Valuable software for billing at a law firm
Bill quick is a perfect solution to create invoices and be able to bill many different attorneys on different projects.
The ability to customize many of its features is great. You can setup and keep track of time associated
with various cases, clients, projects. There are so many reports that you can run to keep track of your spending. Able to export invoices to LEDES format. Able to import time from excel spreadsheet.
It takes some time to learn the software, the tech support team was great in getting me up and running. If you want additional reports they have a custom report group but their cost is a bit high to modify reports. It looks a bit complicated but actually it is easy to use.
This new year marks one whole year we've been using Core
Core has an amazing catalog of built-in reports. One thing we find ourselves often wishing for was a kind of “Quick List” report that would output a list of something, one item per line, single-spaced and nothing else but a clear statement of the search and filtering criteria at the top. Examples include a list of invoices overdue x days, list of current projects, list of deposits, payments, checks, every transaction ever related to a certain project, etc. These lists are handy when reviewing Core data, or bringing a quick list into a meeting, where the entries can be highlighted, color coded, and/or checked off as you go.
I have to say it has succeeded with flying colors after being bombarded with all kinds of unusual circumstances with hundreds of our architecture projects! Well done!
I'm constantly amazed how well thought-out the original approach was in Core's basic design allowing it to handle all of our client's weird situations, and we're just one of the zillions of other companies using Core who do things so differently than we do.
I say this with a little authority, as well, because I wrote my first program at age 15 in 1968 and I have seen (and suffered) *everything* in all the eras of computing since. Core is badass.
Every system has issues, but it's important we all stop and appreciate the unimaginable amount of work that went into making Core really effective.
No one paid me to say this and I'm not getting any brownie points. I'm saying this because I know intimately what the developers have gone through to make today's Core possible. Whew!
While Core has one of the best time sheet entry forms around. It would be great to have a more graphical time entry interface such as the kind iOS and Android users are familiar with when using, say, a calendar app, in which they can use a mouse or finger to draw time blocks graphically, then double-click/tap them to set the info for that block.
Great tool for the Architect's office
Overall, this is a good office management tool for the architect. We have used it for the past 10 years and find it invaluable in all we do in managing projects and running the business.
The product is great for the management of a project from time and expense reports to document management. It also manages the office contacts and calendar of events for all the employees. It will give you in real time if you are making or losing money on a project. It tracks and creates invoicing for all project clients. If you use QuickBooks, it is integrated directly with that software for complete accounting management. It is a great tool for Architects in that it is formatted for what we do (tasks and phasing of projects). If you have internet connection, you can get access to this program while on the road,
When opening up project file, it takes 2 or 3 clicks to open up a file, such as Word, PDF and AutoCAD. Very, Very frustrating. Many of my employees do not use is function and simply use Window file manager to open and move files. We should not have to do this. It uses Java in the background for some of its operations, and I am not a fan of Java... it is always updating. Updating of the software is somewhat difficult for the person not a computer nerd.
Robust Software Program
Tech support is the best I've ever experienced. Very knowledgeable and helpful. Just wish I didn't have to call them so much.
There were a lot of interfaces to this software. It did everything we needed, but not everybody was on board with the difficult of use.
It was probably way more than a company of our size needed. We are switching to Squava after just a year and a half. We felt like a beta tester of this software. Our project managers thought it was hard to use, and didn't feel our data was always accurately depicted.
What once was great, now is junk
We started using Archioffice in 2007 in the V8 days. It was a godsend. Despite some minor glitches (it never worked with Quickbooks), the ease of use, the ability for non-computer technical staff to customize templates, and the online user guide and videos (free and easy staff training) made it perfect for a small design office. We soon transitioned all our office management and project paperwork to the system. Support was great (despite the time difference; we are in Australia). They knew their product and got us back on track with minimal stress. It was a solid product, reasonably priced, well supported, and easy to use and customiae.
But then along came AO2010/2011 (a shift in technology) and the sale to BQE. The party was over. After a painful transition process to AO2011, our data was corrupted, the custom templates we had invested a lot of time setting up stopped working, Outlook sync ceased functioning, etc. The list went on and on, as did the time spent dealing with BQE support, who seemed to have no idea what this product did or how to deal with problems on the spot. They always had to refer to a senior tech somewhere else in the world. 'Wait until AO2013,' they said. 'This will be the best version yet; everything is being sorted out.' So we are trialling AO2013 (yet another shift in technology), and we are so unimpressed. There's more frustration and more time wasted on an office system that we can barely use.
