Billings 2

Billings 2

Slips break down each part of the project by cost, including all of those coveted billable hours.


When you're self-employed, it's up to you to track your hours, expenses, and invoicing. Billings 2, an application that tracks billing time and creates invoices, is as good as any personal assistant, and it won't ask for a raise.


Billings 2's setup assistant quickly runs through your information, such as your location, tax rate, and hourly rate (and you can customize this later for individual parts of a project). From the main window, it's a cinch to enter client information and create entries for different projects. When you enter new clients, Billings 2 conveniently grabs contact info from Apple's Address Book. Project information includes the start date, the due date, and extra fields that you can fill with data such as purchase order numbers. You can even link files and enter URLs so you can launch them from within Billings' interface. Unfortunately, you can't archive completed projects; they remain indefinitely in your projects list, which fills up fast.


Each project is composed of slips, which can be anything for which you'd charge a client, such as expenses, mileage, and flat-rate work. Billings 2 is most handy at tracking billable hours, whether for consulting, editing, or, um, lawyering. The Timers window lists all current timed slips and provides Pause, Play, and Punch Out buttons so you can quickly start and stop the clock. If your client requires an estimate prior to the project, you can create those using slips as well.


Though it's fun to get paid, it's not so fun to deal with invoices. But Billings 2 makes it a breeze. Once a project is complete, simply click the Send Invoice button, and the program creates a PDF containing your name and address (and that of your client), a breakdown of costs, and the total amount due. You can choose from five (mostly attractive) templates, and there are options to email, print, and save the invoice. To a certain extent, you can tweak what information shows up on your invoice, though we'd like to see more flexibility in terms of what you can include and where it appears. After all, it's your business, and shouldn't your invoices reflect that?


The bottom line. If you work for yourself and a healthy amount of your jobs are time-based, you'll benefit from a good, reliable billing application. Billings 2 gets the job done easily and efficiently - just what you want in an officemate. And it won't call in sick, either.


COMPANY: Marketcircle
PRICE: $59
REQUIREMENTS: Mac OS 10.4 or later, 50MB disk space
Understandable interface. Easy time tracking. Simple, attractive invoices. Address Book integration. Universal binary.
Lacks ability to archive old projects. Invoice templates could be more customizable.





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