Software Recommendations



I am looking for time, expense and accounting software that will allow
us to track professional fees at varying hourly rates by projects and
at multiple task levels. We do not want anything that is web-based.
Ideally it would be able to run on the company server and allow
employees to enter their data directly. Something that would run on
each PC with the ability for the user to upload to the server would be
fine also. We are a small company with 10 employees scattered across
the country.

Bob S




Sounds like "Project Manager" might work for you. I found it unnecessarily
complicated for my needs but may fit your needs.


It sounds like what you need is “job cost accounting” software. It does
exactly what you need. Projects are called “jobs” and expenses for each
phase of each job are called “costs”. Using job costing, you can track
costs for each phase of each job and compare them to the amounts that
you originally “budgeted”.

Here is the concept. If you have an estimate of what your costs are
supposed to be, those numbers can be used as a “budget” and be entered
into your job cost accounting software. As actual expenses are incurred
(from invoices) or hours are spent (from timesheets) they can be entered
into the accounting program where they are saved and matched against
your budgeted amounts. Then, the job cost accounting program will
calculate variances, if any. This provides constant feedback about how
things are going.

Here is how it works. You set up separate jobs in your job cost
accounting software, each with a list of costs. Each cost will have a
unique code, called a “cost code”. Contractors use industry standard
codes from the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI Cost Codes),
but you can create you own set of cost codes that are unique to your
business or unique to each project or job. Thereafter, as you enter an
invoice or a timesheet into your accounting program, you simply select
which job and cost code it should be assigned to and job costing ends up
being a “byproduct” of doing ordinary accounting. You get a good feel
for what is happening compared to what you thought was going to happen.
This is how contractors can successfully run a job that takes months
to complete and still know if they are profitable as they go. You don’t
have to wait until the job or project is over to know if you made money.

On the other hand, if you don’t have a budget, such as when you have a
“cost plus’ job, just set up cost codes for each phase of the job and
accumulate the costs in the right categories. There won’t be any
variances, but you have a complete history of the costs for that job and
you can bill accordingly and be sure you are accurate.

That covers the process you need, but how about a tool? I suggest you
check out the very affordable job costing software from A-Systems,
A-Systems JobView®. It is a fully integrated job cost accounting
package with general ledger, payroll, accounts receivable, accounts
payable, contact manager, and sales order desk. It has a built in
report generator capable of creating billions of reports. All you do is
define reports that meet your needs and save them to be printed whenever
you want. It does your W-2s, your 1099s, your financial statements,
your billings, your payables, and it tracks your potential customers
with the built in contact manager. You can use it to make quotes. It
is in fact a complete accounting solution.

The Small Builder Advantage (the non construction version is called The
Small Business Advantage). Both are available at a very affordable
$39.95. They have what you need, they’re affordable, and they’re both
quick to learn and easy to run. A-Systems has been providing accounting
software to business for over a quarter of a century. A-Systems
software is powerful and mature.

The SBA Edition of JobView comes with over 50 sessions of multimedia
training. One of those sessions is an introductory course in
accounting. That course is so good that it is used in classrooms. The
software also includes a “Wizard” to help you get your company set up
and ready to go. If you have been using QuickBooks®, you can copy
certain lists such as employees, customers, vendors, etc. right into
JobView to speed things up.

If your company grows, you might reach the point that you need more
sophisticated accounting functions. If that happens, you don’t need to
change accounting software. All you need to do is upgrade to the
Standard or Preferred Edition of JobView. In the meantime, the Small
Builder Advantage is more than adequate for your company and about 73%
of all those using job costing. The Standard and Preferred Editions
cost a lot more, but you don’t need them at this point, so only buy what
you need.

That’s an overview of a solution and a blatant sales pitch for JobView.
If you are interested in owning your own copy of JobView, call
A-Systems toll free at (800) 365-6790 or go to online to order it.

We wish you the best in your business.



Do you know who makes it?

Sounds like "Project Manager" might work for you. I found it unnecessarily
complicated for my needs but may fit your needs.


Thanks for the details. Will take a look.
Bob S

It sounds like what you need is “job cost accounting” software. It does
exactly what you need.



Stuart Nottingham

You might want to look at Microsoft Business Solutions Solomon program. It
has a Professional Services series that sounds like it might do what you're

Stuart Nottingham


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