Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 8 seconds

If you are already familiar with the Imagine Time application, the just-released update is a significant improvement over the previously available version.  For those looking at it for the first time, you’ll be introduced to a product that gives a remarkably unique look to time and billing that can quickly be recognized as accountant-specific.  Retaining functionality that makes it a good fit for small businesses in need of a desktop time and billing application, Imagine integrates new navigation concepts from Microsoft while retaining the layout of the data entry screens from their previous version.   The application caters specifically to its small CPA firm client base, and would fit well in a firm with 10-15 timekeepers.

In the previous iteration of the software, time-keeping functionality for accountants was certainly a key characteristic.  The new edition provides new navigation tools, including the MS Office ribbon, which significantly aids the user in navigating to forms and reports without complicating the desktop experience.  Additionally, the original navigation options remain intact.  As before, some data entry and client detail screens can be launched as independent windows, an aid for users with dual monitors.

The billing process is based on engagements, which can be setup and tracked by client.  Budget-to-actual assessments of engagements are shown on the client navigator screen.  Bills can be created without time entered. When viewing or entering time slips, a record-summary shows the number of unbilled slips for that timekeeper still in WIP.  The account status for clients and engagements can be found through a wide selection of reports, many of which have drilldown capabilities for additional background data.  Billing itself is completed through the billing dashboard, a workflow tool.

Reports are clean and easy to read.  Users can select, sort, and filter their reports, and export results to email lists or to PDF.
Integration support includes QuickBooks for deposit, invoice, and payment synchronization; calendar integration with Outlook; and Ultratax and Lacerte tax installations for synchronizing client lists and invoices generated during tax preparation.  Time recorded in Imagine Time can be applied against the imported invoices.

Advantages:
-  CPA firms comprise 98% of Imagine’s client base.
-  Billing can integrate with Ultratax and Lacerte tax installations, applying recorded time to imported tax invoices.
-  Simple navigation and easy to learn.
-  Function based, not feature based application.
-  Active development to improve functionality for growing small and mid-size accounting firms.
-  Support for Terminal Server for branch and mobile users.

Final Verdict:
Imagine provides CPA-firm specific time and billing functions and software integration without excessive features or cost.

Last modified on Sunday, 02 June 2013
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