How to Save 4 Plus Hours Per Billing Cycle Increase Your Billable Hours

How to Save
4 Plus Hours
Per Billing Cycle
Increase Your Billable Hours
A BQE Software Insight Report
BQE Software, Inc.
(888) 245-5669
©2006 BQE Software, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be
reproduced, transmitted, stored in a retrieval system, or translated into any language in
any form by any means without written permission of BQE Software, Inc.
BillQuick, BillQuick Basic, BillQuick Lite, BillQuick Pro and BillQuick Enterprise are
registered trademarks of BQE Software, Inc.
Other parties’ trademarks or service marks are the property of their respective owners
and should be treated as such.
Table of Contents
Executive Summary…………………………………………………………..... 1
Billing Wizards………………………………………………………………….. 2
Billing by Client Manager and Contract Type………………………………….. 3
Hide/Show……………………………………………………………………... 4
Write-Up/Down……………………………………………………………….. 5
Billing Details…………………………………………………………………… 7
Auto-Complete………………………………………………………………… 8
Batch Change…………………………………………………………………... 9
Client and Project Retainers…………………………………………………… 10
Web-Based Billing……………………………………………………………… 11
BillQuick Messages……………………………………………………………...13
Report Automation…………………………………………………………….. 14
Executive Summary
Maximizing billable hours widens the road of success.
Time is a finite resource. Increasing hours worked per day in order to increase billable
hours takes a toll on your health, family life, and more.
Running your company, you want to focus on your passion, to spend more time
generating revenues from that passion. You want to spend only the most efficient efforts
managing the business.
For example, when billing clients for work done, you simply want to get it done. No
hassles, no delays. No long days or multiple days bringing together information and
determining what to bill clients. You want information right there in front of you, ready
when you are to make billing decisions. And you want to be able to execute billing
decisions quickly and efficiently, with as few clicks as possible.
BillQuick significantly reduces administrative burden associated with running a
professional organization.
When billing clients (and in other areas of interaction with BillQuick), new and improved
features save you hours of non-billable time (administrative burden). Reports from
BillQuick users point to some high-leverage features and functions that save as much as
20 hours per billing cycle. Many features deliver incremental savings of 5 minutes to 15
BQE Software designs the features and functions in the entire BillQuick Family of
Software with a key maxim in mind: Minimize non-billable hours, maximize billable time.
This report focuses on billing and the features and functions in the BillQuick Family that
save you hours each billing cycle.
©2006 BQE Software, Inc.
Page 1
Billing Wizards
Designed primarily for first-time and infrequent users, the two billing wizards in BillQuick
step you through the billing process.
The Invoice Wizard is most
often used by new users
and those who infrequently
generate bills. Of course,
other billers with any level
of experience can also
benefit from its step-bystep approach to billing,
making the process quick
and easy.
When you start up Invoice
Wizard from the View,
Wizards menu, BillQuick
scans for:
Projects due for billing, that is, those with unbilled, approved time and
expense entries
Projects with billing schedules, and
Projects with recurring contract types.
The wizard then steps you through various billing decisions. You can:
Change the invoice date.
Apply a retainer and/or discount to the bill.
Calculate the Net Bill Amount based on the project’s percent complete,
including the option to update the value in the project profile.
Change the Net Bill Amount manually.
Add up to two memos to the bill.
Change the Invoice Number.
Print a billing review report for offline review.
When ready, you can create a draft or final invoice and print it. On-screen explanations
(and online Help) assist users at each step of the process.
©2006 BQE Software, Inc.
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For Phased Project Billing, the Phased Invoice Wizard delivers the same kind of assistance
as the Invoice Wizard. Walking you through the steps, it is simple and easy to create and
process joint invoices for projects with multiple phases.
After selecting the project to bill, you select the billing period, that is, the date range for
which you want to include unbilled, approved time and expenses entries. Next, the
wizard displays only the projects with phases. You can select the ones to include on the
joint invoice, including completed and yet-to-be-started phases. Typical billing decisions
can be made, including computing the net bill amount based on the Percent Complete.
Reported Savings: 30 minutes to 5 hours per billing cycle.
Billing by Client Manager and Contract Type
New in 2006, you can view billing records by Client Manager
and Contract Type (billing arrangement). This is in addition
to viewing records by Client, Project, Project Manager,
Client Group, Project Group, or Project Manager Group.
