Timeslips 2017…Changes to be Aware of


What You Need to Know About Timeslips 2017 – Introduction

Hi everybody. Thanks for coming. Hopefully we can probably spend a half hour to 45 minutes or so.  I wanted to give you the rundown of what’s up with Timeslips.

Before we start, if anybody has a question you can use the Q&A or the Chat to type in what you want to ask. I’ll try and answer that.  You can also raise your hand if you have a question.  If you have a microphone and a video and you want use them to ask a question you can just raise your hand and I will un-mute you and you can ask a question.  So you can raise your hand, use the chat or use the Q&A.

The Agenda

Alright with that lets the get started…So for a while now I’ve been talking about how Timeslips has being going in a new direction.  Actually, let’s go over the agenda first… this is what I’d like to cover today…so I want to talk about:

  • What is on the road ahead for Timeslips, what to expect, how we can plan and make sure that we don’t get caught having to make a decision without being prepared.
  • The different flavors of Timeslips. The old version and then the two new options we have, BDE is the old one, SQL and Premium are the two new options that we have.
  • New features for from 2014 to 2016 for some of you that have older versions or have not taken advantage of some of the features that I thought might be of interest.
  • The new features in 2017
  • Questions

The Road Ahead for Timeslips

Okay, so we all know that Timeslips has been on an old, slow, outdated database for a long time and that’s kind of given us fits in capacity and performance mainly, as well as its constrained the ability of Timeslips to put new features and functions into the application.  That’s why, over the years, I look at an upgrade and say…if this doesn’t have something of benefit in it, why am I going to do it?  And with Timeslips, they haven’t been able to put some of the features they’ve wanted or that their customers have wanted in the application because of the database restrictions.  So that has really constrained them over the years.   They did make an attempt in the 90’s actually, to come off of this old database onto a new one, but that failed because the person in charge was really over his head.  And so, they scrapped it and it’s taken until the 2016 version for them to actually come out with this new database platform.

Timeslips New Platform – SQL

So, the new Timeslips SQL platform is night and day from the old one.  It’s 5 to 10 times faster to do almost anything.  When it came out, they showed us an example of a database which had about 3000 clients and was roughly 800 pages of pre-bill worksheets.  On the old version, the BDE version, it took 33 minutes to run pre-bill worksheets, and on the new SQL version it took less than 30 seconds.  So, it is way faster. And this is going to obviously improve the performance, as well as allow them to add new features and functionality that they couldn’t get into the old database.  So that’s the hope, that’s the direction and that’s all good.

The Flavors of Timeslips 2017

Basically there are three different flavors of Timeslips.  Currently we have the BDE version, which is running through Timeslips 2016 and before.  That’s the version that Timeslips was built on.  Then we have the Timeslips SQL version and the Premium version starting in 2016.

You can buy licenses, perpetual licenses for the BDE version and they will be available for versions 2016 and prior.  Any new licenses for the BDE version are only available for supported versions. Their policy is to support the current version and two versions back.  So as of July 31st, if you’re on 2014 or earlier you will no longer be able to buy new licenses for Timeslips BDE.  If your firm is or has plans of growing, is looking for new attorneys, new timekeepers and you don’t have enough licenses, you will have to upgrade since the BDE version is no longer available after July 31st.

The policy will continue on where 2015 licenses will be available until June roughly June 2017, 2016 licenses will be available through roughly June 2018.  And there will be no new features and no service releases for the BDE version.  So that’s basically the end-of-life for that product.

The new product, which is built on the new database, last year for the 2016 version we were all under the impression that it was going to be a rental, where you would basically pay for the licenses every year.  We were all under the impression that the new SQL version was going to be a rental going forward, so you would have to pay for the product licenses every year.  Based on the history of Timeslips, paying for it every year… there was not a real benefit because you didn’t have the features and functions that are new and there was not the value.

So the adoption rate for the new SQL version is slower I guess then they expected.  Right now, I think roughly 20% of Timeslips client base is on the new SQL version and obviously they don’t want to do anything to jeopardize their customer base, so they made the decision to cut out BDE and move everything to SQL.  This makes perfect sense from a business standpoint, because they don’t have to support two different technologies, have two different sets of tech people and training people and development people for two different technologies, so that’s why BDE’s going away and they can still sell the SQL version on the same perpetual license plan.   So, starting with 2017 licenses you can buy them on a perpetual basis, just like you had the BDE version.   That’s starting with the 2017.  And again you’ll be able to buy licenses for all the supported versions, so that will be the current plus the two prior.  So when 18 comes out you’ll still be able to get 17 and when 19 comes out you’ll still be get 17, so it’s not until 2020 when you won’t be able to get 17 licenses anymore.

