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TimeRewards Software — EZtime


From the November 2005 Review of Time
& Billing Software

EZtime is a different sort of time-based billing system in a couple of ways.
First, it is designed for integration with QuickBooks (and is an authorized
QuickBooks add-on), which obviously means it has the potential to tap into a
huge market of small service-based businesses. Second, the system is fully web-based,
meaning users can access it from anywhere. This combination provides a simple
method of implementing a time tracking and billing system that downloads time
and expenses directly into a business’ QuickBooks records, but does not
give those employees access to the QuickBooks data files.

The vendor admits that EZtime is not geared to be a full practice management
system, instead offering a simplified basic approach for small businesses that
rely on QuickBooks for its contact management, billing and most reporting functions.
That said, the program is cheap: $2.99 per month per user for the Lite version,
which allows only tracking and billing of timesheets through its web-based interface,
and $4.99 per month for the full version, which also can be used to track, allocate
and bill expenses.

While this program may not meet the more detailed needs of larger accounting
practices, it should be sufficient for very small firms or small clients who
use QuickBooks, especially those who may be using some workaround for time and
expense tracking. The system is so easy to set up and its interfaces so friendly,
for both staff and administrators, that getting employees to use the system
should prove simple, while even its basic features should also result in increased
accountability and productivity. QuickBooks Professional 2002 or later is required.

Todd Griffith of GRT Business Solutions (
has been using EZtime for about a year now and is very happy with it. “It
has greatly simplified our weekly time and expense collection process and substantially
cut down on errors.” GRT is a professional services consulting firm that
provides software consultants who are knowledgeable in the JD Edwards suite
of enterprise software. It is a project-based company, with one to five or more
consultants working on a given project at one time. “Our projects typically
last about six months in duration, although we have small training assignments
that may just be a single week, and we have full-scale implementations that
last a couple years.” said Griffith. “In nearly all cases, we are
billing our clients on a time-and-materials basis with hourly rates for labor
and passing through our travel expenses without any markup.”

The firm currently has 17 employees and contractors who enter their time and
expenses into the EZ Web Time product on a weekly basis, and the firm uses QuickBooks
Premier Professional Services Edition for its back-office accounting/billing/payroll
functions. When asked what drove him to select EZtime, Griffith said: “As
the company grew, it became too burdensome for me to enter everyone’s
time and expenses each week from the information they submitted in an Excel
spreadsheet format. This also slowed down our invoicing cycle
(we generally invoice clients every week), which of course impacts cash flow.
When we were doing our search (about this time last year), this was the least
expensive product that met our needs. Most other systems that we considered
were MUCH more expensive because they contained a lot of features that we just
didn’t need. The EZ Web Time product matches up well with the functionality
that we were looking for at a very good price point.”

Griffith says one of the greatest benefits his firm has realized is that “our
consultants and contractors (we typically have about four 1099 contractors working
through GRT at any given point in time) are able to enter their time and expenses
(charged to jobs) on a weekly basis, and we are able to download this information
directly into QuickBooks without any re-keying of data.” Since consultants
can only charge time and expenses to the jobs they are assigned to, mistakes
are minimized, and because it’s web-based GRT’s consultants and
contractors are able to access the system for data entry just about anywhere
they are, any time of day.

Ease of Use/Program Set Up — 5 Stars
Because the system is web-based, there is no installation. For non-management
staff, EZtime’s interface is their web browser, allowing them to log in
from their work computer, home PC or virtually anywhere. The base of operations
is the secure and customizable Employee Zone portal, which provides tabbed access
to primary system functions such as entering timesheets and expenses or viewing
project assignments. The system can also act as a pseudo company Intranet, providing
users with company news or announcements and access to internal company contact

Two options are available for data entry: a Grid format or the Activity view.
The Grid format uses drop-down lists for entering projects and task information,
with entry fields for inputting time spent on a task. The Activity mode is timer-based,
with the option to have multiple clocks running simultaneously. Users can easily
add comments that can be included or omitted from customer invoices. The interface
for management houses the control Dashboard, which provides access to administrative
functions including setting up staff, customers, projects and work codes, and
one-click downloading of timesheets and expenses into QuickBooks, as well as
running reports and customizing the system. The look and feel of the interface,
preferences, workflow and terminology can be tailored to suit a business’
needs. New staff and clients are created in QuickBooks and then synched into
the EZtime system.

Management Functions — 3 Stars
EZtime can support as many staff and clients as the business’ version
of QuickBooks, but is more suited to smaller businesses and has limited support
for multiple billing rates per staff. However, administrative users have the
ability to override, markup/markdown or otherwise edit entries to make it more
amenable to those special circumstances. As noted earlier, all customer, job,
employee, vendor, item and account information is maintained in QuickBooks,
which eases most tasks associated with creating new entries. The program includes
some workflow management capabilities, including creation of project assignments
and routing of timesheet and expense entries for review and approval. Along
this line, the administrative Dashboard includes a Pending Tasks section, which
notifies management users of timesheets and expenses that are awaiting download
and review.

The company also offers an optional program called Outlook TimeCard that allows
e-mail time and expense entries, integrating Outlook with QuickBooks and providing
the other features of EZtime. This system also enables appointments entered
in Outlook to be converted into timesheets, with additional features such as
group calendaring and scheduling.

Billing & Reporting — 2 Stars
Access to timesheet reports is available on the Dashboard, with options for
filtering the timesheets by date and various status levels, including submitted,
on-hold, pending download, pending approval and time off. Summaries of time
and expense by employee or client are also available. Timesheet audit trails
can also be generated for DCAA compliance. Most reporting and analysis functions
are performed through QuickBooks. Similarly, all invoicing activities are handled
through QuickBooks.

Integration — 3.5 Stars
The system is designed to work hand-in-hand with a small business’ QuickBooks
system, with all data maintained in that program after timesheets have been
downloaded from the web interface. This process requires only a single click
to synchronize the data. As noted above, the optional TimeCard application integrates
with Outlook. The vendor also produces a more powerful time and billing system
called TimeRewards 4.0, which shares the same interface as EZtime and can migrate
data directly from the lower-end program if a business scales up to that system.
EZtime allows PDA and Blackberry data entry.

User Support & Help — 5 Stars
EZtime’s interface, for both administrators and staff, is exceptionally
easy to use, with intuitive workflow-based task icons and other general features
that make the system a no-brainer. The system includes a well-built web-based
Help section that includes a searchable knowledgebase and (just in case) training
videos for employees with sections on entering timesheets and expenses. Support
via e-mail or toll-free call is included at no additional cost. Because the
system is web-based, all program updates are performed by the vendor.

2005 Overall Rating: 3.5 Stars