As architects, we get set in our own way of doing things and never want to change. In ArchiOffice 2013 we found a product that pretty much adapts to how we do things. Sure we changed our methods a little, but for the most part it does what we want it to.
We began looking for an office management software in 2007. We realized that the old method of using a spreadsheet was making us miss lots of opportunity for reimbursements that we could have been charging clients until too late. Just recapturing these lost revenues has paid for ArchiOffice.
After 6 years, the program is so comprehensive, there are modules for everything you need in an architects office. The main points are easy; project lists, contact lists, time records, billings, and a shared calendar. But dig deeper and you get time tracking per job, project phases or tasks; time records, that at entry, keep everyone informed as to project progress; intelligent records, filling in more than you really want to know about project time expenditure; RFI logging, shop drawing logging; billings, showing cash flow and work in progress; phone call records and a shared calendar; not to mention dozens of reports, and more.
For example - when a project Architect is out, and an electrical shop drawing comes in, the office manager can look up the engineer in project info/contacts, and forward the submittal on the same day. Then, they can place a task on the architects to-do list, 7 days out, noting that it should be returned; and then also they can set another task for 10 days out, reminding them again that it should have been returned.
We use it for document management; scanning and storing the shop drawing when it is returned. Remote access from anywhere with an Internet connection makes it easy to reach information in the field. The superintendant, without his copy of a spec or shop drawing, can remotely access it thru Archioffice.
6 years of use, and we love it. All that glowing review, and yes, it does have a few flaws. The biggest is that Syncing with Outlook is nearly a waste of time. It can be done, but it requires that you run old Java, then run parallel Outlook files. We just don't even bother.
When we do have a problem, the tech support is awesome. In 2010, after a major upgrade, I think I wore out tech support for 3 months. But currently, I think I have emailed two questions in the last 3 months. Always fast and complete responses. AO2013 is mature enough of a product that problems are few and far between.
I will admit, as Architect/IT guy/Managing Partner, I use every aspect of this program - not just a few areas like most of my employees. I still look at competing programs, and haven't found one that adapts to my ways as well, or is as comprehensive.
I highly recommend bqe - Core!
I value honesty, and I value those that take ownership. I recommend bqe-CORE. I just designed a ‘custom report’ for our company utilizing the CORE ‘Custom Report’ section. They were great to work with. We are now using ‘my’ Company report starting January 2020. This ‘custom report’ pulls in all our client ‘project data’ real time. It shows what’s important to us…. our project team. We have many concurrent project-phases (hourly or not to exceed contract phases) under the parent project, that start one year and end the next. This custom report is a great tool for us… color coded – RED, showing when over budget (time or ‘not to exceed’ contract fee).
We transferred 12 years of ‘Project History’ to bqe – CORE effective January 1, 2019. I am the Business Manager and I report directly to the owner of the Company. I keep current the clients we work with…..and all project-phase information for the company , billing – invoicing, using the CORE operating system. As a former Marine Corps officer…. then commercial banker (15 years) I believe that ‘People make the difference’….. not machines. The people at bqe – CORE, particularly the HELP DESK, are all professionals – they know what they are talking about and they care. I highly recommend bqe – CORE!
I wish there were more built-in invoice/report customization options
Like the flexibility
I have used BQE product for many years. The product is stable and pretty straight forward to use and today after a long time I needed customer support. The response as always was excellent and the problem I was experiencing was resolved.
I like the flexibility and design of the software once I gone through the learning curve. The reports are straight forward and give me all the insightful data without customizing.
I find the billing process steps a bit awkward but I am used to them now. It is annoying to have to look for the most recent invoice under Invoice Review once the invoice is processed as final.
Slowly getting there
What we like the most about Core is the way everything is integrated in one application instead of using standalone apps that do not talk to each other. The ease of pulling up the needed date is definitely helpful. I have liked how some of my suggestions to Core ideas have been implemented. If more of these could be fixed and added to the software, the use of the software would be more efficient and effective.
Although, BQE is working on a payroll module and i have to use a a separate payroll software to process payroll. On projects when you assign a group it doesn't let you assign to all phases and this feature addition would be great.
Although there was learning curve the software works for us
Time entries are easy for the project managers. When everything is entered correctly Core does give a good view as to where we are with invoicing, budgets, contract etc. For most part calling customer service is easy and the staff is knowledgeable and patient when we are asking for help.
I am not a fan of write up/down feature and wish we could turn it off as our firm does not use it. There is room for improvement in reporting area as find some reports do not show totals at the bottom and more invoice customization options would definitely help.
