Clearview Software Review - Infocus
I am extremely happy with Clearview Infocus. They have been amazing in their customer service department and help when I need it with trouble shooting. They have gotten better about adding tutorials and training modules, and even adding in person workshops to help expand my knowledge and learn more about the software. They are always listening to their customers and adding updates to include features their clients want to see.
I like that the software is able to integrate all aspects of our business, from timesheets to expense reports, invoicing, and bill payment, etc. It is a one stop shop kind of software.
The hardest part of the software is getting it to generate the reports you want if they are not already built into the system, if you want a custom report do you do need to know some sequel background to run a report. I have also found that it is an extremely powerful tool but I am only scrapping the surface, and if I knew more information it could be even more useful. Adding custom boxes to applets to make it more specific to our business.
Good for our industry
Huge time savings getting through invoicing. All information input into one system. Ability to have projects and invoicing tied together.
I like that we can build estimates and track a project from beginning to end. All costs go in and are automatically available for invoicing at markup rates. Flexible and able to have multiple price sheets. Integrated with project scheduled, resource planning, time sheet and expenses.
Interface is a little outdated. Some standard reports you get in products like Quickbooks are not present. Mobile timesheet is a little outdated but works.
I find the program difficult to maneuver when trying to set up projects and invoice
I like that each PM has the means to review and prepare their own invoice. I would like to know more on how to set up a template style that can be imported for each project and then alter from there.
I wish it were easier to move time tickets around. It takes many clicks to get to move a time ticket to where it needs to be when entered in the wrong location. I wish uploading documents was easier and that I did not have to put on my desk top to move. To edit fees you need to be in one place, to add tasks you need to be in another. The program is not intuitive.
Great software for small to medium size firms
Timesheets are in on time due to the capability to use app on cell phones. Can close the books in a day versus 3-5 days as in the past. Invoices are sent faster than before.
Easy to use, very intuitive, software is always available and have never had any issues with connectivity
Would love more canned reports to choose from
Our employees pick up time entry very easily with InFocus. Its also great that employees can monitor their own PTO accruals, seeing all that they've accrued and used throughout the year. Employees can also generate their own reports to see how many hours they've worked on a specific project. Its great!
It is so user friendly, if you are familiar with excel, many of InFocus's features are created the same way. Very low training time!
Copying entries on time sheets or AP's could be a little better, but it isn't that bad.
Project Management software
We have greatly enhanced and automated the project cost management using InFocus.
*Tracks project costs easily
*Many options for project set up
*Allows users to enter time and expenses from anywhere
*Electronic file attachments allowed throughout the software
*Cumbersome or lacking drill down capabilities in multiple modules
*Missing a few warning messages in critical areas such as the ability to post AP/AR to closed periods
Clearview InFocus gets the job done.
What I like the most about this software is the fact that it is very versatile and can be customized to suit your company's needs.
What I like least about this software is that when the product needs an update the users who are in the field and do not have access to good internet are left unable to do their time sheets because they cannot get into the screens without the update being done.
Overall product it good
InFocus A Great System
With hundreds of projects and five offices our managers need to stay current on the status of their work and have the tools to develop new proposals. InFocus is indispensable for personnel management and project performance. Plus it provides financial statement and accounting data that is crucial for senior management and independent accountants. The data available and the variety of the reports are limitless. Also, our clients want their invoices and reports in a wide variety of styles. The open structure and adaptability of the InFocus system is a constant marvel at design and intuition.
Its flexibility, power and data retrieval ability. We have forty-five people in our company, with five office locations and six profit centers (disciplines). Of these forty-five people, more than two thirds are field personnel that are often asked to work in various disciplines or support the work in our other offices. At any one time we have a couple hundred projects open for scores of clients. Keeping track of this is incredibly difficult. We worked with Clearview for a couple of months in order to transfer our existing clients, projects, time records and accounting records to our new system. With over 16,000 historical projects and a current work in process in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, we matched to the penny. Working with them is a pleasure.
