Top Features to Look for in a Time and Billing Software

Tim Sines

What’s one thing that a large-scale accounting firm and a solo bookkeeper have in common? The need for dependable and easy-to-use time and billing software. Whether you’re a team of one or many, you can benefit from incorporating technology into your daily processes. With time and billing software for accountants in particular, you can save time and money, manage your clients better, provide enhanced financial visibility, ensure compliance, and quickly scale to accommodate the needs of your accounting business. However, it’s important to know what features to look for time and billing software. Not all software will be a good fit for you. Some might be too hard to use, and won’t work well for everyone on your team. Others might not have all the things you need to get your work done. So, it’s important to choose software that has the right features and is easy to use for everyone on your team.

What to Look For in a Time and Billing Software

File Sharing

File sharing is an important feature in any time and billing software. It allows your team to securely send and receive documents from clients, stakeholders, and other team members. This includes invoices, receipts, and other important files. The file-sharing feature helps to streamline the billing process, reduce errors, and save time that would otherwise be spent on low-level tasks such as printing and mailing records.

The file-sharing feature in time and billing software makes it easier to work together on projects and share important information in real time. This can improve communication with your clients and productivity with your team. Overall, you will elevate your client experience.

When looking for time and billing software that offers file sharing, be sure that it does the following:

  • Sends and receives documents and e-signatures safely via email without needing to download PDFs or other files
  • Sends and receives files and e-signatures on any device
  • Stores files safely in the cloud for easy access from authorized users, no matter their location
  • Offers bank-level security for your files, whether they are in transmission or in storage
  • Encrypts your files when you send them and when they’re stored

Electronic Signatures

Your time and billing software should give you the ability to collect electronic signatures (or e-signatures) from your clients. Why is this important?

When you use electronic signatures in your time and billing software, your clients can sign and approve important documents without having to use paper. They can do it all online, which saves a lot of time and effort. You won’t have to wait for the mail or fax machine to get approvals anymore. This means you can move on to the next step faster, and get more done in less time. Plus, using electronic signatures helps to keep everything more organized and secure, which is important for businesses of all sizes.

Accurately Track Time

Of course, in any time and billing software, you want to be able to track time accurately to ensure that you’re making as much revenue as you are owed. An automated time tracking tool frees you from having to manually enter your time on spreadsheets. Your software should have a convenient timer that allows you to start and stop whenever you or a team member needs to capture time. Plus, these timers should be accessible from any device that accesses your time and billing software. This is one of the major reasons why you should choose a time and billing software that’s always accessible online, in the cloud.

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What to Look For in a Time and Billing Software

A Secure Client Portal

Look for time and billing software that includes a client portal feature. This feature can greatly enhance your client experience, will improve internal and external communication and collaboration, and will help to streamline your billing and payment processes.

By using a client portal, you can make it easier for each of your clients to access important information related to their account, such as documents to sign and billing invoices. This saves you time because you don’t have to send documents and invoices manually via email or regular mail. And it saves your clients time because they can access everything they need to review and sign from one central location.

For example, the client portal allows clients to view their billing history and make payments online.

A client portal offers added convenience for both your team and your clients. Use it to build trust, loyalty, and stronger relationships with your clients.

Enhanced Invoicing

In the past, accounting firms would often send paper invoices through the mail. Of course, this old-school process was time-consuming, expensive, and had a higher risk of errors and lost invoices. Plus, accounting firms would create invoices manually using spreadsheets or word processing software, which was not only time-consuming but also prone to errors of all types. Finally, this type of invoicing didn’t allow accounting teams to easily track invoice history or prevent bills from falling through the tracks.

Using outdated invoicing practices like the ones mentioned above can stop you from effectively growing your business. It can lead to payment delays, billing confusion, miscommunication, and general client dissatisfaction.

When you choose a time and billing software with enhanced invoicing features, you can streamline the invoicing process, improve accuracy, and ensure that you’re paid on time every time.

Look for time and billing software that allows you to send invoices in a way that works for your team and your clients. The software should allow you to do different types of invoicing, including batch, manual, recurring, and retainer.

With batch invoicing, you can make multiple invoices all at once for different projects or clients. This can save you a lot of time because you don’t have to make each invoice separately. Instead, you create, edit, and send all the invoices from one place.

When you don’t want to automate your invoicing, you can switch to manual mode. With manual invoicing, you can control what you share with your client on the invoice and provide a description for your billing. You can also apply individual discounts, which is something you may not want to do as a batch process.

With recurring invoicing, you can automatically generate and send invoices on a regular schedule. Recurring invoicing is helpful if you want to send the same invoice every billing cycle. You can set up the software to send invoices automatically.

If you prefer to ask for payment upfront before you start on a project, you can set up retainer invoicing. With retainer invoicing, you can request payment from the client without changing how much they currently owe you.

Integrated Payment Processing

Your time and billing software should also have integrated payment processing. This will enable you to accept a wide range of electronic payments (without relying on a third-party payment system like Square). You can receive payments from credit cards as well as ACH and electronic checks. Processing electronically means that you can access your funds in a matter of hours (usually between 24 to 48 hours). Plus, all payments should be secure, so you don’t have to worry about fraud.

Enables Document Management

Your time and billing software should enable easy document management.

Document management is an essential feature to look for in time and billing software because it allows you to organize all of your documents by name, type, due date, or more. By doing so, you can keep billing accurate and easily accessible to multiple team members. Maintaining your documents properly also ensures that you’re complying with any legal requirements on how long documents should be stored.

Final Thoughts

In this guide, we’ve gone over the features to look for in time and billing software. Now, it makes sense to invite you to demo Mango Practice Management software.

Why choose Mango?

Our all-in-one practice management software was built by accountants for accountants. We’ve created a tool that allows you to successfully collaborate with your clients, whether that’s sharing files, collecting signatures, tracking your time, or ensuring that you meet important deadlines every time.

Schedule your free demo to see how Mango can save costs and help make your processes more efficient.

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