TPS Software, Inc. — TPS Time & Billing
From the August 2010 Review of Time & Billing Systems.
TPS Time & Billing is specifically designed for small to mid-sized accountants firms with up to 60 employees. It offers a clean interface and regularly surveys its users for suggestions of new features and functionality.
BASIC SYSTEM FUNCTIONS:
The TPS user interface is clean, clear and to the point, and is designed for the public accounting profession. Anyone that is familiar with the basic concepts of timekeeping, invoicing and billing will be able to do most of the training themselves, using a test or demo database. TPS can be configured to access more than one database, which is chosen at login. Users can get up to speed quickly on the basic time entry functions and explore the more advanced options as they build confidence. TPS is designed to run on workstations connected to a common database to provide full functionality, but remote data can be entered via the remote entry module.
The visual presentation for time entry is clear and informative. Timekeepers can see line-by-line time for the chosen day, and also graphical bars that span the start and stop times for each unit of work. Running totals at the bottom of the screen show chargeable and non-chargeable hours, total hours, and total billable amount, if allowed by permissions.
TIME TRACKING CAPABILITIES:
Both time and expenses are entered on the same screen, in a common format. The timekeeper enters start and stop times, selects a client and optional engagement, and may override the computed time with direct entry. A bar chart at the top of the screen shows overlaps and gaps in reported time. If needed, free-form text may be entered for each line.
Setting of billable and overhead rates for each timekeeper is quick and easy, with up to 20 additional levels that can be applied to time. Exceptions to the standard rates may be defined by any combination of client, engagement and work code.
Starting the billing process, the filtered list of all time and expense entries are shown, and the manager can see, adjust and release any line item. Updated totals are shown at the bottom, so the invoice amount is known interactively. This view will show the accumulated WIP, with a drilldown to details. The actual invoice can be highly customized, and the firm can create a library of standard text elements to include on invoices. Many invoice templates are included, and the firm may create new or modify existing templates and save for reuse.
Assigning the appropriate permissions to users gives the firm secure control of access to, and visibility of, the firm data, according to the user’s role. Setting up clients, work codes, engagements and rates will enable supervisors of timekeepers to closely monitor their time reporting and productivity. User rights are assigned at a very detailed level and are defined as read, write or read/write for many data-entry and reporting functions.
Realization analysis is an important technique of management of firm income, and TPS does a great job of providing a detailed look into the data, based on just about any criteria the manager wants to see. Filtering of the information is well supported and helps management focus on the subject of interest, without a lot of extraneous information.
Due-date tracking is easy to use once the initial setup has been done. The manager can quickly see what is on the schedule for today and the immediate future, and feel confident that there are no important tasks slipping through.
Analysis of income and costs at a high level of granularity is well supported within TPS, and can offer firm management a deeper look into these factors of firm profitability. Here is an opportunity to see where adjustments can be made at the staff, client and work code level. Realization analysis is an important focus of the reporting functions, and this provides an opportunity for the firm to quickly recover the investment of time and money in TPS.