From the Nov. 2008 Review of
Time & Billing Systems
TPS Time & Billing Software is designed exclusively for tax and accounting
practices and more specifically for the small tax and accounting firm (up to
60 employees). If your firm needs a simple Time & Billing program with a
clean interface, this package is worth considering. Each year, the vendor’s
management team surveys its users to gain a better understanding of its user’s
demographics, to get feedback on the functionality of the program and to ask
for suggestions on possible improvements to the program. The suggestions that
are received get reviewed by management and are then voted on by the user base
for possible inclusion in future versions. A single-user license is $299; each
additional user costs $129, and there is no difference in pricing if running
on a network.
Ease of Use & Navigation Features – 5 Stars
Simple design is the best way I can describe the user interface. The main menu
consists of a set of icons across the top of the screen. Each is self-explanatory
and makes for easy training. The client screen has several columns of information,
and each column can be sorted by clicking the top of the column. This makes
finding client information a snap. Clients can be assigned a group, like a family,
and you can see how profitable groups/families of clients are to your firm.
You are never more than a click away from changing to a different main menu
item and moving from client entry to time entry or anywhere else in the program.
The user permission settings make it easy to set up staff with only the features
they will be using. Based on the security settings you give your staff, they
will only be able to see the icons of the items you give them permission to
see. If you want some of your staff to only track time and set it that way,
then they will only see the time entry icon in the main menu. The time entry
screen is very clean, and entering time via a time-sheet or a live timer are
both available options.
|“We have an eight-person CPA firm located in Clifton,
New Jersey. We prepare audited, reviewed and compiled financial statements.
We have about 700 clients and prepare every kind of tax return imaginable.
We have been in business for about 30 years. We chose TPS because it is
designed for accountants only. I like the fact that they know and understand
my needs, and they are constantly adding new functions and features that
will make my practice more profitable. The most beneficial aspect of the
program for our practice is the reporting — the analysis I get from
all the time entered and billing done. I’m able to easily see which
clients are ones we’d like to replicate. And because we know the profile,
we can target our business development to locating more of these type of
clients. TPS also helps us ensure that we have our staff performing the
functions they were hired to do, and we’re able to see which employees
are excelling. Finally, TPS helps us zero in on the type of work that is
most profitable. I would recommend that new users utilize the vendor’s
support group to help guide the set up and to help maximize what will come
out in the analysis six months and six years from now. The support staff
knows its stuff and is able to help you understand what the “best
practice” is in any of the functions.”
Management Functions – 4.5 Stars
There are a few management functions I found somewhat unusual but very helpful.
A time overlay can be utilized so managers can view how much time a staff person
has recorded for different intervals such as a week, month or year compared
to the total amount of time a staff person entered for the same intervals the
prior year. A manager can see specific time entries for various staff people
and make changes if necessary.
While in the client screen, you can right-click a client and quickly see a
snapshot of the client’s up-to-date WIP, A/R and history. This makes it
easy to see details of billed transactions, open items, etc. Filtering capabilities
are offered in the client history tab. For those who want due-date monitoring,
this program can do it. The due-date monitoring feature makes it easy to track
projects so things won’t fall through the cracks.
Billing & Reporting – 5 Stars
Standard billing can be set up on the client setup screen. You have the option
of billing by time or you can set up a fixed fee that acts like a retainer against
the monthly time incurred. You also have the option to relieve WIP whenever
you want. If you are accustomed to fixed-fee billing, this is a nice feature
that allows you to measure the incurred time over a period against your fixed-fee
While in the billing screen, you can filter unbilled time by manager or partner.
Seeing the WIP on-screen makes it simple to generate a bill on the spot. You
can progress bill parts or all of the outstanding time, and there are options
to apply a markup or markdown as you are billing. Standard phrases can be set
up to use while billing, which can make the task of getting billing out much
quicker and more uniform. You even have the option to pull phrases from prior
invoices to use on the current bill. Invoices are exported into Microsoft Word
prior to printing. Reports are abundant and can be customized to your needs.
All report-ing and customization is done in Crystal Reports.
Integration – 4 Stars
TPS’s integration is limited to Microsoft Office products as well as very
limited integration with QuickBooks. As previously mentioned, depending on your
work environment, this can be a limitation or no limitation at all. Outlook
integration, in this case, offers real-time bi-directional synchronization,
and I found this feature to be very useful.
User Support & Help – 4.5 Stars
The program has built-in Help screens, and new user training is available when
you purchase the software. Sixty days of toll-free technical support is also
included with the purchase. Annual renewal fees are $75 for the first user plus
$45 for each additional user per year.
2008 Overall Rating: