App Review: Ballpark Hits a Homerun with Invoicing & Time Tracking
Whether you are a freelance app developer, journalist or a similarly themed small business there are certain fundamental nightmares that come with running your own shop. The most frequent source of fear is invoicing and time tracking. Many small businesses, whether one person or not dread the invoicing, time tracking and project maintenance that comes with running a business. Yet, these things have to get done. That is when they might consider getting Ballpark, an app that makes time tracking, invoicing and accounts payable easy and painless.
For review purposes I started using Ballpark a few weeks ago. Tracking time through the timer function was simple. There is some slight set-up first, as you need to enter the appropriate contacts and functions before you can allocate time to them. If you don't have this information, then you are probably missing a larger piece of your business. I used the estimate tool to scope out projects, and while I didn't use the invoice tool to actually invoice anyone besides myself for test purposes, it is also just a few clicks to function.
Ballpark is a great organizational tool for the small business owner or freelancer. However, if you have trouble remembering to track time and send invoices anyway, then it doesn't matter what you are using. For instance, I rarely remember to track time. It's tedious and not something I like to do. While Ballpark makes it less of a chore, I still had to make a note to log into the system to enter time. This is not a negative for Ballpark, this is a negative for my own organizational skills.
The reporting feature is limited to payments and time tracking, which is still useful. When you log in you get a handy dashboard that summarizes the most recent entries, whether they be time tracking, estimating or invoicing. Some nice pie charts might be a good addition here, something akin to a Salesforce.com dashboard. While this won't replace an accounting system like Quickbooks, Ballpark is a handy accompanying tool.Continued on the next page