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Intuit Drops Time Tracker and Time & Billing

October 7, 2011 | By | 19 Replies More

I can’t say that I’m too surprised about this. Intuit is dropping BOTH the QuickBooks Time Tracker and QuickBooks Time & Billing programs, effective December 1 2011. Yet ANOTHER online service that Intuit has been offering that they are dropping (like QuickBooks Attached Documents). Dropping Time Tracker has been an idea that has been kicking around all year, but I was caught by surprise when they announced that they were dropping Time & Billing also. What happened? And what are your alternatives?

QuickBooks Time Tracker vs. QuickBooks Time & Billing

QuickBooks Time Tracker has been around since 2006 I believe. It allowed employees to add their time and billable hour information in an online database, and then this information could be posted to your desktop (Windows) version of QuickBooks.

QuickBooks Time Tracker

Intuit QuickBooks Time & Billing was introduced in 2010, I believe, and was available through the Intuit App Center. This was again a subscription based online product, but it used the IPP interface and Sync Manager. Unfortunately, I don’t have detailed info on it because it has already been removed from the Intuit App Center listings.

From the very beginning it was clear that Intuit’s intention was to replace Time Tracker with Time & Billing. That made sense – they are trying to consolidate all of their online services into one platform, and the IPP (App Center) platform is what they want to support going forward. The problem has been that Intuit seems to be having problems in getting solid, robust, full featured apps developed in-house using this approach.

Phasing Out Time Tracker

From the very beginning Intuit stated that Intuit QuickBooks Time & Billing was meant to replace QuickBooks Time Tracker. I found some documents that said that this changeover would happen very early, possibly as early as late 2010. That didn’t happen.

In March 2011 Intuit told customers that Time Tracker would be discontinued as of the end of that month, to be replaced by Time & Billing. I’m guessing that there were a lot of complaints from customers at that time, so then the word came out that this would be put off for awhile AND that people would be given a couple of month’s advance warning.

At that time I took a look at the listing for Quickbooks Time & Billing – it was very interesting. The reviews for the product were uniformly terrible. I only saw one rating that was higher than one star – and that was from somebody in India. People just did not like Time & Billing. I didn’t save screen shots of this at that time – I wish I had.

In August 2011 I heard from a different source that Intuit was still accepting Time Tracker customers, but telling them that they would eventually have to move to Time & Billing. So, still planning on dropping one product to be replaced by the other, BUT the timeframe is being pushed further out.

NOW, in October, we see a Product Discontinuation Information bulletin that says that BOTH of the products are being discontinued! I’m including a screen shot here because Intuit has a tendency to post things, then remove them later on.

QuickBooks Time Tracker Discontinuation

I don’t have any inside information on this latest decision, so all I can do is speculate. A year ago, Intuit was making a strong push to get into the online services market, AND developing a number of in-house projects. The platform of choice is IPP and the App Center. Now I’m starting to see a shifting focus, I think. It looks like Intuit may be deciding that they don’t want to be in the forefront of that particular kind of service? Consider this:

  • Intuit is backing out of the Document Management business (cloud based), phasing out QuickBooks Attached Documents.
  • Intuit is dropping BOTH the Time Tracker and Time & Billing services.
  • The IPP interface that Intuit has been pushing developers to use is undergoing significant changes (I hope to write about that later this year), making significant changes to how Intuit provide services and how billing is managed. My first impressions on the changes is that it is for the better, but I’m still looking at this.
  • Intuit continues to have a strong interest in Mobile applications, which is an entirely different subject (although related) to these kinds of online applications.

Interesting, and confusing!

What Alternatives Are Available?

If you need an online time tracking product, what is available? I’ll list some options here, but I want to emphasize that I have not performed a detailed analysis of any of them, so I can’t make recommendations. Most of the products listed here I found in Doug Sleeter’s article on QuickBooks Add-ons.

Many of these companies will be exhibiting at The Sleeter Group Accounting Solutions Conference in November, which would provide you with an excellent opportunity to see the products and to talk to the developers (I’m planning on spending a lot of time talking to the exhibitors there).

