Category Archives

Accounting

  • Apr 24,2018

It’s never been a better time to invoice with BigTime. Recent enhancements make invoicing easier with more custom options available, streamlining the entire process. Read on to learn how our new invoicing features will save you time.

Enter a Payment from the Invoice Overview Dashboard

We’ve made entering payments even easier, allowing you to enter a payment right from the Invoice…Overview page.

invoicing payment

Click on the Make Payment button in order to select a customer and then apply the payment to any of the customer’s outstanding invoices. We’ll even pre-apply the amounts you enter, so logging payments is easier than ever.

Show Unpaid A/R on Your Printed Invoices

For customers with more than one outstanding invoice, keeping track of total ‘balance due’ amounts can be challenging. With BigTime’s new customization options, you can now include all outstanding invoices for a client on a single invoice. It’s an indirect reminder to your client about their unpaid invoices, and saves you from sending repeat invoices for missing payments.

unpaid invoices

And, don’t forget that you can create a report that shows ALL of a customer’s invoices (along with payment dates, payment amounts and payment reference numbers) in case a customer gets confused about where their prior payments have been applied.

Bulk Post Invoices to QuickBooks

For customers that post their invoices to QuickBooks, we’ve added a bulk-action to make that posting process even easier. You can now use the “bulk actions” feature on your invoice draft screen to post several invoices to QB at once.

post invoices to Quickbooks

If BigTime has trouble figuring out the items or accounts that invoices ought to be posted against, we’ll red-flag the invoices we couldn’t sort out and let your team drill and correct those exceptions one at a time.

Locate Invoices Based on their Status

We’ve updated the Invoice Overview Dashboard (Invoicing…Overview) in the lastest release as well. Invoices with a status of “drafted” or “approved” are accessible in the Drafts tile. Those with a status of “sent,” “paid/closed,” “posted,” or “disputed” are accessible in the Finals tile. Note that the Finals view still shows all invoices within the current calendar month.

Invoice status

Show Project Team Roles on Your Printed Invoices

If you show customers time/expense details on your printed invoices, then we’ve added “team role” to the list of fields you can include in that detail. Now, you can adjust your printed invoice(s) to show project team roles, like “senior engineer” or “project manager” on the PDF invoices you email to your customers.

Invoicing software - team roles

You may also enjoy learning about a few other invoicing options:

Completing a project is the hard part, invoicing should be simple. Use the above features and you’ll find that invoicing with BigTime just got a lot easier.

  • Jan 11,2018

QuickBooks Online (QBO) has been growing by leaps and bounds, but a lot of professional services businesses still use QuickBooks Desktop (QBD)—including many BigTime customers. We make it easy for customers to integrate their BigTime software with either QBD or QBO, since millions of people use both products.

Despite the growing number of QBO subscribers, QBD shares the spotlight. A recent Accountex article explains the recent attention surrounding QBD, and summarizes the 2017 QuickBooks Connect conference in Silicon Valley. Over several days, entrepreneurs and small business owners attended lectures and visited product booths. The article highlights the event and explains several Intuit updates, such as its Lighter Capital fund, and products, like QBD.

For the past three years, the article points out, there hasn’t been “any reference to QuickBooks Desktop at this show.” But this year, QBD had its own booth at QuickBooks Connect. And “in some cases, we are starting to see QuickBooks Desktop become more visible on the Intuit websites.”

As developers of cloud-based software, we appreciate the benefits QBO offers, like accessibility. However, many of our clients still use QBD, since it has the capabilities they need. QBD can also be hosted in the cloud using Intuit’s own hosting service, or using third-party hosting. Our QBD users tend to be larger firms, but that gap is closing as QBO makes more features available. And if you switch from QBD to QBO, or vice versa, you don’t have to worry about switching your BigTime information.

QuickBooks, be it online or desktop, is one of several applications you can integrate with BigTime. Slack and Zapier are among the many others. So integrate the applications you commonly use with BigTime to make it your one-stop shop for running your consulting business.

  • Dec 07,2017

For the third year in a row, BigTime Software has received a perfect (5 star) rating from CPA Practice Advisor.

On November 21, BigTime got another top rating in CPA Practice Advisor’s 2017 review of time management systems; the product’s third such rating in as many years. In a detailed article that supports this year’s status, BigTime is described as “a good fit for professional services firms.” Indeed, BigTime’s ability to connect time with projects, budgets, allocations, and invoices makes it the single solution consulting firms need to manage their business.

