Up next in our 7-part series, Get to know your Law Firm Timekeeping and Billing Software, is Timeslips. Timeslips is an old player in the law firm billing / timekeeping space with its desktop-installed software application. Is it still relevant in the age of cloud-based timekeeping and billing software? Let’s find out.
Timeslips offers server-based timekeeping and billing software. This means that you must log in to your firm’s server (that you or an IT person have configured and set up properly) to add entries and generate bills. I’m not a huge fan of server-based software (I won’t reiterate what I’ve said several times before, but I prefer the easiness, security, reliability, and accessibility of cloud-based software) so I’m hoping that Timeslips would really have a huge advantage over its competitors in terms of software capabilities. Well, let’s see what it can do.
In terms of features, Timeslips seems to do what most of the competitors do. It handles trust accounting, lets you create clients, matters, and bills.
Related: Bill4Time Timekeeping and Billing
Timeslips has several attorney-related features like conflict checks, scheduling, and LEDES exporting for invoices.
One key feature of Timeslips is that it integrates (allegedly) fairly seamlessly with Quickbooks. It actually also integrates with Peachtree (yes most every law firm uses Quickbooks, but I appreciated that it works with Peachtree too). In fact, Timeslips seems to be designed with accounting integration in mind. That’s a big bonus. The reason many lawyers use timekeeping / billing software over Excel is because it saves time that would otherwise be spent duplicating entries in accounting software.
Here are some more unique Timeslips features:
Excel / Outlook
LEDES invoicing export
Litigation Advisor invoicing export
Scheduling you say? Yep, Timeslips is fairly full-featured as far as law firm timekeeping / billing software goes. The ability to schedule meetings and integrate with Outlook are great features.
Timeslips is really most useful for a solo practitioner who wants their software installed on a single machine. While Timeslips appears to have some user permission features, setting up multiple users and permissions for them is much more difficult in Timeslips than any other application.
Timeslips isn’t all cool features though. Timeslips is a beast. It has a very steep learning curve. The user guide is 434 pages long. To effectively navigate Timeslips and all of its features, you need hours of serious training. There even seems to be a niche industry catering to helping people get set up with Timeslips, and for good reason. No novices can navigate Timeslips alone. Considering how easy to use the competitors’ software is, Timeslips is a relic. For an attorney user who wants to do simple time tracking, Timeslips may not be the right solution. It isn’t intuitive; in fact, it seems to go out of its way to complicate the timekeeping / billing process. It’s quite possible you’ll spend more time entering time entries and creating bills in Timeslips than you’ll actually spend working on matters.
The Timeslips knowledge base is a mess, especially considering how many issues I imagine users will have with this software. This absolutely drives me crazy. If your product has a knowledge base, it shouldn’t be difficult to find an answer to your question. The point of the knowledge base is to make it easy to find an answer instead of calling tech support. With Timeslips’ knowledge base, I feel like I’d need tech support to help me navigate the knowledge base to find an answer to my question. Then again, since I’m already on the phone with tech support, let’s forget the knowledge base.
Since Timeslips is server-based, you have to install it on a computer, likely with an IT professional helping you. If you’re a solo practitioner, you can install Timeslips on your main computer.
Timeslips looks like it was probably suitable for attorneys when there were no other competitors in the space, maybe save for PCLaw, and even then, users were probably clamoring for something better.
Pricing and Support
Timeslips is server-based, so with Timeslips you pay for each user’s account as the software is installed on your server.
$519 for a single user software installation
$774.80 for 2 users
$1,599 for 5 users
$2,974.90 for 10 users
It’s not inexpensive, but then again you may be thinking “Hey, $519 for one user isn’t bad. If I pay $20-30 per month per user for Ebillity or Bill4Time that will absolutely add up over time. Well, you forgot a few things. The Timeslips software alone costs $519 for the first user. Now let’s factor in the server costs to buy install a system for your office to host your Timeslips database. If you have only one computer that you want to use Timeslips on, maybe that’s not such a big deal. Then let’s add in IT costs related to maintaining the software. Okay, so it’s starting to get more expensive. The software crashed and you need to pay an IT person to work on your system? How much is your IT guy’s weekend / overtime hourly rate?