Some time-tracking applications come with invoicing built in and others don’t. There are a bunch of great invoicing apps out there; the trick is to find the one that matches your web working style. Fanurio may hold the answer for those seeking a combined time tracking and billing application.
A desktop app, Fanurio runs on multiple platforms including Windows (s MSFT), Mac (S AAPL) and Linux, so virtual teams can use the same software regardless of their computer systems. You can switch computer systems and keep using Fanurio.
Getting up and running with Fanurio is painless. Upon first load, the app offers to open its tutorial for you in a web browser. The tutorial contains 11 lessons beginning with entering your business information and working through adding clients, projects and service items (tasks). The key lessons take about 10 minutes to do. By the time you finish, you’ll have a nice starting point.
I breezed through the first half of the tutorial and entered two service items along with the time spent on each, as the following image shows. But they didn’t appear anywhere on Project view. I verified I associated the items with the project. Then I realized the status of items defaults to “Invoiced,” so these items don’t show. I switch the status to “Not Invoiced” and there they are.
While the interface feels “database-like” in Windows (the interface looks much sleeker in the Mac screen shots), the application is easy to figure out thanks to no superfluous features to confuse and distract. The interface has four main views: Projects, Timesheet, Invoices and Payments. Everything you need for the current view appears at the top of the table and at the bottom where the buttons show. Then you can right-click most items to edit, delete, open or copy them.
After entering all clients, projects and service items, Fanurio works smoothly. You can also add expense items. These expenses can be billable or non-billable.
But where would you put expenses that don’t have anything to do with a client? Printer ink and software like Fanurio, for example. Perhaps, the solution is to create your business as a client. Then you can add tasks such as marketing, networking and others not related to existing clients under your business.
The Timer tool comes in handy, especially after you start adding timed items. You can use the Timer from within Fanurio, or right-click the Fanurio icon in the system tray (requires Java 6 or later) for a menu. Its “Start Recent” lists recent service items so you can start the clock again on any of them. Or just hit “Start” to kick off the timer. The icon moves like a clock to indicate the timer is running. Right-click the icon to stop the clock and a new Add Time window opens. This window lets you find an existing item or create a new one. When you create a new service item, you can manually enter the time spent in the same window. You can also double-click existing items in the Timesheet view to edit the time. The following image shows a time and money report for the month of March.
Fanurio doesn’t come with built-in invoice templates other than the default. However, the company provides free customized invoice templates to anyone — even to people who don’t buy the product. Just submit a sample invoice as HTML, text, PDF or image and they’ll make a template for you.
You can create and customize multiple invoice templates yourself, but the interface feels clunky. For example, I tried adding a logo and updating the invoice, only to find that the logo takes up too much space. Resizing the logo in the application made a mess of the graphic. For better results, resize your logo in another program before importing it into Fanurio. The image below shows the invoice template in action.
Credit goes to the folks behind Fanurio for delivering an intuitive billing and time tracking application that is easier to get up and running than other applications I’ve tried. While not sleek and sexy like many Web 2.0 applications, Fanurio contains the important features that most web workers need.
The software imports time recorded on other computers so small teams and solo web workers with multiple computers can pull the data into one place for invoicing and time reporting.
Download Fanurio to try it free 30 days — more than enough time to decide if it’s right for you. Fanurio licenses its software on a per-person basis instead of a per-computer basis. The software license costs $59, which includes all minor versions and bug fixes.
Does Fanurio meet your time tracking and invoicing needs?