Managing multiple projects and staffers is a challenge, which is why BigTime offers a resource allocation feature. This powerful tool helps project managers plan for future work, allocate staffer’s time, and see how projects and staff come together. It generates firm-relevant information, including who’s logging the most time to a project and whether a project is staying on budget, for example. These are the details you need to hit deadlines and meet budgets, and thus manage a project successfully.

Run reports using BigTime’s Report Wizard to get metrics on time tracking, invoicing, payroll, and task lists. “BigTime IQ offers more than 150 reports that can be easily customized using the built-in report customization tools,” explains CPA Practice Advisor. That means you can gauge staffer productivity, project progress, and profitability, among many other deliverables.

In addition to being an integrated business management solution, BigTime is also highly customizable. Customized invoices enable “users to personalize the invoice with a logo, include notes, and even include itemized expenses with receipts.” Customized timesheets “display the data relevant to his or her position in the firm.” And the data generated from resource allocation is specific to your company.

Running a professional service firm is no easy feat. BigTime lessens that burden and functions as a one-stop-shop for your business management needs. Learn more about BigTime’s subscription levels by emailing us at [email protected].

  • Mar 20,2017
android_mobile_time

When mobile expense tracking apps are so widely available, why do so many professional service firms stick with manual processes?

According to Robert Neveu in CPA Practice Advisor, many smaller organizations can manage a manual process just fine due to lower reporting volume and reimbursement requirements.

The Problems with Manual Expense Tracking

But there are problems with manual processes even then. Neveu’s firm, Certify,  conducted a recent survey of more than 600 CFOs and accounting professionals. They found that the top pain point for 52 percent of study participants is that employees lose paper receipts.  The runner-up pain point, experienced by 51% of respondents, is their employee’s failure to submit expense reports on time.

The Bigger Issue About Mobile Expense Tracking

Mobile apps capture images of paper receipts, which can then be attached to digital expense reports. This process does away with paper receipts altogether. It also makes it easy for employees to submit expenses on time.  Online expense tracking is also scalable. It can grow with your business without disrupting the way you do business.

There’s one thing more.  We work with professional service firms all over the world. Some of them make a lot of money. Others not so much.

What makes the successful ones successful? Leverage. They’re good at leveraging data. Successful firms use the data they track (expenses and timesheets, for example) to get better at estimating. They use online timesheet data to flag customers and engagements that need attention. They use expense data to do a better job building project budgets. If a project does fail, they use that data as an audit log to help them look back and see what went wrong.

No matter why a company decides to embrace mobile expense tracking, those who do are pleasantly surprised with the outcome. Read the article.

BigTime Software delivers real-time, metrics-driven time tracking, billing and project management for more than 2,000 professional firms, tracking over $2 billion (USD) worth of billable time each year.

  • Nov 03,2016

As expected, QB Connect was a splashy event with celebrity speakers, and plenty of high-powered tracks on how to evolve your CPA practice and grow your business consulting firm.

BigTime Time and Billing at QB Connect 2016

SHOUT OUT TO OUR CUSTOMERS

The in-booth visits from so many of our truly awesome customers were among Bigtime’s best moments at QB Connect. The booth traffic was really intense and many of you slipped away before we could talk. Thank you so much for stopping by.

Here’s a special shout-out to several customers we had a chance to connect with in the booth. Andrew Blitz @getblitzed, Kevin Yount @kevinyountcpa, and Zach Sahar @Accounting_Tax.

AND THE WINNER IS …

We also want to express our appreciation to everyone who visited the BigTime booth. If you entered our drawing for a chance to win a Fitbit Blaze, here’s the announcement you’ve been waiting for. Congratulations to winner Erin W. D. from San Diego, CA. Your Fitbit Blaze will arrive at your doorstep soon.

Now, on to the trends that we’ve observed in our own customer base which were confirmed at QB Connect.

#1 – PROJECT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE CONNECTED WITH TIME TRACKING SOFTWARE AND INTEGRATED WITH QUICKBOOKS IS A TOOL FOR GROWTH.

The marketplace is very competitive. This is no surprise to anyone who runs a business that bills for time, services, and materials. This was a recurring refrain at the Midwest Accounting and Finance Showcase earlier in the year. At QB Connect, the volume was turned up even louder as accounting consultants grapple with the necessary and difficult task of differentiating their firm from all the others.

