Sage Intelligent Time enables service businesses to leverage artificial intelligence to automate time entry, reduce revenue leakage, and improve employee utilization
ATLANTA – Sept. 21, 2020 – Sage (FTSE: SGE), the market leader in cloud business management solutions, today announced the first artificial intelligence (AI) powered application developed for Sage Intacct. Sage Intelligent Time, built directly into the Sage Intacct cloud financial management system and available online or via a mobile app, provides continuous, timely, and more accurate insights to better manage billable time in services-based businesses.
Built-in collaboration with Sage Artificial Intelligence Labs (SAIL), Sage Intelligent Time uses the power of AI to automate time entry, helping services professionals to quickly reconstruct their workday. The personal time assistant aims to collect every billable minute – gathering and presenting the activities to the user to add to their timesheet with any necessary adjustments.
Reducing leakage from either not billing, or under-billing, customers for services provided enables firms to improve project profitability and increase revenues. For example, by properly accounting for billable work and eliminating just one hour of lost billable time per week, based on a $200/hour billing rate, a firm could generate up to $10,000 in additional revenue annually – per billable employee.
“For service professionals who work on multiple projects, multi-task, and are always on the go, timesheets are a dreaded process often saved for Friday night or weekends. Reconstructing the week’s activities for time entry often results in untimely, inaccurate, and incomplete timesheets,” said Erik Zahnlecker, principal product manager for AI and Machine Learning at Sage. “We developed Sage Intelligent Time to enable services-based businesses to more accurately collect the critical information needed to manage profitability and close the books on time while securing revenue often lost due to unlogged, billable activity.”
“AI-powered timesheets can provide a much-needed boost to professional service organizations that are trying to find ways to reduce revenue leakage that is commonly seen with traditional time entry,” added Brian Siefkes, director of professional services industry marketing for Sage Intacct. “At a time when capturing all billable activity is paramount, Sage Intelligent Time is a critical tool to solve the age-old problem of inaccurate time entry. It’s not a stretch to state that Sage Intelligent Time is the biggest advance in time entry since moving from paper time slips to digital.”
Automated time entry based on activity means time is continuously collected and offers the ability to include smaller activities, such as email, that are often too time-intensive to track manually. The role of the service professional shifts from reconstructing their time to reviewing it—an easier task that, when done consistently, provides project managers with continuous visibility into project hours, including real-time project status and profitability information. Armed with these insights, managers can more accurately guide future project resourcing and pricing to optimize profitability as well as provide more precise forecasts.
One early adopter, Sheri Petras, CEO, and partner at CFI Group, a leader in customer experience measurement and business insight services, noted: “We bill our projects on a fixed- fee basis, so accurate project cost data is critical for us to understand how we’re performing and how to price future work. Getting dependable project labor costs can be difficult when our team is working on 10-15 different projects in any given week, often spending time on unscheduled tasks. With Sage Intelligent Time, we are much more confident that we have the most accurate understanding of our project status and costs, so we can make financially sound decisions about current projects and better price future work.”
Sage Intelligent Time features a user-friendly mobile application, enabling service professionals the ability to review and record billable time while working on the go. This can eliminate the usual process of project staff spending 1-2 hours of their weekend attempting to reconstruct the last week (or two) for their timesheet and helps get timesheets completed in a timelier manner. The personal time assistant also gets smarter with every activity review, saving users even more time as it learns.
Streamlining and accelerating the timesheet submission process also helps the finance team by eliminating the need to play “timesheet cop” and track down overdue timesheets, so they can close the books on time. In addition, as timesheets are more complete, client invoices are more accurate and specific. Clients know exactly what they are paying for, which accelerates payments and cash by reducing the likelihood of invoice disputes and trimming.
Another early adopter, Patricia Wakim, SVP of finance for M/A/R/C Research, a marketing research firm, commented: “Our project managers are typically very busy and required to juggle multiple projects, which can make time entry delayed and often less accurate. We depend on that time entry to get an understanding of the financial performance of our projects and catch any revenue leakage before it gets out of control. To streamline the process, Sage Intelligent Time helps suggest what should be entered instead of forcing our project managers to dig through their calendar and email to reconstruct the workweek. The automated alerts are also helpful for me, so I don’t have to play ‘timesheet cop’ as much – but I will miss the opportunity to wear the badge every Friday.”
User privacy is built into Sage Intelligent Time. The user is in complete control of what types of information to provide to their personal time assistant. The activity data collected by the time assistant is visible only to the user. Once Sage Intelligent Time suggests a time entry, the user can review and adjust it before applying each suggested entry using a simple drag-and-drop interface.
Sage AI Labs (SAIL) is a cross-functional group that drives the development of AI and machine learning services, infrastructure, and strategy at Sage. The SAIL team is comprised of top finance technology and AI experts intensely focused on revolutionizing the role of finance. The SAIL team has a visionary approach to deliver a continuous close so that finance has continuous trust in their numbers and continuous insights without the pain of the traditional close process. SAIL is helping Sage customers leverage AI to free their finance teams from repetitive tasks and empower them with actionable insights, so the CFO can be a more strategic leader to the business.
To learn more about Sage Intelligent Time, watch this short overview video and visit the Sage Intelligent Time product page.
Sage Intelligent Time is currently in the Early Adopter phase. It will be generally available from Sage Intacct and its network of channel partners in the U.S. in the next quarter.