid hourly?

4) Any systems/software/apps used to track this? Other than GPS units in vehicles…..

Any input on what is working out there would be much appreciated.

we use harvest to track job time it can also track materials and you can invoice from it... we only currently use it for time tracking...

I'm commenting so I can get a copy of any replies. However I would start looking for apps in market place of what ever accounting software you use. Intuit has a huge market place for their software and many of the apps are compatible with other major accounting software packages.

I built my own time tracking in slaesforce and it has worked great. I am currentyl vetting Quickbooks Enterprise to see if I can streamline my invoicing, COGS labor, timesheets and payroll. It will be Dec 1 before I have an educated opinion however I will post it once I get there.

Good luck, in my opinion the security industry is kind of stuck because most software is built for construction, service or technology...not when you do all three.....

Great question....

I am commenting for the same reason, right now we use time sheets (paper) and its a mess.

Our company uses Service Automation which was orginally designed for HVAC but has been tweaked to work for us. It has a lot of features like inventory, truck inventory, recurring billing and on, many that we dont take advantage of but for the technicians we have their SATECH mobile version running on laptops and hotspots on their iPhones. This allows them to clock in to each call and complete each call with the capability to invoice on the spot and email a receipt. They can see notes on the account, past service history and other account related information. We couple this with gps tracking on the trucks and together can gather all the information needed to determine how much time is spent at calls, windshield time etc.

As for to the first job site and after leaving the last to head home the techs are not paid for that time. Time starts at arrival at first call and ends when leaving last.

Technicians are required to take lunch every day when convenient to their schedule.

We are in the processing of switching to a web based version of this software that can run on web enabled smart devices. One key advantage here is that it integrates directly with our office system compared to the older version which uses a middleware to sync between the mobile database and the offices. This syncing can create problems sometimes and why we are moving to the newer web based. It also will lighten the technicians need to carry a laptop and signature pad into each call and streamline the process further.

I am not affiliated with Service Automation other than an end user.

One last note on this type of software, as helpful as they are, you only get out what you put in. Start with a plan of what data you want to use and a method on how its going to be used and stick to it. Ive seen it all too many times where people lazily enter minimal data that is pretty much worthless down the road. Know what information you're going to need in the future and make sure its part of the routine when entering it. Garbage in, garbage out.

Here's the general policy at integrators, structured cablers, and electrical service guys near me:

1) Is travel to and from each job location? (Assuming multiple jobs per day)

Yes. This is paid time, but is 'unproductive' in that it doesn't directly bill to a job. Usually each job includes a 'travel fee' or 'truck fee' that is a flat fee.

If a job involves multiple days or a per-diem, it may be adjusted specifically as a negotiated fee.

However, this time is always tracked. The tech calls when he hops into his truck and checks in when he arrives.

2) Is travel from home (if they take home vehicle) to job site in the morning and then back home from their last job in the evening paid?

Usually not, if they take the vehicle home. Techs 'punch in' when they start work on the site, 'punch out' when they leave the site. Gas may be a job expense, but labor is not.

Traveling from job to job is paid time.

3) How are lunch breaks compensated/tracked if they are paid hourly?

Honor system or job supervisor/PM keeps lunch breaks honest. Usually 30 minutes for lunch, plus two 15 minute breaks in morning/afternoon. Or one hour-lunch break. Total paid break time: one hour.

4) Any systems/software/apps used to track this? Other than GPS units in vehicles…..

The integrator I last worked for used GPS in smartphones, ie: ClickSmart/Xora.

I'll dig in to other options and circle back here.

Any new updates on this subject? With so many apps out there and non made for our industry, im curious to here what other integrating/service companies are using.

Im currently using iPads on each vehicle with email/dropbox/maps for daily tasks, communication, and GPS tracking.

Im looking for a single app that can efficiently manage all this tasks instead of multiple apps.

Alex, a few years back we used razorsync and it has many of the features you are looking for... you can schedule, dispatch, invoice, collect payment and use as timesheets and it has built in gps as well... we used it primarily for timesheets and since then have used another program... I am currently looking back into it as a solution for our company...

We use simple simon which is a Dutch app. Works really great and they can custom build integrations into your accounting/billing software. We use this to autmatically generate invoices from works sheets. Before i had to type them over each time. The sync goes both ways: customer and materials info is pushed to the app, the app pushes back the completed work sheets

you can find them at

We only this past week selected Service Fusion to move us to the next level. We did look hard at Razor, MHelpDesk and others. We don't use Quickbooks or any Intuit programs so that was a large factor in our selection. Nearly all of the vendors integrate with Quickbooks, a few with Xero and even fewer with our accounting package.

North Carolina is a Point of Delivery State so we have to bill each customer according to the county tax rate they are located in. There are 100 counties here. Not every package can accommodate that.

Service Fusion has many of the same features as the rest of the industry, but few different features I liked enough to push us in their direction. They are new, but they hustle. I like hustle.

Most of these can track the time using apps on the techs phones, some can track time by office staff when they log into the web service. A small part of our off-setting cost will be the elimination of the GPS.

One of the more unanticipated results was the push back from the techs on downloading the apps. They don't like vehicle GPS, but they dislike App GPS even more; they consider it an invasion of their privacy.

Do you provide the techs with the phones? If so I am somewhat surprised on the pushback.

We are in the process of evaluating different packages and also would prefer the App based GPS rather than vehicle GPS as sometimes the guys will travel together to a site where parking may be difficult or on longer distance projects with 2 tech working for extended periods of time where we have storage on site.

We provide our tech with phones so I'm curious on how you handled the pushback.



I pay from the time the techs get to the shop to the time they get back to the shop. Lunch is included. We also have fleet management in all the company vehicles mainly to track vehicle service requirements and history.

We started with Workflowmax and Xero for quoting, job and time tracking which I really like but it lacked ticketing and assist management. I took a long look at simPRO which is geared towards the security /service industry and has nice mobile interface but I was concerned with the level of support we would receive as they are based in Australia (though it now looks like they have a US office).

We now use Connectwise which can track and automate almost any business process you can come up with. Techs enter there time from CW client, web or mobile interface and time is tracked for everything everyone does from sales to install.

I thank you all for your feedback. With all the info you provided, it narrows it down and easier for us to make a decision. I forgot to mention a key fact, we use quickbooks so we'll probably will go with a QB integration option.

Again thank you all for the feed back, I will give you a report on which way we decide to go and experience with.