The Timeslips Sage

iSlips phone EntryeIn this time of pandemics, many of our clients have been asking us about remote time entry in Timeslips.  If you don’t have a way to connect to the computer in your office from home, there are a few solutions available for remotely entering time into Timeslips. We can provide support and configuration assistance with all of these methods.

Sage offers Timeslips eCenter as a monthly subscription “add-on” to a Timeslips on-premises license. This service, however, requires that you are operating on the most recent version of Timeslips, so that excludes a lot of potential users. Soon eCenter will only be available to users of Timeslips Premium (the subscription-based edition of Timeslips).

Steve Stasinos, a former Sage employee who helped to develop and maintain the Timeslips applicaton while working at Sage, has developed an application called iSlips Online. We think this product may represent the best fit for many of our Timeslips clients, especially since it will work with any version of Timeslips.

Originally developed as an iPhone-based remote entry tool for Timeslips, with the current version of  iSlips you can remotely enter time from either a mobile app or a Windows desktop PC.  The application’s data syncs in real-time with the on-premises Timeslips database in your office.   You have access to all of your client and task code lists from the remote app, and your entries will be immediately available for billing.

You can choose either a monthly subscription license for $20 per user, or save a bit with a longer commitment by purchasing an annual license at $200 per year per user.

As a bonus to our clients, you can use the coupon code “TriStar” to get $20 off of your initial purchase of an iSlips subscription.

To learn more about the iSlips application, visit or contact TriStar Data Systems. We can be reached by email at, or by phone at 610-941-2116.

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In an announcement to all Timeslips Resellers and Certified Consultants, Sage Software has announced that they will discontinue sale of Timeslips Perpetual Edition licenses, as of September 30, 2020.
Here is the full text of the announcement:

Effective August 1, 2019 Sage Timeslips license-only (Perpetual Edition) will no longer be available for purchase through the direct sales channel

 Sage Timeslips license-only (Perpetual Edition) will be available for purchase exclusively through channel sales (Authorized Resellers) until September 30, 2020

Effective October 1, 2019 there will be no new features, enhancements, or upgrades delivered for Sage Timeslips 2020 Perpetual Edition. After this date only support through a Sage Business Care plan, which may include one or more service releases to resolve possible product issues, will be available.

September 30, 2020 will be the last day of support for Sage Business Care for Sage Timeslips license only (Perpetual Edition) customers. Upon the end of support for Sage Business Care, customers will have the option to select Sage Timeslips Premium, an auto-renewing subscription, which includes support, on-going new features and enhancements, technological changes, security updates and more.

TriStar will continue to actively sell Timeslips Perpetual licenses over the next 15 months. If you are on an older version of Timeslips and do not wish to migrate to a Timeslips subscription plan, you will need to place your order for Timeslips 2020 Perpetual with TriStar before September 30, 2020.

In the interim we are working with Sage to develop some new purchase options for the Timeslips Premium (subscription-based) product. We will be sending details on these new plans as they become available over the summer and into the fall of 2019.

We also expect to work more closely with TimeSolv, a leading provider of Cloud-based billing software and a close competitor to Sage Timeslips, to help those clients that choose to do so move to a Cloud-based billing system.

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We will keep everyone informed of developments as they occur. In the meantime we are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding Sage Timeslips licensing. You can contact us at 610-941-2116 or by email at
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Sage will announce the release of Timeslips 2020 by the end of April. While we do not yet know the ultimate fate of the Timeslips “Perpetual Edition” product, I thought that this is a good time to revisit the differences between Timeslips Premium Edition and Timeslips Perpetual Edition, which I originally wrote about in 2017.

Timeslips Premium vs. PerpetualHere are the basic facts on the two products:

  • Timeslips Premium is a subscription-based product that includes all new releases of the product during the term of the software subscription (both updates and new editions). It includes free access to Sage Technical Support, and also bundles in some features that are – at least initially – not available in the Perpetual Edition product. It requires annual renewal of the subscription as a condition of continued use of the product. Subscription cancellation will result in loss of access to your database within 30 days of non-renewal.

