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Timesheet software/service
5

Timesheet software/service

Timesheet software/service

(OP)
I have a two person consulting engineering firm, hopefully growing to 5-10ish eventually. I am currently tracking time with spreadsheets but would rather use software. Can anyone recommend a package? Ideally it would feature:
- Basic project based time tracking. No fancy analytics etc required.
- Web and/or mobile access
- Works out of the box

It seems like there are a zillion timesheet packages out there, but they are either wildly expensive or not right for consulting engineering.

RE: Timesheet software/service

(OP)
Deltek is amazing and super powerful - We used to have it at my old firm where there were ~200 staff. It was also super expensive (~$100,000 including customization fees) and required its own server. Do they have a more modest version for a small firm like mine? I just want something simple.

RE: Timesheet software/service

(OP)
Quickbooks would be perfect, except it isn't set up very well for adding staff for timesheet input. It also seems like it tracks time by client not by project. Am I wrong about Quickbooks? Do you use Quickbooks for time tracking?

RE: Timesheet software/service

I HATE Deltek! It's overly complicated for a small firm. I'd recommend Quickbooks.

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge." Ivana Trump

RE: Timesheet software/service

(OP)
casseopia: Is it possible to get Quickbooks to track time by project not by client?

RE: Timesheet software/service

I used Quickbooks when I had my own firm over 13 years ago. We tracked our costs by project. I wasn't involved with the initial setup, but each project number included a client code as part of the number. After about 5-6 people, we had to graduate to a different system. I think it was called Timberline. I've used Deltek for the last 3 years working for others. Before that, the company I worked for had their own home-grown software. Around the SF Bay area, there are a lot of independent consultants who will keep the books for you on a part-time basis. I have a friend who does exactly that. Quickbooks is her preferred system if that's of any use.

I don't know about web access, but I can't imagine it couldn't be done. I'd definitely recommend that you have someone knowledgeable set it up then give you some basic training. When you can, sign yourself up for a seminar to really learn the ins and outs. I managed with little training with Quickbooks, but Timberline was far too complicated for me.

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge." Ivana Trump

RE: Timesheet software/service

We use BillQuick-easy to add projects, clients and staff. You can generate reports by project or person. Not too expensive. Don't know too much about access from mobile devices-we just use it in the office.

RE: Timesheet software/service

If you want simple, you could try Timeless Time & Expense or Timeless Project Tracking (http://www.magsoftwrx.com/). I've been using Time & Expense for about a year and it does great for timecards and expenses and decent for invoicing. It's a very easy piece of software to use. However, it's not accounting software, which is why I am transitioning to QuickBooks.

==========
"Is it the only lesson of history that mankind is unteachable?"
--Winston S. Churchill

RE: Timesheet software/service

There are also outside services that will do this for you. Turn in your time sheets and they create the payroll and even billing??

RE: Timesheet software/service

We use Deltek. As an engineer it works pretty well. As the designated IT guy, I don't like it too much. Can be big and clumsy at times and forces you into dependence on Internet Explorer.

RE: Timesheet software/service

(OP)
fel3: This Timeless Time & Expense thing looks much closer to the mark. I just want something that tracks time and adds up my hours automatically. I would imagine it is a compliment to Quickbooks, not a replacement, right?

RE: Timesheet software/service

(OP)
MiketheEngineer: Can you recommend a bookkeeping/invoicing service? For me the hard part about invoicing is time billing. Time billing is painful because you need to make sure the time was billed to the right project, that is a description of what was accomoplished during that time, and that you aren't billing more than they will pay, etc etc. I am hoping that some timesheet software will at least make the data management side of that a little more efficient.

Lump sum work is much more straightforward. Do the invoicing services really save a lot of time?

RE: Timesheet software/service

glass99:

QuickBooks Premier Professional (which I am currently setting up with assistance from my accountant) includes a timecard feature, but I don't know about the regular QuickBooks. The Timeless timecard is easier to use than the one in QB, partly because a lot more has to be set up in QB before you can properly use its timecard. The reason I am switching to QB is that it will do a whole lot more, but at the cost of added complexity and more time. The learning curve for Timeless is a few hours max. The learning curve for QB seems to be infinitely long. smile

In Timeless, projects are organized by client|project|subproject (=phase)|task|subtask. I'm not currently using the subtask level. Timeless is really flexible in how you call out each piece: you can use letters and numbers in any combination, which means it can adapt to your current project numbering scheme. QB will do the same, but again it takes more effort to set it up.

I also set up my company as a client and that's where all my overhead numbers go (e.g. Business Development, General Office, Holidays, etc.). I updated my overhead expense "tasks" to include the chart of account numbers my accountant set up for QB (I'm using both programs simultaneously until QB is completely set up).

If all you are looking for is a simple timecard and invoicing program, I don't think you can beat Timeless Time & Expense. I did a fair amount of research beforehand and concluded that Timeless was the best one out there for this purpose.

==========
"Is it the only lesson of history that mankind is unteachable?"
--Winston S. Churchill

RE: Timesheet software/service

(OP)
fel3,

That's great feedback. Sounds like you are set up much the same way I would like to be. Timeless seems like it does everything that BillQuick does but for a fraction of the cost. BillQuick does look good though.

My impression of Quickbooks is that its not a good timesheet program. The integration of timesheets right into your accounting software is obviously desirable, but it seems like a kind of crappy timesheet. One problem is that I have to buy another seat of QB for every user. A second problem is that its not really web based. Problem three is that it requires much setup. Problem 4 is I am not necessarily comfortable with staff having a login to the accounting software.

RE: Timesheet software/service

I find Deltek to be really frustrating software but we're still looking for a better replacement. We have lots of different clients that insist on new time codes - the system takes them but man, it drives me bonkers sometimes...when I'm trsvelling I often default to Excel because Deltek over the VPN is like watching paint dry.

RE: Timesheet software/service

We use this simple time tracking setup.

The software is called Time Doctor and it:
1. Is pretty simple to use. Works 'out of the box'
2. Provides an analaytics of your workday (just the essential information you need for your employees)
3. Accurately tracks the work hours
4. Encourages productivity

It works really great for us. Been using it for a while now. You can check them. They have this free 30 day trial. See if it will work for you too.

RE: Timesheet software/service

(OP)
beejohnny - thanks for the recommendation.

RE: Timesheet software/service

You're welcome sir! Glad to be of help :)

RE: Timesheet software/service

We use TimeLive for our time tracking and everyone seems to like it. It is simple and easily customizable. It's free so long as you are under 6 users, too. Web based and easy to access anywhere:

http://www.livetecs.com/


RE: Timesheet software/service

We have Deltek now (but we're ~30 ppl). We used Excel up to when we were ~15 people. It's free (assuming you use excel) and if you are good with named ranges, vlookups etc, it's amazing how much you can automate the process.

For 2 people, I won't suggest buying unnecessary software.

RE: Timesheet software/service

(OP)


verymadmac, CayleyFTW and SylvestreW - thank you for the suggestions. Seem like practical options.

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