Looking at our own customer base, we have observed that those who enjoy economic success have embraced cloud-connected applications. Using BigTime’s time management software and its integration with QuickBooks, these firms have connected their workflow to increase productivity and leverage entered time, expense and project data for insightful reporting. They not only run a smarter firm, they stand apart from their competitors as a superior, forward-thinking resource for their clients.

#2 – INTUIT’S PARTNERSHIP WITH GOOGLE APPS CONFIRMS CONNECTED IS BETTER.

At the conference, Intuit demoed its new QuickBooks calendar integration with G Suite. According to Intuit’s 2016 Appification of Small Business Study, 58 percent of global small businesses look for seamless integrations when selecting an app to help run their businesses.

From the beginning, we believed in connecting our software to other products that would help our customers be more productive. That’s why we integrated with QuickBooks from day 1.

BigTime’s application simplified the capture of time and expense tracking, project management, and invoicing. We used the data generated as the basis for real-time reporting to help our customers run smarter and more profitable businesses with metrics-driven insight.

Our seamless push/pull sync with QuickBooks Cloud (and Desktop) turns our paired products into an enterprise-level application. It’s nice to have Intuit’s integration with G Suite confirm our belief in the power of connected apps. It’s even nicer that we were there first; already integrated with Google and the tax preparation app, Lacerte. We focus on making our time tracking software the very best it can be. But we always have integrations in the works so we can give our customers access to the apps they want to use with BigTime. Connected is better.

#3 – CLOUD CONNECTS MORE THAN INTEGRATED APPS. CLOUD CONNECTS INTEGRATED SOLUTION PROVIDERS.

BigTime attended QuickBooks Connect to meet professionals who are ready to stand out from everyone else and be a game changer – that rare person who wants to be more than a service provider or a business advisor. We wanted to meet forward-thinking individuals who believe, as we do, that integrated cloud applications offer the solution to their clients’ most pressing problems. If this sounds like you, let’s talk.

Consider this. As a marketing partner, you not only have more services and solutions to offer your clients, you have more opportunities to increase your earnings. And when your clients experience a positive economic outcome, you will too.

Sign up here to set up a 15-minute conversation and talk about how you can elevate your practice, better serve your clients, and stand apart from your competitors.

See you at QuickBooks Connect 2017.



BigTime Software delivers real-time, metrics-driven time tracking, billing and project management for 2,000 customers and tracks more than $2 billion in billings (USD) annually. It operates in a cloud SaaS platform and its feature set is customized for the professional services industry – specifically, Accounting, Architecture and Engineering, Consulting, Creative, Government Contracting, IT Services and Legal firms. BigTime is a venture-funded company based in Chicago committed to helping clients unlock billing realization and profits through more effective time tracking.

  • Oct 12,2016
BigTime Time and Billing at QB Connect 2016

BIGTIME SEEKS MARKETING PARTNERS AT QUICKBOOKS CONNECT

BigTime is attending QuickBooks Connect to talk with accountants who want to elevate their practice. Stop by and see us at B12 Uptown. We want to meet professionals who are ready to stand out from everyone else and be a game changer – that rare person who brings solutions to their clients’ problems.

ACCOUNTANTS AS TRUSTED ADVISORS

Accounting Today highlighted a recent study from the International Federation of Accountants. It revealed that accountants … are still the most trusted advisors to their small and midsize business clients.

In a report titled What SMBs Want, The Sleeter Group found that more than half, 56 percent, of small and medium-size businesses think that their CPA or accounting firm has a moderate to high impact on their business. One of the things SMBs want from their CPAs is a greater focus on trends, a monthly, semi-annual, and annual year-over-year trends analysis, essential to keeping a business on track. Businesses want more than commoditized services from their CPAs. They want business advice. They want someone who is ahead of the next trend. Someone who can offer solutions.

CONNECTED IS BETTER

From the beginning, we believed in connecting our software to other products that would help our customers be more productive. That’s why we integrated with QuickBooks from day 1. Our software was designed to solve the biggest problem confronting firms who bill for time and services: the disconnected workflows, information siloes, and manual processes associated with time and billing.

Our application simplified the capture of time and expense tracking, project management, and invoicing. We used the data generated as the basis for real-time reporting to help our customers run smarter and more profitable businesses with metrics-driven insight.

MARKETING PARTNERS WITH QUICKBOOKS AND ACCOUNTANTS

Our seamless push/pull sync with QuickBooks Cloud (and Desktop) turns our paired products into an enterprise-level application that unites every step in the workflow, tracks the data entered, and delivers insightful business reports on click.