A simple feature, but one that saves time scanning records
for the few you want. In addition to choosing the View by:
option, you can select the range of records to search through
and a date range for approved, unbilled time and expenses
(work in progress).
Reported Savings: 5 minutes to 30 minutes per billing
©2006 BQE Software, Inc.
Page 3
The Hide/Show pop-up window on the Billing Review screen
allows you to turn on/off 28 different fields – dynamically.
The screen changes as you customize.
In other word, you can adapt the Billing Review grid to your
billing style, presenting the information that helps you
efficiently and quickly make billing decisions. (BillQuick
remembers the grid layout when you exit.) And with oneclick sorting, you can organize billing records for faster, more
efficient billing.
For example, projects with recurring billing arrangements
often require no billing decisions. You are billing a set amount
each week, month, quarter, or so on. In under 30 seconds
you can create draft or final invoices for dozens (even
hundreds) of bills. Here’s how:
You can turn on the Type (billing arrangement)
• Click the column heading to sort billing records
by type
Highlight the rows containing the billing records you want to bill.
Click the Bill Selected button to mark the highlighted records (checks the Bill
It box).
Click the Draft or Process button to create draft or final invoices from the
billing records.
This same customization process may be used to add an identifying field, such as the
PO# from the project profile, to make it easier to make and execute similar billing
Reported Savings: 30 minutes to 2 hours per billing cycle.
©2006 BQE Software, Inc.
Page 4
In BillQuick, you can write up or down an invoice in several ways:
Change the net bill amount
Adjust the value of a group of unbilled time records, and
Adjust individual time records.
While all these methods have their use and save both time and effort, a new option in
BillQuick 2006 magnifies the latter two. You can now write-up/down individual or groups
of unbilled time entries (work in progress) by percentage OR by dollar amount. Select
any time entries you wish, then adjust them as directed by your experience with the
client, the project, and your company policies.
In short, increase or reduce the value being billed to your client.
Of course, BillQuick tracks all
write-up/downs, whether you
change the net bill amount or
adjust time entries using the WriteUp/Write-Down feature. You can
review allocation of writeup/downs to projects and employees (in detail or summary) on the
Write-Up, Write-Down Reports on the Reports, Billing menu.
©2006 BQE Software, Inc.
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Bonus Benefit
A client calls with a question about their last invoice from your company. They wish you
a good morning and raise their question: What did you do for me?
With a few clicks, you:
Select View By: Project (Engagement) then the appropriate project.
Open the Hide/Show window and turn on the WUD and Invoice # fields.
Click Refresh to display the WUD and Invoice #.
Click the Invoice # column heading (twice) to sort in descending order. (You
can also sort by Date at the same time.)
Now you know what work was done AND whether you made a decision to write up or
down the amount billed.
Seconds to get to the information you need to confidently discuss the client’s
billing issue. You don’t waste time waiting for a report to print.
Clients think you are on top of their account because you don’t delay the
discussion waiting for a report to print.
©2006 BQE Software, Inc.
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Billing Details
Before clicking the button to create an invoice, even a draft invoice that will be reviewed
before it’s mailed, you want to see your decisions and other billing information in one
place. All of it together. A final reinforcement of your billing decision.
In BillQuick 2006, the new Billing Details screen shows a summary
of information about the project and the billing record you select. It
includes billing decisions made to the point of display. The screen
can be selected from the Details button menu.
Reported Savings: 15 minutes to 30 minutes per billing cycle.
©2006 BQE Software, Inc.
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Auto-Complete is
similar to Microsoft
Word's AutoText
(part of
Simply, you define
shorthand codes or
abbreviations and
associated longhand
text. Longhand text
may be phrases, sentences, paragraphs, pages – any amount of text you need for the
situation. When you enter the shorthand code into a memo field (for example), BillQuick
instantly inserts the longhand text. Text can be edited as needed. In fact, many users add
placeholder information like date, period of time, or a prompt for a name to their
longhand text. Others include instructions for documenting an exception or issue, giving
the biller (or other users) in-place instructions to guide them. Commonly, users insert
placeholders inside [square brackets] or {curly brackets} so they stand out.
For invoices, you can use Auto-Complete to write memos (Memo 1 and Memo 2) for
invoices. You might use Memo 1 to summarize services provided and issues
encountered. Then in Memo 2 you might add a reminder.
