Time reporting and billing software are all over the ‘Net and the application shelf at the computer store. Usually, these are glorified time clocks, but timeXchange is a little different.
First, the basics: you set up a free account and invite those involved in your projects to join up. The links to invite are embedded with your project’s link, so if you have three projects with two clients each, the clients will only see their individual project out of the three–while you will, obviously, see all three projects.
Those clients then have access to see your reporting on hours, budget, and other features you decide to include on the project setup. Sharing, viewing, and approval are open to all, so you can request budget infusions or extra item requests and the client can do the same as well as approve/disapprove items.
Each project can have up to four approving contacts (people who can approve/disapprove items) and unlimited managers (voyeurs) who can view, download, etc. the information from the project’s time reports. The use of the site is free (for now) and allows two active projects per account. A one-time, lifetime subscriber fee of $19.95 is available for a limited time, and monthly fees are likely to be charged once the site officially launches out of beta. Subscription accounts have unlimited projects.
While the site has a lot going for it, it’s not too much different from other, similar applications like ADI Time. In fact, their AdWords links shoot them in the foot as competition is listed regularly on site pages. It’s my suspicion that this site is enjoying initial success because of it’s free-to-use and cheap, one-time fee policies. Were it to bill monthly, timeXchange would probably find itself in trouble.
Nevertheless, it’s worth a try for the small outfit or for a freelancer.