Web-based timekeeping and invoicing for independent professionals

I have already written about a web-based timekeeping and invoicing system called Freshbooks which has proven to be pretty popular.  TechCrunch mentioned a similar service called Time59 as part of a roundup of startups at an event called TECH Cocktail:

Time59 is a web-based computer application for keeping track of your billable hours and invoicing your clients. It’s designed for anyone who bills by the hour for their services.

In many ways Time59 seems similar to Freshbooks.  Those of you who are familiar with my Freshbooks post or the Freshbooks service may find some of these features familiar too:

  • Complete privacy and security for your data
  • Enter your time records from any computer
  • Generate and email invoices in PDF format
  • Invoices can also be printed and sent regular mail
  • Comprehensive reports for analyzing billable hours
  • Export data to Excel® and ASCII formats
  • Optional QuickBooks® interface
  • Always-on SSL 128-bit security
  • For more info and discussion see the Time59 Blog

Just taking a look at a couple screenshots I see that it is possible to create listings for clients and separate projects for each client.  That is already pretty helpful because as an attorney I have multiple jobs for my clients and don’t want to create new client listings for each file I open.  It is also possible to set different charge out rates for each project, let alone each client.  Another useful tool for keeping tabs on how you are doing relative to your budget is the calendar view which shows you how much time you have billed for each day.  Given that you could have different charge out rates for different clients and projects this feature could be improved with actual values for that time.  This is available in a summary report, though, and you can clearly see how much time you have billed for which client and what that time is worth.

Contrary to Freshbooks’ more varied pricing options, Time59 offers a single price of $19.95 (around R150) for unlimited use with the option of a free 30-day trial.  Time59 is a useful service for professionals on the move and who can’t afford expensive accounting packages.  Then again, even if you have an expensive accounting package, like QuickBooks, you can use Time59 and integrate the two.  This is going to be helpful for professionals who don’t update their accounting packages themselves and who may want to streamline the update process that their financial person does use.

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