One of the more under-used features of Timeslips is its powerful user-defined reporting capability. Over the last few versions, and continuing with the 2010 edition, Sage has added a lot of functionality to this area, making it much easier for users to customize their own reports. User-defined reports allow you to see your information exactly the way you want it, instead of the way Timeslips thinks you want to see it.
From the Reports menu, choose Create a Report, then Create a completely new report. You can choose to create a detailed or summary report for Slips, Clients, Accounts Receivable or Funds. The report wizard makes it easy to add fields, sort keys, and filters. you can also simply click Finish at that point, to go right into design mode and drag any fields you need onto the report.
The advantage of using the designer is that you have almost total control over report formatting. Simply drag fields from the list on the right side of the screen into the desired column. You can easily add columns and rows, and modify the width of each column if you so desire. Once you have a field on the report, you can get really creative by using Field Display Criteria to filter the information that appears in each column or row.
An accounting firm client recently asked us to create a report that compares how much they billed their tax clients this year compared to last year. To build this report, we pulled the Billed Slip Value onto the report twice and used Field Display Criteria to filter the first field for the current month and the second field for the same month a year ago. We then sorted the report by client, to get a clear comparison between this year’s and last year’s tax billings. We then took it a step further by sending it to Excel, where the user could easily subtract one field from the other to see the difference (you can’t do this directly in Timeslips….yet).
Calculated fields, which was a new feature in Timeslips 2009, and has been enhanced in Timeslips 2010, gives you another powerful tool for building custom reports.
Say you want to know your firm’s “profitability” for a specific timekeeper; that is, how much the firm actually nets after paying the employee. You could create one calculated field that multiplies the time spent by the Timekeeper’s overhead rate. We’ll call that field “Overhead Slip Value”. You could then create a second calculation that subtracts the Overhead Slip Value from the Slip Value, giving you employee “profitability”.
In Timeslips 2010 you’ll be able to use the new number-type custom fields in calculations as well, giving you even more power and flexibility.
In larger law firms, associates frequently have billable hour targets from 1,900 to 2,200 hours per year. You could store this “target amount” in a timekeeper custom field. You could then create a calculation that compares the target number to the actual billable hours, giving you the timekeeper’s utilization percentage.
These are just a few examples of how you can take your reporting to the next level. If you’d like to learn more, please contact TriStar Data Systems to have us help you with your specific reporting needs.
Timeslips 2010 begins shipping in July 2009. Pre-order now to take advantage of significant discounts. As a “Platinum Level” Certified Consultant for Sage Software, we are able to offer special pricing on license upgrades through June 30, 2009.