Abak Softwares — Abak 7.0

From the October 2009 Review of Time & Billing Programs

Abak is a Canadian company that has developed a time and billing application focused on professional services firms for the U.S. and Canadian markets, including accountants. This application can be installed on a firm’s internal network or can be used by practices as a hosted ASP program.

EASE OF USE -
Abak has a simple and fairly straight-forward time and expense entry interface. The user has two separate ways to enter time and expenses: The “fast entry” or the “detailed entry” method. The fast entry method allows the user to create default criteria, which allows information to be automatically populated on the detailed screen.. When entering information using the detailed entry method, users can include additional details and descriptions for corresponding time or expense entries.

The product also has web-based time and expense entry available. This allows users who are out of the office to easily enter their time without having to come into the office.

If your firm is used to the Microsoft Office user interface, staff will have no problem using Abak, which has a layout similar to Outlook and uses icons that are easily recognizable and intuitive. Within 15 minutes of clicking icons and toolbars, I was able to easily navigate through the program without any training or reading any of the help or support items available. By utilizing the support features of the product, you will be up and running on this product very quickly. Its simplicity is its greatest asset.

MANAGEMENT FUNCTIONS & REPORTING -
Abak gives firm management the ability to easily manage the resources of their practice. The management tab in the product allows users to manage clients, project/engagement, client contacts, resources and staff, and vendors, if applicable. It is easy to set up engagements in this product. Once it is created, the user can easily and intuitively enter the pertinent details of the engagement, such as the starting and ending dates, budgets, invoice formats, invoicing calendar, GL account mapping, etc. Once these items are set up, you are ready to start charging time to your clients.

The product comes standard with two dozen useful management reports, which can be viewed or output form the system’s management dashboard. As each practice manages their practice differently, each firm’s reporting needs will be a little different. Abak addresses this by using Crystal reports. You can contact the vendor to create many additional reports to help you manage your practice better.

BILLING PROCESS -
Abak provides seamless integration with QuickBooks, ACCPAC and other accounting packages, as well as with ADP payroll services. If your firm utilizes Microsoft Project for project management tasks, Abak can import this information as well. If your firm is currently using Excel or Word for time and expense entry, this information can also be imported into Abak.

INTEGRATION -
You will never be lost in this product. Help is available on every screen in the product. Abak also provides additional support and training at an additional cost. You can look on their website for more information on the options available for your firm.

SUPPORT & HELP -
You will never be lost in this product. Help is available on every screen in the product. Abak also provides additional support and training at an additional cost. You can look on their website for more information on the options available for your firm.

RELATIVE VALUE -
In my opinion, this system is a great fit for mid-sized and larger firms and will get the job done. Abak’s best quality is its simplicity to use. Your firm will not purchase this product and then later complain that it is too complex. If your firm is still using Microsoft Office programs for your time and expense processes, Abak will be a good step in upgrading your workflow.

2009 OVERALL RATING:

 

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