The issue here is that when the Timeslips SQL (non-premium) version comes out, every year it’ll have new features, but it won’t have the same features as the Premium version, or it won’t have all of the same features as the Premium version.  And I’ll get to that in a second.  But, the service releases will happen and those will be for performance issues and fixed.  There will be no difference between the SQL version perpetual licenses and the Premium version when it comes to performance and any fixes that they need to implement.  So, those two products will be the same.   The Premium version, the one that’s on a subscription basis, where you can pay the monthly or annually that started with the 2016 version, includes maintenance and upgrades and so you always have the latest version.  New licenses for the Premium version will always be available.

They wanted us think that this is a cloud version, but it’s not.  It’s not in the cloud, it’s not web-based, it’s the same product that you have, just on a different underlying database.  You install it on your own hardware.  And for those of you who are on a cloud service like Flywire, you now will install it on Flywire, or on your remote server just like you would BDE, there’s no difference from that respect.   It’s not a cloud product really.

With this product there will be continuous not only updates for performance and fixes, but also for new features.  So if they come out with a new feature in the middle of the year the Premium version will get it, but the perpetual product will not.

The other issue to be concerned with the premium version is that there is no proration. What that means is if you decide to opt for the Premium version and pay for the annual subscription, which I would always opt for the annual subscription because you get two months free, but that would mean you’d need to stay with it for a year at least.  If you decided you didn’t want to continue and you wanted to go back to the perpetual license model they are not going to prorate.  They want to gently force people I guess to be on their perpetual model, they want people to migrate to the perpetual model, and everybody knows why.  They obviously want to have their cash flow more consistent,  you can’t blame them from a business standpoint, but they better damn well put features and functions in there that have value.

Timeslips Features

That comes to the features and functions they have added and what the functionality look like in 2017.

Slip List Filter

In Timeslips 2014 they added a slip list filter.  I’m going to switch to my desktop and go into Timeslips to show you what that means.  If you’re in the slip list and because of their performance issues they had when you generate a slip list, and you have a lot of slips in there, it’s slow.  Okay, so then they put this filter in here that you can set to show only the last thousand slips or however many slip you want to put in here and then it would perform faster.   But you’re not getting all the information you want or maybe you have to do it in two pieces.  This being in here was nice from the performance point of view, but it didn’t really solve the problem.

Slip List Appearance

In this version they added the ability for you to change the slip list appearance.  Over here you could change the columns.  Say, I don’t need the approval status in here or the bill stag or the timer indicator, I don’t need the bookmark reference or the notes indicator maybe.  That way this is stream lines this, so that it’s easier to read.  Okay, that’s nice, but I’m not paying any extra for that.

Slip Preference

There is a preference in the Timeslips 2014 to alleviate a problem with some of the slips.  If you were pasting text from Word or an email or something into a slip and you want to take the formatting out of that.  In your preferences, you can control the “Paste it as text” option, as opposed to Rich text.

Restricted Slips

If a user didn’t have rights to see everybody’s slips, they could only see their own, then they would see that big list showing “restricted due to security”, “restricted due to security”.  Now only the slips that they are allowed to see it will show up.


In the 2014 version they also added TimeCapture. TimeCapture is really a feature worth having.  I can show it to you briefly.  It’s the old TS Timer.  TimeCapture runs in your system tray and allows you to capture time here without being in Timeslips, and then you can just convert them to slips later.  It’s an easy way to do backups without worrying about kicking people out of the program.  It’s an easy way to do things quickly, and capture your time.  So that feature I’d say was worth something.

Secondary Client Address

In 2015 they added the secondary addresses, so you can have two addresses for a client.   It makes it easy to send the bill to two different people. You can have both addresses in the client information.

Client Specific Activities

Client specific activities, it’s actually pretty good, if you have a clients that you only want certain activities to come up, then when you set up the client you could just go here and pick the activities that you want them to have access to, and only those activities will come up on the slip.

Payment Receipt

When you generate a payment you can actually send a receipt by email to your client.

Watermark on Draft Bills

You can now set a watermark on draft bills if you want, so that you know they are draft.

Speech Recognition

Speech recognition is good for those who use Dragon.  The speech recognition piece is good.

Redesigned Text Search

They redesigned the text search so that when you’re searching, it’s designed differently. To make it easier they put these in groups and so it makes it easier for you to quickly do a text search for the exact things you want.

