Sage Software - Sage Timberline Office
From the July 2011 Review Construction and Contractor Accounting Systems
Sage Timberline Office is designed to meet the needs of mid-sized to large contractors and construction-related businesses.
Well-known in the construction and property management industries, Sage Timberline Office remains a popular software choice for mid-sized to large contractors and construction-related businesses. Offering solid financial modules, along with an extensive array of industry-specific add-ons, Sage Timberline Office is a robust product that continues to enhance its core product with regular product enhancements.
BASIC SYSTEM FUNCTIONS:
Sage Timberline Office utilizes a Desktop function that allows users to access all Timberline features, data files and web links. System modules can be easily accessed from the menu bar at the top of the screen. The Desktop is completely customizable, so users can set up the interface as desired.
Setup wizards are available. Because this product is more complex, users may not feel immediately comfortable with navigation and use. However, utilizing the included wizards and Help functions will go a long way in finding a level of comfort. I would also recommend having a skilled IT professional install the program. Sage Timberline Office integrates with the Sage CRM product and is designed to work with Windows Server 2003+, Windows Vista Business and Ultimate, Windows XP Professional.
CORE ACCOUNTING CAPABILITIES:
The GL module utilizes a user-defined 25-character account number structure, enabling users to create multiple companies and departments for better tracking. A GL setup wizard guides new users through initial setup, including the choice to copy a default chart of accounts or create a custom account structure. Up to 250 user-defined data fields can be utilized for more comprehensive data tracking. Recurring entries can be set up in the GL module, and users can access prior accounting periods to post items accurately. A batch system is used for all system transactions, and users can easily set up real-time and future budgets for each account. The AP module contains “prefill” capability, allowing users to enter default information prior to data entry, with all subsequent fields filled as needed.
The AP module will also track workers compensation insurance, and can easily allocate invoices to the correct cost code or category. Sage Timberline Office’s AR module contains an excellent customer tracking function, and users can easily customize the invoice entry screen. Payments can be easily distributed to a variety of entities including simple cash receipts, job, contract products and cost types. Refunds and adjustments are also easily processed. The Payroll module offers direct deposit capability and tracks all employee activity. Managers can also post employee time directly to a specific job or related equipment.
Sage Timberline Office offers additional accounting modules, which include Cash Management, Billing, Equipment Cost and Contracts. All add-on modules integrate with the core system. All transactions are recorded in order to create a solid audit trail, and user security is multi-level, ranging from the restricted company level, down to task level.
Sage Timberline Office has one of the most comprehensive selections of estimating modules to be found. Users can choose from a variety of industry-specific estimating database options that can be easily customized to suit business needs. Advanced Assembly databases and knowledgebases are available, as well. Excellent tracking allows project managers to monitor in-depth job information, including job totals by year, job status and period-to-date accumulators.
Job Central provides an area to set up and enter all job detail, billing information and estimates. Accessing job summary information allows users to drilldown to supporting documents. Change Order management tracks the status of each change order processed and verifies change order approval. Customer, vendor and employee information is easily tracked in the corresponding modules, and integration with Sage CRM allows users to create and utilize a comprehensive database for quick reference and easy tracking of all customer and vendor contacts.
The Payroll module manages all employee data, including historical information and previous costing information. Subcontractor data is easily tracked from the Job Cost module. The Inventory module allows users to assign multiple vendors/suppliers for each item, and can track products using LIFO, FIFO, Last Cost, Standard or Average Cost. Purchasing tracks supplier pricing for each item, and users can customize the Purchase Order to suit business needs, as well as track PO’s against previously budgeted items. An excellent Scheduling and Dispatch board allows managers to handle multiple service requests and scheduling of up to 50 service technicians. Dispatchers can easily access customer information including billing and service history directly from the dispatch board, and dispatchers can quickly send work orders directly to technicians in the field.
The Equipment Cost module tracks equipment usage, rental information and maintains a log of equipment information. Users can also track associated license and insurance expiration dates, and keep track of information such as equipment usage, revenue or a variety of user-defined information. The module also keeps track of equipment ownership and rental information.
REPORTING & MANAGEMENT TOOLS:
Sage Timberline Office provides more than 500 standard system reports that can be customized using the Report Designer module. Users can also create custom financial statements with the Financial Statement Designer. An extensive selection of Job Cost reports are available, including the Committed Cost Detail, Completion Trends and the Change Order Log. Sage Timberline Office offers AIA compliant billing, Work in Progress billing, and both cost-based and fixed-price billing. The system uses templates throughout the product, and the Document Management module provides a central location for all vital documents related to a job, including photos, blueprints and original contracts and change orders. The Remote Time Entry option allows field personnel and technicians to record and export timesheets to the home office for easy processing. For additional reporting options, users can utilize Crystal Reports.
In addition to the modules mentioned in this review, Sage Timberline Office also offers optional Cash Management, Buyout, Contracts, Procurement, and Preventative Maintenance and Service Agreement modules, with all modules integrating with the core product. The system also easily integrates with a variety of third-party applications, and easily imports and exports data into Microsoft Office products.
Sage Timberline Office contains an excellent Help application along with three levels of support agreements and service plans. All service plan subscribers also receive timely system updates, as well as access to online tools. Gold-level subscribers receive a discount on software training. Timberline support is based in the United States and is available during regular business hours.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY & PRICING
Sage Timberline Office starts at around $10,000. Although the price tag is on the high end, the investment is worth it for larger construction/contractor offices that process a large number of estimates and needs solid equipment management capability.
2011 Overall Rating