Time-saving benefits are not limited to the biller and the billing process. Auto-Complete
shorthand codes can be defined for use for any situation where you need to document
an issue. You can apply shorthand codes to:
Time entry memos
Expense entry memos
Project journal memos
Invoice memos (2 memos per invoice), and
Any master information memo (employees, clients, etc).
What does this mean for billing?
Billers (and administrative staff) spend less time writing invoice memos during
the billing process.
Staff and managers save hours recording time and expense memos that
document issues and work done. They use a standard explanation as-is, edit it
for appropriate content, or add to it as needed.
Managers who review time and expense entries before approving them for
billing can more rapidly see variations from standard explanations entered
©2006 BQE Software, Inc.
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using Auto-Complete, thus speeding up the approval process and avoiding
delays in billing. (It also minimizes non-billable review responsibilities, giving
them more billable hours.)
Billers experience the same time savings because they are familiar with
standard verbiage and edited text stands out.
Saving just one minute per invoice per billing cycle adds 20 more billable hours per year
(assuming 100 invoices per month). At a principal or partner bill rate, that could add
$2,500 to $5,000 in revenue per year.
Reported Savings: 30 minutes to 6 hours per billing cycle, plus 4 to 15 hours per
month of staff and management time documenting work performed, project issues, etc.
Batch Change
Workflow efficiency
is paramount when
want to save time
and effort doing any
BillQuick 2006
includes Batch
Change. This
feature leverages
time by allowing
you to apply the
same action or the
same words (memos) to a few or dozens of billing records. You select the records on
the Billing Review screen, then apply bill changes:
New starting invoice number
New invoice date applied to the selected records
Apply the same discount to the selected records
Apply the same percent complete to compute the Net Bill Amount in the
selected records
Add one or two memos to the selected records
By far, the highest leverage comes from applying the same memo to multiple bills at the
same time. For example, Memo 2 may be used as a Reminder, with 90% of bills including
a Thank-You-For-Your-Business message, and the rest a reminder that they have past
due amounts. Similarly, you may select another group of billing records involving the
©2006 BQE Software, Inc.
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same services. Perhaps they did not have any special issues, so you write or use AutoComplete to insert the same service summary for all of them.
Whether you are a principal or partner doing billing alone, or you collaborate with
administrative staff, Batch Change turns non-billable hours into billable hours.
Reported Savings: 15 minutes to 20 hours per billing cycle.
Client and Project Retainers
BillQuick supports both Project Retainers and Client Retainers. In addition to efficient
generation and management of retainer information (receipts, applications, available
amount, etc.), you have flexible options for using retainers during the billing process.
From the Billing Review screen, you can:
Apply a dollar portion of the Retainer Available
amount to the Net Bill Amount, thus reducing the
invoice amount (after taxes).
Apply a percentage portion of the Retainer Available
amount (new in BillQuick 2006).
Automatically Apply a project’s Retainer Available
amount to Net Bill Amount for a selected billing record. It keeps applying the
retainer until the net bill is $0.00 or the available amount is exhausted.
Thus, if you want to apply 15% of the retainer available, simply enter “15%”. BillQuick
computes the dollar amount and deducts it from the Net Bill Amount.
Reported Savings: 15 minutes to 1 hour per billing cycle.
©2006 BQE Software, Inc.
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Web-Based Billing
Traveling to prospects, clients, and project locations is commonplace. Very often the
same managers responsible for working with prospects, clients, and projects are the
same ones responsible for billing. A conundrum arises:
Do I travel now and delay billing until I get back next week?
Do I tell the client I can’t make the meeting on the day they want?
Do I delay my project status visit until after the invoices are out?
Do I potentially lose a future client because it’s the week for doing billing?
Or maybe your office is so busy with the phone ringing and staff moving in and out of
your office with questions that you can’t get the billing done. It takes days and days.
Maybe it is a week or two late every month. Nights and weekends don’t work because
you have family responsibilities too. And you worry that it is not right because you can’t
focus on it in the office.
Oh yeah, delayed billing also means slower cash flow and higher risk of negatively
impacting the client relationship.
With the BillQuick Family, you can bill anytime, anywhere. All you need is a computer,
Internet connection, a browser, and BillQuick Web Suite.
©2006 BQE Software, Inc.
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Managers and staff can manage virtually any information and perform any action in Web
Suite that you can also be done in BillQuick. But, you do it through a web browser on a
PC or a Macintosh.
