General Practice, Solo & Small Firm DivisionMagazine
Timeslips®…When Time IS Money!
By Alan Pearlman
In 1985, a company called Timeslips® created its first time and expense tracking product. Since then, the company has continued to improve its product development, and its latest release, Timeslips® Deluxe Version 9, once again embodies everything discovered during years of office management research.
The new version is a significant upgrade to an already excellent program for anyone who keeps and records time—which for all of us is a necessity, or else we are out of business. The program tracks time and expenses, produces customized billings, and generates vital management reports that support budgeting and accounting processes. Previous programs have done this in a very capable fashion, but the upgrade offers additional improved features that promote easy use, enhanced reporting ability, and a faster program.
To get started using Version 9, you simply choose your profession from a menu; automatically, the correct office format is designed for you! Next, the Navigator flow chart graphically shows you the basics of billing and reporting. This navigator is a flexible, foolproof interface that lets you work quickly through your time and billing needs.
The Timeslips billing assistant provides a summary of each client’s bill in a simple, understandable format that allows you to make changes and see the results quickly, thereby cutting hours off your normal review and billing correction process.
A hot topic that most law firms are thinking about, if not already utilizing, is value billing. Deluxe Version 9 allows several flat fee arrangements. No matter whether you assign the flat fee to a client, individual, project, or case, you can easily bill for the correct amount. By using the value billing feature in Timeslips, you take advantage of the productivity gains that your firm has invested in! In addition to traditional hourly billing, Timeslips can track your jobs and/or work by phases, which allows you to bill a percentage of the entire job on each bill.
Reporting client information has also gotten a lot easier. The program allows for aged accounts receivable, user history reports, productivity reports, client history reports, flat fee performance reports; and analysis of time reports, budget, and overhead. If these aren’t enough, you can also create user-customizable reports.
One example of the features that have been improved upon in Version 9 is the ability to customize the Tab Order. This allows you to enter slips more quickly by eliminating the need to tab through unused or retainable fields. Likewise, when you create a new slip, the name or reference field, as well as dates, can be copied from the previous slip, further reducing the time you spend on slips.
A feature called Slip List displays a list of slips that you can view or print in several different formats. Client slips, user slips, those recently modified, and those with timers running can all be viewed with the slip list. You can also view by date range or category (time slips, expense slips). The value here is that when you combine a series of slips for the day with the slip list, you will have totals for billable and unbillable amounts for both time spent and slip value. Now you have a running total of your entire day’s work.
Deluxe Edition 9 also has enhanced as well as streamlined reporting capabilities. The Report Wizardpolitely asks the user a few questions and comes up with a list of reports that match what has been requested. You can also use the wizard to set up a selection, sort, and even print the report—a real time saver. Another useful feature is Personal Abbreviations, which allows each user to have an individual set of up to 512 abbreviations to accompany the already existing database abbreviations.
The new edition also offers improved billing features. Task-based billing codes can be fully supported, with name capacity expanded to 35 characters instead of requiring a nickname when printing bills. You can also add a history section to the bill, showing the year to date or inception to date for all, some, or single bills. This allows you to customize the range of information you can provide your client.
An outstanding feature of Version 9 is the ability to store inactive clients separately from active cases without losing any vital information. With one click I have the ability to hide clients, transactions, slips, histories, and other data. At any time, I can easily call them up, which helps, for example, with year-end reporting. You can also run reports on who is hidden and the date they went into hiding. This feature makes it a lot simpler for me to keep track of my current clients and, at the same time, have access to my entire client database.
Better and Better
I have been using the Timeslips program for several years now, and I find the program keeps on getting better. I highly recommend Timeslips Version 9; if you believe that time is money, then this is the program for you. The new single-user version Level 1 retails for $179.95 and will allow records for up to two timekeepers.
Two additional levels (2 and 3) are available, for eight timekeepers at $399.95, and for 100 timekeepers at $999.95. Each level is a single-user system that is network ready as a one-station license. You may add stations to any level for $99.95 each. You can also upgrade to different levels as your needs grow.
If you want to link your accounting program to Timeslips, than look into the Timeslips Accounting Link (TAL). This can provide a seamless link between Timeslips programs and leading PC-based general ledger packages, allowing integrated billing and bookkeeping, and a total accounting environment. n
Alan Pearlman is an attorney, computer consultant, nationally syndicated columnist, and author of the best-selling book, The Busy Lawyer’s Guide to Microsoft Word for Windows ’95 , published by the West Group.