From the April/May 2006 Review of
Construction Accounting Software
Sage Timberline Office, designed for the construction and real estate industries,
serves a variety of large specialty and service contractors. Ideal for those
that need to track equipment cost, this latest version contains several software
upgrades and enhancements throughout the program and contains numerous additions
to preferences, reports and search features.
LEARNING CURVE — 5 Stars
Installation of Sage Timberline Office Desktop (Desktop) was uncomplicated.
All purchased modules must have an activation code entered during setup. You
can also install sample data with which to work. The Desktop provides access
to all installed Timberline modules. After opening the Desktop feature, you’ll
find links to all modules under Tasks. Clicking on a module will expand to display
all of the functions that are found in that particular module. The Information
Center provides access to various links on the Sage Software homepage. Fully
customizable, the Desktop feature lets you create groups and shortcuts for frequently
used items. Pre-defined templates are included to speed up setup. A drop-down
menu bar is located at the top of each data-entry screen. A row of icons is
found directly below. At the bottom of the screen is a series of buttons that
provides access to various features found within that module. Open Database
Connectivity (ODBC) provides easy integration with a variety of third-party
MODULES & FUNCTIONALITY — 5 Stars
The program offers over 50 modules to suit a variety of construction and service-based
industries. Divided into categories such as Accounting, Estimating, Procurement,
Production Management, Project Management, Property Management, Service Management
and Reporting, you can choose the modules you need now and add the rest as needed.
New features include the option to use the Bill Quick Invoice feature for contract
jobs and the option to now re-open canceled work orders. The new Desktop allows
you to organize required job-related functions onto a homepage, where you can
launch your required tasks. The Part Description field has been expanded to
40 characters and the Commitment Change Order functions now provide you with
the choice to view the commitment history and print any corresponding commitment
documentation. Contract templates provide for quick setup of new contracts,
and customized billing types can be defined according to each specific contract.
The Equipment Cost module tracks usage, repair and maintenance costs and any
related revenues. Job numbers can be up to 10 alphanumeric characters long and
can contain up to three sections. An unlimited number of user-defined cost categories
can be tracked in the Job Cost module, along with job cost information that
includes estimates, purchase orders, subcontracts, production information and
Change order data can easily be tracked, including original change order authorization,
status and any internal order changes. Customized detail can be attached to
each job in the system by using electronic notes and the file attachment feature.
The Service Management module tracks work order status, and the new dispatch
board allows you to dispatch technicians based on work priority and track any
existing and new service agreements. Payroll information can be entered by job,
cost code, union code, employee or class, and can easily handle multiple job
costs and multi-state payroll processing.
IMPORT/EXPORT/INTEGRATION — 5 Stars
ODBC capability means easy integration with third-party software, including
Microsoft Word, Excel and Access. The TRA-SER Integrator provides a direct link
from Trade Service Corporation’s pricing software (TRA-SER). All modules
available in Sage Timberline Office Desktop integrate seamlessly. Users can
rest assured that any new modules purchased in the future will integrate with
those already purchased. And the Payroll module will easily integrate with time
tracking or time entry software.
SUPPORT & TRAINING — 5 Stars
The program offers Smart Start, which provides all new users with 60 days of
software maintenance, along with unlimited telephone, e-mail and fax support.
Other support options include various subscription plans: BasicCare, which provides
24/7 access to the company’s knowledgebase, along with software updates;
EssentialCare, which adds unlimited telephone and e-mail support; and PremierCare,
which includes all benefits of the other two plans along with an assigned account
manager. Training options include both classroom and onsite training. The company
also has authorized training centers located throughout the country. The Help
feature is excellent and will answer many questions that arise during the initial
REPORTING — 5 Stars
Over 500 standard reports are available, all of which can be easily modified.
Frequently used reports can be saved on the Desktop for quick access. The Report
Designer can be used to customize font types, page breaks and even field sizes.
For further customization, you can also use Crystal Reports.
RELATIVE VALUE — 5 Stars
The cost for Sage Timberline Office Desktop will vary widely, depending on the
type of business and the modules needed. The typical cost for a new system would
start at about $7,500. This includes a one-year subscription to EssentialCare
support. Starter packages are also available for smaller companies with fewer
software requirements. This is an ideal product for construction and contracting
companies who desire excellent integration, modular flexibility and top-notch
job and equipment costing features.
2006 Overall Rating — 5 Stars