Cashboard: Time Manager With Invoicing
With time running away as easily as it does, having a time management tool is a boon to everyone, and with Cashboard, time is managed with billing in mind. Easily integrated with Basecamp, and with a number of invoicing tools, Cardboard can keep your receivables and timesheets organized. To get a feel for Cashboard, let’s walk through its process.
Following the sign-in process, Cashboard opens to its dashboard, where we can see the latest activity and a quick report of invoices and payments. From the beginning we see the large icons and tab system that make navigation easier, and each tab has sub-tabs to further organize. The first page we see is the tab Home, under which there are sub-tabs for Dashboard, Outstanding Invoices, and Activity Log. The Dashboard gives us an overview of the two other sub-tabs, combining an at-a-glance view of projects and a search function for companies, payments, invoices, timesheets, and projects. Later on, we can quickly enter a Time Entry, New Estimate, New Invoice, or New Project through large buttons on the Dashboard.
A welcome message suggests we set our preferences, so we do, going first to the Settings tab, and then entering our preferences, such as currency type and date formats. Under the Settings tab, there are sub-tabs for templates and color customization. Also under the Settings is a tab for Integration, where users can export data as XML and setup integration into Basecamp. With our preferences entered we can move on to entering clients, team members, and subcontractors into Cashboard through the “Companies and People” tab, letting us set access and login information for each. Cashboard also allows your clients, if you like, to log in and see information on their projects.
Since our focus is on time management, let’s quickly create a project and get on to the timesheet. Under the Projects tab we create a project, and add a task. We have the option of giving an estimate for the time it would take for us to complete the task (a minimum time and a maximum), as well as setting an hourly or flat rate for the task. Also under the Projects tab are sub-tabs for History, an activity log, Details to set access and project preferences, and an Invoices tab where we can see any invoice we’ve created. A large button on the sidebar lets us create a new invoice at any time.
Now we’re at the Timesheets tab, which is broken into Daily, Weekly, and Search sub-tabs. From the Daily or Weekly tabs we can enter our hours directly, and from the Daily we can start a timer (the clock icon). As long as that page remains open we can use the timer to enter in billable time, but one click away – even to another tab – and the timer resets. One way around this problem is to use Cashboard’s widget (Mac and PC) to track time on the desktop, which can log time that is attached to a project with a click. Through a navigational bar on the Daily page we also can open any day to enter in time, and when we do can see a list of all time entries on that date.
The downside to Cashboard is that as a time management tool it leaves you wanting. It does offer the basics of time management: tracking and applying billable hours to an invoice, but the majority of the tabs are oriented towards billing rather than time management. This is seen more clearly with the last tab “Money In”, which offers the only reporting available in Cashboard, which is for accounting and not time management.
That said, Cashboard is an easy to grasp time management tool that could suit the user looking for basic functionality in project management. Its easily understandable interface, in combination with its timer widget, can track billable hours while supplying a way to track invoices to help keep projects in the green. To find it and applications like it there is the Listio search manage+timesheets.
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