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Abak Software - Abak 7.5
From the Sept. 2012 review of time and billing systems.
Best Fit: Professional services firms of any size, including the accounting, legal, engineering and consulting professions, who either use time-based billing or track time for productivity management.
- Three-level approval system for time & expenses
- Web-based interface time and expense entry
- Broad integration capabilities
- Automated alerts
- Mobile app
- Lacks full accounts receivable module
- Navigation in built-in help resources could be more intuitive.
Now in version 7.5 and on the market for more than 15 years, the Abak system is available as an installed application or can be hosted by Abak and used as a web-based system. The company also offers a web-based time and expense sheet entry and reporting utility. As a whole, Abak provides comprehensive professional time and billing program, with utilities for project cost management, WIPs, timesheet and expense approvals, client invoicing and vendor management.
Since last year’s review, the company has added integration with Microsoft Outlook for project assignments and datebook entries, the ability to email multiple invoices to a client within a single email, extended project and vendor management features in the web-based version of the program, and a new mobile app.
Basic System Functions: 4.25 Stars
Abak is offered in English and French, with simple initial installation during which the user can set defaults and create user accounts with varying levels of managerial rights and access. While the system is designed for pretty much any professional services firm, it offers good accounting-specific features that include maintaining data integrity with a full-time audit trail and receivables management.
The program’s main work area offers navigation menus on the left side of the screen for accessing the core function areas, including timesheet and expense data entry, managing clients and vendors, as well as project tracking tools. Pull-down navigation menus are also available at the top of the screen for key functions, and users can customize many of the interface components and data fields.
Within specific work areas, such as timesheet and expense account entries, the left side navigation offers quick access to specific functions, such as using detailed or fast-entry summary sheets for time and expenses, as well as a link to the user’s appointment management system. Expandable menus for other core program areas, including management, reporting, projects and other items are below the task menu. Timesheet detail entry screens are intuitive and include selection lists for clients, projects, assignments and a calendar can be used for entering dates. Firms can create custom data fields.
The system is designed to support any number of clients, projects and expense codes, as well as any number of users from five up, and since pricing is on a per-user, per-year basis, users can be added as necessary, allowing for simple scalability.
Time Management Capabilities: 4.5 Stars
As previously mentioned, Abak offers detailed and summary timesheet entry screens, allowing users and firms to enter as much detail as necessary, and with the option add custom fields for data management. Staff can record billable or non-billable time by project, client and task, with the ability to set varying billing rates per staff member and task. Abak also offers automation options for project billing, and markups and downs can be managed at the project and expense levels. A built-in timer can also be used, with accrued time applied directly to timesheets.
Management users have access to timesheet views for multiple staff at the same time, and the system can be set up with a three-level approval system for varying supervisors within the practice. Client and vendor management screens are intuitive, and offer good detail and reporting access to histories and projects.