For the most part, the applications we cover on WWD are web applications. But every once in a while a desktop application comes along that’s worth consideration by dedicated web workers. Billings 3, the latest release of this time-tracking and invoicing application, is one such. If you’re using a Mac to do your work, and you need to track your time and create your own invoices, it’s definitely worth a look.
Certainly there are plenty of good web applications for this sort of thing, including FreshBooks, Zoho Invoice, Blinksale, Cashboard, and Harvest. But some people just don’t want to share their financial details over the web, no matter how much they trust a service – or they may want more flexibility and customization than most of the web applications provide.
Billings delivers well. It provides a variety of ways to enter time, and then helps you create great-looking invoices (with a whole pile of built-in templates and the ability to create your own). It also offers constant monitoring of your cashflow position, and lets you send statements or past due notices to slow-to-pay clients with just a few clicks.
The basic functions of the application worked well in Billings 2; in addition to modernizing the user interface, Billings 3 also adds a bunch of new features. These include consolidated invoices covering multiple projects (great when you do a variety of work for a single client), recurring invoices, assign different people to different timeslips, and a wider variety of reports.
There’s still room for improvement here. In particular, the multi-user story remains weak: while Billings can assign different users to different slips, this is a manual process unless you perform an import from MarketCircle’s other product Daylite – and you may not want to make a commitment to that productivity suite. I’d rather see a truly networkable Billings, even at a higher price.
You can download a 30-day trial of Billings and run it immediately. After that, you’ll need to pay $59 to register the application, or #35 to upgrade from a previous version. Overall, if you want to go the non-web route for your billing and have a Mac, it’s an excellent choice.