CaseWare International, Inc. - Time
From the August 2010 Review of Practice Management Systems.
CaseWare has long been a mainstay in large legal practices and the top 100 accounting firms in the country, offering a suite of professional applications focused on time and billing, engagement management, financial analysis, audit applications, benchmarking tools and advanced database engine tools. CaseWare’s Time program houses the time and billing capabilities, providing time and expense tracking with advanced staff productivity and contact and project management functions. The system also offers integration with the other CaseWare systems, accounting programs and office productivity applications, including Microsoft Outlook..
Basic System Functions:
CaseWare Time opens into an intuitive main screen that offers customizable components and access to primary system modules such as time entry and reporting, but with users only able to see and use the functions to which they have been granted access rights. The interface is centered around a large work area that is accompanied by expandable panel menus for task groups, including setup functions and the Processing area, where most day-to-day work is accessed. The screen also offers toolbars, traditional pull-down menus, an icon bar, and features for looking up data by clients, documents, staff members, projects and dates.
The system is workflow based, with completion percentages, due-dates, milestones and WIPs easily accessible via reporting or from a dashboard view called the Status Panel, which offers quick summaries of data, including current and YTD account balances, performance indicators and drilldown access to data. The program is designed for legal and accounting practices, since these two professions share similar workflow and engagement flows, with good client and management functions. It can support any number of users and is often found in firms with hundreds of staff.
Time Management Capabilities:
Timesheet entry is performed on spreadsheet screens that offer multiple views simultaneously, with support for departments, geographic locations, account teams and other firm staff divisions. Time Workflow Guides help lead users through tasks, from time entry to approvals, with quick access to Help. Entry screens include selection lists for various entries, with live WIP reporting immediately reflecting the new data. Project management functions allow for staff to be assigned to multiple projects, which can be assigned to specific clients or managed independent of client data, with the ability to easily view project status, due date and percent complete, in addition to offering progress-based billing.
Contact and client management functions allow for tracking of multiple contacts per client, with the ability to create marketing and form letters that can be filtered to specific clients. With the addition of the CaseWare Today module, Time can also integrate with Microsoft Outlook for contact management, calendaring and tasking, with data synched between the systems. The program does not offer built-in HR and staff management features.
Expenses can be tracked and entered into client engagements as easily as time data, with the spreadsheet screen providing pull-down menus for selecting clients, expense categories, projects and other data. Work in progress is tracked live as data is entered, with percentage complete and project-related status available through reporting or the dashboard for staff with appropriate access rights. Likewise, the system can track budget-from-estimate and can be used to bill by progress.
Billing features offer flexible options for managing multiple projects per client and for write-ups and write-downs, as well as for tracking non-billed hours. The program’s receivables management functions include client credit limits, alerts and summary views of aging accounts. The system does not specifically offer purchase order management, but the workflow processes can be used to develop a suitable method. Client invoices are completely customizable via a built-in report writer.