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Category: QuickBooks Add-ons, QuickBooks Tips/Tricks, Working with QuickBooks

About the Author ()

Charlie Russell is the founder of CCRSoftware. He's been involved with the small business software industry since the mid 70's, and remembers releasing his first commercial accounting software product when you had a one-floppy disk drive system, loading the program from one floppy and then replacing that with the other floppy to hold the data. He has a special interest in inventory and manufacturing software for small businesses. Charlie is a Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor with additional certifications for QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Enterprise. He also is a Xero Certified Partner. Visit his CCRSoftware web site for information about his QuickBooks add-on products. Charlie can be reached at [email protected] He is also the author of the California Wildflower Hikes blog Connect with Charlie at Google

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  1. Intuit Drops Time Tracker and Time & Billing « Price Business Solutions | October 9, 2011
  1. While I certainly like innovation and accept a certain amount of ‘advance / retreat’, it sure would be nice if Intuit did a better job of sharing its vision / product roadmap with partners. While I anticipate gaining a better understanding at next week’s ISP Summit, it sure seems to me that when specific product discontinuation announcements are made, they should be accompanied by more ‘why’ information.

    • I try to hammer on Intuit every time that I talk to them that they don’t do a good job in communicating with ProAdvisors. They agree with me and say that they are working on that.

      I will note that IF you are a ProAdvisor and that IF you log in to the ProAdvisor web site, and IF you click on the “notifications” link up in the right corner, you would have seen a notification about this change.

      That didn’t show in the “accountant center” in QB 2012, unfortunately. So you had to go hunting to see this

    • Steve Freeman says:

      Hi

      I have been using eBillity time tracker software for several years. The set up was quick and when I had a question there is chat support waiting to assist me. A real person not a robot! It also syncs with Intuit’s Quickbooks, they got tons of 5 star reviews on Intuit!. Using the eBillity time tracking software has saved me a great deal of time and expenses.

  2. Jim Savage says:

    You can add this to the growing list of Intuit “retired” products. It would seem that the Intuit user base is one big R & D platform to test out new products. When will they get it that they need to stop trying to do everything and concentrate on the core product line. Maybe even investing in their data center infrastructure so the servers will stay up consistently. But it’s Friday and I am just a bit cynical…

  3. Diana says:

    It seems that Intuit is always trying to quickly ramp up products that are already really good out in the marketplace. I would think it would be more worth their time and money to better anticipate what businesses will be looking for in a couple of years and put the resources toward those products. If I’m already using product, it would take a lot for me to change just because Intuit comes out with another version.

  4. Graeme Leo says:

    Time and Billing is such an important part of a service business, it is hard to believe that Intuit don’t plan to replace it with an improved product.
    As integrators of QuickBooks and CRM, ACT! in particular, we see Time and Billing as initiating from CRM. A scheduled activity from a calendar or on-the-fly entry, from front-office service people, or remote user from a handheld device in the field. With our range of links for accounting products we have intoduced a Time & Billing module in ACT! that works either as a standalone process or for best effect, working with Xact Link for QuickBooks refer http://www.xactsoftware.co.nz/time_and_billing_for_act.html
    Attendees at the Sleeter Group Conference next month will see it in action.

    Certainly interesting times with Intuit adding contact management function, albeit quite basic, but an indicator that customers are restless about the disconnect of traditional accounting from the sales process i.e. efficient CRM workflow to account processing. It’s taken a long time.

  5. Another time tracking and billing alternative is http://www.Bill4Time.com. It includes a QuickBooks integration feature, mobile app, and a desktop widget.

  6. William Murphy says:

    Typical “Intuit”, and their Apps. A few years ago when they moved ‘time tracker’ from being an available module that could run on the desktop and import time into QB (so individuals who needed to keep their daily time sheets didn’t need to have the full QB product in exactly the same way ‘time slips’ worked).

    I specifically asked Intuit reps at one of the ‘live annual release events’ a few years back, “what if Time-keeper Web-App business doesn’t work out, is Intuit going to ‘drop it’ and then everyone is going to be forced to do something different?” The reply “Intuit is commited to this concept”….. (yea, right)! Now everyone needs to go find a time app that will import to QB (cause you better not ‘hold your breath’ below the surface that they bring back the time-keeper module).