Timeslips 2016

2016 is when they put in the SQL database and they changed the slip value details. So, if you’re looking at a slip and you click on the value, it has much more information.  It used to be just the top section which was billable, unbillable value, actually it was just two things, the original value and the billed value down here.  It didn’t have all of this detail.  Now if you have, for instance, if I have on this slip do not bill time, then that shows up as reducing the billable value.  And then if you put in an adjustment down here, so we put an adjustment of $-100 here, then that’ll show up as an adjustment.  So now you could see the slip values and you can see more clearly where the values are coming from, which that was nice.

Evaluate the Benefits

Now we have to evaluate on a year-by-year basis whether these things are worth the additional price that they charge and historically we’ve waited two to three years and then upgrade.

Timeslips 2017

Now that the 2017 version is coming out, this is where the rubber is going to start meeting the road.   The perpetual license product is always going to be named Timeslips 2017, 18, 19 and so on.  The rental product will always be known as Timeslips Premium.  The Premium version, as I mentioned, will have the continuous feature updates.

Timeslips 2017 Redesigns

In the 2017 perpetual we have a redesigned Accounts Receivable, redesigned Billing Assistant and a redesigned Budget entry screen.   I don’t even want to mention the address ghost labels.  It’s really silly.  What they did was, they told you what the address fields were in the client information. They told you that this is address line 1, this is address line 2, like you couldn’t figure out what goes on the lines.

The Billing Assistant

The Billing Assistant is actually nicer.  It’s easier to read, you have the list of all your clients and then you have the actual Billing Assistant.  This layout is much different and it’s easier to see the new charges versus the previous balance.   Before it was all kind of in one section so it must be here it’s much easier to manage them to see that and to look at what you have here.

Firebird SQL

Gary has a good question… he is asking if the new SQL version would require new equipment… a SQL server to run a SQL database… and the answer to that is no.  It’s built on Firebird SQL and is more like Microsoft’s standalone SQL – MSDE where it’s kind of self-contained.  So, no, you don’t need new equipment for that.  That’s a good question.

Billing Assistant Caution

So in the redesign of the billing assistance they still haven’t changed this print functionality.   I would caution people not to use this section right here because the filters conflict with those of the Generate Bills.   If you’re not careful, you could get something different than you expect if you’re using these features here versus the Generate Bills down here.  I look at this as more of the normal process where I have my Generate Bills here in my Generate Bills up on the bills menu.  These options over here are in conflict with those.  So I don’t like to have two different options.  It just confuses me.  I want to get what I expect when I run bills and I don’t want to get some filters that somebody else set.  I wishing you could hide this, but you can’t.  So, I always try, when I set up your preferences, you might notice I highlight the Pre-bill worksheet and the Generate Bills using different colors, usually.  So that you see those and you gravitate to those and not this pre-bill and print from here, because that’s just too confusing for me.

Accounts Receivable Redesign

They also did a redesign of the A/R entry screen.  Here’s an AR entry screen.  This is redesigned so that you can see the details of the invoice, what’s been applied to it, fees you can allocate to originating, responsible, billing timekeepers.  You can allocate percentages of the payment to where you want them to go, if you’re allocating, the contribution of the payment, who it goes to and any discounts.   So this is nice.  It’s clear it’s, it’s easier to see and reed.

Budget Redesign

The budget is also redesigned.  If your using the budget features this is much easier and much faster.  Recalculation is night and day using this in SQL than it is using BDE.  So this was nice.

Timeslips Premium Features Only

Those are going to be in the perpetual licenses and there are two other features, the Quick Bell and the Calculated Fields on Invoices.  They will be in the Premium and not the perpetual.  They are doing that because they obviously want to direct people more to the premium version than the perpetual version.   They are trying to eventually get everybody onto their rental model.  So over time, in 2017 this the first year, you get two features that are different, but over time that difference is going to grow.  We have to evaluate on an annual basis whether or not these features are worth it for us to pay.  And I’ll give you an example… so for 10 licenses on the perpetual model it’s probably around $3900.  If you are doing that Premium, it would be $3000 a year.  So the question is, are these features worth the extra money?  Say we averaged upgrading every three years, are those features worth an extra almost 8 grande, because you have those two years at $3900 each.  Are those features going to be worth it?  If they save you time, make it easier for the attorneys, if you distribute the time collection to all the attorneys or timekeepers, than it may be worth it.  For some the TimeCapture is worth it.