For partners, principals, and other managers responsible for billing as well as marketing,
client relationships, and project management, Web Suite allows you to throw the
competing demands right out the window. You can travel as needed, winning new
clients, making clients happy, and making sure projects are not running awry. You can
work on billing between meetings, at the airport, before the dinner with the client –
anytime, anywhere.
And for the no-time manager in an office, Web Suite allows them to go anywhere they
want that’s quiet so they can focus on billing the right amount to right client. You make
confident billing decisions, and in far less time than you can do in an office. BillQuick
users report doing monthly billing in the empty dining room of their golf club, Starbucks
around the corner, and the local library.
From Web Suite’s Billing Review screen, you access real-time information from your
office. With an Internet connection, you bill hourly, time & materials, fixed fee, percentcomplete, recurring, and other project types, both draft and final invoices. Anywhere,
Reported Savings: Days, plus benefits from faster cash flow and reinforcing client
relationships with timely billing.
©2006 BQE Software, Inc.
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BillQuick Messages
Billing the right
amount to the right
client is not always
enough. Interactions
with prospects and
clients often result
in insights that
impact not only the
amount billed, but
also the supporting
For example, a
client may have had bad experiences with other professionals before accepting your offer
to provide services. You want to build the relationship, knowing it will make the client
more positive about you, resulting in both a long-term client relationship and the client
spreading positive word of mouth about your company and referring others to you. In
short, a little extra care will likely lead to significant revenues down the line.
The problem is remembering the situation when you have 50, 100, or 500 clients or a
hurried billing cycle. It’s too easy to forget to check a file.
In BillQuick, the problem is solved with BillQuick Messages. You can send a message to
yourself or another biller and have it open automatically when launching Billing Review. In
other words, you can send a context-sensitive message, a reminder about a situation.
In addition to saving time during the billing process, you reduce the risk of harming client
Reported Savings: 15 minutes to 1 hour per billing cycle, plus benefits flowing to client
relationships from timely, accurate billing.
©2006 BQE Software, Inc.
Page 13
Report Automation
Many users review various reports before starting the billing process. In BillQuick, they
may review:
Earned Value Report (calculated, estimated)
Client and project billing analyses
Work in progress and other time & expense reports
While printing three to five reports reviewed by many billers before beginning the
process takes relatively little time (10 to 30 minutes, depending on the amount of data
and the number of reports), initiating the action of printing is where delays often arise.
Some users report they remember as they drive home after a busy day. Other cite time
pressures from staff, projects, clients and so on that distract them from printing the
needed reports, delaying the billing process, or putting himself into a hurry-up mode.
Even when administrative staff print the reports, there may be lost time and other issues
because of delays in making a request or time pressures on the staff.
In short, delays in getting started result in:
Slower cash flow
Risk of inaccurate bills
Risk of negatively impacting client relationships
©2006 BQE Software, Inc.
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BillQuick overcomes delays by automatically generating any report when you want.
Using the add-on module, Agent, you can schedule a report to be produced on a certain
day of the week or month, every week or month, and so on. You choose the start date
and the schedule frequency.
Also, Agent gives you the option to email the report to any email address. In essence,
you receive a prompt to take action. BillQuick users report that the PDF sitting in their
email Inbox reminds them to take action, to focus on billing.
Note: Agent’s Report Scheduling capabilities extend time-saving, client relationshipbuilding, and other benefits by putting the information a project manager, staff, partner,
etc. need into their hands in a timely manner. Because timely information is needed,
other firm procedures improve to support it. For example, project managers need timely
project budget-to-actual information. This drives requirements that staff and managers
enter their time and expenses daily so management (at all levels) have the information
they need to drive revenues and control costs. The old adage, No profit, no firm, is easy
for staff to internalize them it impacts them personally.
Note: Agent is not limited to report automation. It also monitors time entry to ensure
staff and management record their hours in a timely manner. You can view a “tardy
timekeeper” list at any time, and if desired, automatically send an “enter your timesheet”
reminder email.
Report Savings: 30 minutes to 1 hour per billing cycle.
©2006 BQE Software, Inc.
Page 15
For more information about benefits gained from BillQuick Time Billing and Project
Management, contact us at:
BQE Software, Inc.
(888) 245-5669
(310) 602-4020
[email protected]
Please visit our web site at and sign up for a live, FREE, online
product presentation. You can also download a free trial copy.
©2006 BQE Software, Inc.
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