Time tracking is so key to grabbing more of the Quickbooks market. Keep in mind how large a percentage of businesses are not manufacturing nowadays. There is a huge market for service businesses needing something better than Quickbooks. Entering time by employee/service provider and being able to assign projects/customers to each line item is very important. This definitely needs to happen like a timesheet (I believe i saw a screen shot of a potential layout in this website) to capture the consulting type businesses where employees work on more than one client in a day (or even in an hour). Each entry would need to be identified by a “service item” (list that the Company would determine such as Consulting, Tax, Help Desk, Network Troubleshooting, Security, Supervisor, etc ). Service Item should have the ability to have different billing rates that can be based on the employee.
But the next step to broaden the useability of this feature is to be able to put in purchase order items/expense items and be able to assign individual line items to a project/customer.
You go in to create a bill to the customer and you can pull up a multi-tabbed window to select your billable items for that invoice. One tab would show time assigned to the customer and you check what gets put on the current bill, leave unchecked pending items, and be able to “write off” items you choose not to bill. This “write off” code would be good for reviewing the profitability of a client. There would be another tab that would show billable expenses that you can check to add to the bill. 10 years ago when I implemented Navision at a previous employer, it had this ability. Microsoft bought out Navision … it is considered a bigger fish than Dynamics SL (which my current employer uses and I hate).
In a time and expense business, usually the contract would usually dictate the percentage markup from the cost that would show on the invoice as the customers price. If I remember correctly in Navision you could also assign the costs to a category (list that the Company would determine, such as Travel, Supplies, Per Diem etc) so when they showed up to be selected for invoicing you could sort them. In the project setup you could also select either detailed billing where the invoice would show every item or summary billing where only the totals per category would show up.
Sorry for rambling … I think xTuple is great but since most of my 25 years in the accounting industry has been primarily in the service and project sector, I just see huge potential in a much larger audience with a little expansion in this area.