Quick Bill Feature

The Quick Bill feature, is part of the Bills menu.  If you have someone that comes in the door and you want to just generate a bill before they leave, this is their attempt at a quick bill.  You could put in the name and address, email, date.  The next invoice number should populate automatically, and then you could just create time entries and expense entries, up to 10 entries on this bill.  You could just keep creating time entries and an expense… and then if they pay you on the spot you could say this is paid in full, write the check number and then Timeslips will create the payment.   Then you could preview and there’s the bill.  This must use the standard layout.   So, you can email it. This is their attempt at a quick down and dirty bill and you could do that for a new client or you could pick an existing client, if you wanted just generate a quick down and dirty bill.  So that’s the Quick Bill feature.

Calculated Fields

With the bills we were not able to do specific calculations on the bill.  We can now create calculated fields.  You can name the field, create number fields or money, currency fields, percentages, hours, dates, all based on slipped fields.  We can then create calculations and place those on the invoice.  That might be nice if you wanted to do some custom calculations and have them on the bill; that we couldn’t get there before.

Those are two features that will be in the Premium version, that won’t be in the perpetual.   And as I said those feature differences are going to grow over time.

Does anybody have any questions about what we covered?  You can either put it in the Q&A or the Chat, or you can email me, call me and we could talk about it.  We could talk about your specific situation, especially for those who are on 2014 and earlier.   I think there’s a definite decision to make as to whether or not, if you just have enough licenses, you want to add a couple just to have some extra ones in case you want to grow and have those for a year or two.  Whatever you want, if you want to go to the Timeslips 2017 SQL version, you can do that anytime.  You actually can go to the perpetual version anytime or you could wait for when you need new licenses, or you have a need and there is a feature you want to take advantage of.   It’s in the perpetual version so you may move to that.  So there is no immediate need, unless you want to stay on 2014 and have extra licenses.

The last date that we can buy 2014 licenses is July 31.   The 2017 version is coming out June 27, but they extended the date until the end of July for the 2014 perpetual licenses.

So, I do have one question for you and that’s if you could, in the Q&A or the Chat, whatever is easier, if something is of interesting to you, a the new feature, something you want to learn about in a webinar, I be interested in knowing what you’d want to have me do in a webinar or training session, that might be helpful for you.  I would be more than happy to put together a training session or another webinar, so we can address whatever feature you wanted to take advantage or question you might have.   And if you have a business process you might want to explore how to improve, so I’d definitely be interested in learning what you might want to see in a webinar.  Or, if you think about it and want to email me about it, that would be great too.

Well, that’s pretty much what I wanted to cover today and to make sure that everybody was up to speed on.

Oh, Coletta has a question about the upgrade and the conversion from BDE to SQL…and it’s not really that big of a deal.  It’s just like a regular upgrade conversion. Although the one issue we would have is if the, if your database is rather large.  If you have one with 300,000 slips or more and we have managed the data, we may have a management issue where we have to manage the volume of slips to be converted. But, once you get to SQL we don’t have the limitation of 300,000 slips anymore and we don’t have to go through the semiannual, annual maintenance issue of purging slips and having some in archive and some in the live database and deal with that back-and-forth issue. So that’s a huge benefit to go to SQL.  The capacity is unlimited, so we don’t have to worry about that anymore.

So what else…anything else?   If anybody does have anything feel free to call me or email me and we can… oh, Karen has a question about how well Dragon works with Timeslips.  I actually haven’t having tried it.  I do have Dragon and I have a client that is addicted to Dragon.  He won’t leave his computer without his headset.  For me, I just can’t get away from the keyboard and typing.  And I just can’t talk that much during the day.   I don’t know…I just can’t do it.   But I could find out who has experience with it. I know he uses it for everything else.  They don’t have the version of Timeslips that works with Dragon.  But, I could check and see what other people’s experience is and let you know, for sure.

Okay, so if there’s nothing else, I will talk to you all later…and have a great day!

Sage Timeslips vs Tabs3 Billing – Client Naming Conventions


Sage Timeslips vs Tabs3 Billing Naming Conventions

Hi, my name is Jay Aaronson and in this training we’re going to cover what you need to consider when setting up your clients, projects, matters, engagements, whatever you call them in your time and billing application. In particular, we’re going to look at the naming conventions and the differences between how they are handled in Sage Timeslips and Tabs3 Billing. Both of these applications have been around for decades. They’re really entrenched in the industry and they are very feature-rich. A lot of firms out there have been using both of these applications, and if you are considering choosing between them, I’m going to try and highlight, in this particular training, a difference in how they handle the naming conventions in the setup process.