Not only is the InFocus package all that it claims to be, the folks at Clearview are great to work with. Sure there is a bit of a learning curve, but the answers are so intuitive you can’t believe you did not think of it yourself. Their support literature, training videos, white papers and support site are extremely helpful.
There may be comparable products out there, but I seriously doubt there is anything better. If there was a better product or solution, these folks would match or exceed it. We all have competition; we need competition to push us to do a better job.
Getting others in our organization to appreciate and better use this management too.
Accounting and IT Manager
Choosing InFocus is one of the best decision we've made. Training can be a challenge when adopting any new system. Clearview offers extensive training videos, consultations, and webinars. Considering most software products continue to improve and implement client-suggested upgrades, I appreciate Clearview's workshops, where users can continue their InFocus education on advanced levels. Having the opportunity to attend has helped me to really hone in on configuring our InFocus database in ways that are compatible with my company's workflow. I also picked up tips and tricks other users developed for their needs.
Customer service is also very important to me. I appreciate responsive, knowledgeable technicians and staff members who listen. They do not over promise, over-sell, or mislead when discussing requests, issues or customization. They believe in empowering their users. I LOVE THIS!! They offer a workshop for those wanting to learn advanced report writing. Support staff will work through any issue or request until it has been satisfied.
InFocus demonstrates its value. Invoicing is fast. Communicating project details flow more smoothly. Preparing invoices in various formats are easier. All this and more are offered for a low monthly cost per user. They even offer a training version of our data for a very low monthly fee, and any user can access it. This has been crucial when I'm working through project setup options and need to test my ideas.
Overall, I love it.
It's easy to navigate, more intuitive than other products we've used, and customizable. It's difficult to pick my favorite aspect; it's such a great product overall.
I wish user's could change the color of the Sandbox (training environment). Having it the same color as the live version can make it a bit confusing when training others.
Functionality at its Finest
Being a newer accountant in the engineering industry, I had a bit to learn about how jobs are billed, tracked, etc. It is definitely a different process than accounting for goods being sold! I came into my job as the implementer of InFocus and learned A LOT simply by learning the system. InFocus is so easy to use and straight forward. If there is something that I don't catch onto right away, the Clearview support team is always ready to help and quickly help resolve the issue.
As the years have gone on they have updated the system based on feedback from their clients, which is amazing! The changes they have made make things run more smoothly and it is great to know that they are listening to the needs and desires of their clients. InFocus also has a built-in reports, but also its own report builder tool if the report you need isn't automatically there you can create it yourself!
Overall, I would definitely recommend InFocus to anyone looking for new engineering software. The program is easy to learn, easy to maneuver in and provides everything you would need. Even your specific need isn't met you can simply reach out to their support staff and be taken care of. It is a great software, but even better customer service - thank you Clearview team!
Ease of use, availability of support staff, resolution of issues, suggestion forum Clearview provides
Export to excel needs manipulated often, if modified the journals will show both versions
Great SAAS accounting solution for an ACEC firm
All accounting software and data is offsite, no servers or data to worry about locally! :)
* No need to keep software on servers on site. Everything is in the cloud.
* Local client install.
* Easy to use trouble ticket system when there is an issue.
* Since it is cloud based, it is always up to date.
* Occasional data slow downs which we have no control over because the software is running on Clearview's servers.
* The Microsoft ClickOnce technology used for the local client requires web browser ClickOnce integration which is built into Internet Explorer and Edge web browsers, but doesn't always work well with edge. You can get a ClickOnce plugin for Google Chrome, but it's not a transparent "click the icon on the desktop" scenario there either.
* No hosted SMTP server. If you want to send email, you'll have to utilize your own SMTP server, at an additional cost and there is also a charge if you want Clearview to help you set it up. This is my only real "gripe" about the service. It should come with it's own email capability for the cost and to truly be a service.