We've had our ups and downs. After a couple of days on the phone with customer support, things have been clarified and settled. I understand some of my problems now and how to fix them. It is really the first time I have felt comfortable with my choice in software. As I learn new things, play with it more and talk with customer support things that I thought might be deal burners, are really not. We all need to accept change, and for me as a former development programmer, I am used to it. I was not that into our existing software that we are replacing as I only had to deal with it for a year as I am kind of the new employee. Yes, I looked at several different software options. Yes, some had more features than others, some less. It is going to be pretty difficult to find a replacement software that is exactly like the one you are replacing. My original review stated there were a lot of bugs. I'm not so sure about that statement any longer. For me, it works better through Crome than Edge. I did have quite a few issues when running in Edge. This may be a problem that has since been fixed, but I'm okay in chrome.
I have had more time with the software since my last review. As I slowly convert the firms old data to this new software, things are falling into place quickly. I'm becoming attuned to the software. Learning little things I didn't know where there, both by playing around and talking with customer support. This software is easy to learn. Not a real big learning curve, assuming you are familiar with project management, accounting, project setup or you have people familiar with those areas. I do it all, and basically maintain everything for everyone else.
I don't have many, but if I had to pick... they are not really cons, as I hope they will expand to these later on. API with Office 365/Outlook would be a nice added bonus. For me, especially Outlook. Also API with Quickbooks desktop version. This isn't a big issue, as I hope to also phase out QB and only use that software for payroll. Which I will then have an API if I go with QB Online/payroll. I will always use QB for payroll, so I am use to doing journal entries into systems to reflect the payroll numbers. This is not a hardship for me.
BQE Core Review
Since the minute we began to research and consider switching our project management software to BQE Core, we have felt that the team at BQE has been nothing but helpful through the process. The sales team were there to answer questions, suggest videos/webinars to get familiar with Core and to let us know about sales promotions we may be interested in. When we finally made the choice to move to Core, they were excellent at getting us set up with the software and following up on any questions we had. Since implementing Core, we have found that we have much better control over how our projects are managed, we are seeing much better performance data and are very happy with the product.
We like that there is a lot of control over how we set up our projects and the integration options available through Core. We recently made the switch to this software and find that we are able to track project time, expenses and profitability much easier than with our previous software.
Because there are so many options and settings it can take a bit of time to get used to finding what you are looking for. Things are taking us a bit longer to manage in this software - however, with more time using it and the training/support options available, we recognize this will only be a temporary issue to using Core.
Great product! Practical, customizable, and good value for the money.
This product saves me time and keeps all my cases organized so I never miss important deadlines or follow-up tasks. Well worth the money.
1) It has a nice look and it's easy to use because it is organized in an intuitive manner.
2) It is also incredibly customizable. There are so many ways to filter reports and adjust who sees which reports and when, it kind of blows my mind. I have done so many things to customize this software to my firm's needs and I still feel like I've just scratched the surface. This also means it will continue to be useful as my firm grows, which is incredibly valuable.
3) It's a cloud-based software, which means I never have to worry about installing the latest updates. It's also an extra bonus layer of data security because the data is not housed on my local in-office server.
4) Tracking time is easy, and once hours have been billed to the client they are marked in the system (this may seem like a pretty basic feature, but it was surprisingly difficult to find in a case management software).
5) It talks to QuickBooks online, and it's easy to transfer data. It saves a lot of time to transfer invoice and other data from the project management software directly into my accounting system.
6) The customer service and follow-up support is great. I was walked through the initial implementation, which got me up and running almost immediately - very little work time invested in the implementation. After using the software for a few weeks, I scheduled a one-on-one training session with a BQE trainer to get all my firm-specific questions answered which was great.
My only (minor) complaint is that it does not yet also function as a CRM. I hope they add this feature because I'm looking forward to incorporating that data and function into the same system as my case management.
ArchiOffice has definitely been useful for our firm
ArchiOffice has definitely been useful for our firm over the past six years! We don't use all of the features that are available but the time tracking, budgeting and invoicing have been incredibly helpful for us. I used to spend a lot of time with spreadsheet updating to get accurate information on where we were in each client's budget and with ArchiOffice this is done for me and it is information I use daily. I especially like how we can see the hours to date as they are entered and how many hours we have exceeded our estimate. This information becomes valuable when we create new proposals. We have a much better handle on exactly what it is taking for us to complete each project so we can forecast with more accuracy.
