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From the Sept. 2012 review of time and billing systems.
Best Fit: Small and mid-sized professional services firms (accountants and other professions) seeking a time management and invoicing solution that integrates with accounting, practice management solutions and Microsoft Office products.
- Integration with several professional programs
- Easy to use Sage Timeslips eCenter for remote entry of time and expense data
- Customizable dashboard views of key firm information
- Limited built-in tracking of accruals and other HR matters
- Project management tools may require training
Sage Timeslips continues to be one of the most popular time and billing systems for professional accountants, lawyers and consultants, providing simplified time and expense entry, invoicing, accounts receivable management and reporting. The system now also offers a remote access Sage Timeslips eCenter for web-based or mobile entry of time and expenses. Other recent enhancements to the program include expanded billing functions and an optimized workflow structure that streamlines entry, invoicing and reporting processes.
Basic System Functions: 4.75 Stars
The Sage Timeslips brand has been around for more than 25 years, with my first experience using it in about 1998. The system opens into an intuitive interface that offers a left side icon menu for moving into the key program centers, including the main Sage Timeslips Today screen, which is a dashboard view that can be customized to display key business indicators such as AR values, account balances, overdue clients, selected reports and other data, as well as charts and graphs.
Other program areas include time and expense entry, billing preparation, billing completion, accounts receivable, collections, accounts, clients and help topics. Additional navigation menus are available at the top of the screen. Each of the core program areas opens into a workflow design that helps users understand the processes for time and billing, with dashboard views also available for data related to each of these functions.
The system is not specifically designed for accounting professionals, but it offers considerable customization options, from terminology to workflow processes, and users can also customize most areas of the interface, often by simply dragging toolbars to desired locations or by adding elements or renaming items. The program is designed primarily for 1-10 users, but can scale larger as necessary.
Time Management Capabilities: 4.75 Stars
The Time and Expense console simplifies data entry, providing intuitive links to functions such as entering time or expenses, managing and submitting multiple slips, viewing expenses by client or activity, as well as summaries of weekly and monthly totals. There are multiple methods of entering time and expenses, with the most detailed option being on popup work screens that include selection lists for the entering the employee, task, client, reference information, billable status and other details, including adding notes and accessing a task timer.
Client management screens enable setting of rates, credits, discounts, aging balance actions and account and payment information. Tasks can be assigned to clients, but my experience with project management setup was a bit challenging, with formatting of projects requiring a specific naming system. Client management screens are easily accessible, with the ability to quickly create client templates or to manage rules and settings.
Sage Timeslips includes the ability to set up a multi-level approval process for supervisor or partner sign-off on expenses and time, with the Bill Stages dialog box providing a quick view of where the process stands. The program does not offer human resources functions, but PTO can be tracked for non-billable reporting purposes, with no accruals management functions.
Invoicing Functions: 4.5 Stars