* I think it is a great Software As A Service overall, but you should know about the weaknesses going in.
InFocus for engineering firms
Overall, flexible software accommodating engineering firms and great support team to work with.
Absolutely incredible customer service - a great team of highly skilled professionals providing a quick answer via an open ticket, a walk-thru via Webex or customization via a Work order.
Customization in data presentations, security, permissions, reports. An end user can do a desired customization him/herself or ask the Clearview team to run a script to implement it.
Constant development and training. Workshops, webinars, announcements, updates. Continuous improvement in all InFocus features and options. Clearview team always moves forward to the new advanced ways to use the system, always up to date with technology.
Whenever and whatever we like least in InFocus, we bring it up to the support team and try to change it to the way it would work out for us or find the best solution for it. In most cases it is all repairable and we get the changes we want to use InFocus more efficiently. InFocus team is open for ideas and suggestions and many improvements we asked for have been already in place and we use them routinely now.
Great SAAS accounting solution for an ACEC firm
It's a more cost-effective option than Deltek Vision. If that's your comparison as an ACEC firm, I'd say go for it! :)
* Reasonable setup and ongoing price per seat. Monthly billing available.
* Quick and easy setup. We were online within 24 hours and had our data converted from Deltek within 7 business days.
* Great technical support via dedicated user login message board interface. Answers/response are usually taken care of in under 2 hours for non-critical/emergency issues.
* InFocus Custom Reports and Invoice Designs can be created and edited using the SQL Business Intelligence Development Studio 2005 from Microsoft.
The only real downside so far has been speed of the interface. We had this as an onsite server and response times were awesome with our own dedicated server. I would have hoped that with SaaS that the background horsepower for their servers would be a little better than what it is. Requests take approximately 4x as long to process as when we tested it as a local SQL installation. Please keep in mind that this is a "feels like" statement and not a technically measured out in milliseconds statement.
Clearview is for Everyone!
One benefit I have realized is the ability to make minor edits to Accounting entries without having to go back redo something. The flexibility of this software is unmatched.
One thing I like most about Infocus are the Gridgits on the dashboard that provide various information all in one place. I also prefer this program because of the flexibility in entering data so there is no more deleting something because you have to make a minor change. Infocus has a variety of reports that are easy to understand that provide a wide array of data. I also appreciate check processing in Infocus for Accounts Payable and Employee Reimbursables because it is very easy to use especially with the recent transaction tab. Timesheets are very easy to enter and approve in Infocus and benefits hours are easy to see for each employee.
One thing I like least is that some functionality of Infocus is not user-friendly (i.e. having to use F4 instead of Enter). I also would like to see benefit accrual more automated and payroll integration with outside software (i.e. Pensoft) made more seamless for companies that have salary plus employees.
Its a must have for keeping track of your resources.
It's been great experience! We have been working with the Clearview team since 2012, the staff is not only professional in their approach to develop and improve the software but they genuinely care about their clients. We feel that we have had the opportunity to develop a partnering relationship with Clearview's management and staff. This relationship, and using the InFocus tools effectively have allowed us to do a more efficient job at managing our current operations and planning for the future.
The analytics help me to keep track of multiple data points without spending tons of time reviewing data. With a few clicks of my mouse I am able to see resource utilization in any timeframe I need, department and associate availability at a glance, projects that have budget concerns, I can see how well we are spending against our plans and easily track opportunities/proposal status at a glance. It's help make my job easier.
We use Project Planning and Resource Scheduler frequently and it works fine but I would like to see more effort go into improving the functionality of its components i.e. Earned Value, Change Order tracking and just having better tools to manipulate the scheduled data.
Top Notch Product
We are a small architectural firm and opted to change to Clearview InFocus when the program we were using was getting too complicated and too expensive. InFocus met our needs in all our required billing, project tracking, etc., but for a smaller investment.
I would highly recommend this product to anyone who wants a workhorse software. I can't say enough about it.