  • Timeslips Perpetual is the traditional software license product that is acquired via a one-time purchase. As the name implies, the purchaser owns the license “in perpetuity” and can use the product, with no further license fees, for as long as it will operate on current Windows operating systems. Users can purchase optional support contracts directly from Sage, if desired; no support services are included in the license purchase.

So which is the better purchase?

The answer to this question, as is often the case with technology purchases, depends partly on the user’s attitude toward technology purchases, and partly on the “evolving” policies of the manufacturer regarding software sales.

If you:

  1. Need more than 15-20 licenses
  2. Expect to add more licenses on a regular basis following your initial purchase
  3. Expect to need recurring technical support and training services for the software
  4. Place a value on keeping current with technology

Then the Premium subscription product may be the smarter purchase. New features in Timeslips are typically introduced first in the Premium Edition, so Premium users have earlier access to these features. The Premium product is also initially less expensive to purchase (about 75-80% of the Perpetual license cost); of course that initial price difference more than disappears when the annual subscription renewal cost kicks in.

The Perpetual Edition may be the better choice for firms that prefer

  1.  to stick with existing technology for 3-4 years (or more!)
  2. do not have recurring support or training needs
  3. can maintain a consistent license count

The down side to the Perpetual license is that Sage has dramatically shortened the “support cycle” for Perpetual Edition users, to just about 18 months or less. What his means is that Sage will not provide technical support for “non-supported” editions of their product, will not sell additional licenses for these “obsolete” versions, and will no longer support integration with add-on products like Timeslips eCenter (the Cloud-based time and expense entry service Sage markets). For many firms these restrictions pose no obstacle at all; for some, it is a significant consideration. You will need to weigh where you stand on these issues carefully before making a decision.

And what if you make the “wrong” decision? To move from Perpetual to Premium is a simple step, involving only a change to the license key embedded in your installation. Moving from Premium to Perpetual can also be accomplished, but it involves “re-purchasing” a full license to Timeslips, at full price, along with a license key change.

And of course hovering over all of this is the specter of a change in licensing policy from Sage. The software industry is generally moving more rapidly toward subscription-based license, so Sage is simply following the trend. There may come a time when licenses for Timeslips will only be available via subscription – we hear rumors about this every year when a new release is announced, and this year is no exception.

I hope this will answer some of the many questions we are asked regarding Timeslips licensing options. You likely have additional questions specific to your needs, your environment, and your future plans for technology usage. We are here for you to help you puzzle through all of those issues. Reach out to us at or by phone at 610-941-2116 to learn how we can help.

Last June I wrote about our initial impressions of iTimeKeep by Bellefield Systems. We first saw this last March at ABATECH in Chicago.  Having learned more about it, our enthusiasm for this cloud-based time tracking system has only grown.


By the time you read this article, your firm will be at the beginning or end of a billing cycle. How did that go?  Was getting your firm’s bills generated and sent easy?  Or was it yet another round of dragging your staff through another grind because somehow people just couldn’t get their time in… on time?

At first glance, the premise behind iTimekeep is simple: Time is Money. Log in on any device, enter your password, and start recording what you do in a day.  What is included in “any” device?

  • Your desktop
  • Your laptop
  • Your smartphone (iOS, Android, MS, Blackberry, etc.)
  • Your smartwatch (Apple Watch, Samsung Gear, Garmin, etc.)
  • Anything else that can access the Internet

There are other apps that can do that. But what’s important is what iTimekeep works with all of the following:


Okay, that’s good to know. But what makes this “cool”?

  • Synchronization that allows the latest information about clients, matters, projects, activities and expenses to be accessible for data entry on your device
  • No data is actually stored on your remote device. So if it’s lost or stolen, your activities and your clients’ data remain secure.
  • Allows setup of rules from your time tracking/accounting system regarding how you bill your clients – if your client specifies that your firm is not allowed to bill something, it can’t be accidentally billed by your timekeepers
  • Encourages your timekeepers to put in their time contemporaneously – timekeepers can dictate their descriptions and they can even be graded (all timekeepers want to get an “A”, right?)With all of these features and integrations, timekeeping and billing become simpler. Timekeepers begin to see the benefits of actually tracking their time, with measurable rewards. And perhaps for the first time, keeping time can actually become… cool.If you’d like to sign up for a free 30-day trial, please click here and fill out a form to register for a trial. It’s on us!