We still believe that connected is better. As we focus on the continuous enhancement of our product, we actively integrate with other apps, like Lacerte, Google, and Zapier, giving our customers access to the apps they want to use with BigTime. And now, BigTime wants to connect with a select few accounting professionals who want to serve, advise, and solve their clients’ most pressing problems.

ELEVATE YOUR PRACTICE BY CONNECTING WITH BIGTIME

If you’re ready to up your game and be a game changer, we want to meet you. Stop by our booth, B12 Uptown, and let’s talk about how a marketing partnership with BigTime can help you solve the problems your clients face. Consider this. As a marketing partner, you not only have services and solutions to offer your client, you have more opportunities to increase your earnings. And when your clients experience a positive economic outcome, you will too.

Set up a 15-minute consultation at QuickBooks Connect, or after the conference:

Schedule Consultation


BigTime Software delivers real-time, metrics-driven time tracking, billing and project management for 2,000 customers and tracks more than $2 billion in billings (USD) annually. BigTime is a venture-funded company based in Chicago serving the professional services sector.

  • Dec 01,2015

Is your firm ready to capitalize on these?

In a recent webinar presented by Accounting Today, a list of top 5 trends in the accounting industry for 2016 were identified:

2016 Accounting Trends | Top 5

#5 Total Client Service

This is the process of creating a relationship with your customers in which you are perceived as adding value to their business, instead of being seen as a necessary evil. To do this, Samantha suggests that firms transition from a traditional fee structure of after delivery billing to a more forward thinking form of Value Pricing. Value Pricing refers to the practice of constant, predictable billing that allows accounting firms to evolve into the role of consultant. This focus on perceived value and the ongoing conversations that it will promote allows for constant communication, even if that is only in the form of a monthly bill, and creates benefits for both parties. Because customers are billed up front, they no longer need to worry about being nickel and dimed to death, and firms are able to smooth out their monthly cash flow.

#4 Social Media

This conversation goes beyond what has come to be considered the traditional Social Media outlets to now include sites like Glassdoor. It is important for firms to realize that they no longer exercise complete control over the hiring process – it is now a two-way street in which prospective hires scrutinize the company as carefully as the firm vets job candidates. The presenters cautioned participants to make certain that their internet reputation matches the reality of working at the firm. They went so far as to suggest that management encourage current employees to rate the firm at sites like Glassdoor in an effort to negate any potentially damaging evaluations that might appear.

#3 Technical Integration

While this can mean many things, the primary focus here is on the implementation of a common database that allows users access across your firm’s platform of applications. In the past, when new employees and clients were brought onboard, all of their pertinent information had to be input into the system multiple times. In addition to that initial pain, performance and billing data might be spread out all over a firm’s system. That’s no longer the case. Merging all of this across a single platform is an opportunity for a firm to eliminate a major point of pain.

#2 Digital Mobility

When thinking about Digital Mobility, the ability to access work materials anytime, anywhere, it is important to recognize that, especially for your youngest team members, this is a firmly ingrained habit. Digital mobility is seen by most as a chance for firms to take advantage of some key growth areas, including new revenue opportunities, service speed and better response to customer demands. It’s just how we get things done now. With that in mind, the primary concern ought to be in making certain that the information that leaves your internal network is secure.

#1 Talent Management

This refers to an opportunity for firms to create and maintain a cohesive culture while avoiding the $15,000 – $20,000 average cost of bringing in new talent. More specifically, this is a conversation about the need for firms to explore the possibility of looking inward to fill current and future needs. Good Talent Management strategies include the selection and training of potential candidates and the process of coaching them through for the advancement of personal and institutional growth goals.

Where does your firm fall on this list?

For many in attendance, instant polling data showed some serious gaps.

If your group also lags behind here, maybe it’s time to start having the hard conversations that will be needed in order to get you better up to speed.

After all, the tides of change are rising.

You don’t want to be left on the shore when the rest of the fleet sails.

  • Jul 22,2015


I’ve spent a lot of time lately talking about how the cloud will fundamentally alter your relationship with your customers.

“Great,”  is the typical response, “But what does that actually look like in real life?”

So – I did a webinar, recently, targeted to accounting firms.  The goal was to fast-forward a few years.  To talk about how three trends that are reshaping the way we interact with our customers will play out within the accounting industry specifically (and, more generally, across most professional services industries).

