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ASP Helps Service Firms Account for Time

Looking to help service companies such as law, public relations, graphic design and consulting firms better track and charge for their time, Net Theory, a New York, N.Y.-based software developer and ASP, today announced the release of Work Theory v1.0.

Aimed at small and mid-size service businesses, the hosted application includes a project management system for assigning and delegating tasks and tracking their progress — which the company said improves efficiency for both managers and workers. Managers can check the status of all current tasks. Employees can check their assignments to see how their managers have prioritized their tasks.

"Most service companies still use a paper-based time sheet system, or at best an Excel spreadsheet," says Rick Seeger, president and chief technical officer of Net Theory.

Net Theory says that Work Theory makes service businesses more productive in three areas:

  • Managers can delegate — and then monitor — projects and tasks. Progress reports and scope changes are logged in a bulletin board style for each task. Relevant parties are automatically notified.

  • Employee time sheet entries are task-specific. When it's time to bill a job and create an invoice, data is already organized and linked to specific projects and tasks. All data can be exported to QuickBooks or printed directly. Seeger told ASPnews that Net Theory is also considering integration with Web-based accounting services such as Oracle Small Business Suite.

  • Similar to a company intranet, related documents can be uploaded to a specific project or task, and are accessible from a common location.

Seeger told ASPnews that a service firm could set up and use Work Theory in about 30 minutes. The ASP architecture allows users to access the browser-based application from any Internet connection. Seeger said the company ensures security by using the SSL (secure socket layer) protocol. The program's security options allow managers to grant consultants restricted access to a project set and clients can make work requests directly through Work Theory.

Pricing is a flat $20 per user, monthly fee. The software will be sold directly, primarily through telephone-based sales, Seeger said. However, he said the company may consider developing a channel strategy in the future.


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