How to Create a Sage Timeslips Database

Every slip you create in a Sage Timeslips database must identify the person who did the work, the client for whom the work was done, and the work performed or the expense incurred. Tasks are time-based services you perform for clients, and you typically bill them using an hourly rate.

Expenses are costs that you incur on behalf of the client, such as photocopying, or items you purchase for the client. Expenses are typically measured by quantity and price.

Timeslips makes it easy to create a slip. The program stores lists of information that you need to create slips, such as the people who work at your company, information about your clients, tasks you perform, and types of expenses you incur. Timeslips stores lots of information in its database.

To create a database, follow these steps:

  1. If you’re opening the program for the first time, click Create a New Database from the Welcome to Sage Timeslips window that appears. Otherwise, choose File→New→Database to display the Select a Database Style page of the Create a New Database wizard.

    You can populate your database automatically with a starting list of tasks and expenses and custom fields commonly used by accountants, architects, consultants, construction companies, and law firms. If you wanted to go that route, you would select Professional Database and then choose a database style. However, most users prefer to create an empty database that they populate themselves, so that’s what you’ll do in these steps.

    If you’re planning to use a Sage Timeslips add-on product to support electronic billing (used primarily by law firms that do business with insurance companies), you should install the add-on before you create a Timeslips database and you should select the database style associated with your add-on. That database style will contain the custom fields you’ll need for electronic billing.

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  2. Select Empty Database and then click Next.

    The Select a Database Location dialog box appears.

  3. Click the Browse button to the right of the listed path name and navigate to the folder where you want to store your database.

    Although the wizard suggests that you store your database in a folder located inside the Program Files folder, where you installed the program, and that you name that folder DATA01, many IT people prefer that you not store data in the Program Files folder.

    It is recommended that you store your Timeslips database in a folder inside the Documents folder; that way, if you use the Windows 7 backup utility, it will automatically include your Timeslips database when backing up your files.

  4. Click Next and enter your company’s name as you want it to appear on reports and possibly your bills.

    You can print your bills on plain paper, and Timeslips will print your company name on the bill. Or you can opt to print bills on letterhead and suppress the printing of your company name.

  5. Click Next and select the number of decimal places you want Timeslips to track for numeric values, such as rates and fees.

    If you’re in the United States, select the 2 Decimal Places option.

  6. Click Next and select a starting month for your company’s fiscal year.

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  7. Click Next and specify the first invoice number you want Timeslips to use on the first bill it generates.

    After you produce the first bill, Timeslips automatically increments invoice numbers from this first number you specify.

  8. Click Next and select a bill format.

    Don’t worry; you’re not locked into the bill format you use. Timeslips uses the format you select when you create your database as the default, but you can switch to a different layout at any time, and you can modify any bill layout you select.

    Choose Basic Bill and choose Medium for the Detail option. You also can opt to include a cover page, which produces a summary page of charges for your bill.

    You can select each layout in the list and then double-click the Preview to get a better look at the layout.

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  9. Click Next and select an option for the Timeslips Accounting Link.

    Using the Timeslips Accounting link (TAL), you can track the accounting information associated with bills and their subsequent payments. If you use Sage 50 or QuickBooks, you can directly transfer accounting information. If you use any other accounting package, select the Timeslips Accounting Link (TAL) option to generate a report of entries you can use to easily enter information into your accounting package.

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  10. Click Next and select additional Timeslips features you want to use.

    You can turn the following features on or off at any time:

    • You can synchronize with Microsoft Outlook so that you can create slips from Outlook entries.

    • You can track trust funds or client retainers; for details.

    • You can set up budgets for clients and track planned versus actual hours, fees, and costs.

  11. Click Next to display the last screen of the wizard.

    The screen tells you that it doesn’t need any more information to create your database.

  12. Click Next a final time.

    Timeslips creates your database.

After the wizard creates your database, it suggests that you open the General Settings dialog box and review some basic information that Timeslips is using in your database. Go ahead and click Finish to open the General Settings dialog box.

Instead of using your own database to mess around and test things, you can use the Explore database, which contains sample data.

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