Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 24 seconds

TPS Software

TPS Software Time and Billing is a local-install application designed for firms with moderated growth and 15 to 20 timekeepers.  While it may not have the best first impression with some design elements going back five to ten years, accountants don't really need the eye candy found in some of the competition.  Users can quickly recognize that the application is all about professional service business: record time, manage time, bill time, and collect money.  Dedicated to accountants, TPS has created a software package that meets the needs of its users by adding in those features most relevant to their needs (as gathered through an annual users' survey) and maintaining a strong client connection.

Very rarely do applications use security privileges to their advantage.  In TPS, security privileges can be used to entirely remove the appearance of missing functionality from menus and data entry screens.  This provides a very clean presentation for the basic time-keeper.  In addition, managers and partners can have look-but-don't-touch access, useful if not everything the partners touch turns to gold.

Time keeping is relatively simple, with additional tools to monitor employee time using a timeline view.  Timelines report the total hours, as well as a breakdown of charge vs. non-charge for timekeepers.  Calendar view shows by-month time recap for user validation of time entries.  Admin and partners can be setup to use this same approach to quickly review and monitor employee time entry.

Most firms have a need to view details by partner.  Billing history and existing data can be quickly filtered by partner.  By-partner billing is available, and the workflow is concentrated on the partner deciding who to bill, and what WIP to include on that bill.  To simplify billing and provide consistency to clients, pre-formatted paragraphs can be used for invoice details in place of user-entered time details.  Previous year's invoices can also be used for invoice detail descriptions.  There is a wide selection of worksheets for firms to use to find WIP to bill.

Integration is limited to contact and schedule sharing with Outlook. Crystal Reports can be used to modify or create new reports.  Mobile users are supported through Pocket PC and Palm applications, and a remote application to be used on travel computers.  The remote app must be synchronized upon return to the office. A multi-office version is available, and firms can upgrade to a SQL back-end to accommodate data growth.

- Ease of use is enhanced through security settings and roles.
- Unique work codes for each client.
- Strong relationship between vendor and customer.
- Billing process and reports are specifically created for accounting firms' needs.
- Maintain consistent presentation of statements and invoices for clients with recurring engagements.

Final Assessment:
TPS Time and Billing is designed for stable firms in need of a product that is likely to match their existing billing practices.  It would also be an excellent application for start-ups.


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