Before we get started I just want to let you know that here is my email address and website. If you have any questions regarding anything we cover, or any questions you have about Sage Timeslips and Tabs3, feel free to call me.

Application Functionality

Okay, so when you’re looking at these two applications you have to consider their different functionality. How does Timeslips handle, or any time and billing application handle, the naming conventions, the set up, and how is it different from Tabs? And which one of these applications will best suit my needs? So, you have to look at the applications themselves, what their functionality is, and whether or not that will meet your requirements.

Some of the other things you have to look at are third-party integrations. Okay, so if you’re an insurance defense firm and you have to bill electronically, what are the insurance company’s requirements for naming their cases, matters?  You have to take that into consideration when you’re setting up your database.


Let me say something off the top as an overriding concern or consideration and planning issue. I think what’s important…we’re going to talk about a lot of differences between these applications. The differences in how they might handle one feature, functionality different than the other. And no matter which application, no matter how you do this, what’s important to do is, and to keep in mind is, to be consistent, to have a consistent convention throughout your application. You don’t want to have some names set up this way, some set up that way, because it makes it harder to process. It makes it harder for the staff to actually enter and search and report on the data and to manage that data. So, as an overriding consideration and thing to keep in mind, you really should try and find a process that’s consistent and a convention that’s consistent.

Alright so, we have to consider the requirements of any outside third parties for electronic billing. We also have cost recovery systems. Some of my clients have photocopy machines that track account codes to then bill back for photocopying.  That data feeds electronically back into your time and billing application. So those are some considerations, how do they handle, how do they manage, how do they track and need the naming conventions in their system. Or the number system, or whatever they’re using.

Another thing we need to look at is, when we’re entering time, we want to make it as easy as possible on the staff and anybody who’s actually entering their time…attorneys or whatever timekeepers. As well as being able to search. How can we make it easy to search and to be able to find quickly what I need to find, so that I can bill my time and expenses. People hate to enter their time and it’s hard enough to get them to do it. You want to make it as easy as possible and that’s coming back to what I said earlier was to make sure that you make it as consistent as possible.

So those are some concerns and considerations, as well as your reporting. How do you want to organize, report on, and get data out of the system? And manage it so that you can plan properly, you can process properly, you can manage the practice efficiently.

I skipped over Accounts Receivable and Billing because that’s a different consideration. And in Timeslips depending on how you set up your naming convention you have an option to bill and to track your accounts receivable differently, depending on how you do it. So there are two options in Timeslips. And in Tabs there’s not really two options. Every client, matter is actually billed separately. And the AR is handled separately. But, you can actually bill the separate matters together in one bill. So, we’ll look at a little of that. The billing part, AR, the reporting is a little bit outside of the scope of this training. But, we will look at the naming conventions and I’ll talk about, especially in Timeslips, how that affects AR and billing.

Sage Timeslips and Tabs3 Billing – Application Specific Functionality

Alright, so let’s look at Tabs and then Timeslips. In Tabs you have the Client ID which is limited to 12 characters. And there’s three different ways you can establish or set up or and have a convention for that client id. It can be numeric, and each of these can have a decimal place. So, if you…we’ll look at the actual application in a second but, you can have a number, a decimal place and then numbers that follow all adding up to 12 including the decimal place. You can do that in a mixed fashion where you have alphanumeric characters before the decimal place and then numbers after the decimal place. And then the Alpha, they call it alpha, but you can have alphanumeric characters before and after, so that is something you have to think about and consider when you setting up Tabs.

In Tabs you also have a name search field, which is limited to 16 characters. A client name field, which is limited to 50 characters. And a work description which is limited to 50 characters. Let’s go into Tabs and I’ll show you how that all plays out. Alright, so when you’re actually setting up Tabs in your customization, this is where you decide which naming key type you want to use. Whether you want to use mixed… let’s go into Maintenance…I have to closes this first…and look at the key types here.

So this is if we were going to change them.  You can have the numeric which is what this was set up originally as. And I just changed it a little while ago to mixed, just to put a couple of examples in here for you. You see that you have numeric before the decimal place and numeric after. You have alpha characters before and numeric after. You can actually have alphanumeric before and numeric after in this mixed case and then the alpha case where you have alpha characters before and after and then you can decide on which spot you want to put your decimal place.

