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-- by Joel T. Patz
Peachtree Software has integrated new time and billing features into its well-known accounting program, currently on our WinList. The resulting product, Peachtree Complete Accounting Plus Time & Billing, will not replace its sibling; each product will be sold separately.
We tested a beta version of Time & Billing and found it easy to document time spent on a project using weekly and daily time sheets. Switching between daily and weekly views is as easy as clicking on a tab, a feature lacking in rival QuickBooks Pro. You may also prefer Time & Billing's simplicity to the complex tracking feature offered by TimeSlips.
To complete a time sheet, type in an activity description (such as Research), customer name and billing rate-either an activity rate, employee rate or flat fee. You can enter nonbillable or no-charge items on a customer statement or "hold" a charge to record it while it's fresh in your mind, then "release" it when a project phase is completed. The billing sheet also records reimbursable expenses, such as copying costs or mileage charges.
You can apply billing records to an invoice at any time, with an option to consolidate them and sort the records using several criteria, including date and activity code. In addition, Time & Billing supplies 10 standard reports, or you can customize your own.
Time entries can flow to the payroll system, so that employees are paid on the basis of time billed. Unfortunately, although you can create a report of unbilled charges, you can't quickly apply these charges to an invoice-using a right-mouse-button click, for example.
Nevertheless, professional service companies should be pleased with the capabilities of Time & Billing. Many convenient features have been seamlessly integrated into Peachtree Complete Accounting, adding welcome depth to an already excellent product.