I like the ease of transition from one software to another. It is a very easy software to learn and use. I have been using since 2010, and it has progressively gotten better and better. New features are always coming on board. Trust met...you will like it!
Reports are good but I required a great deal of customization to get the results needed. The one downside is that it does not have a payroll application. If you do in-house payroll, you will need a separate software to run along side InFocus.
Best ERP and Project Management Software for its price
It has all the blows a whistles SAP has to offer. For me, it was very important that InFocus had strong internal controls in order to preserve the integrity of the data. Additionally, it is very user friendly and allows for quick queries, custom reports, and third-party integration. It is a software that caters to your needs without the big software restrictions.
Currently there is nothing a true dislike. But if i had to pick one it would be statements. In order to generate stand alone statements and submit to the client it has to be done manually versus a mass email distribution. Similar to invoicing. However, if the client is invoiced on a monthly basis they would recieve a copy of their statement with their invoices.
Great product for a small to medium firm
We've been using this for a few years now and we're still learning how to use it effectively. Overall, I think its a great tool.
Once you get used to the layout its very easy to navigate and find the information you're looking for. I'm sure it can do a lot more that what we're using it for and I'm excited to see how we can grow with it.
It forces you to structure your projects specifically in order to use all of its features. At times it seems too rigid in its assumptions on how a project should be structured and we have to find work arounds. For example we might have 2 Project Managers on one project, but you can only select one per project.
Clearview Infocus Review
This product has many bells and whistles. The integration between the opportunity (marketing) through proposal to accounting is pretty good.
This product is on the complicated side & not exactly user friendly. You also have to pay for training with them. There are some unique features to this program that if you don't know them, you can get lost or frustrated. There is not a good user's manual but there are some tutorials for various modules that are pretty good and customer service does get back to you in a timely manner for questions.
Great for small engineering firms!
Overall we are very happy with Clearview. The attention to detail in each applet makes for a thorough accounting and project management system that can't be beat.
This software is easy to use and the support team is great for every question and issue you have. The daily financials and banking systems are easy to follow, and the way employee timesheets, bill reviews and invoicing systems are integrated make billing a breeze.
Custom reports can be tricky, but the support staff is very knowledgeable and will help you out.
As a mid-sized architectural design firm, we have found Clearview InFocus to be the best integrated accounting and project management software on the market. We migrated to InFocus in May 2010 after using two previous industry specific applications, which never performed as promised. The transition to InFocus was well managed and painless. InFocus is highly flexible and easy to learn and use. It is especially forgiving of input errors, with mistakes easily reversed or voided. As designers of large and highly complex institutional projects, we have sophisticated client invoicing needs. InFocus offers every conceivable billing scenario and allows for multiple billing types on the same project.
Likewise, the project management modules are flexible, user friendly, and cover all facets of project documentation. The default and custom reports are extensive and easily changed and manipulated. It is easy to pull data out of InFocus in a myriad of formats and easy to customize reports. Clearview's client support is also great - easily accessible with a highly responsive support team. They provide excellent software support as well as accounting solutions. The integration between the project management and accounting functions is seamless.
InFocus has allowed us to streamline our finance and project management functions and provided real savings in accounting consultant and in-house staff costs. InFocus is the best performing software I have ever had the pleasure to purchase. It exceeds expectations and has more than met every promise of the developer. This is top-notch software with top-notch support. Any size firm in the design industry would be well advised to adopt InFocus for their accounting and project management software.
Masterful project accounting suite
It is a little slow to get started, but the control and functions are well worth the time investment.
Although there is a steep learning curve for portions of the software, it offers extensive customization. If there is something that you want it to do then it can probably be achieved with some knowledge of SQL or Powershell. All modules are included, which when you consider this the pricing is very competitive
It does not include payroll; however, I usually prefer to have payroll separate anyways, as the functionality of payroll from a dedicated software is usually much better.