Launched in July of 2017, BQE Core is a complete business management application designed for professional service businesses. Core is particularly well suited for small to mid-sized firms. Completely cloud-based, Core offers time and billing functionality along with accounting, scheduling and project management capability.
Core is completely cloud based, so users will able to access the system from any location at any time. The product also offers mobile apps for both iOS and Android smart phones and tablets, with users able to enter time data, attach receipts, create and send invoices, and run reports using their mobile device.
Users can enter time using a variety of methods which include utilizing the Time Card, which offers weekly view, and allows users to enter an engagement, task, description of work completed, as well as hours for each day of that week. Users can also opt to use the Time Entries screen if desired, which provides an option for recording tasks and the related time as they occur. Core also offers an unlimited number of timers that users can access when needed, with the ability to use multiple timers simultaneously if necessary. Once time is recorded, the timesheet can be auto-populated to display all activities and projects from the previous week.
The Expense entry screen resembles the time entry screen, with users able to enter any related expense information including units, if any, cost rate, any markup, and the total charge amount. Users can also attach receipts to all entered expenses for easier tracking. The Time and Expense Reviewer allows supervisors to easily review and approval all staff time and expense entries on a timely basis.
Core offers users dozens of professional invoice templates that are customizable as desired. Users can also choose from a variety of invoice types including percent complete, retainer, recurring, fixed, hourly, phased, joint, along with others. Users can choose templates based on employee, classification, activity, or title. Core also offers users a variety of billing methods that can be utilized, including automatic, manual, and progress.
Core’s reporting options are excellent, with users able to choose from a variety of reporting options which include both Time Expense Reports along with Billing, Client, and Employee reports as well. Reports available include a comprehensive Time and Expenses Report, Time Details Report, and Allocated Hours, Billed Time and Expenses, Billing Analysis, and a Gross Margin Report, which provides management with an excellent overview of firm profitability by client or by project. Another great management resource is the Employee Performance Report, which provides an overview of vacation, sick and comp time used along with employee gross margins, realization, utilization, billed work, and other employee performance indicators. All Core reports can be customized, with customized reports saved for future access. Users can also assign report favorites for quicker processing, or schedule reports as needed. All reports can be exported to Microsoft Word, Excel, or as a CSV file, or saved as a PDF. Reports can also be emailed to recipients directly from the report processing screen if desired.
Core offers complete financial management capability. Along with the Time and Expenses and Billing modules, there are also Accounting, Payables, Engagements and a Contacts module which functions as a CRM. A completely integrated system, Core also offers complete Project Management capability as well. Core also integrates with other third-party applications including QuickBooks Online, MYOB AccountRight, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Amazon Web Services.
The Core Help Center offers a variety of help and support resources including access to a series of How-To Videos on their website, which users can access on demand. Users can also access FAQ’s, browse the Knowledgebase or access the blog form the Help Center as well. Users can also access Help directly from any screen in the product when needed. Core also offers a variety of add-on services including Implementation Services, Training, and Custom Services. Product support is available during regular business hours, or users can access support via email. A live support portal is also available by contacting support to obtain a meeting ID number.
Core is an excellent addition to BQE’s stable of products, and is an excellent solution for small to mid-sized professional services firms. Core pricing is role-based, with options for Manager, Time & Expense, Billing, and Accounting, with each edition offering differing features and functionality. The Time & Expense edition is $9.95 per user, per month, if paid annually, and $11.95 per user, per month when paid monthly. The Billing option is $19.95 per user, per month or $23.95 when paid monthly. Manager pricing starts at $19.95 per user, per month, and Accounting pricing is $24.95 per user, per month. For those interested in trying out the product, a free 15-day trial is also available.
2017 Overall Rating – 5 Stars