Why is Variance Analysis Important to Measure Your Project Performance?

Variance analysis is a key statistical tool used in operational and financial data for project management. Integral to ensuring short-term as well as long-term success of projects, variance analysis allows an organization to pinpoint risks, opportunities, patterns, issues and areas of improvement in the way a project is functioning.

So what is variance analysis anyway? Simply put, it is the difference between the planned and actual finances. Efficient project cost tracking often employ variance analysis to help managers in their project budgeting efforts. The quantitative financial data are evaluated using variance analysis at regular intervals to determine where the project is headed in terms of costing and profitability.

SolutionCorp closely integrates variance analysis into its project budgeting and project cost tracking software, giving managers the power to track the difference between their planned and actual expenditures at every step.

In fact, the project performance module of the software employs variance analysis to deliver key metrics about the status of various projects. The manager can find a summarized performance reporting for each of their projects in this module. This reporting will cover financial summaries of project as well as that of labor working on the project, since labor costs are an essential part of the overall project budgeting.

The project summary will showcase project name, customer name, current project status, planned and actual billing, expenses, labor, overhead costs, total costs, revenue, profit and profit percentage, and variance between these planned and actual parameters.

On the other hand, the labor summary will consist of departments working, activities performed, planned hours and costs, actually spent hours and costs, and finally the variance calculation between the planned and actual hours and costs.

Such a comprehensive overview of the project performance with variance analysis will empower managers with concrete financial data analysis results for making informed decisions for the future.

As an employer how can you make sure that your employees are filling their online timesheet correctly? While this isn’t a subject to obsess over, it certainly warrants close enough attention. Your regular supervision of the timesheets filled by your employees can help in maintaining accuracy, discipline and consistency in time logging.

The simplest way for you to enforce an accountable method for verifying time tracking would be via timesheet approval functionality of the timesheet software. This feature gives you, the employer, complete supervisory control over the work activities done and work hours filled by your employees. You decide whether to approve or not the work log submitted by the employees. If you use timesheets as source for generating invoices, payrolls, or reports, you’ll find timesheet approval system especially beneficial.

SolutionCorp’s cloud based timesheet system keeps the process of timesheet approval simple to the core. Learn how the timesheet approval module of the system works in just few simple steps:

  • Search for entire employee online timesheetdata at once, or confine your search to a particular work week.
  • Look for timesheets based on their current status, whether they are open, submitted, approved, unapproved, rejected, or posted.
  • Based on the filter conditions you’ve applied, the timesheet softwarewill give you a streamlined listing of the timesheet data filled by your employees.
  • The listing will give you a quick scan of the employee name, work week, timesheet status, and hours filled in.
  • To review a specific employee timesheet, you can click on the employee’s name to navigate to their respective timesheet data.
  • When you’ll do so, the timesheet system will display a day-wise reporting of the timesheet filled by the employee, including information like projects worked upon, tasks performed, project hours filled, leave hours filled, etc.
  • You can approve or reject the submitted timesheets with a single click.

One of the most important objectives for any organization is to avoid budget overruns in their projects. Stakeholders only want to invest time and energy in projects that are profitable, and the risks of project costs running over the board can seriously hamper the project profitability. SolutionCorp’s project software offers plenty of project budgeting options to keep the project costs organized, accounted for, and most importantly under control. The project cost tracking of the software enables the managers to keep close track of the costs incurred in the project by various related activities and employees at every phase.

Some of the key functionalities offered by SolutionCorp’s project budgeting and project cost tracking modules are:

  • Organize the project costs into different phases of the project so that the project budgeting requirements and expenditures of each phase are clearly outlined.
  • Plan the expected costs for labor, equipment and other overhead expenses in advance.
  • Calculate and track the actual costs that are incurred for labor, equipment and overhead expenses, and thus monitor the variance occurring between the planned and actual costs.
  • Get reporting of project expenses by expense code. Using parameters like project, expense, customer, account director and project manager, user can retrieve a report on expenses for a given time period.
  • An expense entry system where a user can input and save expense details like date of expense, project name, expense type, expense description, invoice id, cost, employee by whom expense is incurred, etc.

The project time and expense system by SolutionCorp is smartly designed to help managers bridge the gap between the expectations and reality of their project expenses. It is only when this happens that the annoying problem of project budget overruns can be successfully avoided and the project can meet its profitability goals and criteria.

For an employer, what’s important is that not only his employees regularly fill their online timesheet, but also that there is a way for him to view a concise and consolidated reporting of the filled timesheets. A timesheet summary report would give the employer a bird’s eye view into the working hours of his employees with just few simple clicks. SolutionCorp’s timesheet software features the functionality for timesheet summary report generation to allow employer to get an accurate real-time visibility into the work done and time spent by his employees.

