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Non-CAD software question for architects

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

I'm interested in helping architects do more efficient business (I know, boring!) I'd like to know what kind of Time and Billing software is used by Vectorworks firms:

  • What kind?
  • Do you use it yourself, or do you delegate its use to administrative staff?
  • What do you like / dislike about it?
  • Does it help you keep your receivables low?
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We use Avaza for time-keeping. Despite it being a whole task management and billing suite we only use the time-keeping aspect of it. Mainly because it's cheaper than other offerings and because we use Asana for task management. We tried using Avaza for task management but it was too clunky compared to Asana.


We haven't integrated billing with time-keeping. Partly because of technophobic office management but also because we don't bill by the hour. We bill by project milestone/progress.


We've tried Harvest, Toggl, amongst others. Generally they charge far too much for what they're offering, usually a per user per month fee.


Ultimately what I'd like to do is integrate our billing and time keeping so that we can assess profitably of projects at a glance. We could probably do that now with Avaza but I need to need to discuss it further with my director.

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My opinion may be a bit off topic as I a a Freelancer.

But I have problems finding adequate replacement of my Mac Software for Windows.


Time Tracking for me is essential as you want to separate the time you spend in front of

the Monitor from the time you effectively got work done.



Timings + Grand Total for Mac Combo

(Time/App Tracking + Invoices, from Media Atelier, Switzerland)



One man show here



+ offline

+ classic perpetual license no subscription

+ affordable

+ true Mac App

+ iCloud option if needed


Time Tracking :

+ allows graphical, manual editing of time Bars

(auto tracking never really worked for me, like

phone calls : Telephone Meeting or private call, private or office browsing or mailing ...)

+ calender-like or list views

+ Text input, comments option

+ iCloud option if needed

+ Projects, Clients, hurly rates, tax options, ...

- App Tracking hard to read and tedious to setup

- still some work needed when detailed hour exports needed


Invoices :

+ custom Invoice Template creation

+ eMail option

+ automatic exchange of tracking data from Timings

+ auto sorting to specific clients and projects after exchange

+ semi automation to create and send Invoices

+ manual paid status + automatic notifications

+ rebate and some editing options

- little glitches, like sending eMails to more than one recipient

- still some manual input needed here and there




Not really.

Automatic Notifications if you would forget your Invoices otherwise.

If you are getting paid late there might be simple reasons like forgetting,

SPAM folders, absences, holidays, typos, ....or bad will.

All cases the Software can't help as more than a simple phone call.

Or a lawyer in more serious cases 😉

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21 minutes ago, Christiaan said:

Avaza, Asana, Harvest, Toggle, amongst others.


Unfortunately all browser based online solutions.


Cross platform solutions very welcome :

- Linux, Windows (and Mac) in this order

- Desktop App

- perpetual

- offline

Edited by zoomer
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Sole proprietor using quickbooks pro (via parallels on a Mac). Married to a quickbooks professional. Quickbooks for Mac and Quickbooks on-line are a disaster as I understand from accounting world and clients who use both.

Time is tracked via iSlips for quickbooks as an app on my phone. Sync with qb works but is not easy if you don't know what you're doing. Timeslips is supposed to be better. online and app based, syncs with QBP. Phone based app allows for mobility (meeting, job sites etc). There is no way I'd tie billing to an NNA program or integrate it given the climate of instability and sluggishness that permeates this CAD software. Don't go there.

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Linux Served - Open source

Human resource management options - 



Bitrix24 self hosted

Group Office groupware and CRM


We currently use OrangeHRM for time manangement. It is opensource and free - if you have a host on the web, you can host it on there. 

Generally Human resource apps will charge you 10-20$ per user. If you have upwards of 10 users - it can cost you 2000 usd per year.


Bitrix 24 apparently costs $1,490 for self hosted option for 12 users or free using their service hosted in the cloud with 5gb of data. I personally haven't tried it, but it seems good


Group Office groupware and CRM costs 399 Euros and has a few add-ons for billing for another 200 (self hosted)


Orangescrum is also a pretty nice open source HRM management solution. However you have to pay for add-ons - like billing or time management.

There are many other open source options, however the best ones i liked were those 3 so far. 


Another one is Dolibarr - but it's a bit clunky and messy from what i've experienced. If some of you know how to use Mysql and server administration, you can try some of these self hosted options.


Regarding invoices and financial services -


Currently in the search for good invoicing. However the downside is it's not linked with timesheets. 😞 (Bitrix 24 / Group Office groupware and CRM maybe?)


but here are some options (for opensource / free):


Invoice Ninja

Group Office groupware and CRM (looks promising with billing invoices options) - don't know how the timesheets module is arranged.

invoice plane (can also be self hosted)




Comments welcome ! 🙂


Edited by Samuel Derenboim
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On 1/17/2019 at 3:28 AM, Christiaan said:



We've tried Harvest, Toggl, amongst others. Generally they charge far too much for what they're offering, usually a per user per month fee.





We use a Legacy version of ArchiOffice using half the features on an old machine sitting in the corner. So have been looking around at replacement systems. Just in case. Have noticed a lot advertise a lower tier per user price but when you read details you need the upper tier of pricing for the accountant or project leaders but everyone needs to be on the same plan. So suddenly resonable price quickly changes.


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