I liked the basics, and we’ll do more specifics over the next few months, but you can already see these trends alive and kicking in the market for professional services today.  To understand them, we took a detailed look at three basic forces at work in this new cloud-based services economy:

  • The Network Effect
  • The Demand Economy
  • Co-opetition

These are all interesting forces on their own, but their interaction – specifically how they are amplifying each other and re-shaping the market for professional services, is significant.

The Network Effect

This isn’t my phrase, it’s Bob Metcalfe’s (the guy who was instrumental in devising the protocol that the internet runs on).  After much consideration and study of telephone networks, Metcalfe figured out that broad ranging networks that incorporate smaller networks can be extremely valuable to business.  And that value is actually derived through developing the connections that can be created between people or devices.  Ultimately, Metcalfe determined that the value of a network is worth the square of its connecting points – a number that, as contact points increase, grows exponentially.

Metcalf's Law graphic
 

So why do we care?  We care because that same law, it turns out, can be applied to the value of your network.  To the value of the network of people (and devices and applications) that your firm “connects” with.  The more deeply your people (AND your data) are connected within the uber-network of the web, the more potential value you’ll see showing up on your virtual doorstep.

I argue that this rule ALONE is reason enough to shift all of your systems to the web.  I see it all the time — firms that used to keep their data “locked up” in proprietary or on-premise applications are suddenly able to make faster and more informed decisions because BigTime does nothing more complicated than FREE UP their data!  Suddenly, managers can connect that data (eg – who’s responsible for what/when; how much time is it supposed to take; how much time did it ACTUALLY take; etc) to a host of web-based BI and reporting tools.  As a result, decisions take a quantum leap in terms of speed and accuracy.

But, the other two trends in the market amplify the network effect.  In fact, they seem to be working together to deposit new revenue on your doorstep.  Keep this idea in your pocket.  We’ll look at that trend a few paragraphs from now.

The Demand Economy

Compare the number of times you’ve downloaded and “tried” an app on your phone to the number of times you’ve called the app manufacturer in order to get a demo first (describe what you’re looking for, ask the sales guy to verify your needs, get a quote, send a PO).

My guess is your answer is 100:0.  That phenomena is at the core of the Demand Economy.  This is not new to software.  Think of some more traditional examples in which transactions are completed with minimal points of contact.  The process of browsing in a bookstore, or pumping self-serve gas illuminate the point well.

In a bookstore (brick or online), if you don’t have a specific title in mind, you wander the aisles until — for whatever reason, something catches your eye.  It would be very rare for you to be approached by a sales agent offering help.

The same can be said about self-serve fuel.  When we pump our own gas, our interactions with a sales clerk are extremely limited, maybe even non-existent.

Looking for something more tech-focused?  How about the ATM machine? At the time they were introduced, nobody thought that they would replace traditional bank tellers.  In fact, they were just there to cover “non-banking hours.” But over time? They’ve gradually morphed into our primary banking interaction.

atm machine

 
Why?

The value of the convenience of being able to bank anywhere and at any time rendered the traditional teller obsolete.

While the real world has provided a steady stream of these interactions, the internet has fundamentally changed the way we act as consumers.  Not only have we come to expect this sort of low-touch purchasing experience, we crave it.  We start every product search on Google.  We solicit input from services like Yelp or Reddit or a thousand other recommendation sites. We click the “try now” button and get completely configured without ever talking to a sales person, even on systems which would have required a detailed RFP 5 or 10 years ago!

This type of low-touch interaction has permeated nearly all of our web activity.  And, the web has infiltrated nearly every buying decision a consumer faces today.  Ergo – even the accounting industry is being shoved toward low-touch “demand-centric” buying.

Just like the ATM’s of the physical world, these self-service purchases let us get what we want, probably even more, and on our terms, independently.

So, what does low-touch look like in the accounting industry today?

First, thanks to the Network Effect, it’s no longer an issue of your people working face-to-face with a customer.  Today, your organization is represented by all of the applications that you bring to the table, including social media. That means, the more apps people and devices you have tied to your firm’s “network,” the higher the probability of potential clients finding you.

Value-based pricing is a direct response to that trend.  Consumers need a clear way to purchase the thing they want (eg – the product they “value”) at a price they don’t need you to sit down with them and explain. Value pricing represents your firm’s quest to commoditize/simplify the things that you do and to present them to consumers clearly.  They are services with a clear beginning and a clear end, and they are designed in such a way as to minimize inaccurate expectations.  That’s a great independent goal, but the side benefit is that a consumer can now “sign up” for that value-based model without talking to you (via social media, review sites, third party sites and more).

