How to Track Project Financials Against Retainers


Retainer agreements are a great way to secure ongoing income every month. However, managing retainer contracts efficiently is crucial for agencies to ensure profitability, optimize resources, and keep clients satisfied. 

Retainers are set up based on the time, cost, and employee hours it’ll take, but it takes a lot of data tracking and project management to make sure the contracts are beneficial. Using an AI-powered platform can help you maximize your retainer-based contracts and save you time and money. When you track your data and organize processes manually it is harder to assess when a project is profitable and when you need to renegotiate the retainer agreements.

Manual processes that slow your business down

Manual Time Tracking
When employees manually log time spent on projects using spreadsheets or other time-tracking tools, they have to cross-check and spend time keeping things up-to-date. 

Manual Milestone Mapping
When you eliminate tedious tasks like milestone mapping, project managers have more time to use for strategic decision-making and higher-level thinking.

Manual Resource Allocation
Manual processes create a risk for overallocation or underutilization of resources and make it more difficult to course correct mid-project. 

5 problems caused by manual processes

  1. Profitability Ambiguity
    Manually connecting work with invoicing may result in unclear profitability assessments. AI makes the connections for you so you can look at the big picture.

  2. Inaccurate Data
    Manual data entry leads to errors and incorrect invoicing or resource allocation. For example, if employees aren’t regularly tracking their hours and keeping them up-to-date, you may not know until after a project is over or after a contract is renewed if you spent more hours than it was worth.

  3. Resource Overallocation
    Difficulty identifying overrunning resources can lead to employee burnout and decreased productivity. It also can affect your ability to deliver quality projects on time.

  4. Resource Under Allocation
    If you’re not using all the resources you have, you may be missing out on potential clients and potential profits.

  5. Missed Retainer Renegotiation
    When you don't have the data to show how much time is being spent or how much you're over-servicing a specific client, it can be difficult to negotiate a fair price for work, causing missed opportunities to renegotiate contracts at the right time.

In short, these tedious processes end up being a waste of time and money. Instead, you can harness the power of AI to make informed, efficient decisions. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some ideas.

Benefits of automated retainer tracking

AI-Powered Time Tracking
Implement an AI-powered platform that automatically tracks time spent on retainer projects, ensuring accurate data collection. Real-time data insights aid informed business decisions, promoting profitability.

Real-Time Resource Allocation
Utilize an AI platform to provide real-time insights into resource allocation, preventing overallocation and improving team efficiency. Real-time data about time spent allows you to pivot and make adjustments before they become a bigger problem.

Flawless Invoicing Periods
Seamlessly map actual time to the right invoice expediting progress with invoicing to ensure timely payments.

Improved Client Relations
Precise invoicing, timely updates, and delivering high-quality products build trust and client satisfaction.

The proper AI tools assist your team in making the most of retainer agreements by increasing productivity, reducing the risk of employee burnout, and increasing your bottom line by reducing excess spending. 

Knowing when to renegotiate retainer agreements

One of the biggest benefits of automated retainer tracking is knowing when to renegotiate retainer agreements. In addition to the easily digestible data and forecasted predictions provided by AI, you can also set up AI-driven notifications with reminders for upcoming retainer renewals, enabling timely renegotiations.

Manual tracking project financials against retainers can be burdensome, but AI can be a solution to some of those burdens. An AI-powered platform like Forecast, saves you time and money while providing real-time insights and predictions all in one place. Instead of burdening yourself with manual processes that hinder your business, consider utilizing AI to streamline your retainer tracking and management.


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