Sage Software — Timeslips by Sage 2009

From the Nov. 2008 Review of Time & Billing Systems

Timeslips by Sage 2009 has been around for more than 20 years and has proven to be a very effective time and billing system for accountants, lawyers, consultants as well as architects and other service-based businesses. The powerful and well-established feature set makes Timeslips a program worth consideration. Pricing is not a major obstacle; a single-station license is $499.99, and a five-station pack is available for $899.99. For a network environment, a five-user license is available for $699.99.

Ease of Use & Navigation Features - 5 Stars
Timeslips is designed with a graphic user interface that allows the user to visually move through their daily tasks. Much like the navigation homepages of Peach-tree and Office Accounting, this program is easy to understand and easy to work with. The navigation page has an Out-look feel. Selecting the “enter time” tab on the left brings up the layout of the process and features related to entering time. You have these same tabs for entering expenses, clients and tasks, slip reports, preferences and Help/support. The layout of the homepage eases navigation from one home screen. Also on the home screen are little portlets of relevant information, this information allows you to see, at a glance, items of importance without having to run a report.

The main function for most users will be the entry of time and expense. The slip entry screen is very easy to use and understand. Timeslips also gives the user multiple methods for entering time. The timer can be used when on a timesheet, time can be entered after the fact, or the TS Timer function (which is a pop-up) allows you to track time without having to be in the program. You can also purchase an add-on feature to interface with your PDA and enter time while out of the office.

Management Functions - 4.5 Stars
The timekeeper collections and contribution report is new for 2009. This report gives management information about WIPs, billed, collections and more for each timekeeper in the firm. Standard accounts receivable information is available, and the user can create user-defined accounts receivable reports. I like the functionality of the backdated A/R report; this gives the user the ability to list the A/R balance of any client at any period in time. Alerts is another important management function that lets you know when you’ve gone over budget, when a client’s balance reaches a certain level, and other custom criteria. You can trigger an alert when a specific client goes over an allotted amount of time. This feature will give a manager the opportunity to make adjustments as soon as information is available.

Other management functions such as applying payments to invoices, credit memos, refunds and write-offs are easily done within the program. The client funds feature allows you to view separate accounts that enable the tracking of retainer fees, management of trust funds or tracking of escrow accounts for clients. This feature gives the program greater flexibility in the way a firm can handle multiple accounts.

Billing & Reporting - 5 Stars
Billing is solid, intuitive and easily done in Timeslips. The bill design tool allows you to customize your bill by drag-ging and dropping the required fields onto the bill. When previewing a bill on-screen, you can click on an item to drill-down to view and edit the source data.

When preparing bills, guides and wizards make the process fairly simple. You can make use of the billing assistant and firm assistant to become better oriented with the program, as well. An approval process can be set up and maintained to provide some control if that is necessary in your firm. Sometimes you need to have the option to un-bill a bill that had been previously billed, and Timeslips gives you the flexibility to undo a bill, change it and then reprocess.

The report listing is more than adequate, and information is also available through the dashboards. The report wizard assists in the selection and generation of the reports, making it an easy task. The report design tool eases the process of creating new report templates and modifying existing ones, and it can be accessed with one click when viewing a report on-screen. The interactive report feature allows the user to get to source data faster by instantly drilling down to the details in the report. Reports can be exported to Excel and modified to meet the user’s needs.

Integration - 5 Stars
Timeslips integrates with Peachtree and QuickBooks and includes a two-way link with both programs. If you are using Peachtree or QuickBooks, you can stream-line the management of your client database using the two-way link between Time-slips and these accounting packages. Timeslips Remote allows you to take your laptop away from the office and track time. When you return to the office, you can synch your time entries with your desk-top or server-based version of the program.

Timeslips eCenter gives you or your staff the capability to enter time on the web, which is very useful for entering time when away from the office. With one click, you can synchronize the eCenter transaction with your office. Other add-on products that are specifically designed for Palm and Pocket PC handheld devices are also available. As well, the product offers some integration with Outlook and Excel.

User Support & Help - 5 Stars
New users can get up and running quickly with Timeslips, and support options are available via wizards and instructional videos. When writing these reviews, I looked at the product tours on the web to gain additional information. Live chat assistance is available as well as a knowledgebase that is kept up to date. As well, you can locate vendors that have passed a product certification program to provide you hands-on assistance.

2008 Overall Rating: overall rating