To access the remainder of this piece of premium content, you must be registered with CPA Practice Advisor. Already have an account? Login
Register in seconds by connecting with your preferred Social Network.
Complete the registration form.
From the Sept. 2012 review of time and billing systems.
Best Fit: Professionals and firms seeking automated time keeping, whether for time-based billing or productivity management.
- Automatically tracks tasks a user performs on a computer and assigns to projects
- Multiple integration options for online accounting systems and other programs
- Completely web-based allows anywhere access and no IT requirements
- New apps for tracking calls and work on mobile devices
- Email time tracking for Outlook and Gmail
- Base level client management functions
- Limited invoicing options, but integrates with third party billing systems
Chrometa is a unique system that essentially watches over your shoulder at what you’re doing on your computer and even your mobile devices; After you’ve given it permission to do so, of course. This can save a lot of the time and headache involved in timekeeping, particularly for those who wait until the end of the day or end of the week (or worse) to compile their activity and time logs. With this program, the user can bring up their activities for the day, assign them to appropriate clients or projects, and then invoice the client.
Time spent on calls or working on mobile devices can also be tracked, as well as email activities in Outlook and Gmail, and data from multiple users at a firm or business can be tracked by an administrative user. The system can export to several formats and integrates with several popular accounting systems.
Basic System Functions: 4.25 Stars
Chrometa has an installed application on the user’s computer, as well as a synched online portal for viewing, assigning and billing for time spent on detailed activities. The overriding core feature in Chrometa is tracking time, and it does this down to the last detail.
To best explain the basics of Chrometa, as I’m writing this I also have the program monitoring what I’m doing. Looking at the system, it sees that I’ve been working on a Word document, have another document open as well, plus I have a browser window and an Excel spreadsheet open. It logs them by title of the document or page, but does not look at the details of each. I could then assign the time spent on each of those tasks to a client or a client project for billing.
The system can be used by any number of staff. While not specifically designed for any profession or industry, it can be beneficial to pretty much any type of services professional or firm because of the accuracy of the details it tracks. With it running, users will know exactly what they were doing during a given time period, and for exactly how long.
The primary web-based screen opens to a summary view, which shows tasks for the day, week, month or other time period, and allows users to add entries, move them to projects, or perform billing functions. Views are also available showing a timeline of all activity, as well as graphical displays of time spent on tasks.
Time Management Capabilities: 4.5 Stars
Chrometa time tracking functions are automatic, with no action required by users (except for the initial installation) , which means no timers to start or stop, although users can pause time tracking or turn it off, if they choose. Users can also enter manual task entries, since not quite every work activity takes place on a computer (meetings, travel, etc), and the entries, both manually-entered and automatic, can then be assigned to clients or projects. The system also has an optional feature that notes when a computer has been idle for an extended period and can prompt the user to make an entry for that time when they return.
Once a specific work activity, such as a spreadsheet named “ABC Trucking Aug. 2012,” has been assigned to a client or project, the system then remembers that assignment and if the user works on that spreadsheet or task again, it will be assigned automatically to that project. Additional rules can be created for automatic assignment of tasks to projects, and this functionality can extend to virtually any type of file, from spreadsheets to tax program files to QuickBooks company files. Keywords can also be used to determine assignment of time. Each client and project can be set with different billing rates.