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We are a small office (
I'm wondering what software (if any) other firms are using to get these things done. Does your firm work in a similar manner, using manually updated timesheets and invoices? Do you use a non-architecture specific timesheet/billing program?
we looked into archioffice as well - came up with similar 'fiscal constraints' in terms of not buying it then. however, it did look like a great package for what you like.
we did some custom excel based spreadsheets - we have one for time, one for projects. as much as it can say, we have exactly the same issues when it comes to reconciling everything at the end.
what we've thought more about doing recently is just getting one copy for our admin assistant. though they're only part time and they'd have to enter the time manually (ie, reconcile everyone's timesheets that they're still using in excel), the principals could set up the project parameters upfront (not too much time) and it would allow us to generate the kinds of reports and data it sounds like we're both using.
on the other question - we looked at a couple of other, similar products but all of them were in about the same price range.
we do use quickbooks for all the actual invoices - we just set up custom invoices inside it.
our principal uses quickbooks' timesheet functionality and all other employees do it up with excel spreadsheets. if changing software packages isn't an option, in the short term, it can be useful to maximize excel efficiency. we have had better organization with employees creating multiple sheets for subsequent pay periods within one workbook. Alternately, coupling excel with google docs is pretty useful, so no one can gripe about not having access to time sheets- i.e remote=always.
We also use Excel - we set up a master sheet that brings in project totals from all of the employee sheets; each month is a tab (make sure everyone knows to only add data and not change the cell locations so that it will work). Actual invoices are done in QB, but most of our clients do not demand a highly detailed invoice - just rates and time or percentage complete and a simple outline of the month's tasks. None the less it takes a couple of hours at the end of each month to get it all straight.
I have looked into time billing applications, but usually find them too fussy, as most presume that you keep them open and constantly log your time as you work.
One of my previous jobs has a time card system (because we worked on different projects with different hourly rates) and each person who did multiple jobs was given multiple time cards.
It worked out really well when you remember to swipe your time card.
I've used Deltek Timekeeper and there is also a software called Clearview which is supposed to do everything from timesheets to proposals and project management. It's probably pricey though.
Deltek is some nice accounting software. No idea on the $$$. Probably not cheap since I've only seen firms with FT accountants on staff using it.
we are 6 people and have used Deltek for almost 10 years. Its worth every penny even though getting started is somewhat timeconsuming. Billing will be much faster in the long term as well as project cost tracking. Range is around $2500-$5,000 depending on what modules you buy as add ons
The place I'm at now uses a simple paper spreadsheet-write down the project name, what you did, and how long you did it for to the quarter hour.
Previous employers used 'vision' software...or something like that. It was an annoyance and most of the people I worked with over the years joked about not logging into vision to fill out hours for over a week at a time,,,eek.
i use a spreadsheet system, much like what spruce describes above.
i worked in an office that used architectronica, and it was very awesome. i can't afford it yet otherwise i'd use it in a heartbeat.
We also use Deltek....and I'm always behind submitting!
Excel; custom spreadsheets that are linked to other custom ones and so forth... but employees use good ole timebooks and front staff inputs them into excel. So we can directly compare things like proposals to actual time and track. So it's nearly a database. Yes, time consuming and complex enough that me, as principal, have no f'n clue and rely on my business manager to do it properly and present the reports to me for review.
Word for invoices. Most of our clients want to see them a certain way, so using something like QuickBooks wasn't going to work. Hell, a couple force us to use their system like a pay draw; Contractors are notorious for that one so there's weird stuff in there like lien waivers.
QuickBooks for paychecks and income stuff.
We use Deltek Vision.
We're an office of 10 people, and we use Harvest for time tracking.
The office i work for uses BST. I use toilet paper
office of 2 + one part timer
we're on Harvest
Where I work they use: http://www.myhours.com
It's simple to use, it tracks different projects, and different tasks for each project. And as far as I know it's free to use.
How about Fresh Books for accounting, billing and time-tracking? I've been experimenting with it for my home-based design/build co. and I'm liking it's simplicity. Anybody else using it?
I use an abacus, still works in a power outage
TimeCamp would be great for your needs