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Broadway Billing Systems — Bill4Time
From the September 2012 review of time and billing systems.
Best Fit: Professional accounting practices seeking a cloud-based solution for time and expense tracking and billing.
- Integration with QuickBooks
- Group calendaring with Outlook and Google synch
- and project management
- Mobile apps for Apple, Android & Blackberry devices
- Online payment acceptance
- Rates can be set client, project, activities or time entries
- Import of client data requires technical support
- No accruals management, but PTO and misc time can be tracked
Bill4Time offers a totally web-based system for time and expense tracking and invoicing, and also offers built-in accounts receivables management, broad reporting and a variety of apps and widgets that simplify data entry tasks. Project management functions enable budgeting and tracking of due dates, with project-level billing that supports multiple simultaneous engagements. Bill4Time offers a version specific to accounting practices, providing WIP and account aging reporting, as well as trust accounting options.
Basic System Functions: 4.5 Stars
Bill4Time is accessed via a web browser, mobile device or downloadable desktop application, with initial setup functions guiding users through creation of clients, staffs, user roles, billing rates, and project and task definitions. When up and running, the system opens to the main dashboard, which shows an overview of the most recent time entries and projects that the user has worked on, as well as a graphical display of weekly billable hours, a schedule reminder and buttons for adding new time or expense entries. The top of the screen offers tabbed links to other program areas, including clients, projects, time/expenses, scheduling, invoicing, reporting and accounting functions.
Work screens are well-designed, with selection lists for choosing projects, staff, work codes and other settings, and the client selection screen offers a sortable, searchable summary of basic client data, their account balances and the staff member in charge of that client. The program is available in three tiers, with increasing support for the number of clients, projects and users, with the pro version supporting any number of each, and thus enabling firms to scale up as needed.
Time Management Capabilities: 4.5 Stars
Bill4Time offers multiple methods of time data entry, including running timers, entering time on summary or detailed sheets, using a desktop widget or via the mobile apps. Users can record billable and non-billable time, and includes tracking options for firm consultants and contractors. Users can also quickly convert appointments from the calendar into time entries. Professionals in areas that have sales taxes on labor can assign and track those taxes automatically.
Project management functions enable the creation of budgets at either the client level, per project, or both, with real-time tracking showing progress against those budgets and optional alerts that can notify users of expired budgets or client credit limits. Project-level billing features are available when invoicing a client for whom there are multiple engagements, with each project detailed separately but on the same invoice. Digitized documents such as contracts can be attached to project files.
In addition to basic client information, the system allows setting of default billing rates at the client, project or staff levels, as well as additional options for client-specific invoice customization, credit limit management and other functions. A separate contact management feature allows having multiple contacts at clients, prospects and vendors.
Bill4Time staff roles offers access right management that can be used as an approvals process, with the lead on a client account having the ability to approve time entries from other staff, as well as performing any necessary markups or markdowns or other adjustments. The system can be used to track non-billable tasks, such as training and firm development tasks, as well as vacation, sick leave or other PTO, but it does not offer true accruals management capabilities. It does offer tracking of basic HR employment data.