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2012 Review of

Power Steering Software –

From the September 2012 review of time and billing systems.

Best Fit: Medium and large firms and businesses seeking a cloud-based time and expense tracking, management and invoicing solution.


  • Web-based solution allows remote access and lessens IT burdens
  • Highly customizable user interface and reporting options
  • Strong project management tools
  • Intuitive, informative management dashboards
  • Includes PTO accrual management functions
  • Integrates with several accounting & payroll solutions

Potential Limitations

  • Feature set is designed for practices with more than 10 users, even supporting over 1,000.
  • User training recommended for optimal productivity is a completely web-based time and expense management program available in two versions. The Project and Billing edition reviewed here offers time tracking and invoicing capabilities as they relate to client projects, with extensive project controls, budgeting, forecasting and analysis tools. The Time and Attendance edition is focused more on tracking time and labor costs, budgeting and payroll processing within a single organization. The systems are offered and hosted by PowerSteering Software, formerly Tenrox, which also allows firms or businesses to host the system on their own servers.

Basic System Functions: 4.75 Stars opens into a browser interface that is heavily customizable for each user, allowing access only to those functions that a particular user needs. For base staff, this may include only the ability to enter their own time and expense data, which is then routed to a supervisor for approval, and who can see reporting, billing and other functions of the program.

The primary work screen offers a vertical navigation menu on the left and a quick link icon bar at the top of the screen providing links to entry tasks, financial management, processes, system setup, reports and tools. Both of these menus can also be customized by the user. The program is not specifically designed for accounting firms, but the extensive customization options allow it to be easily tailored to the needs of firms or other professional organizations. The program can support businesses with 10 or more timekeeping staff, and is scalable enough to support large entities with more than 1,000.

Time Management Capabilities: 5 Stars

Timesheet offers multiple methods of time and expense data entry, along with template sheets that can be customized by users. The primary method of entry is a spreadsheet view on which users select clients, projects and tasks and can then enter up to a week of activity. The sheet also offers options for entering non-billable firm activities or vacation, and provides access to notes and a timesheet history, as well as icons for accessing an expense report and their personal calendar.

For office and personnel management purposes, the system offers an “In/Out” tracker that helps determine when staff are in the office, when they are involved in tasks such as development, training or meetings, and can also track hours worked, PTO and other accruals. Vacation and sick leave management tools also allow users to submit requests, which are then submitted to their supervisor through the program.

As with time sheets and expense reports, the program’s multi-step approval process alerts the supervisor to data entries and HR requests, and allows users to track the status of these items. All approved time off appears in the individual’s calendar, and also on the master calendar of the supervisor, enabling them to easily see the availability of all staff.

The program’s expense tracking utility supports multiple currencies, with current exchange rate automatically pulled into calculations. The system takes a broad view of project life cycles, from managing tasks, tracking, billing and analyzing and forecasting productivity and revenue. Project management options include the ability to track any number of engagements per client, with staff rates variable based on client, project, staff or other factors.

Invoicing Functions: 4.75 Stars

Following time and expense sheet entry and eventual approval through the firm management, client invoicing can be performed individually or through the invoice batch manager. Billing can be prepared on a set periodic basis (monthly, weekly, etc), at job completion, at budget limits, at percentage complete, or other times. Recurring invoices can also be set to be automatically prepared.

The system includes full project costing and budgeting, including flexible cost rules for hourly, fixed, date or state-based milestones, with the ability to quickly compare budget versus actual project time and cost. Timesheet supports purchase orders and tracking time and expenses against each PO, with the ability to cap those items based on the PO. The system is designed to integrate with external accounting programs for financial and accounts receivable management.

As noted previously, Timesheet offers extensive customization of virtually all parts of the user interface, reporting, invoices, workflow processes and other functions, enabling firms and businesses to implement it around their needs.

Management Features: 5 Stars

Management users have access to numerous dashboards that display real-time data in various views, including spreadsheets and graphical charts. Users can customize the data displayed, from period productivity comparisons, to client billing and outstanding balances, using simple drag and drop features.

Timesheet has a library of time and expense reports available, including tracking project costs through budget versus actual, and analysis of cost information. Administrators can set up user and role based profiles that enable access or restrict users to particular functions, as well as restricting users to only tasks and clients that they have been assigned to.

Integration & Data Management: 4.75 Stars

Reports and invoices can be output to PDF, Word, Excel or directly to third party programs, including QuickBooks, Sage, Microsoft Dynamics, SAP Business One, SharePoint, Microsoft Project, SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft, ADP, Ceridian, PayChex and Invoices can be emailed directly to clients from within the program, but it does not offer integrated electronic payment reception functions.

As a totally web-based solution, the system can be accessed by authorized users from any location, and mobile apps are available for iPhone, BlackBerry and Android phones and devices.

Help/Support: 5 Stars

Within the program, Timesheet offers a traditional help utility, along with demonstrations of how to perform specific functions and guides for users, managers and administrators. The company’s online support website offers FAQs, a knowledgebase, video tutorials and a user forum. Live technical is included with the subscription pricing for the program. Since it is a hosted cloud solution (for most businesses), all system updates are performed automatically by the vendor.

Summary & Pricing

Designed for mid-sized and larger organizations, is a powerful project management-focused time and expense management application, offering extensive cost and budgeting control functions, along with built-in personal time management calendaring and PTO accruals management. Pricing for the Express Edition, which is geared toward firms or businesses with 10 to 30 users, starts at $10 per user per month, and varies depending upon specific modules and integrations. Versions of the system are also available for organizations extending to over 1,000 users.

2012 Overall Rating: 5 Stars


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