Considering moving to the Cloud? Going “all in”? Or perhaps just testing it out? You can keep your present timekeeping and billing system, yet give your staff a flexible way to enter their time and expenses. The iTimekeeping consultants on the Crosspointe team would be happy to speak with you. Call us at 610-941-2116 or write to us at

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Following our recent article on the upcoming new release of Timeslips, our clients have had many questions on what the future is likely to hold. Here is a summary of those questions:

Q         Why is Sage changing the Timeslips database?

A          Anyone who has used Timeslips for a while knows that the present Paradox database, running on the Borland Database Engine, has been in place for nearly 20 years. After a rocky beginning, Timeslips databases have undergone a lot of improvements in stability, efficiency, and performance, but we still find that we have to repair our clients’ databases much more often than we would like. Our clients have been frustrated that their Timeslips databases seem so susceptible to the slightest hiccup in their networks. Why not devote those resources to training or making better use of the many Timeslips features and reports instead of repairing data? Moving to Timeslips 2017 (and its Firebird SQL platform) is expected to provide much greater stability, data integrity, and performance. This is confirmed by our clients who have already switched to Timeslips Premium over the past year. Timeslips Premium has operated on the Firebird SQL platform since its release in 2016.

Q      Will Timeslips 2017 cost more?

A      Timeslips 2017 (numbered versions refer to the perpetual-license edition), at present, is priced the same as version 2016. The first license price is higher than that of additional licenses; the actual price depends on

  • whether it is a new installation,
  • an upgrade from a supported version,
  • or an upgrade from an unsupported version.

Timeslips Premium is billed as a monthly or annual per-user subscription. There are different levels depending on the add-ons and support included.

Q     If we adopt the new Timeslips, what new features will we have?

A     Timeslips 2017 will offer, in addition to all of the features of previous versions, the following:

  • Added speed and functionality for the Billing Assistant, including a new “at a glance” view
  • Support for a greater number of users without compromising data integrity or performance
  • Redesigned Accounts Receivable entry and listing screens
  • A new look and feel for client budgets
  • Generally faster processing

Timeslips Premium offers all of the above plus:

  • Quick Bill functions, designed for your clients who pay while they are in your office
  • The ability to include Client Calculated Fields (like spreadsheet formulas) on bills
  • Ongoing enhancements delivered automatically as updates (which are included in the subscription price) are released

Q     Is Timeslips Premium a cloud-based program?

A     No, the Premium program must be installed as on-premise software. Sage Timeslips eCenter subscriptions are still available for Internet-based time and expense entry, for both Timeslips 2017 and Timeslips Premium.

Q     So if we go with Premium, we will pay a lot for a subscription and get only 2 additional features?

A     No, there’s more. Subscriptions include all updates, new features, and service releases during the term of your subscription, without having to purchase any new versions. Sage BusinessCare support is also included.

Q    What happens if we sign up for Premium and later decide to unsubscribe?

A    You can purchase on-premise licenses for the current “numbered” version if you decide to discontinue using Timeslips Premium. Otherwise, your database will become read-only and you will not be able to update your billing data. There are no refunds for unused subscription time.

Q     Are older versions of Timeslips still supported?

A     It depends on the version. Versions 2016 and 2015 are still supported. Sage will discontinue support for Timeslips 2014 on July 31, 2016. Versions older than Timeslips 2014 are not supported by Sage at all (though Crosspointe still supports all Timeslips versions, within the limitations set by Sage).

Q     What does it mean for me if Sage discontinues support for my version of the software?

A       In addition to not accepting calls to Tech Support (even if the call is placed through a Certified Consultant), Sage does not sell additional licenses or add-ons (such as the Electronic Billing interface) for unsupported versions. Also, Sage Timeslips eCenter accounts will stop working once support for the underlying version of Timeslips is discontinued.

Q       What if I don’t upgrade now? Can I stick with my current version of Timeslips?

A        Technically, yes, within the limitations noted above. Sage has made it clear, however, that – eventually – the perpetual-license model will be phased out. At that point, anyone needing to upgrade will be required to subscribe to Timeslips Premium.