So that’s the key types. Alright, so when we are now in Tabs and we’re looking for that client list right, where looking at…here’s our client number ID, name search, client name, and work description. So when you are entering a fee in Tabs…let’s go back over here for second…when you’re entering a fee you can type in your client name and it’ll give you the name here and you can then find, so if you find the ID, so you could type in their anything, if you know the name search, the client name, the work description, if you type it in their you can get…this is a client ID, if you wanted a, and you knew 100 would bring you to the first 100 in the list and then you could pick it from here. If you actually knew the…was 100.00, then you would just go to the next one. So, I know there is an 850.00, it just goes to the next one, if you know that’s what it is. If you don’t know exactly what it is, you can type in here, I know there’s a William, okay William John, and so if I look at that than I know okay 101 is the number and I click okay 101 comes up.

This is…now what if you don’t know the number? So, you can click this drop-down, and if you don’t know a name, the exact name, it’s not coming up for you, or whatever. You can open this lookup screen and you can search by client ID, you can usually…(this is a short list, typically this list will be hundreds or thousands of clients deep) so if you know that it’s 850 something so you can search on the clients ID column. But, if you don’t know the ID or what number, what range, and you know that it’s…I know a name search has something to do with White…it’ll bring up all that Kelly Whites.   If I don’t, I can also look in the client name and look at…you know…Klein…and it will bring me to the first Klein, or William, and it will you and bring me to William or if I’m in the work description I’m not sure exactly what the exact description is, but I know it has real estate so, then it’ll bring up the real estate and every one with real estate, If I do “will”, it won’t bring up anything because it’s not at the beginning. It has to start with, you to get the start of the description not in the middle. Now if you don’t know the start and you know it’s “will” something in the description, you can go to the filter and you can type in “will” and bring up the will and the William.

So, those are your options on how to search based on the naming conventions you set up in Tabs. Now if you notice here I set up these to show you that there are differences in the length and so this you can do…this is 12 characters here, 12 here, I also did Peters with a mixed 255.01. And Peterson which is straight alpha with the numeric after.   But, the problem with this client ID field is that it’s only 12 characters. So you have to use the other fields to help you manage the process. Tabs has been around so long and it used to be that the numeric field, the number ID field, the numbers in general ledgers and all those kinds of its other systems comes from the old DOS days when things were numbered and so they ported that over into this system in and hadn’t change this and used these other fields to supplement. Whereas in Timeslips, we can look at that now, they have alphanumeric characters…and let’s go back into Timeslips and I’ll show you that…okay so that in Timeslips there’s the nickname 1 and nickname 2 and both can be up to 30 characters and you can have alpha, numeric, any combination thereof. It’s here important to make sure that again the naming conventions are consistent throughout the system.

So, in Timeslips you have the nickname 1, nickname 2 and you could in nickname 1 use a naming convention with your client project or client matter or engagement in the nickname one. Timeslips calls that a parent child or a master client project relationship. so that there are keys that are driven off of that functionality. So, when you have a client name and then a separator and then project all in nickname 1, there are triggers that help you manage the process, set up new projects for a client easily. Attributes from the master can be inherited by the child, if you will, on set up. And so once you’ve designed system, set it up, people don’t have to think as much, they don’t have to remember as many switches to turn on turn off, attributes to add to subtract, whatever…you can use that to help manage the process. So it makes it easy for the staff and they don’t forget things that they need to do.

So, in that nickname 1, each of the nickname 1’s are going to get billed separately in Timeslips. Just like that each client ID in Tabs will get a separate bill, although you can process them together and send them as a group, Same thing with Timeslips, you can process client project bills in a group and but the accounts receivable are all separate. Now in Timeslips you also have a client reference. So, a client project or a client without the project can have a reference and I’ll show you in the slips where those references come in, but you can identify on a bill each reference you can use them as matters separately but have the accounts receivable all be in one. Some of my clients…their clients…have that as a requirement.   So that’s an option that you have in Timeslips.

Let’s go into Timeslips and let’s look at how that’s done. Ok, in Timeslips, let’s go to the the names here. So this is the client nickname 1 and you can have up to 30 characters as well as client nickname 2, you can have up to 30 characters. You can also auto-format these, which we’re not going to get into but, so that you can standardize if you want to some of the pieces of the naming. A lot of my clients might do this in nickname 2 where you have a number and the number would be the year and the next client number. So the year dash, the next client number and you could set this up to automate, have the next number automatically appear and with the year change. But, anyways we’re not going to get into that or dwell on that.