Also helpful has been the Performance report which gives us a real look at how each project performs financially. I would not go back to doing this all in spreadsheets! ArchiOffice has made my job much easier over the years.
Another thing I appreciate is the project list which saves me from tracking that in another program.
The only thing that would help us out would be to run ArchiOffice on a Mac platform.
The logic/use process seems to flow very well
The logic/use process seems to flow very well. The QuickBooks integration is very stable and makes sense once you understand it. The user interface looks nice, is operationally smooth and is very responsive both in design and speed.
Overall, very good. There was a learning curve, as with all software, but it makes sense once you figure it out. There are lots of connectors/features so knowing what you need is a big part of this. Support has been very good. They methodically think through processes and help with issues, configuration settings, or bugs (which I recently filed and it will already be fixed by the weekend). The software appears to do what I need it do (Project/Time/Expense Management) and may also be our replacement for QuickBooks once we get the processes figured out. The cost seems to be fair and it’s Tiered Usage based on user needs was great and something competitors didn’t offer very well. We look forward to continue to use the product
Its big and complicated. I would spend time investing in documentation on what things really do for the back-end. For example: The QuickBooks integration is great, but finding out what actually happens is confusing. I had to set up small tests to figure out that “activities” really mean “services” in QuickBooks and you can have select what records have to sync… documentation (very technical) is very good for people like me!
Réponse de BQE Software
Hi Scott thank you so much for your review of Core, we strive to be cost-effective and provide a sleek user experience.
Great Customer Service and Support
I just want to witness to the fact that everything that Engineering Office says about their wonderful support is true. A lot of companies over embellish and when you have a problem it is like pulling teeth to get some help. Not at Engineering office. They respond to phone calls and emails very quickly. The employees that they have in training and support should be the jewels in their crown. I have had the pleasure of working through frustrating problems with customer support, only to find it is some small thing and getting it fixed or training me to fix it goes quickly. Customer support representatives are FABULOUS and they have great patience and compassion for their customers. They realize that customers can't fix everything and that sometimes it is just beyond us. I learned this software quickly and came to a company that had not set it up correctly and nothing Sync'd together right. Customer support representatives held my hand and walked me through knowing that I was under a deadline. That is what is wonderful about this support team. They are human and they realize that you are human too and that things happen and they are there to guide the way, educate, and even fix the big problems. Anyone who chooses this software should realize that the Maintenance and Support fee that you pay is well worth it. Keep up the good work. It is very appreciated by your Customers.
It is very easy to use and you can learn it quite quickly with help of online webinars, the help pages, and just fishing around in the menus. Very clear and concise.
I wish that the SYNC process was done with a macro and I didn't have to do anything more than schedule it to go.
Everything that is charged to a project can be seen in real-time
We have been using BQE since March 2015. Prior to then, we kept all project information in QuickBooks. The staff were not able to see where they were on projects since they did not have access to QuickBooks. Currently everything that is charged to a project can be seen in real-time.
The ability for each employee to input their time/expenses is one of the features that I like the most. I also appreciate that staff members can check time and expenses for their projects to see where they are on projects with a budget. Invoicing is now streamlined because the information for the project manager's review is on one page. Budget information is on the draft invoice which makes it easy to see when a project is over/under budget, and who has coded time to the project.
I wish there was a better way of archiving old vendor bills.
Réponse de BQE Software
thanks so much for your review, we are pleased you now have a one-stop shop in real time for your projects! Thanks for being a part of the BQE Family!
Our small business has been using Core for about a year now
Our small business has been using Core for about a year now. At this point it is difficult to imagine how our business timesheets, expenses, and invoices operated without Core. We enjoy the flexibility it allows us to utilize the functionality we need without being forced to use or pay for features that don’t apply to our unique business. We continue to expand the ways Core helps our business through learning new features, creating custom reports, and exporting helpful information. As our business has grow BQE has worked with us to help stay on top of our growing needs
Improvement in Scroll & update issue – when doing batch edits to approve time, update bill rates, etc. the only items actually edited are those that load. We only have 15 employees, but a month worth of time can take a very long time to scroll through. There should be an override to load all or apply to all rather than having to scroll through hundreds of entries, loading more every 3-4 seconds.
Overall, I love the program
Overall, I love the program. It took me many years working in a very outdated software until I felt I found the right program (Core) to switch to for time and billing. It has met all of my needs so far! Love it. I have not had to call in for customer service often but when I do everyone has been helpful and I have not encountered any issues what so ever. I have not worked in the Project Management or Accounting modules of the program.