Value based pricing is the buy-now button of the accounting industry.  It lets customers know the exact time and cost parameters of a project right upfront, and it lets them make a single decision:  buy/don’t buy.

Of course, to do this accurately, firms need to have very clear data that tells them what projects cost to produce.  And, the systems that manage that data need to be able to adapt quickly.  Managers need real-time access, etc.  So – the Network Effect makes demand-based buying possible.  Not on the web with all of your internal systems?  Then not only are you making it harder to manage your firm, you’re missing out on genuine revenue opportunities today.

Of course there is a lot more happening in today’s demand economy.  Take a look at the webinar for a brief look at Fiverr.com (one of my favorite potential game-changers in the industry, and another example of how a network-savvy firm can piggyback on the Network Effect to generate real revenues in the years to come).

Co-Opetition

The final trend that we discussed in the webinar was Co-opetition, a hybridized combination of cooperation and competition.  It refers to the benefits that might be derived when competing organizations pool elements of their resources for a mutual benefit (a term that originally grew out of Game Theory).

A good example of this is the licensing of interfaces by Apple to Microsoft in which Microsoft uses Apple’s technology to build devices that are designed to compete with Apple.  At first blush this might seem odd but, under closer scrutiny, you can see that, by doing this, Apple gets paid for its research and development and Microsoft is able to enter new market segments.

steve jobs and bill gates laughing

 
So how does that play out in the accounting world?  How does partnering with the competition help your firm grow?  There are two ways:  sharing customers and sharing workers.

Sharing customers used to be complicated.  You’d have to introduce your contact to a competitor, and that would open you up to all sorts of problems.  But what if you could share a customer’s data with someone (eg – someone specializing in sales tax rules for a given territory, or someone with specialized audit expertise), but you could control the deliverables yourself?  Even better, what if you could share that limited information with a firm that specializes in those deliverables?  A firm, for example, that had a strong value-based approach to “sales tax filings in Texas” or “DCAA Audit Prep.”  The broader your network, the more likely you are to find that type of relationship.  In addition, the more directly you embrace the Demand Market (eg – the more clearly defined your “buy button” is), the more likely that type of relationship is to seek out your firm.

How about virtual workers?

During the busiest times of the year, your associates are probably working to their fullest capacity.  So what happens if your workload outstrips your capacity?  When this happens, you’re confronted with the question of adding full time labor to solve short term issues.

If your firm is operating on the cloud, you’ll soon be able to have contract workers completing tasks remotely.  But if all of your firm’s necessary systems aren’t on-line, you’ve created a series of personal interactions that must be fulfilled in order to bring those people on board.

In fact, firms are beginning to ask BigTime about how they can push excess work to other accounting firms that have free short-term capacity.  In other words, “how can I just click this payroll project out to another firm on BigTime’s network and have them file the docs so I can review it?”

Granted, the notion of sharing virtual clients is closer to viability than virtual employees right now (in the long run, it will require less technology to bring on-line), but both are on the horizon.

One Specific Example:  Lacerte & BigTime

BigTime currently handles work from thousands of accountants, which equates to usage data on hundreds of thousands of tax returns.  Personal and corporate returns are being updated in real time, and are constantly shifting from one workflow status to the next (and, sometimes, backward again).  All of that workflow data is flowing from Lacerte into BigTime and up to the cloud so that it can all be managed on BigTime’s workflow dashboards.

lacerte bigtime partnership

 
This year, for the first time, all of this has been done independent of Intuit’s servers.  As a result, for the first time, BigTime has had an audit log.

In other words, our customers get to see where tax engagements were in the workflow when hours were logged against each of them.  They get to see how long every return waited in a given stage with no work logged against it, and they get all that information for free — just because we linked their tax prep system to BigTime (their cloud-based workflow system).

More importantly, the logs tracked how long each return stayed in each status code.  So, for the first time, a firm can look at its tax season and, basically, see a box score that shows how the entire firm performed as returns went through the process.

