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BQE Software — BillQuick

the Nov. 2006 Review of Time & Billing Systems

Over the
past few years, BillQuick has become one of the leading time and billing applications,
due in large part to the developers’ continued pursuit of integration
with the major accounting applications on the market. With last year’s
debut of Microsoft’s Small Business Accounting program, BQE immediately
worked on integration there, as well. It also integrates with Peachtree, QuickBooks
and MYOB, as well as with Intuit Complete Payroll for payroll and PayPal for
electronic invoice receipts. The system, which supports any number of clients
and staff and can bill using several methods, includes a variety of workflow
tools, project management capabilities, a document management system and online
payment functions for clients. Pricing is $395 for a two-user license of BillQuick
Basic and $795 for five users of BillQuick Pro. The company also develops Enterprise
and Lite versions of the system.

Ease of Use/Navigation Features — 5 Stars
Wizards guide most of the initial setup of clients, staff, projects and rates,
and BillQuick includes a series of templates based on various service professions
(accounting, legal, consulting, etc.) that speed users through the process of
getting started. The program opens to an inviting interface that uses a customizable
Navigator screen as the default work area. This screen offers large icons for
primary functions such as employee, client, vendor and project-related tasks,
which provide users with specific task options when clicked. The customizable
Navigator screen can also be set to display business indicators such as cash
flow, and can include links to reports and frequently needed functions. The
system also maintains a tabbed menu and an icon menu across the top of the screen.
Client and staff directories are easily searchable and filterable.

Staff time and expense entry is very simple and intuitive, with options for
entering data from a calendar view, on timesheets or from BillQuick’s
timers, which automatically populate related areas of the time data sheet. Additionally,
the system can integrate with Outlook in a manner that allows creation of timesheets
from calendar activities. The system uses color coding on timesheets to note
billable and non-billable items, as well as other issues, and the timesheets
simplify data entry by providing multiple pull-down selection lists.

Management Functions — 5 Stars
The BillQuick system allows an unlimited number of clients and staff, with the
ability to bill based on fixed fee, recurring or hourly billing methods. The
program can also be set to bill against retainers or other prepayment methods,
and management can set minimum billable hours or spending caps that limit billable
work to a client and notify appropriate staff when limits are reached. BillQuick
supports default cost rates and regular and overtime bill rates per staff member.
Via BillQuick’s fee schedules, the number of rates are unlimited and adjust
automatically when time is recorded. The rates can vary based on Client, Project
and/or Activity, allowing for multiple rates for a single employee on a single
project depending on the service provided. It supports both client-based and
project-based billable rates, and includes project-phasing capabilities.

Among its more notable features, the system’s project management functions
allow grouping, cloning and merging of projects. Also, since the system keeps
track of both actual and billable time separately, users can more easily manage
productivity based on tasks and staff members. The program automates sending
invoices via e-mail with any e-mail program and can receive payments electronically
through a PayPal system that was added last year. The company also develops
several add-on modules, including Agent, which ensures that employees complete
their time cards when due, automates generation and delivery of reports and
alerts to warn managers when projects are almost over budget or when aging is
too high. Other add-ons include eTools for remote data sync; the Web Suite for
web-based time, expense, client, project, invoicing and report access; and PDA
functionality for Palm and CE devices.

Billing & Reporting — 5 Stars
The BillQuick system includes a wizard that can guide the user through the more
than 400 reports and invoice templates, which can be customized from within
the system or with Word and Excel, making the addition of logos or other visual
elements simple. A collection of managerial reports, including productivity
analyses, provide excellent insight into the firm’s strengths and weaknesses.
All of the system’s reports can be produced paperlessly, whether for electronic
distribution or for saving in a paperless environment. Output options include
*.PDF, HTML, Excel, Word, XML and most text formats. As noted above, invoices
can be e-mailed directly to clients from within the system, and clients can
make payments via a secure PayPal link.

Integration — 5 Stars
Many of BillQuick’s integration capabilities have already been mentioned,
including the ability to share data with the major small business accounting
applications from QuickBooks, Microsoft, Peachtree and MYOB, as well as payroll
integration with Intuit Complete Payroll. Additionally, the system integrates
with MS Outlook for contact management and mail functions, and the program can
convert Timeslips and Wind2 data.

User Support & Help — 5 Stars
BillQuick is exceptionally easy to use, and the inclusion of wizards throughout
most of the setup areas definitely aids in this process. The program includes
an impressive array of other Help features, as well, including right-click menus,
content-sensitive assistance, shortcuts and templates, and the Help utility
includes a FAQ section. The company’s online support website provides
downloadable updates, tutorials, a knowledgebase and various training options.

2006 Overall Rating: 5 Stars