BillingTracker Pro 3
By Mark D. Wilson
Pro 3 from Fifth Walk is a full-featured billing program in a small
package. It makes keeping track of time, billing clients, managing
accounts receivable and keeping an eye on the bottom line extremely
simple for the busy professional.
Timekeeping is a cinch with the
easy-to-use timer or from the Manage Daily Work screen. The timer lets
you switch between two projects (when you are interrupted by a phone
call, for instance), or you can input time directly with a few clicks of
Billing clients is just as easy. Choose
the client you want to bill, and all the work is done in one click. The
program handles hourly, project-based, contingent-fee and retainer
billing. It’s a snap to insert customized payment terms, modify wording
on statements and reports, and import a company logo to print on your
bills. The preformatted bills are laid out well, and they are
customizable to your firm’s individual needs. You can create a multitude
of reports on almost every aspect of time, billing, productivity and
accounts receivable with a few mouse clicks.
I found the interface easy to use and
easy to figure out. I was instantly adding clients, inputting project
information and bringing up the timer to start billing — all without
reading the instruction manual. The menu choices are clear and easy to
grasp, and most are available as icons at the top of the BillingTracker
window. The pop-up windows for billing, reports, timer and so forth are
I did find a couple of minor drawbacks
to the program.
First, while you can set an hourly rate
for an individual user to override the set project hourly rate, you can
only set one rate per user. So if you have a paralegal billing at one
rate for one client and another rate for a different client, the system
will not handle this. However, in any given time log entry, you can
change the rate manually.
Second, the description field for the
timer is limited to about 100 characters (300 characters for entering
time directly). That might sound like a lot until you try telling the
client what you did for four hours this morning. Lastly, you can only
switch between two timers. On busy days, I often go back and forth
between four or five projects at any given time. Two timers might not be
adequate. Thankfully, you will be able to switch among four timers in
the next version of BillingTracker, scheduled for a spring 2006 release.
All in all, this is a great program.
The features are, with the noted exceptions, top notch. The program is
easy to use, data can be exported seamlessly into many formats
(Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, for example), and the interface is
uncluttered and user-friendly. If a single hourly rate per biller is
something you can live with, you will not find anything in
BillingTracker’s league for the same price. While it can’t compare to
the more full-featured programs such as Timeslips, it costs less than
half as much. For the money, I think this program is a solid winner.
BillingTracker Pro 3
Fifth Walk • (866) 893-8741 •
www.billingtracker.com • $89 per user, with
discounts for multiple users • Windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP.
Pros: Easy-to-use, full-featured
billing program for the small office.
Limited to one hourly rate per
biller, limited description field, only two billing timers at one time.
Highly recommend if cons are
not a problem. Very easy to figure out and use, excellent interface, and
it has nicely formatted bills and reports.