Q       How do I purchase Timeslips 2017 or Premium?

A       We are Certified Consultants authorized by Sage Software to sell and support the Timeslips product line. As such we are licensed to sell all versions of Timeslips. We can often obtain licenses for clients at a lower price than Sage will sell to end users when ordered directly from Sage. Give us a call at 610-941-2116 to discuss pricing.

Q        Since this is a new database format, will third-party programs work with it?

 A     As of 6/20/2016, here are the third-party links that will work with Timeslips 2017 and Timeslips Premium –
·         QuickBooks
·         Sage 50 Accounting
·         Timeslips E-Center
·         Amicus Premium (with Timeslips Premium only at this time)

Q      If I don’t see my program listed, does that mean the link to my program isn’t there?

 A      Links with other programs are the result of collaboration between the programmers at Sage Timeslips and third party software manufacturers.  If you do not see your program listed, the link for the new database format may still be under development.  We expect releases to come soon and will keep our clients informed of their release.  Please call us to discuss options.

Have additional Timeslips questions? The Sages at TriStar Data Systems have supported and offered training on the Timeslips product line since its inception over 25 years ago. That’s before Google was even a gleam in Sergey Brin’s eye. Test us by calling us at 610-941-2116, or email us at

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Timeslips_BDE_RetirementAfter well over 20 years using the venerable, but outdated, Borland Database Engine (BDE) as the database behind Timeslips, Sage Software is finally retiring that old workhorse. Starting with the 2017 Edition of Timeslips, the underlying database handler for all Timeslips data will be Firebird SQL, a more modern, more powerful, more flexible tool for managing large sets of data in a multi-user environment.

A Firebird SQL version of Timeslips was actually introduced, as Timeslips Premium, in 2016. The Premium Edition was sold only on a subscription basis, however, and failure to renew the subscription meant immediate loss of access to the Timeslips data. Needless to say, and what seemed obvious to everyone except Sage management, this restriction on licensing severely depressed subscription sales.

Timeslips Firebird SQL launchTo their credit, Sage management recognized the flaw in their logic, so effective with the 2017 product Sage will sell both a subscription-based Premium Edition and a “perpetual license” Firebird edition. The two products will differ slightly in feature sets, and Premium subscribers will have access to all new releases as soon as they become available from Sage, with no additional purchase required, while Timeslips “Regular” edition purchasers will need to purchase upgrades as they are released. We think both approaches have merit, and we think that giving customers a choice is absolutely the best approach for everyone.

Sage will continue to support older versions of the BDE edition of Timeslips according to their stated obsolescence policy. Support for Timeslips 2014 will be discontinued as of July 31, 2016, and support for the 2015 and 2016 BDE editions will become unsupported in July 2017 and 2018, respectively. Until a version become obsolete additional licenses of the BDE version owned by the user will still be available for purchase.

Firebird SQL is a fully ODBC-compliant database that uses standard SQL (Structured Query Language) commands to execute many of its functions. Unlike the Borland engine, it is capable of efficiently handling large volumes of data without noticeable performance degradation, and processes commands across a network much more reliably than the Borland product ever could.

At this writing it appears that the Timeslips Firebird Regular Edition license will be priced the same as the now-discontinued Timeslips BDE product ($699 for an initial new license and $400 for each additional license, with upgrade discounts available based on the prior Timeslips version). We expect to see the new Timeslips Firebird product ship before the end of July 2016.

This development marks an exciting turning point in the history of Timeslips, which has had an incredibly large and devoted following of users for many years, but has been seriously in need of “freshening up” for some time.  If Sage can hold onto its large user base and move most of them to this new platform, the product should have a long and fruitful life for many years to come.

We will put the new product through its paces as soon as a copy becomes available to us for testing, and will report back on its strengths and weaknesses as we uncover them. At the moment we believe that all current Timeslips users should seriously consider purchasing this upgrade when it becomes available.

Have questions about Timeslips, databases, or billing systems in general? Get in touch with one of the Timeslips Sages at TriStar Data Systems. Email us at, or call us at 610-941-2116.


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