iBiz 4 beta Inverness

Igg Software's iBiz is a time-tracking and invoicing application aimed at freelancers and self-employed people. There are many similar applications, including Marketcircle's excellent Billings, so how does iBiz stack up?

Equal Systems Ltd
01463 250724
10, Bellfield Park, Inverness
Inverness
 
iTek Solutions Ltd
01463 725999
1, Cromwell Rd, Inverness
Inverness
 
Albasoft Ltd
01463 667356
The Green House, Beechwood Park North, Inverness
Inverness
 
Geeks2you
0845 2004335
19, Harbour Rd, Inverness
Inverness
 
Jaid Technology
01463 715295
80, Hawthorne Drive, Inverness
Inverness
 
Lambda Research Consultancy Ltd
01463 732541
Kintail House, Beechwood Park, Inverness
Inverness
 
ITP SOLUTIONS
01463 245 600|
4, Walker Rd, Inverness
Inverness
 
Mac North
0870 0636336
160, Miller St, Inverness
Inverness
 
Sutherland Systems & Services
01463 234007
36, Tomnahurich St, Inverness
Inverness
 
Solution X
01463 418264
Cromwell Road, Inverness
Inverness
 

iBiz 4 beta

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Igg Software's iBiz is a time-tracking and invoicing application aimed at freelancers and self-employed people. There are many similar applications, including Marketcircle's excellent Billings, so how does iBiz stack up?

Although we looked at the single-user version of iBiz, a client/server version that supports multiple users over a Bonjour network is also available.

As you'd expect from an invoicing application, iBiz revolves around clients. These are listed in the program window's left-hand pane and can be filtered by criteria such as outstanding balance.

Looks-wise, past versions of iBiz compared unfavourably to Billings, but iBiz 4 is smarter and easier to use than its predecessor. Chunky icons no longer clutter the main window, and pop-up Inspector palettes save screen space. iBiz offers a clever and quick way to create to-do items and job events: just double-click in the relevant part of the application window. And a single backup button in the program's toolbar makes it a cinch to back up your vital data.

Tracking time in iBiz is simple, too: select a timed job event from the list and click the Timer icon below it. You can also record 'quick events' that aren't associated with a project or client through a menubar option. These can later be assigned to a project by dragging the event from the Quick Timer window to the Job Event pane.

iBiz can also monitor how you work. A logging tool measures the time particular application and document windows were active. A list of tracked applications is shown in a drop-down list in the menubar and you can see the time spent in each window by clicking the Disclosure triangle next to each application listed. You can then assign logged time to your job events.

Invoices are tracked in a Billing window. The most impressive feature here is the new ability to create client statements that show an overview of billing activity. You can create a statement based on sent or unsent invoices from a chosen date range. There are other useful reporting options: alongside basic receivables and earnings reports, iBiz creates graphically stunning pie charts powered by Leopard's Core Animation.

There are some disappointments. You can't create automatically recurring invoices and the supplied templates are rudimentary.

Mac OS X integration is excellent, though. You can add clients by dragging them from a Mac OS X Address Book window, and double-clicking the client in iBiz opens Address Book at the relevant contact in Edit mode.

iCal synchronisation is even better and proved more robust even in this beta than it was in iBiz 3. You can synchronise projects, events and to-do lists or due dates either one way or in both directions.

Even in beta, iBiz 4 looks a capable alternative to Billings, and its support for multiple users is a big selling point.

Verdict

A huge improvement on its predecessor, iBiz has some great tracking features and the ability to create client statements is a great selling point.

Author: Tom Gorham

iBiz 4 beta