If you have taken advantage of the Pre-release special pricing offers, you can expect to receive your new Timeslips 2011 before the end of June. Timeslips will begin shipping starting the week of June 21, 2011.
If you haven't ordered your upgrade, you can still take advantage of the latest pricing specials.
You might also be interested in reading a previous post on "When to Upgrade". It's almost always a good idea to take advantage of the special pre-release and early release pricing offers that are available. It's also a good idea to wait for the first service release before you install the product.
All of you regular blog subscribers will get service release information just as soon as it's available.
Timeslips has two, free built-in utilities: TAL and TALPro that are designed to link your transactions in Timeslips to the General Ledger of either QuickBooks or Peachtree. If you don't use either of these programs for your accounting, you can still use TAL to generate a General Ledger Account Transfer Register report that will provide you with the summary figures to enter manually to your General Ledger. It is important to note that the link is primarily between Timeslips and General Ledger. For example, if you create an invoice in Timeslips, that same invoice will not be automatically created in your accounting program. You will not be able to run an Accounts Receivable Aging report in your Accounting Program. Timeslips is essentially a replacement for the Accounts Receivable program in QuickBooks or Peachtree.
If you have Timeslips 2009 or earlier, you will need to enable TAL or TALPro in the Setup, Features Enabled. If you have Timeslips 2010 or later, click on Setup; Accounting Setup to choose the type of Accounting Link. Which one should you choose: TAL or TALPro. If you are not linking to QuickBooks or Peachtree, your only option is TAL, which will give you the information to make manual entries to your General Ledger.
If you have QuickBooks or Peachtree, I recommend TALPro, which will give you additional options not available with TAL. TALPro has a two-way link between expense (accounts payable) entries and Timeslips. It can create expense slips in Timeslips.
During the setup process, Timeslips links to either your QuickBooks or Peachtree General Ledger accounts. You will assign the appropriate GL account number to the Fees and Expenses that are shown on the set up screen. This is the account information that Timeslips will use to make the journal entry in the accounting program.
If you have upgraded from a very old version of Timeslips, it is sometimes difficult to find all the new features that have been added to Timeslips since your last upgrade. Even with the newer versions, it's not so easy to find everything that has changed in the new software.
Timeslips has provided all this information under the Help button. Just click on "Help", then select "What's New". You will then be presented with a list of hyperlinks to new features in every version since Version 9.1.
You may have some clients that you want to send a bill that shows a Previous Balance and other clients that you only want to show the current charges on the bill.
This will require two different bill layouts. You will assign different bill layouts to your clients depending on what information you want on the bill.
Start by duplicating the current layout. From the tool bar, select Bills, then Bill and Statement Layouts. Select the bill layout you want to duplicate and open it in the Design view.
Next, click on Layout and select Duplicate. You now see the name of the layout changed to "Copy of .....". This is a copy of your original layout. You can rename it by simply typing over the "copy of" name.
To change the Previous Balance Option, you will need to select Section from the toolbar.
Select Configure Layout Sections from the drop-down list
Scroll down the list until you see the Previous A/R Balance option.
If you want to show the balance on this bill layout, simply, check the box. If you do not want to show a Previous Balance, leave the box unchecked.
Save the layout.
Your next step will be to assign the new layout to specific clients. You can do this easily by opening a client in Client Information. Go to the Layout tab and select the new bill layout.
If you want to assign the layout to several clients, an faster method is to select Bills from the toolbar and then select Bill and Statement Layouts. Just click on the Assign button and check all the clients that should have the new bill layout.
If you have one of the very popular iPhones, now you can enter your time in the iPhone and have a wireless data transfer to your Timeslips. In addition to entering your time and expenses, it also has the capability of automatically starting a timer when you call a client from your iPhone.
Many of these phone calls that are made to clients while you are "on the go" fall into the category of lost billing time. I know a lot of attorneys who enter their time on a weekly or monthly basis. They probably don't remember who they spoke to and how much time was spent. If you are one of those rare, diligent people who enters their time immediately when they get back to the office, this might not apply to you. I don't own an iPhone, but automatically capturing the phone time when speaking with a client would be a tremendous time saver as well as a way to bill for time that would have been lost. And the idea that this can be transferred back to your office using wireless data transmission is an added bonus. The price for the app is $49.95.
If you would like to see a product video and get more information about some of the other features like the automatic mileage calculator, go to www.brainfreezesoftware.com
If you use TAL or TALPro to link your Timeslips to QuickBooks or Peachtree, you probably have seen the "Suspense" account on the list of account types that can be linked to the General Ledger in your accounting program. Just what is the Suspense account used for?
If you accept a payment from a client before you actually send an invoice or you receive an overpayment for an invoice, you probably check the box "Apply to future invoice" in the cash receipt screen. When this transaction is sent to the General Ledger, it posts a debit to the Cash operating account and a Credit to the Suspense account. Once you have invoiced the client, the entry to the Suspense account is reversed. The Suspense account is debited and the Income account is credited. I always think of the Suspense account as an "accrued accounts receivable". It is actually a liability until the client is invoiced, at which time, it becomes income.
In most states, law firms are required to deposit advance deposits or retainers into a separate Client Trust bank account. In Timeslips, you would be making a Deposit to Account in the Funds Transaction area. You do not enter these cash receipts in the Accounts Receivable Payment Transaction area of Timeslips, but rather in the Funds Transaction area. Timeslips has a totally different method for handling retainers and advanced payments that are kept in a Trust account.
What does the Yellow Envelope mean when you see it in your Timeslips lists? Any time you see that envelope next to a slip or cash receipt transaction, it means that slip has been billed. Anything with a Yellow Envelope cannot be edited or deleted. Here is what it looks like on the Slip List:
You can double click to open the slip and you will see the invoice number and date that it was billed in the upper right-hand corner of the slip.
Here is how it looks in the Accounts Receivable screen. A yellow envelope can appear next to a transaction on this screen even if you have not physically sent the client an invoice.
Say you select a range of clients to be billed for a specific time period, however, you do not check the options to show bills with balances but no activity. You also do not choose to include clients who are paid in full. When you print your bills, only those clients that meet the criteria will have a bill printed (those that had slips to be billed). However, any other client in the range that only had cash receipt transactions will show a yellow envelope next to the transactions, even though an actual bill was not produced.
You might notice this when you approve bills it will say "27 bills approved, 2 "processed" or something similar depending on your version. The "processed" refers to those transactions that are marked as billed, but no invoice was printed.
One of the easiest ways to clean up your Timeslips records is by Purging Closed Clients. The first step in this process is to review your Open and Inactive Client Lists. Develop an in-house procedure where you automatically change the status of Open or Inactive clients to Closed if there has been no activity within a specified period of time. The length of time that you decide on depends on your particular practice. If you need to review the procedures for Changing Client Status, click here.
Normally, we recommend doing a purge as part of your year-end procedures. Before starting the purge process, create a new empty database and name it something like "YE2009" to distinguish
it from the normal active database.
Once the empty "YE2009" database is created, simply make a copy of your current database (i.e. DATA01) to the desktop; rename it to YE2009 (for example) and then copy it to the location where you created the empty YE2009 database. You can delete the database that you copied to the desktop.
Now you have a complete copy of the database before the purge residing in the YE2009 folder. You can now safely purge client records from your active data folder (i.e. DATA01). If for some reason, you need records or reports involving the purged client records, simply open the YE2009 data folder.
To Purge Closed Clients, click on File, Purge.
In the next window, simple check the Closed Clients. When you purge client records, you will also be purging slips associated with those clients.