From the April/May 2008 Review
of Contractor/Construction Accounting Systems
Sage Timberline Office continues to dominate the construction and property
management industries with its comprehensive financial and operations software
product. Offering upwards of 50 modules, Sage Timberline Office is aimed at
larger specialty and service contractors, commercial and industrial contractors,
and residential builders.
Learning Curve/ Ease of Use — 5 Stars
The main screen of Sage Timberline Office features a drop-down menu bar at the
top, with a series of icons directly below. A handy tool for new users is Setup
Central, which is series of setup wizards that can assist in setting up the
GL, Cash Management, AP, AR, Billing, and Job Cost modules. Another organization
feature is the Sage Timberline Office Desktop, which is a modified homepage
that allows users to organize frequently used functions and daily tasks for
easy access. Report access and links to websites and various third-party applications
can also be set up. Having all of this information available in one screen makes
system access and navigation easier than ever. As always, the Help function
is comprehensive and able to answer many of the questions that may hamper new
users. Customization capability is excellent with more than 250 user-defined
fields for additional levels of data tracking in addition to the numerous data
that Sage Timberline Office automatically tracks for the user. Projects can
be tracked based on a variety of criteria, including by job or weekly, monthly,
quarterly or annually. Job IDs can use up to 10 alphanumeric characters, and
cost codes can utilize up to 12 characters. The Equipment Tracking module allows
users to organize and maintain equipment costs and revenue. Estimates can be
created quickly, using a material, cost or labor basis, depending on the potential
job and business needs.
Modules & Functionality — 5 Stars
Sage Timberline Office offers more than 50 modules, including accounting modules
such as GL, AR, AP, Billing, Job Cost, Equipment Cost and Payroll. Estimating
modules available include Model Estimating, ePlan Takeoff and the numerous estimating
databases. Procurement, Production Management, Project Management and Property
Management categories are also available, each offering an abundance of specialized
modules. Reporting & Other Tools includes Crystal Reports, the previously
mentioned Desktop, ODBC, Report Designer, and a variety of Service modules such
as Service Agreements, Service Inventory, Service Management and Service Purchasing.
A variety of Development Partner products compatible with Sage Timberline Office
are also available.
Productivity Tools — 5 Stars
The Workflow Centers are designed to help new users learn to navigate the system
comfortably. Displayed on the main user interface screen, the centers can guide
users through common tasks found in modules such as Job Cost, AP, AR and Cash
Management. The Information Assistant provides non-users with access to company
financial and management reports, security permitting. The Document Management
module is an excellent way to reduce paper. Scanned or computer-generated documents
such as invoices, purchase orders, estimates or correspondence can be attached
to Sage Timberline Office files. This allows for the electronic storage of such
documents, which can later be retrieved by classification. Scanned or system-generated
invoices can also be routed to various departments for review and approval.
My Assistant is an organizational feature that assists with task management.
It comes with 125 pre-defined tasks that can be utilized or users can simply
add their own.
Import/Export/ Integration — 5 Stars
ODBC allows users to easily import and export data from a variety of third-party
applications as well as Microsoft Excel, Word and Access. Customer and estimating
data can be easily imported from a variety of applications, as well. Pricing
software can be accessed using the TRA-SER Integrator, which links directly
to pricing programs. Sage Timberline Office modules are all designed to integrate
and can be purchased as needed, allowing for the addition of modules at a later
date if needed while still maintaining system-wide integration.
Reporting — 5 Stars
Reporting options are excellent with more than 700 standard reports available.
Reports can be customized using the Report Designer module. As well, the Financial
Statement Designer allows users to design and modify financial statements using
templates or design them from scratch. All reports can be saved to the toolbar
for future access. The Inquiry Designer provides immediate access to more than
100 standard inquiries that can be customized for staff members in order to
provide a quick snapshot of accounting and financial data. For further customization,
Crystal Reports can be used.
Support & Training — 5 Stars
Sage Timberline Office offers three levels of product support: BasicCare (which
provides access to the Knowledgebase along with software notices and alerts),
EssentialCare (which offers customers all BasicCare benefits along with unlimited
telephone, fax or e-mail support) or PremierCare (which offers all the benefits
of the other two levels along with personalized assistance from an assigned
account manager). The SmartStart feature provides all new users with 60 days
of unlimited support. Sage Timberline Office contains an excellent system Help
function that will answer many questions. More comprehensive training options
are available in the classroom, onsite and online.
Relative Value — 5 Stars
Sage Timberline Office is ideal for medium to large construction companies high-end
construction companies and specialty contractors. Costs vary widely and can
range from $7,500 to more than $30,000, depending on modules purchased and number
of users. For construction-related businesses looking for exceptional customization
capability and module availability, Sage Timberline Office is definitely worth
2008 Overall Rating: 5 Stars