IT Support is something I have been doing for as long as I can remember, and one of the principal concerns has always been accounting for my time. Keeping notes on scraps of paper does not work, and sticky notes attached to the frame of my monitor tend to fall off.
A comprehensive, web-based, timekeeping solution.
Hosted or On-Premise?
MAPIT Malta (www.mapitmalta.com) have boldly taken the correct step forwards, by providing both hosted and on-premise options for deploying the solution. The choice will partly depend on how much in-house IT and System Administration manpower is available to an enterprise looking to use this solution.
By far the quickest way to deploy the solution is to use the SAAS (Software-As-A-Service), or hosted, model. That way, you can focus on your business core without investing too much time and effort in the technical aspects of deploying it in-house, keeping it running, and applying patches and updates on an ongoing basis.
Larger enterprises with an established IT department can choose to deploy it in-house, of course.
The whole point of keeping track of time is to be able to bill a client for time worked. MAP.Time takes the logical approach here, and implements a management hierarchy with the Client at the top of the pyramid.
Keeping it simple, a client is simply defined with a Company Name, an Address, and a VAT Registration Number.
MAP.Time also keeps track of which of your staff members is the manager for this client - this comes in useful for reporting purposes, and allows your staff to keep track of their own clients.
Once a client’s relationship is terminated, you can set the client to being “Inactive” to avoid incorrect billing in the future.
Entering Timesheet information is designed to be user-friendly. All the user needs to do is select the client, identify the project he is working on for that client, and enter the time he started working on the project, and the time he stopped working on the project. It is possible to add a description, and note down break times as well.
Issuing Bills for Time Worked
The fun part is in fact the easiest part. The Invoicing functionality simply presents you with a list of clients with time worked which have not yet been invoiced. You get the opportunity to review the amounts and details before committing to issue the invoice.
If you are a lawyer, accountant, or architect, or some other member of the shark family, you will be pleased to know that MAP.Time also provides the alternative of issuing “Requests for Payment” instead of invoices.
Reporting and Control
Keeping an eye on things is also convenient, with a number of predefined reports allowing you, amongst others, to get a quick list of projects which are approaching the number of budgeted hours, or a Project deadline report to show you important dates around the corner.
Your client may have a number of projects proceeding simultaneously. Large projects can be broken down into smaller SubProjects, making not only for easier administration, but also allowing you to define different staff members to be responsible for each project or sub-project.
Once you have defined your project or sub-project, you can set parameters to allow you to keep track of progress. You can budget a number of hours to be worked on the project, set start and end target dates, and even define whether the project will be billed on an ongoing basis, or whether it will be billed only on completion; unless, of course, it is a non-billable project.
You can also configure the project to be a regularly recurring project, for monthly tasks for example.
Another important aspect of automating project billing is to pre-set billing rates beforehand - you can insert multiple hourly rates, and define the date when each of those rates comes into force.
If you are a service provider, and you need to accurately account for billable time and issue Invoices for time worked, from a vendor with a local presence, MAP.Time addresses the need with a simple approach that just works.
And if you are looking to expand the reach of your business, you can also look at the other integrated offerings from MAP.IT Malta, providing integrated CRM and Helpdesk functionality, essential for service providers (http://www.map-suite.com).