Small Company Software

Subject: Small Company Software
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 08:37:56 -0500

My apologies to Eric if this topic is too far from the techwhirl
mainstream, but considering how many of us are in or own tech writing
companies, I'd like to broach the subject. Feel free to reply off-list.

As a company, Simply Written Inc. has multiple writers, multiple pay
scales, multiple billing rates, multiple projects, and multiple projects
WITHIN multiple clients. It's a complicated matrix. To streamline
accounting and timekeeping we've moved from TimeSlips, which didn't do
accounting, to QuickBooks Pro, which did both (supposedly). The QTimer,
though, is almost unusably simple and QuickBooks Pro has some other
features (read "drawbacks") that are constraining us more than we realized.

Is anyone using or run across software that's turnkey (or usable with
minimal setup) for firms like ours? For example, we need to be able to give
a timer app to a writer that includes a timing function and a pick list of
client/project/document. We often have more than one project going per
client, and more than a single document per project. We need to be able to
get reports by resource, by project, or in other combinations. We need to
be able to set up multiple billing rates for consulting, writing, editing,
or conversions.

Asking for advice locally isn't turning up anything. Full-blown accounting
and timing packages are too expensive to warrant buying them. We're
exploring the TimeSlips family more closely, but we're leery about locking
ourselves into software that won't port anywhere else. We moved to QB Pro
so we didn't have to keyboard data more than once. Does anybody have

Tim Altom
Vice President, Simply Written, Inc.
317.899.5882 (voice) 317.899.5987 (fax)
Creators of the Clustar Method (TM)
An out-of-the-box methodology for fast task-based documentation
that's easy to port to paper, WinHelp, Acrobat, SGML, and other media.

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