In the cloud based timesheet of SolutionCorp, the employer can streamline his search for employee timesheets using various factors, depending on what exactly he is looking for. He can perform a comprehensive sweep through the employee timesheets by selecting whether he wants to view all timesheets, or only the missing, incomplete, missing and incomplete, not submitted, or unapproved timesheets. The employer can decide whether he wants to include timesheet software data for the terminated employees or not in the search results.

The search can be further narrowed down by selecting the exact time period for which the employee timesheet system data is needed. This can be done by either selecting a particular work week or by selecting a date range that could be today, yesterday, current week, month, quarter, and year, or last week, month, quarter, and year.

Once the employer has selected all the desired parameters, he can generate report to get the best time tracking summary for his employees. The report will show employee name, name of employee supervisor if any, and week-wise reporting of the hours filled by the employee and timesheet submission status. The employer can click on any of the records to view specific timesheet details.

The timesheet summary functionality of SolutionCorp’s online timesheet software offers employers with easy means to keep tabs on current and historical employee timesheet data.


As simple as it may seem, filling timesheet system is sometimes considered a futile effort by employees. Some find it difficult to record their exact hours spent on a task, some find it unnecessary and time-consuming, and then there are some who are just too lazy or forgetful to log into the timesheet software daily. As an employer, you may face a hard time getting everybody on-board with the idea of regularly filling an online timesheet. Use these tips to ease the transition for your employees:


  1. Educate about Time Tracking

Don’t just train your employees on how to fill the timesheet, but also educate them on the benefits that doing so will achieve, talk to them about the bigger end-goal here. Your employees should not see using timesheet system as just another chore, instead they should be able to perceive its wider implications. Explain to them why it’s better if their time spent is tracked.


  1. Clarify all Suspicions

If you just mandate time tracking for your employees without giving any reasons for doing so, they’ll start thinking of all the possible shady reasons on their own, like overtime control, privacy violation, feelings of distrust, etc. Step in early and eliminate these brewing suspicions by giving concrete reasons for implementing project time tracking, which could be controlling overhead costs, streamlining employee payroll, or revising rewards policy.


  1. Keep It Simple Silly!

The simpler the timesheet software is, the more convenient your employees will find it for using on a daily basis. Implement a timesheet system that has a simple, intuitive, and inviting user interface. As far as easy system setup is concerned, cloud based timesheet is the way to go. Your employees wouldn’t have to bother with any software download or frequent software fixes and updates. They’ll only need to login online for filling out their timesheet.



As a project manager, you may be hard-wired by now to always chase success. But have you ever stopped to wonder what project success actually means? There are several factors at play that determine whether a project can be successful or not. Knowing about these obvious as well as subtle factors can help you evaluate your project in progress and predict whether it is routed towards success or failure. Let’s look over what these crucial factors are that can decide your project’s fate:


  1. Clearly Defined Goals– Whether it’s your client or your team members, every one associated with the project should be on same page when it comes to what needs to be achieved. You should use a project management system (PMS) to keep track of the project goals.


  1. Balance Between Promise and Capacity– It’s good to be confident in your abilities, but unwise to promise your client way more than you can actually deliver. Estimate work time and costs bearing limitations in your mind and then use a good PMS for project budgeting, project time tracking and project cost tracking.


  1. Channels for Open Communication – If a team member is facing a problem in achieving results, they should be able to get help without any fuss. Creating an open, dynamic work environment is essential in getting work done. This is how problems are identified and fixed.


  1. Track Daily Work Done – You have to dive into the nitty-gritty and track the tasks that are being done by your teammates on a daily basis. Implement a timesheet system to make this easier on yourself. Ask your team members to log in their daily tasks and hours in an online timesheet software so that you know what’s getting done every day.

You can have the best of ideas for your client’s project, but if you’re unable to optimize and deliver them within the client’s budget constraints, prepare to come under fire. Effective project budgeting is one of the most important cornerstones in the success of a project as viewed from the perspective of a client. Here are 3 reasons why project cost tracking should be a top priority for you:

  1. Set Cost Controls as Necessary

Tracking project costs will allow you to ensure that the project is not running out of its original scope. All tasks performed for the project and costs incurred by them should remain in compliance with the initially forecasted budget, so that there are no glaring differences between estimated costs and actual costs. You can set up controls before the costs get out of hand.

