BillQuick 2003 Unleashed

Wednesday May 7th 2003 by Patricia Fusco
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Is it time for your small business to get serious about its time-based billing and invoicing procedures? Perhaps it's time to take a look at BillQuick 2003.

BQE Software, makers of BillQuick, this week introduced an enhanced version of the popular billing system. BillQuick was first introduced in May 1996. Initially designed for use by architects and engineers, BillQuick has flexed and grown to be adopted by nearly any type of service professional imaginable. Computer consultants, programmers, accountants and attorneys have all put BQE Software's BillQuick billing system to work.

Will Breiholz, BQE Software general manager, said BillQuick 2003 covers three different types of client-centric business billing systems.

"Attorneys and consultants that bill for time use a client/matter billing strategy," Breiholz said. "While Job-based businesses, such as construction firms, employ a client/project billing strategy. Accountants or tax and payroll preparation services that bill for repetitive services use a client/task strategy. BillQuick 2003 foots the bill for each type of business in an industry specific, yet customized manner."

Small businesses that require billing based upon criteria such as fixed fee, time and expense, hourly billing, hourly billing with a "do not to exceed" amount, and contractual billing based on a percentage or series of payments or fixed fee payments are all readily processed by BillQuick. The program strives to makes time billing as simple as possible, even if a small business has to accommodate project phasing and billing against retainers. Additionally, project and office profitability is accurately tracked and reported for in-depth management analysis.

The BillQuick 2003 edition is a major upgrade, this first since November 2002 when BQE Software first tapped into Intuit's software development kit for QuickBooks. This, in addition to other project controls and reporting enhancements, means the revised billing system is retooled and ready to promote enhanced billing efficiency by improving office productivity and streamlining management tasks.

Breiholz said the new edition was designed using feedback from existing BillQuick customers.

"Based on customer feedback, new features such as industry-specific labeling, menus, and reporting have been added to BillQuick 2003," Breiholz said.

Other new features include easy-to-use wizards and a BillQuick tutorial. Also new to the BillQuick 2003 edition is a Navigator function that allows users to quick-link to recently viewed reports.

Businesses as small as a one-person office to larger network-based organizations are able to enter time and billing data in as few as three keystrokes. From there, BillQuick 2003 is able to create invoices and statements that can be specified for individual tasks or projects. Businesses can adjust the billing system to their specific service-oriented needs, enabling users to meet the demands of nearly any type of client.

Breiholz said BillQuick 2003 is one of the most powerful time and billing software solutions on the market.

"It is designed with a complete open architecture that makes add-on's and custom modules possible to greatly enhance and customize BillQuick's features to the unique needs of any small business," Breiholz said. "Implementing BillQuick results in reduced overhead, more accurate time tracking, and increased revenue."

BillQuick can be setup to run on a single workstation or across a shared network. Minimum required in a single workstation setting include a Pentium processor, 32MB of RAM and 80MB of hard drive space.

Backed up by a Microsoft Access database, BillQuick supports all current Windows operating systems and is relatively simple to install and maintain, making it a good choice for small businesses that don't have dedicated IT staffs but need to get time-based invoices processed and out the door. The program can also operate in most Novell network environments.

BillQuick 2003 can import and export data to and from QuickBooks, Peachtree, Microsoft Money, MAS 90 and Quicken, but only QuickBooks is embedded into the architecture of the program. As a result, importing customer lists and client setup is much faster for those small businesses that use QuickBooks. BillQuick is also integrated with Outlook, so the program is capable of sending invoices by e-mail.

In addition to a variety of practice management modules, BillQuick 2003 provides PDA and Web interface programs for time and expense management, allowing more efficient data entry for remote or traveling personnel.

The program will review the client data and bill intelligently at the appropriate time. The Time Card module gives employees full access to enter their time directly into the system, while limiting their access to confidential information.

Fee Schedules within BillQuick allow variable billing rates to be assigned to any combination of employee, activity and project. All invoices, statements and reports are completely customizable. Invoices and statements can be specified for individual projects, enabling small businesses to meet the demands of nearly any client. You do not need to change the way you run your business. BillQuick will adjust to fit your business the way you run it.

BillQuick comes with 90 days of free technical support. BillQuick Basic, a two-user license, is available for $395. BillQuick Pro, suitable for five users, is available for $695. Additional users run $55 each. BillQuick Enterprise, supported by a SQL server on the backend, is available for five-users at $495, and about $12 for each additional user. Each version is available for a 30-day free trial.

Furthermore, BillQuick Lite is available for free to a single user. It offers a reduced feature set that is upgradeable to any iteration of the premium program. When asked why BQE Software offers this edition for free, Breiholz said BillQuick 2003 isn't challenged by competing billing programs — it's more basic than that when it comes to attracting small business users.

"We're not challenged by the competition," Breiholz said. "We're challenged by the small businesses that still use the back of an envelope to prepare their invoices or filter through a spreadsheet to determine what clients need to be billed. The challenge is getting small businesses to understand they need a billing system like BillQuick 2003."

Breiholz said that the typical small business can get setup out of the box and be running BillQuick 2003 in no time at all. Just 8-10 minutes and the average QuickBooks-based small business can be prepared to start preparing invoices and statements.

Is it time for your small business to get serious about its billing and invoicing procedures? Perhaps it's time to take a look at BillQuick 2003. Download a copy of BillQuick 2003 for a 30-day free trial and see if it fits the bill for your small business.

Do you have a comment or question about this article or other small business topics in general? Speak out in the SmallBusinessComputing.com Forums. Join the discussion today!
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