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Office Tools Professional — Practice Management 2012
From the July 2012 Review of Practice Management systems.
Best Fit: Firms with staff sizes of 1-100 seeking to increase work flow efficiency as well as integrate document management capabilities.
- Simple, single user interface is easy to understand and follow
- Integrates simple document management structure
- Integration offered for QuickBooks, Outlook and Lacerte
- May not meet needs for larger firms
- Not cloud native, but is offered as a hosted application by many 3rd party ASPs.
Practice Management 2012 is the third generation release from Office Tools Professional. Built on a simple to use single-screen interface, the focus is on quick navigation. Practice Management provides a complete set of customer relationship management tools in addition to time and expense keeping and practice management functions. Practice Management 2012 provides some entry-level document management capabilities as well.
BASIC SYSTEM FUNCTIONS - 5 Stars
The Practice Management 2012 interface is focused on a single-screen interface that remains intact throughout the system. On the left side of the screen is the client listing with the remainder of the screen dedicated to viewing and entering data. At the top of the screen is a series of tabs that guide the user through the various areas of the program. As clients are selected, each of these tabs provides information specific to that client.
Practice Management 2012 includes a simple document management structure that is maintained within the system, but may still be accessed through the Windows Explorer folder tree. Virtually any document may be imported into the system. Users may import documents into the system through a formal import process, or users may simply drag the documents onto a particular client or project. The document is then imported into the system and filed appropriately in the underlying folder tree structure. Each document also retains its native file format and may be opened with any third-party program designed to open those file types. Documents imported in to the system may also be forward to clients or other staff members through email processed within Practice Management 2012.
TIME MANAGEMENT CAPABILITIES - 4.75 Stars
Practice Management 2012 provides numerous ways for users to enter time data. The time tab within the user interface allows for direct time entry. On this screen the user is responsible for posting time to the correct client, project and task. Users may also post time as they work on projects. This method allows the user to simply select a client or project and post time to the correct task. An additional method to post time is through the use of timers. Users may run multiple timers at any given time to track time on clients and projects. Regardless of how time is posted, the time tab screen serves as the central storage point for all time posted throughout the system and allows for modifications by the user as necessary.
The project tab within the system interface houses all the projects assigned to each client. By selecting a client, all the particular projects assigned to the user are displayed. Each project assigned to a client may have a customized set of tasks or may be predetermined through a template. Staff assignments associated with the respective tasks may also be customized or assigned through templates. As each task is completed within the project, the succeeding task is automatically selected and forwarded to the staff member as appropriate.
INVOICING FUNCTIONS - 4.5 Stars
Practice Management 2012 process all billing through a dedicated billing tab within the software interface. All time and expense items posted are immediately viewable and billable to a client through this screen view. The user simply needs to select the client and the appropriate time and expense items, enter an invoice amount and any differences are automatically allocated adjusted up or down as necessary. Practice Management 2012 includes nine invoice forms to choose from, but users may generate a custom invoice if necessary. All invoices may be filtered through options specific for that invoice form. As invoices are processed, they may be exported to QuickBooks through an available add-on module.