    Wait a minute….I thought Intuit’s Cloud was their ‘wave of the future’ and that was ‘where they were headed with almost everything’. They seem to be ‘sinking’ a lot of products that were floating on the wave when the revenue stream doesn’t meet the ‘sex-wax’ requirement their boogy board is longing-for.

    Their newest wave, really a ‘diminishing tide’, seems to have affected the ‘live events’ themselves….they are co-sponsoring only a limited number of privately held “what’s new workshops”; what once was a 50 city grand tour (with a free copy of QB to all attending) became a 30 cities (w/o free copies but a box lunch), to 20 cities (and a ‘free cookie’) and now recorded webinars and a half-dozen co-sponsored events which will probably soon settle below the surf as food for the crabs.

    So who would like to ‘start a pool’ on what next takes a deep dive (like the Titanic) from the App center line-up?

    Murph

  7. Sarah says:

    Hmmmm, they just accepted a new 30 day free trial customer, wonder what will haopen whem the 30 days ends

  8. If anyone is looking for an online time tracking app that also has a desktop app you should check out our software at http://www.paymo.biz
    We will soon be launching an integration module with QB!

  9. Kevin says:

    If you are interested in other options, our product Dovico Timesheet seamlessly integrates time and expenses with Quickbooks.
    I would be willing to offer a 20 minutes webinar to show you the product in action.
    Thanks,
    Kevin

  10. Woody Adams says:

    I will miss the old Time Tracker or code name, Foxtrot. Born in 2007. If you liked the newer Time and Billing Mgr, ebility is nearly the same program but a better workflow and process. And the pricing is exact to what we had. I can read some are disappointed by Intuit’s decision, but this was a good one in the end. Alas, will miss Foxtrot. It was very simple but it worked great. Couldn’t add a class online, but hey, it was very user friendly and downloaded fine.

  11. Dear All,

    This is Prashant from Zoho. If you are looking for a time tracking software that is integrated with accounting you can take a look at what we offer. We offer an accounting software that comes with a comprehensive time tracking module. If all you need to do is record time sheets and bill your clients and do not require a full fledged accounting software you can try our online invoice software.

    You can contact me at prashant at zohocorp dot com for further details. Alternatively, you can meet us at the upcoming sleeter conference this year. We will be stationed at Booth 37 and I would be delighted to walk you through our products.

    Regards
    Prashant

  12. For those left high and dry from Intuit time tracker, Harvest time tracking is a great option for small businesses. It integrates with Quickbooks (either Windows or Online). Give it a spin with a 30 day free trial, and do let us know if you have any questions about getting set up. Call us at 1 (888) 350-6637 for more information, or find us online at getharvest DOT com!

  13. Alex Mann says:

    Thanks Charlie – I’ll ask your readers to check out our product, ClickTime. We’ve been serving QuickBooks users (and Sleeter Group members) for years with superb time tracking capabilities. Our newest Connector for QuickBooks lets you easily exchange data between our web-based timesheet and QuickBooks. ClickTime also offers fully-integrated expense tracking as well. Check out our free trial and ask for our special discount for former users of the QuickBooks Time Tracker.

    Thanks!

    -Alex Mann
    Clicktime.com

    • Lucas D. says:

      Alex,

      Does ClickTime integrate with Outlook? We are currently looking for a good solution that will integrate with Outlook, and it looks like BigTime is our only option. If anyone knows of some good solutions to try out, we are all ears!

  14. CompWizard says:

    I have tried numerous products. I wasn’t having much luck finding one that actually integrated with QuickBooks until I found BigTime! It fits my business perfectly. They have 2 different solutions: LaunchPad and BigTime Pro…seamless integration with QB and great for time tracking.

    http://marketplace.intuit.com/v2/f-time-tracking/software-solutions.aspx

  15. Read says:

    Many people opt for web based time tracking and planning programs, but it is their key necessity to deliver features such as safe and sound web servers, a central dashboard screen and detailed reporting.

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