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BQE Software — BillQuick 2012
From the September 2012 review of time and billing systems.
Small and mid-sized accounting firms or other professional services businesses with a need for time, billing, and project management.
- Industry-specific versions, including for accounting firms
- Optional online version of program
- Optional HR and various add-ons
- Mobile apps
- Integration with virtually all small business accounting systems
- No built-in calendaring feature, but integration with Outlook enables creation of timeslips from appointments.
- The user friendly system may require some training to fully benefit from all of the program’s many features.
On the market for more than 16 years and with a growing U.S. and global user base, BillQuick is among the more mature and fully seasoned time and billing systems available to the accounting profession, offering automated timekeeping, invoicing and project cost management. In addition to a free “Lite” version of the program for single users, the fuller system is available in versions that culminate in the Enterprise level, which can support larger businesses.
For firms with mobile needs, BQE offers the BillQuick Web Suite, which can be hosted either by BQE or by a firm and integrates with the installed version. Also,available is BillQuick Online, a completely web-based cloud solution.
Basic System Functions: 5 Stars
The latest version of BillQuick produced a very crisp and modern interface that defaults to the home Navigator screen, which provides an uncluttered work area with access to key program features. Icons are available for moving to company details, time card entry, expense tracking and management features, while pull-down menus at the top of the screen provide additional navigation options.
Text-based navigation options are also available on the Navigator screen, with options for submitting time and other tasks, as well as accessing the BillQuick knowledge base, e-newsletters, support and the company’s blog. Yet another navigation menu can be displayed (or hidden) on the left side of the screen.
The program can be quickly tailored to accounting firm use, with appropriate terminology and settings. Firms and individual users can also customize many of the screens, data fields and shortcuts. Practices can also move between the Lite, Basic, Pro and Enterprise versions as their needs require more extensive tracking, customization or project management capabilities.
Time Management Capabilities: 4.75 Stars
BillQuick offers two methods of time entry, a time sheet mode for quick entry functions, and a detailed mode, which provides more data entry options. Time entry includes selection lists for date, engagement, activity and description, along with fields for entering unlimited notes, details and other custom data. New projects and work codes can be added directly from the time sheets, as necessary.
BillQuick’s time sheet data entry screens can track overtime and comp time, and advanced versions also include time sheet review and approval processes, vacation accruals and multi-employee time sheet review screens. The system includes spell checking, font control and other word processor functions for customization of text. The system also includes task timers that can be started, paused and resumed, with the ability to have multiple timers running for different tasks.
Project management functions include up to 11 contract types, including recurring billing, fixed fee cost plus and hourly, the ability to create and track phases and segments, project estimating and budgeting by hours and funding, and interactive Gantt charts for project allocations. The program’s Project Center acts as the hub for these activities, as well as for assigning activities, expenses and employees to projects.
The Pro and Enterprise versions of the system include basic paid-time-off tracking tools, but for additional human resources functions, BQE offers BillQuick HR, which can be used as a stand-alone or integrated with the time and billing system. It includes personnel records management, more detailed oversight of accruals, PTO request approvals, and staff history management.
Invoicing Functions: 4.75 Stars
The system’s Billing Review center offers quick access to billing histories, overviews of outstanding invoices and the ability to drill down to detailed views. Managerial users can perform write-ups and write-downs, or apply discounts and manage retainer funds.
The program has more than 150 invoice templates that can be easily customized, as well as generated to PDF and emailed directly from the system, with linking to associated receipts or other documents. Users can create invoices in batch mode or create automatically recurring invoices, while options are also available for reversing or voiding invoices and payments. The system includes sales tax and VAT tracking, progress billing, purchase order management and firms can accept credit card payments through the Pro and Enterprise versions.
BillQuick’s AR functionality includes a Collection Center that includes payment histories, historical data and account notes, with one-click access to views of aging accounts at 60/90/120 days. Expense tracking functions include the ability to automatically add surcharges to specific types of expenses, as well as support for multiple currencies.
Management Features: 5 Stars
BillQuick’s dashboard gives management a view of key business indicators such as aging AR, expenses, invoice details, client activity and vendor information. Standard AP includes management of purchase orders, PO histories, and vendor bills. Optional AP includes pay bills, check writing, chart of accounts, financial statements and other accounting functions.
In addition to more than 400 standard reports, the program lets you trim out data from a report or invoice, change fonts and other basic changes, then save it as a new template. Using Crystal Reports you can edit any part of a template and create custom report and invoice template. Reports can be memorized and made favorites, Invoice designs can be assigned by contract type or to a specific project. Reports and invoices can be instantly output to PDF and stored in the program.
User-based access rights enable management to specify features and functions that can be accessed by individual staff members, while an audit trail tracks all activity by user ID.
Integration & Data Management: 5 Stars
BillQuick offers direct integration with Sage 50 (formerly Peachtree), and QuickBooks, including real-time, on-demand or scheduled synching of data with QuickBooks for posting appropriate transactions. The program also offers report generation directly to PDF, Word and Excel formats, and emailing of invoices.
BillQuick shares a database across its primary application, as well as with the Web Suite, Agent, HR and the Outlook add-in, ensuring data consistency. Users can also control synching between the installed and hosted versions, and the totally online version. Additional integration is also available with the BillQuick Outlook Add-In utility, which converts Outlook appointments, tasks and emails into time entries. The BillQuick Mobile app, available for Apple iOS and Android devices, offers time and expense data entry and review.
Help/Support: 5 Stars
The system includes an intuitive built-in help utility that features “How Do I?” links on virtually every work screen, along with a knowledge base and links to company support, documentation and blog. These and additional features are also available from the BQE support website, with options for contacting live support and viewing additional resources.
The program can be set to automatically download new versions as they become available. Live technical support is offered via optional subscription. Free live webinars, and a selected number of web-based training videos, some eligible for CPE credit, are also available.
Summary & Pricing
BillQuick offers a comprehensive time and billing system, with excellent support for project management, detailed control over time and expense tracking, good AR and AP functionality and extensively customizable invoicing functions. Although a powerful tool, the system maintains a user friendly interface and navigation features. Pricing for the 2-user Basic version of BillQuick is $495, with the ability to add users at a cost of $145 each. The Pro version, with up to five users, starts at $1,295.