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TPS Software — TPS Time & Billing

From the Nov. 2007 Review of Time
& Billing Systems

TPS Time & Billing offers comprehensive time and expense tracking functions
along with invoicing capabilities. The program, designed primarily for accounting
professionals in small and midsize offices, also offers contact management,
calendaring, AR, due-date management, client correspondence templates, managerial
reporting and web-based remote entry capabilities. TPS integrates with QuickBooks,
with Outlook for contact management and communication functions, and with Word
for invoicing and forms customization. It supports flat and time-based billing
with up to 20 rates per staff member, and it supports any number of clients,
billable staff and job codes. Likewise, the program can be used to support any
number of businesses. Pricing for TPS Time & Billing starts at $279 for
a single-user license; additional users are $99 each.

Ease of Use/Navigation Features — 5 Stars
TPS opens into a well-designed Windows interface that starts out mostly blank
and grey, with an icon toolbar across the top that provides access to the primary
features within the system. Selection lists for clients, employees and work
codes are easily accessible, opening into a sortable, filterable and searchable
spreadsheet list that includes name, phone, e-mail and address information,
as well as client ID. Built-in wizards and guides assist in setup tasks, including
the creation of new business entities, clients, employees, invoice templates,
and setting up work codes and billing rates. Entry of basic client and employee
data takes place on tabbed entry screens that include multiple user-definable
fields for tracking specific information, as well as the ability to set tax
rates, finance charge settings, billing options, assign clients to a specific
staff member or partner, and the ability to set client status, group clients
into type or industry, or classify as prospects. The system’s Outlook
integration allows appointments in TPS to be easily transferred over to Outlook.
Staff calendars are viewable by others with appropriate access.

Time and expense data-entry tasks in TPS Time & Billing are centered around
clock timers and a spreadsheet. Time clocks, or stopwatches, allow users to
have multiple timers running simultaneously, while the user can easily choose
the appropriate client and project/tasks from a drop-down selection list. Timers
can be paused, if necessary, and, when stopped, they transfer billing data to
appropriate timesheets. The time entry spreadsheet is presented in a calendar
format and provides a color-coded display of all entries for the current user,
helping to identify start and stop times for each task and client. For redundant
or recurring projects, professionals can easily copy timesheets already in the
system. While entering time data, the program alerts users to outstanding WIPs.

Management Functions — 4.5 Stars
TPS includes excellent security functions that enable blocking of virtually
any aspect of data to unauthorized users, even down to individual staff billing
rates. The program also provides due-date monitoring functions, support for
virtually any number of billable employees, with up to 20 rates per staff member,
support for multiple companies, quick access to client histories with drilldown
capabilities, write-up and write-down functions, and the ability to group client
businesses. The time and billing system allows setting of budgets per client,
with alerts that notify users of nearing thresholds and management approval
required for overrides. TPS also provides a strong AR feature that includes
the ability to set individual finance rules per client, and WIP + AR analysis
tools. Since the program is designed specifically for accounting firms, it uses
terminology appropriate to the profession.

The system can also be set to bill at a flat rate for specific tasks, and
eases the tracking and addition of expenses (with fees) to client invoices.
Various reports and analysis tools enable administrative management of firm,
client, staff, and task productivity and profitability. The system also allows
tracking of billing targets for individual staff. Employee CPE and other educational
items can also be managed through TPS.

Contact management functions sync with Microsoft Outlook, helping to retain
a singular repository of client data that includes search and filter options,
while TPS’ calendaring functions can automatically create events in Outlook
based on entries in the time and billing program. TPS supports remote data entry
that is synched back into the system, and offers options for Palm and CE-based
PDA users.

Billing & Reporting — 5 Stars
The program’s invoicing and reports functions provide multiple options
for creating client-ready bills, including Quick Bill (which transfers selected
items), Detail Bill (which gives greater information), Provisional Markup, and
Progress Billing for interim invoicing. Review functions enable mark-ups and
mark-downs, as well as the addition of custom paragraphs and other comments.
AR and AR aging reports are solid, and TPS offers standard reports with drilldown
functionality for WIPs, financials (cash or accrual), productivity analyses
(work code, activity, employee, client), and lists. All invoices and reports
can be edited and customized in Microsoft Word and other formats for editing
or data analysis.

Integration — 4.5 Stars
In addition to the previously mentioned Word editing capabilities for reports
and invoices, TPS Time & Billing can export reports to PDF, Crystal Reports
or *.CSV formats. The program’s integration with Outlook enhances contact
management functions and enables calendar items to be shared between the two
systems. TPS also offers import and export of client data with QuickBooks. The
system does not offer direct client e-mail options.

User Support & Help — 4.5 Stars
TPS includes right-click menus and a standard Help utility, while the company’s
online support center offers program downloads, training videos, client training,
FAQs, and a client login for one-on-one online support. Most of these functions
require an annual support contract, which costs $75 for the first user and $35
for each thereafter. Support contracts include unlimited phone assistance, as

2007 Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars