BigTime, a web-based time and billing system for small businesses, has been selected to receive this year's "Awesome Add-On" award by the Sleeter Group, the nation's largest community of QuickBooks professionals. BigTime is the flagship product for Edison's Attic in Chicago.
"We continually study the marketplace of add-on solutions," said Doug Sleeter, founder of The Sleeter Group. "BigTime was chosen this year as one of the best add-ons because of its superior integration with QuickBooks, its overall design, outstanding features, and ease of implementation," he added. As the leading worldwide network of QuickBooks consultants, The Sleeter Group has members throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Giving top honors to a web-based system for professional services makes sense, given the strategic goals Intuit voiced this year at their 2008 Enterprise User Conference ("QBES"), where BigTime was featured prominently.
"Intuit is moving aggressively into hosted 'software-as-a-service' applications," said Brian Saunders, CEO of Edison's Attic, "and I think that's why groups like Sleeter have started to focus on solutions like BigTime in a major way. Their customers want browser-based applications, and BigTime is top-rated."
"While the desktop isn't dead," says Sleeter, "all the new money and all the serious new development efforts are focused on the Web." Advisors who don't have these types of tools in their arsenal will miss out as the accounting world shifts to this new model, and many one-time desktop systems are having a hard time catching up.
"We've been doing hosted time and billing for almost a decade, and we've been pushing accounting data into QuickBooks for almost as long," says Saunders. "The rest of these billing packages are finally starting to catch on, but a seven or eight year head start gives us a competitive leg-up versus a competitor who's just now getting into web-based solutions."
"Doug's a hard-sell," Saunders quipped. "He's been after us to include some pretty sophisticated functionality in the reporting section of our product for a couple of years. His suggestions pushed our guys toward a whole new approach to reporting that's centered on the business user."
"People used to call support and ask us where they can find XYZ report, and we were always butting up against the 80/20 rule," Saunders explained. "Now, we give users a set of standard reports to get started, but they can use our reporting engine to roll their own reports if they want to see something different."
"It's not the IT guy doing the work in some crazy reporting software that nobody wants to learn," he added, "It's the business user, clicking through a web-based reporting wizard that lets them mix and match almost two thousand fields and calculations. They get to control grouping and sorting options, drill down options, data filtering. They control the whole thing. They don't have to fool around with Crystal Reports (or any other reporting software)."
"It was guys like Doug asking 'but what if I want to see this data or that comparison' that took our team down that path," he finished. "He's not just a reviewer. He's an everyman accountant on steroids."
"That part-consultant, part-critic approach to software evaluation is part of what makes the Sleeter Group recommendation powerful," said Bob Hodgson, a QuickBooks professional (and Sleeter Group member). "It's the reason we tune in."
"Before awarding the 'awesome' label, I dig deep into each product and ask all the hard questions that consultants and business owners will ask," Sleeter said. "I survey products in several vertical markets where QuickBooks may not have all the needed features, or where clients want customized solutions."
Sleeter noted that when making selections for the honor, The Sleeter Group's staff takes several factors into consideration. Those selected must have the following attributes:
- Superior design, implementation and features;
- Superior integration with QuickBooks, enabling the import and export of data to and from QuickBooks using best practices of the QuickBooks SDK programming interface;
- Appropriate transaction and field population for recording data into QuickBooks that preserves and/or enhances its standard reporting features;
- Conformance with good accounting and operating standards, and;
- Outstanding customer support and overall customer satisfaction.
About Edison's Attic
Founded in 2001, Edison's Attic, Inc. is a global provider of software solutions for growing professional services firms. BigTime, the company's flagship product, was released in 2002, as a complete browser-based back-office solution for professional services firms. The product won quick recognition as a premier solution for IT services and engineering companies, as well as other professional services firms including PR, marketing, design/advertising, architecture, accounting, legal, and management consulting. Edison's Attic is a gold certified partner with Intuit (the maker of QuickBooks) and a Certified Microsoft partner as well. The company has thousands of users in the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia as well as a growing partner network of accounting and IT professionals.
About The Sleeter Group
The Sleeter Group is a nationwide community of experts who provide QuickBooks consulting services to small business owners. Since 1993, it has trained more than 30,000 business and accounting professionals through seminars and conferences. The group also publishes QuickBooks reference materials and textbooks used by more than 100 colleges in the United States.