Solving the Issue of Inefficient Project Reporting

Author: Eugenija Steponkute
Published: 07/03/2022
project reporting software

We are writing this article for project managers who know the problems posed by inefficient project reporting. Fortunately, we have a solution that will massively improve the accuracy and speed of the reports moving forward. It will also help you focus on what matters the most - the people you work with.




Reporting is one of the most crucial elements of project management. Too many things leading the project to success rely on whether you can identify gaps and potential threats ahead of time. While we know that no project manager will ever exclude it from a workflow, we want to address the issue of inefficient processes when putting a report together. Delays lead to problems, and inaccuracies may lead to downright disasters. Both legal and financial.

Manual reporting is not immune to human error, it can lack detailing and is often rushed. All these factors combined may significantly worsen the quality of the overall project flow and delivery. You may already know that the best solution to this is automation, but you need buy-in from the stakeholders. If that’s the case, we encourage you to either share or refer to this article in order to win their favours.

What are the Dangers of Mishandling Project Status Reporting?

Time and budget are two key things to keep in mind when managing a project. Losing track of them leads to failures - and reporting is the tool of ensuring that doesn’t happen. It is a lacmus paper of the project progress, a building block on which you base your next steps. Inaccurate or untimely reports throw off the calculation of the either, compromising the flow and potentially the end results of the project. Minor consequences may result in financial losses. Major can range from damaged to broken relationships and legal actions over unfulfilled obligations. 

Reporting Automation for Key Project Elements 

Every project consists of many moving parts, thus why project managers are in demand. They are to ensure each of these elements moves smoothly and in tandem, contributing to the overall progress. It is not an easy task to report on different areas simultaneously, given how complex some can get - and how prone to mistakes they are. This is why reporting automation exists. Let’s explore what are the key elements you should apply it to. 

Project Cost Management

Project cost management is the foundation of a project. It’s the process that is responsible for the budget distribution part and is therefore directly tied to the course the project will run. Frequent reports are mandatory to have full visibility of whether the strategy is effective for they enable to swiftly change the course at the first notion of a potential threat.

As a project manager, you can’t afford the luxury to build, update and analyse reports of one process at the frequency that it requires. If you try, you risk making mistakes simply because you have to navigate between other tasks too. Your safest bet is automating project cost management reporting; this way you will be receiving timely and accurate reports that are easy to analyse when you need them, without wasting time on compiling them. With all this said, we also have another article with some additional tips on how to improve project cost management.

Progress and Deadlines

Covering the second key component of a successful project, time management, we also want to say that both manual time tracking and time reporting are highly inefficient. Adopting software that logs the time the team spends executing tasks will eliminate the need for spreadsheets your staff may sometimes forget to fill in.

Additionally, instead of you having to then analyse the said spreadsheets individually and put them in the context of the entire project, the time tracking software will do this for you. A good platform comes with a dashboard that will compile the data collected across the team and present it in a digestible visual format. Using the best-of-breed timesheet solution, you can also customise the report templates to your specific needs.  

Business Reporting Software

Now that we discussed the importance of automating reporting of key project areas, let’s touch upon other benefits a business reporting software can deliver. This section should also help you identify what type of platform your business will benefit from in a long run for convenience is far from the only benefit automated reporting has to offer. 

Quick Access to Accurate Data

We’ve briefly touched on how important it is to have accurate reports generated quickly and with no errors - something that’s often beyond human capacities. However, there is little use to them if one has to jump loops in order to access the said reports. Additionally, especially in sectors like construction, the project manager isn’t always within the reach of a computer and therefore cannot access the crucial data the reports hold.

With the rise of mobile device functionality, most software is designed to cater for them. SaaS technology is pretty groundbreaking in regards to its accessibility for all one needs to use it is internet access and a browser. However, complicated reporting automation platforms may not be too user-friendly, especially on devices with smaller screens. This is why many vendors, including Timesheet Portal, have also designed a mobile application. In other words, by adopting reporting software, you will be able to generate and access reports on the go, wherever you are. 

Easy Forecasts

The accuracy and otherwise unavailable data expand your ability to generate forecasts with more ease. Comparing reports to one another in a centralised hub will quickly reveal trends that are easy to match with the strategic moves. The more projects you analyse using the reporting tool, the more knowledgeable you’ll become of common themes and the easier you’ll recognise them moving forward.

Not only will your forecasts be quicker and more in-depth, but they will also be more accurate as you’ll be able to base them on historic data as opposed to the previous reporting period only. Forecasting potential threats and identifying opportunities are vital for project management as these factors navigate the route you will be taking. It can indicate the strategy needs a change of direction or can downright dictate the need of changing the course entirely. Reports are the foundation of the forecasts and the latter will never be as good unless it’s built on accurate and relevant data.

Prioritise the People

A project manager is responsible not for just the project, but also for the team delivering it. No piece of software will create a relationship, but it can certainly support your efforts of bringing the whole team on the same page. On the other hand, it’s your responsibility to recognise each contributor’s needs, skills and attitude as well as where in the project can it be applied. Digital tools will support you in tieing them all into the strategy.

Smoother Team Collaborations

The reports you provide give pointers to you, who leads the team. While you will set timelines and allocate tasks based on the data captured by reports, it’s important your team members get to see them too. Simply put, while you have a holistic overview of the project, the people working on specific elements will be putting the same data into a different context. This is why automated reports are a powerful collaboration tool in project management.

In addition to that, having whole-team visibility of the state of the project will indicate what areas could have more team effort applied to. Very often, reporting platforms also have centralised document storage, making it easy for your team to access the report. Depending on the solution, they will also be able to add notes and suggest edits to it in real-time.


While no project manager excludes reporting from the process of delivering a project, it isn’t always efficient. Putting reports together manually is often time-consuming and prone to errors. Additionally, it is humanely impossible to report on every element of the project and the wrong prioritisation of reports can lead to disastrous consequences. The solution to this dilemma is adopting software that generates reports automatically based on the data that is either imported from the outside or collected by the platform itself.

Inefficient project reporting is very often the culprit of worse than expected delivery, bumpier communication and inaccurate forecasts. The number of threats it poses is staggering, so ask yourself or the stakeholders who hesitate to adopt the digital tool you need: can you afford the risk?

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Timesheet Portal online software provided by Anfold Software Ltd, a registered company in the UK.