So now, I mentioned the client master functionality. So, when you name the client name as a master you identified as a master with the right conventions, the child, the new client can take the contact, in reference to, the rates, the custom fields, the billing arrangements and all these other attributes directly from the master, or from a template. And that way it makes it easy and all these features and functions are set up automatically as soon as you basically put in the name. That makes it easy on the staff. Here is our client list and in this case we have our client nickname 1 and nickname 2. We also the full name, address and so forth. This is where we would toggle on or toggle off whether this is a master client or not.

Now, with that, let’s go to North, because that’s an actual master. The master client is North. There is a indicator saying that all of the matters, projects, engagements would be after the master name. So here is the master, its indicator as to where the project one name would start. So if I was going to add a new client and I did North.project3 and then saved it, all the North attributes come in. There is no In Reference To, there is no rates, there is nothing set up for these. But all this copied from, there is nothing special about it, but all that copied from the master, which is North project1.

Okay, so, and then, if we were to create a slip in Timeslips, you have a timekeeper, whoever, D. Brickley, and then we pick North we get to type directly, this is why I like this…this is nice…you can type directly in this field and you can drop it down and pick something else. Tabs opens up into this other field, other box, other dialogue, which is another step. But, it has its advantages and disadvantages. So, this is where you pick that and here is that reference field. Let’s go to one that I know has a reference. I think ABC actually has a reference, which are these different projects, matters, engagements. So you can actually pick one of these for each slip as opposed to picking the client project ones here. These client projects can actually have references as well to make it step, a level deeper. But, in this case this one doesn’t have a reference.

So, again as you bill ABC all of these references are going to be on the same bill. Well they could be billed separately but, they will be on the same Accounts Receivable. When you’re looking at collection you won’t be able to identify which of these projects the actual payment applies to if you set it up this way. Whereas if each one of these individually, Atlantic, Eastern, North project1, North project2, they’ll each have their own separate accounts receivable and when a payment comes in it should be easier to apply it to those specific engagements.

So those are some of the differences in how Timeslips and Tabs3 Billing handle the naming conventions. Oh and actually in Timeslips you can actually sort on these lists also and you could type in here and go to Pierce. Or look in here and go to number one. You can sort in this one and go to Bishop. So, you could sort, you could type, you can get to a client in the client list as well as when you’re actually entering a slip, so if I know the client name is Pierce, I can type a “P” and it will bring me to the first “P”. And I can type Pierce and it will bring me to Pierce. Well if I don’t know the actual client name I could switch this here and go to the nickname 2, and type in the number. I can type in the 01 dash and get to the first 01, and so forth. So, you could type and get to easily in these lists here. Which in Tabs is a little different. You get to the other dialogue box and then you start with your filtering and searching.


Alright, that’s what I want to cover in this training about the differences between Sage Timeslips and Tabs3 Billing and the naming conventions and how you would set them up in each.   What their particular attributes are and how you might use them. If you have any questions as to how either one of these might apply to your firm, if you’re evaluating Sage Timeslips or Tabs3 Billing software and have some questions. If you want me to clarify anything that we’ve talked about in this training. Hopefully, we will, and are expecting to have additional training on different features in Tabs3 and Timeslips and the difference between them, to help you decide on which application is right for you.

So, anytime you have a question, don’t hesitate to reach out.  Jay Aaronson, DataLynk Solutions…and have a great rest of the day. Thanks. Take care.

Cloud Computing Issues and More – Tackle Today’s Challenges

Cloud Computing Issues

Our partners at BHE Consulting, in conjunction with Dresser & Associates, Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP and Net DirXions, Inc. have graciously put together a complimentary workshop aimed at helping companies not only tackle some of 2016’s most challenging cloud computing issues, but…

In this seminar you will learn:

  1. What are Today’s Cloud Computing Issues and is it Right for You?

    Presented by: Douglas Beckerman, CPA, BHE Cloud Computing
    •    Gain a general understanding of today’s cloud computing issues
    •    Understand the evolution and trends of ERP
    •    Hear the common questions and concerns of Cloud ERP
    •    Evaluate the benefits and Return on Investment (ROI) of Cloud ERP

  2. Top Issues in Employment Law for 2016

    Presented by: Emily J. Nelson, Esq., Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP
    •    Social media policies and employee rights
    •    Massachusetts treble damages law
    •    The new joint employer test
    •    Implications of changes to overtime law
    •    Employers vs. Independent contractors: cautionary tales

  3. Cyber Crime vs. Cyber Security: How it Pertains to Today’s Business Environment

    Presented by: John Enright, Net DirXions, Inc.
    •    What is cyber crime?
    •    What is cyber security?
    •    Who is at risk?
    •    What are the hidden risks that threaten your business?
    •    How to prepare and protect your computer network.

