task set. In many cases, data entry
can be performed on that screen,
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though other tasks may require that
click on a button to bring up additional screens.
The time and billing functions
are pretty clear-cut. Data entry is
done with the familiar time card
analog, and expenses can also be
entered on a similar screen. Mul-
tiple timers are available so that
you don’t have to close one client
to time work on another. There are
several boilerplate invoices, and
while they can be edited, there is
not as much customization as some
of the other T&B packages provide.
This lack of customizability is also
true of the available reports, though
filters are offered to let you zero in
on the desired information.
Timeslips by Sage
Sage North America
One of the first specifically targeted
applications available for business
microcomputers was Timeslips
running under the CP/M operating
system. It was modeled to emulate
the paper timeslip collection methods used by many law offices, and
became an instant success — to the
extent that the name has become a
generic label for the application.
The core paradigm of the application — emulating little paper
slips that contain the time spent on
a particular client matter — hasn’t
changed much over the years. The
usability and feature set, however,
have evolved considerably. In recent years, Timeslips has adopted
the familiar flow-chart-type navigation interface that most Sage products use. A dashboard showing the
current summaries of important
data serves as the jumping-off point
and allows a manager to ascertain
key balances at a glance.
There are a number of nice enhancements in the latest version.
There is better reporting of any slip
notes appended during data entry,
and a new report can highlight clients that have time and expense
data but have yet to be billed.
Also new is the ability to parse
through data entry screens using
the Enter key, rather than the Tab
key. Since many users enter data
using the numeric keypad, it’s intuitive to use the Enter key to progress, and speeds up the data entry
process, sometimes considerably.
Timeslips still provides the ability
to customize screens and reports,
even allowing you to define your
own fields, and is out in front of the
pack in this respect. And features
from previous versions, including
the ability to e-mail invoices and
tight integration with Microsoft applications such as Excel and Outlook, are still an important part of
Timeslips’ feature set.
It would be easy to classify
Timeslips as an “oldie but a goodie.”
But the truth of the matter is that
Timeslips still sets the bar for time
and billing. AT