The flexibility for invoicing. The ability to email the invoices right from the program. Being able to use the program from anywhere a browser is available although I personally have not had to log in anywhere other than the office but some of my staff has.
The downside is the refresh rate. At times there is lag due to internet connection which is obviously not an issue with Core itself but the internet connection. I do regret that when entering time entries the fields do not populate faster. I would also love to see a total by day when entering time entries without having to change the date range. I.e. I set the range for a pay period, I would like to see a total for each day and for the entire pay period as a whole on the same screen without having to adjust the dates.
We use this software to manage our architecture firm. I have 25 years in practice and I have used 4 similar programs - this is the best by far.
The BQE company has been very responsive to suggestions and is making steady improvements. It is nice to use software that gets better over time.
The product is very powerful and provides quick information about how our projects are progressing - it allows us to know precisely how we are doing financially on each project. I like how flexible it is - much more flexible than other similar software I have used over the years. I like the interface and the customer service has been really excellent - they have been very responsive when we get stuck, and there has rarely not been a solution to our problems.
Sometimes the flexibility of the software makes it a little unwieldy. This software requires you to pay attention to what you are doing - because you can mess things up pretty quickly. There are times when I wish it had the ability to turn off some options - I would give up some power and flexibility to make it easier to work with. Invoice formatting needs some work.
Overall, it is efficient and beats spreadsheets in Excel
Overall, it is an efficient method and beats the spreadsheets in excel. Ultimately, the tool is only as good as the user and in the right hands any tool would suffice, but in the wrong hands no tool would produce a masterwork. Customer support is great, they are able to guide us and withing seconds to minutes we are able to validate the solution provided.
That sometimes it does not work as intended. Sometimes I need to perform the same action multiple times such as saving & refreshing in an effort to clear the stack of memory and have it read properly.
Réponse de BQE Software
Doug thanks so much for your review! We are glad you have the support needed
Core is very user friendly
Core is very user friendly. We used BillQuick for over two years then switched to Core. We find Core much easier to navigate. I only use Time and Billing and again, am very pleased with the program. I learn more about it every time I call Customer Support.
I think the difficulties I have are related to needing a better understanding of the program. I can’t say I have anything I like least about it except for the speed. I think the slowness is due to our Wi-Fi system.
Réponse de BQE Software
Lynda, thank you for your review. We are appreciate you continuing to be a part of the BQE Family and glad to hear Core is so easy to use!
BQE is a fine project management tool
We use BQE for project management. The software is just fine, but the best part is the service we receive. I have had not one but many pleasant experiences of working with support. Technical support engineers are detailed, courteous and knowledgeable. They definitely exceed my expectations! Engineers take time to understand the problem, not only come up with a solution, they sometimes help to put the solution in place by logging in my computer.
Like any other software there is bit of learning curve. More robust knowledge base would definitely be helpful.
Flexibility of Core made our complex billing simple
The flexibility of Core is exceptional, and their technical support is top notch.
Core has helped us manage our projects and streamline our billing process, which includes 3-tier structure. Prior to Core we use to use excel to manage our multiple database.
I hope Core is going to have the payroll module soon. This will help cut down the manual steps and use of multiple application.
Réponse de BQE Software
We are thrilled with your 10/10 review in how Core has helped streamline your firms billing processes. Stay tuned for more information on your payroll request! Thank you for being part of the BQE Core family!
Even though we do not integrate BillQuick with QuickBooks, this is an option that does sync with ease. What is nice is that you can have endless users working in this software system, independently entering their time and expenses without having issues. I have used many different software systems, and this one is quite easy to use and well worth the price.
Henderson Architectural started using BillQuick in 1999, while I began using this system in mid-2002. With the assistance of BillQuick's customer support and specialized tech support, we were able to run BillQuick more efficiently and to its full capabilities for what our firm needs. In the 9 years that I have been working with BillQuick, I have established an outstanding relationship with them to the point where they know what my needs and expectations are without me having to re-state them. The software has many capabilities, along with Crystal Reports, that allows you to design or edit existing reports/invoices to your needs. I have created special invoices for specific clients, and I am able to tie these invoices to specific projects without having to worry about them printing on the wrong template. The capabilities to tie expenses, activities, employees, etc to specific projects is endless.
I truly do not have any cons for this product only because if you are in need of something special, feel there should be something brought to their attention or any issues that need to be resolved, you may email them and most likely your suggestion/issue could end up in the next upgrade.