  4. Crucial Technology for ACA Compliance

    Presented by: Mike Albrizzi, InfinityHR Software
    •    There is no doubt about it, the ACA (Affordable Care Act) is complex. That’s why more and more companies are investing in technology to help create more efficient reporting capabilities.
    •    Learn about a tool that can help your company stay ACA compliant

This workshop has been approved for 3.50 (HR (General)) re-certification credit hours.

Location:                                                         Date: December 9, 2015
Embassy Suites                                                Time: 8:30 AM to 12:00 PM
550 Winter Street
Waltham, MA 02451


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Net DirXionsDresser Associates

Please Join us…to register…

Do You Believe In Having Insurance?

Insurance comes at a cost and it can be expensive.

Auto, life, health, liability, business, workers comp…it all adds up.  But, what if you could get insurance for nothing.   That’s right, you heard me, nothing, nada, zilch.  You probably don’t believe it, but it’s true.  I know I have, most of my client have jumped on it, and I’ll tell you how you can get free insurance too!

First, I have to tell you, I felt so bad last week when my client called.  One of their workstations got a virus that infected the server.  Their network support personnel were able to restore to ten days prior.  However, Timeslips, their mission critical time and billing application, was not working properly.  No problem, I thought.  If worst comes to worst, we can reinstall the program and restore the data to the most recent backup.

When I got on site, what I discovered dropped my jaw to the floor and made my heart sink.  The program was indeed missing. But, worse than that (as I mentioned, we could just reinstall the application), there were no backups of the data.  And it wasn’t just that there were no backups on the restored server.  The network personnel did not restore them from the cloud backup, because there were no backups.  What!  So I inquired, and what I heard made me shake my head in disbelief.  There were no backups because my client had not backed up their Timeslips data in over two years.  How can that be, any of my clients will tell you I am a fanatic when it comes to backing up data.  The more backups you have the better.  If ever you have a disaster, and this event surely qualified, you want to give yourself the most options to recover.

This is also a perfect example of why you should not rely solely on network backups.  Most have a policy of using a two week cycle.  But, if you don’t discover the virus or any other problem before the two weeks are up, you just keep backing up the problem.

Now my client will have to spend thousands of dollars in time and effort trying to recreate over two years worth of mission critical data.  And all because they relied on network backups.  If they made Timeslips backups, and depending on your version, they can even be done automatically, it would have provided them with security, and insurance against a server failure. Free insurance!

Sometimes you just have to help yourself.


If you want to help yourself, please view our recorded webinar on steps you can take, to give your company the security and insurance it needs to be protected from a disaster.

Prepare for Sage Timeslips 2016

Wise Sage Timeslips Consultant



As we mentioned in our article “Is it time to upgrade my software?“, a publisher can include anything from minor bug fixes to beneficial features and functionality in a new release.  Each version should be evaluated on its own merits, and so we need to do the same with Sage Timeslips 2016.

One of the important questions we would ask about Sage Timeslips 2016 is…

Does this release include a major new rebuild of any kind?  If the answer is yes, then a way to evaluate potential issues is to look at history.   How often has that kind of undertaking been successful on the first release?   We’ve all heard way too many horror stories where customers end up becoming guinea pigs, and unfortunately there do not seem to be enough out of the box successes.  It happens to the best of software companies.  We’ve seen it with Microsoft, Apple, Intuit and any number of major developers.  Applications, and the platforms they run on, have become so complicated and varied that they are bound to be challenged out of the gate.  And for a publisher to test all environments under which a new release will be subjected to is nearly impossible, let alone cost prohibitive.

So, as usual, over the summer, the new version of Sage Timeslips 2016 will be released.  It’s expected to  include an improvement that they have been planning for years.  To their credit though, Timeslips did postpone the date of this major launch.  It was originally to be released last year at this time.  They recognized it would not be ready to meet their standards and held off.  To that I said congratulations.

Considering that the Timeslips 2015 version has been on the market for almost a year now and it is reliable, is this upgrade right for your firm?

With over 20 years of experience supporting Sage Timeslips, my antenna is up on this one. I’m recommending that my clients be cautious here.  Especially if you are using an older version of Timeslips (2014 or earlier) and you have a Windows 7 computer or older, you could be in for an unexpected challenge.

Learn how you can avoid a costly mistake when upgrading to Sage Timeslips 2016…

If you missed out webinar… Contact us and we will outline the key steps you can take to so you don’t get caught in the trap.