CaseWare International Inc. — Time 2009

CaseWare’s Time 2009 is the core time and billing program from CaseWare, offering comprehensive capabilities for these functions, along with integrated contact management, project management and integration with the company’s Working Papers and IDEA system for GL and audit functions. The company also offers an add-on Today module for scheduling and integration with Outlook. Time and CaseWare’s financial products support IFRS and GAAP standards. The systems are suited to small, mid-sized and larger practices, with pricing starting at $499 for a single timekeeper license and $999 for a license of up to five timekeepers. Additional timekeepers can be added to the five-timekeeper license for $175 each; annual renewals are 50 percent of the license value at the time of renewals.

From the June 2009 Review of Practice Management Systems

The CaseWare interface offers a large work screen bordered on the left by an expandable menu and is lined at the top by a collection of toolbars that includes pull-down menus, numerous task icons and pull-down selection lists for looking up information by document, client, staff, project or date. An additional set of panels on the right provides access to function areas, including setup, processing tasks and completion functions, with links to specific tasks under each section.

Users have access only to those clients and documents that they are assigned to, which helps maintain security and also streamlines the program for users. Time’s workflow layout guides users through many common tasks and provides explanations of each step in the process, along with links to more detailed definitions. Time also offers a summary information screen called the Workflow Status panel that provides at-a-glance data for user-specific items including time, expenses and timesheets. And for senior staff, it can also include firm-wide summaries of balances, projects, and billable vs. non-billable time totals and percentages.

Data entry for timesheets is entered on crisp subwindows that provide selection lists for staff, clients, dates, projects and other entries, along with a calendar view and a spreadsheet section for entering and viewing timesheet data. A remote, web-based time entry feature is also available. Billing functions are processed on similarly user-friendly screens, with another spreadsheet view that simplifies much of the entry and review processes.

As previously noted, the system offers a flexible and productive workflow model, providing assistance, if needed, as well as very intuitive navigation and friendly data-entry features. Among these are timers and the ability to automatically transfer calendar items into the time tracking system. The program also includes a built-in document management system that helps to efficiently store client documents, but also works with reporting functions to improve organization and access.

With the addition of the optional Today module, users can also take advantage of an even more user-focused and customizable interface that includes Outlook integration and centers around a homepage that provides a dashboard overview and quick access to contact information, personal calendar items, tasks, events and company news. It also offers team-oriented functions that enable greater collaboration between work groups.

Time’s workflow tools provide good support for engagement and project-based work, providing support for multiple departments and locations, as well as subprojects. The system supports unlimited work codes and billing rates per employee, with time budgeting functions and tools for managing overtime and billing. The program can handle multiple WIP billing types, and offers an invoice review system.

Time’s reporting functions are organized within the program’s document management utility, providing quick access and intelligent storage and retrieval of generated reports. The system offers reporting at various responsibility levels, including management reports for expenses, productivity, WIPs, budgeting, projects and YTD time and billing summaries. More than 200 standard reports are included in the system, all of which can be customized and also exported into PDF format.

Time integrates thoroughly with other programs from CaseWare, most notably the company’s GL, write-up, compilation, financial statement generation and trial balance functions, as well as the Today module, which integrates with a user’s Microsoft Outlook contacts, calendar items and tasks for unified management and time tracking. The system does not integrate with other accounting systems. Time also offers Word and Excel tools, and allows all reports to be exported as PDFs.

Throughout the program, Time offers multiple resources for users, from workflow guidance and process descriptions, to more traditional menu-based Help functions. The company’s website offers additional tools, including access to system updates, articles about system features and add-ons (including a Google Gadget), and a searchable knowledgebase. Case-Ware also offers web-based and classroom instruction options. Technical support is included in system pricing.

Time is a mid-priced practice management system that is primarily centered on the time and billing components, but offers excellent project, group and productivity management functions, and good personal time management options through the Today add-on. The system is flexible and customizable to user needs and roles, and offers intuitive workflow and navigation features.