ImagineTime, Inc. — ImagineTime Practice Management
From the August 2010 Review of Time & Billing Systems.
ImagineTime offers several industry-specific practice management suites, including versions for tax and accounting professionals, attorneys, and engineers. Available modules include time and billing, due date management, contact management, staff scheduling and document management.
BASIC SYSTEM FUNCTIONS:
ImagineTime is developed in Microsoft Access, so users who are familiar with Access applications will find the forms and screens familiar, such as the record navigation bar and the need to click in the right spot to create a new record. A run-time version of Access is included within ImagineTime, so there is no reliance on an installation of the program on the workstation. There are about 16 keyboard shortcuts to navigate among the screens, start timers or use Microsoft Outlook functions.
The user interface presented will vary based on the permission level assigned to the user. System manager, supervisor and staff levels have data entry, update, and reporting visibility appropriate to their roles in the workflow. The navigation tabs are arranged in a logical order consistent with the normal workflow of time entry, review, approval and invoicing.
The user may select a more traditional looking Main Menu, which lists the allowed tasks in a simplified format with related menu items grouped together in boxes. Each user may customize and hide the menu ribbon on their screen to maximize their viewable area.
The program supports concurrent users, and, as previously noted, ImagineTime offers a specific version designed for tax and accounting professionals.
TIME TRACKING CAPABILITIES:
Time entry can be accomplished in real time or after-the-fact. Users may open multiple on-screen timers related to client tasks, and then select which one is active at the moment. This supports real-time tracking of busy multi-taskers who may be switching between phone calls, meetings and preparation work. A timer may be started after-the-fact, which is particularly useful in capturing time for unscheduled interruptions. The System Manager selects the minimum time increment for timekeepers, either quarter, tenths or hundredths of an hour. Should the firm policy require it, new time entry may be blocked based on credit exposure limits set on any client. This is totally optional, and is granular at the client level.
Data entry for time will require that work codes, clients, engagements and optional rate templates be created beforehand, rather than being able to create new master records on the fly. Staff members are assigned default rates, which can be specified differently by work codes. Multiple rates and multiple rates per work code are supported. As tabbed windows are created by selecting menu items from the ribbon, the user may switch between them with the click of the mouse. These windows must be closed using Alt+X, but I think it would be helpful to simplify the required action for closing these windows.
Fixed-fee and repetitive billing is handled seamlessly with per-hour and expense invoicing. Clients may be grouped together with a group ID that will be useful in analysis and management of invoicing and pricing of related entities such as subsidiaries or personal and corporate engagements that are loosely tied together in any kind of relationship.
Customizable text for invoicing has been given special attention within ImagineTime, with a focus on create, customize and re-use. For example, during invoice creation, the user may select from narratives previously created, modify them and save the modified text for re-use at a later time.