  1. Improve Project Profitability

Imagine proudly showcasing to your client what great returns the project is offering, and then revealing to them sheepishly that the project costs incurred are just about close enough to the returns. You’ve just told your client that their profit margin has been reduced to nothing. Smart project budgeting and planning will never put you in such an awkward position.

  1. Win Client Trust for Long-Term

Ever wondered why some businesses run successfully for years and why some fail and burn out within a short time? The big secret is nothing but the client satisfaction and trust that some businesses are able to accumulate and sustain through their reliable working ethics. Your clients will collaborate with you a second time only when they can trust you enough to stick to the planned budget. Simple project cost tracking for a client may eventually help you establish a long-term good relationship with the client.

Using an online timesheet for your employee attendance and time-tracking is a great way to not only minimize wastage of business time and resources, but also to show your employees how much you value their hard work and that their endeavors are all accounted for. Learn more about what a timesheet software can do for your business:

  • Reduce Administrative Hassles

Manually tracking the time and expenses of employees is a colossal waste of time and resources of your administrative department, which they could otherwise have invested in other important areas. A time and expense system streamlines the time and expense management of your employees. The good ones also offer you the option to interface your timesheet system with payroll software, so that employee payroll management is simplified too.

  • Ensure Legal Compliance

HR managers have to always stay on top of the latest local, state, and country laws and regulations governing employee working hours, leaves, and payroll. Poorly maintained employee records increase the vulnerability of your business to potential employee lawsuits and complaints. An online time tracking software will help you keep track of your employee activities and ensure that your organization is in compliance with all the legal requirements. Everything will be on record to prevent any misunderstanding or confusion.

  • Keep Employee Data Accurate

Timesheet software leaves very little scope for employees to fudge their actual working hours. The software paints an accurate picture of the tasks that your employees are working on at any given point of time. This allows you to monitor the productivity levels of your employees and suggest them any necessary changes that they can adopt to become more efficient in their working. When your employees are working to their full potential, you’ll observe how positively this impacts the success rate of projects in your business.

Time is money, and so is even truer in case of your business where your employees are always working on projects and serving clients. When you learn how to track the time spent by your employees, you get the key to become more productive and profitable. Employee time tracking is important because of the following reasons:

  • To Account for Each Minute Spent
    What does an average day in your employee’s work life looks life? How many tasks does he complete every day on an average? Is he working too hard or too little? Does he have too much free time on hand? An online timesheet system would provide the answers to all such questions and more.
  • To Bill Your Clients Correctly
    You don’t want to undercharge your clients and you certainly don’t want to overcharge them either. With an online timesheet, the time and efforts put in by your employees in all projects is clearly measured. This ensures a balance between what your clients are paying for and getting in return.
  • To Get Rid of Paper-based Time Tracking
    Your business is probably already overloaded with tons of paperwork, why add to the pile with paper-based time tracking processes? A timesheet system takes care of employee time management entirely online. You can do away with the cumbersome timesheet related paperwork. And when you use a cloud based timesheet, you wouldn’t even have to worry about any software installation and maintenance work.
  • To Allocate Work Smartly
    Timesheet software gives you an accurate picture of what your employees are currently working on and how many hours are they devoting to each of their activities. You can use this overview to your advantage in many ways, for instance, reshuffle and optimize the present task arrangement for better results.

There are many things that can go wrong in project management. Without an efficient project management software holding it all together, the chances of projects going down the hill increase that much. It’s no wonder that project managers who don’t use project management tools often end up spending sleepless nights worrying about issues like:

1. Poor Budget Management
Without the project cost tracking feature of the project management software, it can be a nightmare for the managers to monitor the expenditures and savings of the project budget. Overhead costs can quickly spiral out of control leading to overspending. Smart project budgeting management is a crucial factor in successful project completion.

2. Insufficient Team Engagement
Project managers may not be school principals, but they still need to make sure that each of their team members is contributing enough time to working on respective projects. An online timesheet system is the most convenient way, for employees as well as project managers, to track time expenditures of employees.

3. No Way to Track Progress
For a project to complete as per expectations, it should also progress along as per expectations. Every project has certain end-goals, deadlines, and guidelines that it needs to adhere to. Project management software offers various reporting features that help managers keep close tabs on where the project is headed.

4. Sloppy Performance Monitoring
With no method to monitor project performance, project managers have no way to assess project quality. Performance reporting in project management tools gives managers the evidence they need to believe that project is indeed performing as well as it should.

5. Lack of Enough Visibility

A good project manager makes it a point to get involved in the nitty-gritty of the project operations, and not just oversee it superficially. A quality project management software gives such a manager the requisite visibility into the project proceedings to remain closely involved.

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