Managing Expenses for Agile Professional Services Teams

tempo team utilization view

Agile teams working in professional services need to be able to quickly adapt as their environment does.

Keeping track of billed hours and expenses while juggling many customers, keeping superiors informed, getting paid, all while ensuring that projects finish on time and turn a profit can be difficult.

Using Tempo Timesheets and Tempo Budgets with JIRA can help ensure professional services projects run smoothly from start to finish, all while keeping stakeholders informed and promoting transparency.

Managing expenses with Tempo Timesheets and Tempo Budgets

With the Tempo Timesheets 8.0 release for JIRA server, it’s now possible to manage all billed hours for your customers including customer account revenue with custom price tables. On top of that, team members can now log their expenses on JIRA issues worked on for clients.

Tempo Budgets, on the other hand, allows you to manage and track all financials for any project in real-time.

The combination of the products opens up the possibility to take cost management for professional services teams to the next level by allowing you to:

  • Track revenue
  • Get an overview of all costs and expenses in real-time
  • Forecast end dates and costs
  • Estimate profits

Here’s a quick breakdown of how your team members can go from logging their billed hours and expenses in Tempo Timesheets to project managers being able to control project costs and ensure those projects end on time and in budget with Tempo Budgets.

Agile time tracking for billing

Team members can log time in Tempo Timesheets in several ways for the convenience of any kind of team, seamlessly in JIRA. Whether sitting at a desk or working off-site, we want time tracking to be as painless as possible.

Logging work is a hassle, but makes teams more agile by revealing the time and cost of tasks.

This allows teams to review how they’re working, become more efficient, and keep customers informed.

When working for clients, it’s important to be able to quickly differentiate between hours billed for a customer and other types of company activity.

In Tempo Timesheets it’s easy to log work on JIRA issues associated with a specific Tempo Account or Customer and categorize those hours as billed.

When creating an issue for a team member or yourself, you can easily link it to the Tempo Account associated to a Customer you’re working for. This will automatically categorize those hours as billed, allowing you to see how your team is utilizing their billable time versus non-billable time.

Tempo Timesheets | Team Utilization

Log expenses on issues

Various expenses can occur every day, affecting revenue targets. Expenses can include the lunch meeting from yesterday, travel expenses, and more.

Instead of waiting to bring receipts to the accounting department and have them processed before being able to see those expenses in your system, simply log those expenses on the corresponding JIRA issue.

This allows for more accurate reports more quickly and helps inform account managers and superiors of expenses before you have a chance to bring them up.

Once an expense is logged, it will appear in the expense section of the JIRA issue view. All expenses logged in issues part of a JIRA project and account are displayed in the revenue report and time & expenses report.

Control project costs

One way to use Tempo Budgets to control the costs of professional services projects is to create projects (which we call folios) according to a JIRA project tied to a Tempo Account.

This way you can plan and track costs and revenue in real-time to get a financial overview of those projects.

You can easily sync the staff or Tempo Team added to your folio with worklogs from Tempo Timesheets to get more accurate data of how time is spent and how much initiatives cost.

Tempo Folio | Sync User Worklogs

Get information about employee expenses

Since team members are logging expenses directly on JIRA issues with Tempo Timesheets, project managers can easily see those expenses in the Tempo Timesheets time & expenses  report and add them to their folio in Tempo Budgets even before team members bring those expenses to their managers or the accounting department. 


It's also easy to attach receipts to those expenses in the costs section in Tempo Budgets later for accounting purposes.

Set revenue goals

As your team is working on delivering customer projects, it’s possible to monitor account revenue with Tempo Timesheets and performance to ensure that projects are on track and not heading under your target goals, or over budget.

Setting goals gives you and your team a clear target to work towards, which improves engagement, efficiency, and overall satisfaction.

Visualize planned versus actual costs and revenue in real-time

Add an extra level to controlling revenue by choosing to track revenue in your folio. The rates associated with staff members in Tempo Budgets refer to those people’s wages, not their billed hourly rate as in Tempo Timesheets.

Easily add planned costs to your folio, import revenue based on planned costs, and add a mark-up on costs. You can also add planned revenue individually or upload a csv. file.

If using both Tempo Timesheets and Tempo Budgets, it might also make sense to not use the revenue tracking in Tempo Budgets at all and simply use it to track the costs of your project.

Once work has been billed to the client with the help of Tempo Timesheets and payment received, simply take that that amount and add it to the actual revenue section in Tempo Budgets. This will allow you to get an overview of how your project is doing and estimate profits.

Tempo Folio | Revenue Chart

Keep clients informed by forecasting end dates and costs

Use the forecasting capabilities to get detailed information on how the project is likely to end based on how things are going at the moment. Identify if you’re over budget or behind schedule to let your clients know ahead of time.

Detailed issue cost breakdowns in the issue cost report can also pinpoint exactly what is holding you up, allowing you to be transparent with your customers.

Tempo Folio | Forecast

Estimate profits

Calculate profits using the profitability report and always know if you’re on budget. If things didn’t end as expected, detailed breakdowns of expenses can give insight into what went wrong, allowing you to continuously improve for future projects.

Tempo Folio| profitability report

Final thoughts

Part of being agile is reviewing work at regular intervals and making changes where possible.

For a professional services project, a clear overview of billed hours, revenue, costs, and profits will help budget the next time around and ensure that projects don’t end up costing your organization time and money.

Need more help implementing some of the ideas discussed above? Read our documentation, or check out our training videos.

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