It's been a long time since I have reviewed time entry apps on the iPhone, mainly because I don't currently use those apps in my practice. One app that I looked at four years ago (and then again in September of 2009) is Time Master + Billing by On-Core Software, an app that has changed substantially since I last mentioned it. Denver attorney Gary Marsh recently told me how much he likes this app, and he gave me permission to share his thoughts here. If you are considering using your iPhone or iPad to handle time entry and billing, here is Gary's perspective on how this app has worked in his practice:
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Time Master, by On-Core Software, LLC, is now in Version 5.7 (support documentation most recently revised February 5, 2013). It has grown into a full-featured program that rivals or, indeed, exceeds any PC or Mac desktop programs that I’ve seen – and I’ve tried quite a few.
The basic package is $9.99 (for timekeeping); the invoicing add-on module is another $9.99; and the synchronization add-on module, which allows the user to sync the app back and forth between an iPad and an iPhone, is another $6.99. (The also has a $5.99 Quickbooks export module, but I haven’t purchased that component and so don’t feel qualified to comment on it.)
I’ve been using Time Master for over a month now, and it has changed the whole way the financial side of my practice works. Formerly, I was using the desktop SaaS program TurboLaw Time & Billing, at $30 per month per computer. I was dictating my time into my iPhone’s recorder; then using iTunes to burn the recordings to a DVD disk; then handing off the disk each week to an outside bookkeeper, who was then listening to the recordings and posting them, one at a time, to TurboLaw. Why the DVDs? The files, which were in Microsoft Access .mdb format, could not be sent as e-mail attachments because the servers viewed them as being virus-infected; thus, a physical hand-off of disks every week had to be carried out.
The fact she did this on a second computer meant I had to pay for two separate TurboLaw licenses. I had to pay the outside bookkeeper $800+ per month just to post all of my time and expense entries. Then she would run preliminary invoices, which I would have to review and correct for misspellings, mispostings, and other problems. I would then hand-deliver the corrected versions back to the bookkeeper, who would then run final versions and send them out.
At the end of our typical monthly billing period, we were usually lucky to have our client invoices out the door by the 10th of the following month – in a good month. When instances arose where I was tied up in meetings, or court appearances, or out of the country, sometimes we just rolled the entire month over into the next month, and redid the whole process all over again. Not exactly the preferred way for a law firm to manage its cash-flow.
Enter Time Master, which lets me post my own entries for both time and expenses on-the-fly, to either my iPhone or my iPad, whichever happens to be the most convenient at the time. For this past month of March, we had all of our client invoices out by April 3rd. And that was just because we were still familiarizing ourselves with the program, which is extremely user-friendly. By the time the month of April is concluded, I fully expect we will be ready and able to send all of our client invoices out on the evening of April 30th.
Time Master has made great strides since your September, 2009 review. It should be in every lawyer’s briefcase on an iPad, or at the very least on every lawyer’s smart phone. With the money I’ll be saving on my former TurboLaw subscription ($720 per year), plus what I’ll save from not having to have the outside bookkeeper manually post entries ($9,600 per year), plus the increased regularity of cash-flow I’ll achieve by being able to get invoices out immediately at the end of each calendar month (priceless), the Time Master app more than paid for itself on the very first day I started using it. It would be pretty hard to beat that R.O.I. any other way, with any other app of which I’ve ever heard!
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Thanks, Gary, for sharing your thoughts on this app. I see that it also has integrated support for TextExpander, which can make it even faster to enter your time. I've also seen other attorneys rave about this app in the past (such as Alabama attorney Clark Stewart), so I know that it can be a great solution.
Click here to get Time Master + Billing ($9.99):