With this kind of data, firms can figure out where their money is made and lost and where calendar time might be made up and lost.  So – they can make smarter decisions next tax season.  Maybe returns sit in queue waiting for “partner review” for days or weeks — and maybe that backlog means partners have way too much to do “all at once” (and at the worst possible time).  Given that information, firms can game out next season (what if we incentivise clients to get to that stage earlier? what if we pushed that stage later in the process? what if we could clear out the other things on a partner’s calendar for that 3-4 weeks so that they recapture “lost” time?).

That means — next tax season — the firm across the street could be smarter and more efficient than you are, even though both of you use the same set of tools (Lacerte and the customer’s tax data).  While you’re counting CPE credits on both hands this summer, someone in your area is figuring out what it would take to offer a fixed-fee price on a corporate return, and you’re going to think “that’s crazy, how could they possibly know how long it would take.”  Then – they’re going to figure out how to offer a guaranteed turnaround time.  Then, once those things are in place, they’re going to innovate again. And again. And again.  And they can make that happen because they had the tools in place THIS tax season to understand how to make that “buy button” work!

cloud time tracking trend

 
That firm should be your firm.  It could be.  You just need to get your systems on the cloud, ride these three trends and watch the market bend toward you.


If you missed out on this live conversation, you can reserve your seat below. Seats are limited.
Reserve my seat

  • Feb 26,2015

 

poor time tracking software

Harvard Business Review reports that inaccurate timesheets are costing businesses billions of dollars every day, nationwide. Time tracking software or timers for client billing are designed to record every moment that you work for said client. It appears, however, that many professionals fail to log time spent corresponding with clients, the rate of which is rapidly increasing in the digital communication age.

A recent study surveyed 500 workers across the United States and found that each worker lost about $50,000 per year in revenue by failing to track time spent corresponding with clients and with others involved in work projects. Nearly 40 percent of those surveyed said that they never tracked time spent reading and answering emails related to work. The firm that conducted this study reports that, owing to the sheer size of its professional services sector, the American economy is losing 50 million hours in productivity per day – the equivalent of around $7.4 billion.

This study also demonstrates that many workers wait until Friday to log hours for the previous week, roughly guessing at their activities over the past five days. It’s no surprise that people who reported filling out their timesheets daily submitted more accurate records.

Cashflow is almost always an issue at professional service firms – how do you cut overhead and boost revenues? Did you ever think that two minutes per day (how long it takes to log time) might generate tens of thousands of dollars? A company with 15 employees that charges an hourly rate of $150 has an average revenue leak of $1.6 million per year. That amount should more than cover the cost of good time tracking software.

  • Feb 18,2015

Cloud Time Tracking SoftwareYou know that tracking time and capacity of your staffers is crucial, but is a desktop or cloud time tracking software the right answer for you? Although desktop time tracking and practice management software can be great tools for monitoring employee capacity and productivity, they can be cumbersome. Desktop solutions are typically only helpful if you use one application that you need “bolted to the floor” in one location. In this increasingly mobile society, however, few of us are tethered anywhere and are itinerant multi-taskers, whether owing to travel, busy schedule or both.

So what is cloud computing?

Cloud applications are by nature accessible from anywhere, at any time. Cloud computing means that your software exists in a virtual space online instead of taking up space on a desktop computer or server so it is available to your staff 24 hours per day from any location with an internet connection. Payroll will never again be held up because someone was absent and didn’t submit a timesheet, and jobs will remain on track regardless of where employees are working (or resting).

What are the benefits of cloud time tracking?

The best thing about cloud time tracking apps is that they integrate well with many other programs that are both in the cloud and on your computer. For example, BigTime IQ is used as a stand-alone app by many of our customers, but it also seamlessly connects to Intuit’s Lacerte, as well as QuickBooks Online Plus and QuickBooks desktop. Introducing cloud computing to your company does not require a radical overhaul of your business processes, as it fits neatly into them and enhances existing functionality. BigTime IQ Pro and Express can also be synced with other apps via the API.

Is cloud computing safe/secure?

It can be intimidating to store confidential data in the cloud, but it is a secure process that may take better care of your data than a desktop alternative, in the long run. What will happen to your data if your computer or server crashes or experiences another hardware issue? BigTime Software uses triple encryption technology to remotely store your information in a heavily-fortified digital environment.

Is 2015 the year that your company explores cloud computing software and enters the 21st century to optimize efficiency and cut costs associated with productivity loss or inaccurate time/expense tracking? We’d suggest you strongly consider it, whatever solution you end up implementing.

Questions about tracking time and/or expenses in the cloud?

Call us on 312-346-4646 or email us at [email protected]