Billable vs non-billable: know where to spend your money

Analyze billable vs non billable hours with Tackle
Table of contents
Get social

Follow us for the latest updates, productivity tips and much more.

In the fast-paced world business world, knowing where your team’s time goes is crucial. Time tracking, especially in distinguishing between billable vs non-billable hours, holds the key to effective resource allocation and financial success.

Let’s dive into the essentials of understanding and optimizing these work hours.

Billable vs bon-billable: Unpacking the terms

What are billable hours?

Billable hours refer to the time spent on tasks or projects that can be directly invoiced to clients. These are the hours for which you’re compensated, representing tangible work contributing to your bottom line.

What are non-billable hours?

Non-billable hours, on the other hand, encompass the time spent on activities that are essential for business but may not directly generate revenue. These include administrative tasks, internal meetings, or professional development.

Billable hours vs actual hours: Making every moment count

Billable hours

Think of billable hours as the MVPs of your workday. These are the hours that directly impact your revenue stream. For example, a graphic designer creating a client’s logo or a consultant advising on business strategy.

Actual hours

Actual hours, on the contrary, encompass the total time you spend on work, including both billable and non-billable hours. It’s a holistic measure of your overall productivity.

Billable vs non-billable expenses: Where does your money go?

Billable expenses

These are costs directly tied to client projects and can be billed to the client. For instance, travel expenses incurred during client meetings or specific software purchases for a project.

Credit: Timeular

Non-billable expenses

Non-billable expenses cover costs necessary for business operations but are not directly recoverable from clients. Office supplies, utilities, and salaries for non-client-facing staff fall into this category.

Billable vs non-billable hours: How to allocate your time

Balancing act

While billable hours are essential for revenue generation, non-billable hours play a crucial role in maintaining the engine of your business. Striking a balance ensures both immediate financial gains and long-term business sustainability.

Example: Imagine a web developer spending billable hours coding a client’s website (direct revenue), but also allocating non-billable hours for team training (investing in future capabilities).

Try the Tackle app. It’s free, forever!

Billable vs non-billable employees: A team perspective

Billable employees

These are team members directly contributing to revenue-generating tasks. For instance, sales representatives closing deals or developers working on client projects.

Credit: Workyard

Non-billable employees

Non-billable employees support the business internally. Think of HR professionals, administrative staff, or management—crucial for smooth operations but not directly tied to revenue generation.

Billable vs non-billable hours: Make informed decisions

What is billable work

Billable work refers to tasks or projects for which a company can invoice its clients. These are the revenue-generating activities directly contributing to the financial health of the business. Examples include client meetings, project execution, and deliverable creation.

What is non-billable work

Non-billable work encompasses activities that are essential for business operations but don’t directly generate revenue. These can include internal meetings, administrative tasks, and professional development. While not directly contributing to income, non-billable work is vital for the smooth functioning and growth of the business.

Billable workNon-billable work
💼 Client meetings📊 Internal meetings
🚀 Project execution🗃️ Administrative tasks
🎨 Deliverable creation📚 Professional development
💻 Client presentations🚑 Employee training

Step-by-step guide on how to reduce non-billable work in office

  • Analyze current workflows: Identify non-billable tasks consuming significant time.
  • Prioritize and Delegate: Prioritize essential non-billable tasks and delegate responsibilities where possible.
  • Implement Efficiency Measures: Streamline administrative processes to reduce time spent on non-billable activities.
  • Provide Training Opportunities: Invest in training to enhance employee skills, reducing the time needed for professional development.
  • Automate Everything: Start using a time-tracking software or app. There are tons of options such as Tackle, Clockify, TimeCamp, and others.

Try the Tackle app. It’s free, forever!

Also, start using productivity tools for your day-to-day operations. For instance, no one uses a diary or the power of memory anymore to keep their schedules on track. Everyone is an avid user of Google Calendar!

The fun part is you can integrate all these tools into your time-tracking software. So, you can use Slack, Asana, Salesforce, Google Workspace, Jira, and many other tools on your time-tracking app.

Credit: Paydirt

How to use time tracking software for billable work vs non-billable work?

A time tracking software streamlines the process of distinguishing between billable and non-billable hours. It provides a centralized platform for employees to log their activities, making it easier for businesses to analyze and optimize their time utilization.

Step-by-step guide

  • Select Task Categories: Categorize tasks as either billable or non-billable within the time tracking software.
  • Log Hours: Have employees log their working hours daily, specifying the nature of each task.
  • Generate Reports: Utilize the reporting features to generate insights into the distribution of billable and non-billable hours.
  • Optimize Workflows: Based on the reports, identify areas for improvement and optimize workflows for better efficiency.

Importance of tracking non-billable hours

While non-billable hours don’t directly contribute to revenue, tracking them is vital for understanding the true cost of doing business.

It helps in resource planning, evaluating internal processes, and ensuring that non-revenue-generating activities are essential and productive.

Try the Tackle app. It’s free, forever!


In the dynamic landscape of business, understanding the nuances of billable vs non-billable work is paramount.

Effective time tracking not only boosts revenue but also fosters a more efficient and balanced work environment.

By optimizing workflows and leveraging the insights gained, businesses can strategically invest their time where it truly matters. Time to make every hour count! 🌟

💡 Tackle Pro Tip
You can go through the following blogs for more productivity hacks

Share this post

Maximize potential: Tackle’s automated time tracking & insights

Maximize potential: Tackle’s automated time tracking & insights