2013 Review of TPS Time and Billing

Best Firm Fit: Small and medium-sized accounting and bookkeeping firms who would like a traditional on-premises application which uses modern technologies and integrates tightly both with Microsoft Office and QuickBooks.

Strengths

  • Application is designed, marketed, and sold exclusively to accounting firms
  • Includes a user maintainable library of standard billing paragraphs which can be used to prepare client invoices
  • Tight integration with QuickBooks and Microsoft Office applications.
  • The application was recently rewritten to take advantage of the latest technology development tools, and includes tools which should allow the application to scale to larger firms
  • Includes support for the customer-paid Payclix payment gateway

Potential Limitations

  • The application does not have a web, mobile, or MacOS X version of the software, but TPS can be hosted online by commercial application hosting companies

Summary and Pricing

TPS is an excellent on-premises time and billing application, and its technology updates should allow it to work well into the future. Its legacy of supporting only accounting professionals and their practices makes it a good choice for firms who want a traditional time and billing solution which has industry practices built into the application.

TPS is priced starting at $399 for a single user, plus $169 for each additional user. Annual renewals and support plan pricing is available upon request.

Full Review:

Overview

TPS Time and Billing is an application used to manage accounting firms across the US and Canada. The application has been rewritten with modern development tools in the last few years, and can be run on either the Microsoft Access database (which should be adequate for small firms) or the Microsoft SQL database platform (which should support firms of any size).

Setup is relatively simple, and users can import the client and contact lists from either QuickBooks or Microsoft Outlook. Work codes, paragraph templates, and invoice formats can be entered manually or created using the lists from the TPS sample data file. Firms can also add custom fields such as the primary partner and manager for each client, as well as configure the application’s due date tracking database for each client’s filing requirements. Clients with similar backgrounds can be grouped for management and monitoring purposes. The application’s HR functions are good, with TPS tracking review dates, salary, up to 20 rates, and progress against monthly goals for billable hours, as well as most information for an employee’s personnel file. The software does not track accrued paid time off such as vacation and sick time.

TPS does not currently offer mobile apps for iOS and Android at this time, but remote users can enter time using an offline database on a Windows PC and then e-mail their time entries in from remote locations. TPS clients and contacts can be synchronized with Microsoft Outlook, and mobile devices could be indirectly populated with contact data from TPS via this synchronization.

Billing can be performed from the screen or based on printed work in progress reports. Users can create bills using a library of standard bill paragraphs and invoice formats. The final language can be edited in Microsoft Word, and can be either printed or e-mailed to the client. Users can accept electronic payments using the Payclix electronic payments system, which charges a payment fee to the client ather than the practitioner

Security is based on a limited number of user profiles, and is adequate, but does not permit the granularity required of a large firm with multiple offices and departments. The included help file details how to set up TPS for a multioffice firm, which may entail creating a separate database for each office, and then another database for the overall firm.

Reporting is good for most purposes, but the software does not provide a method for accumulating and rebilling out of pocket expenses, which is a significant limitation for some firms. The product has over 100 built in reports, which are created with SAP Crystal Reports. A custom report wizard is included with the application which permits rudimentary report writing without using Crystal Reports. The application has enough built in reports to meet the needs of almost all firms. Reports can be exported in almost any file format, including PDF, Excel, Word, XML, or a variety of text formats.

The product has good integration with Microsoft Office, Crystal Reports, and Quickbooks, but does not offer any interfaces with tax or other applications used by professional accountants.

Documentation for the product is adequate. While some chapters in the included help file have detailed documentation, others include little more than a few screen shots. There is a short frequently asked questions (FAQ) section on the company’s website, www.tpssoftware.com, and the company offers online training courses for key functions in the application. Each training course is $25, and enrollment is limited to 10 students. Live e-mail and technical support is free for the first 60 days, and requires a support subscription thereafter.

Summary and Pricing

TPS is an excellent on-premises time and billing application, and its technology updates should allow it to work well into the future. Its legacy of supporting only accounting professionals and their practices makes it a good choice for firms who want a traditional time and billing solution which has industry practices built into the application.

TPS is priced starting at $399 for a single user, plus $169 for each additional user. Annual renewals and support plan pricing is available upon request.

Best Firm Fit: Small and medium-sized accounting and bookkeeping firms who would like a traditional on-premises application which uses modern technologies and integrates tightly both with Microsoft Office and QuickBooks.

Strengths

  • Application is designed, marketed, and sold exclusively to accounting firms
  • Includes a user maintainable library of standard billing paragraphs which can be used to prepare client invoices
  • Tight integration with QuickBooks and Microsoft Office applications.
  • The application was recently rewritten to take advantage of the latest technology development tools, and includes tools which should allow the application to scale to larger firms
  • Includes support for the customer-paid Payclix payment gateway
  •  

Potential Limitations

  • The application does not have a web, mobile, or MacOS X version of the software, but TPS can be hosted online by commercial application hosting companies

Category Ratings:
Basic System Functions: 5 Stars
Time Mgmt Capabilities: 5 Stars
Invoicing Functions: 4 Stars
Management Features: 5 Stars
Integration/Import: 4 Stars
Help/Support: 4 Stars

2013 Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars

 

 

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