Tenrox — Tenrox Project Workforce Management

From the October 2009 Review of Time & Billing Programs

Tenrox is a web-based (SAS 70 compliant) project management solution that has many modules from which to choose. I will focus on the Timesheet and Billing modules for this review. If your firm is interested in the other modules in the product, please visit their website for further information. Tenrox was built for professional service industries and can be easily used by public accounting firms as well.

Tenrox uses intuitive visual graphics to guide the user through the product. The developers obviously spent a lot of time designing the intuitive user-interface and it shows.

The first thing you need to know about Tenrox is its flexibility. The program allows firms to create custom workflows for the time and billing process via a graphical interface. No programming skills are needed to create custom workflows. There are multiple time and expense entry screen formats already loaded in the product and each firm has the ability to create more. This allows firms to decrease the learning curve for time and expense entry when they first purchase the product. As we all know, if it is not easy to use, people will not use it. This is not the case with user-friendly Tenrox system.

Time and expenses can be entered by hours or days, depending on the size of the engagements. During the time entry process, the user can also update estimated time to complete values. This allows the managers to know if the client needs to be notified of problem areas in the engagement. Users can also scan and attach receipts to expense entries. This makes the approval of expenses much easier for the manager.

Tenrox utilizes dashboards throughout the product. These dashboards are customizable and very feature-rich. Users have a large inventory of graphs, charts and tables to choose from that come standard. The graphics are very impressive and the user does not feel like they have information overload when viewing the dashboard. If you are used to using Google as your homepage, setting up the dashboard will be no problem for you.

Users can easily submit vacation requests through the system as well. Managers are notified of these requests and with a simple click of a button, vacation time is approved and updated on the staff availability report. Now management knows that a staff person is not available during the requested vacation time. Management can also easily review individual timesheets by drilling down to the specific items that need to be reviewed. Additionally, management can easily monitor when there are missing timesheets in the system. As I mentioned before, custom workflows can be created by each firm. User notifications can be created in these custom workflows to notify firm members that time and expenses are ready for review or bills are ready to be delivered to the client.

Tenrox also comes with many standard report templates that you expect. But if the report you want is not in the report templates, MS Reporting Services makes it very easy to create and save custom reports. If you can create reports in Microsoft Office products, you can easily create reports in Tenrox.

The billing process is very simple and easy to use. Bills can be issued in multiple currencies and projects (engagements) can be billed as fixed-fee or time and materials. Engagements can also be set to bill based on engagement milestones or recurring, based on time.

Since Tenrox uses MS Reporting Services, editing and creating a bill is very simple in this product. As with the reporting features, if you can use MS Office, you can create/edit a bill with no problem. Once a bill is completed, it can either be emailed to the client or you can send a notification to the client and let them review the bill online. This feature will help ensure your bill gets paid faster and any client questions about the bill can be addressed before it enters the accounts receivable process.

Also, as changes in the project/engagement occur, team members can easily document the changes in the project billing by adding comments or attaching documents/files to the project/engagement.

Tenrox integrates with the following accounting software packages: ACCPAC, QuickBooks, Microsoft Dynamics and SAP. In addition to the above accounting packages, Tenrox integrates with most payroll applications. Visit their website for a complete listing of payroll integration capabilities.

Tenrox provides a robust help section within the product. Therefore you always have the ability to access help on every screen. Since Tenrox is a web-based subscription system, other support features are also included. Online chat and phone support are available, providing live technical assistance. Tenrox also has created an online peer-to-peer collaboration network that allows Tenrox users to share best practices and ideas about the product.

This product is best suited for larger practices and especially multi-office firms. Tenrox has many project management tools that were not discussed in this review that should be looked into by firms that are interested in leveraging project management techniques from other professional service industries. Unlike other project management products, this full-featured system is simple to use and learn.

2009 Overall Rating: