IT services
11-50 employees
ZEP Professional

FSP GmbH - Consulting & IT-Services

The broadly positioned FSP supports banks and insurance companies in process, organisational and technology consulting as well as in project management and software development. In addition, it has its own products such as the ORG authorisation software developed especially for the insurance industry and AUDITOR 1.0, a web application for conducting surveys, polls and quality assurance measures. Ralf Bräutigam is a member of the management of FSP GmbH and responsible for the "IT Consulting and Products" division. From the beginning, it was important to the founders and company leaders to record the efforts of their employees transparently.

ZEP user reports

Time sheets from the beginning with ZEP

The consultants at FSP GmbH Consulting & IT-Services from Cologne have been using ZEP Professional, the web application from provantis, to record their employees' time since the company was founded in 2002. All time sheets for customer invoices and the invoicing itself are done via the system.

Solution for decentralised time recording

As the counsellors are constantly on the move, only a solution that supports decentralised time recording came into question.

The spectrum of typical projects at FSP is broad and ranges from periods of around two months to a duration of several years. New requirements often arise in the course of the projects, which in turn develop into follow-up projects at the client's premises. During this time, the employees work on site at the customer's premises - which makes it all the more important to capture the entire team and integrate all resources into one system.

After 8 years of use: Extension to ZEP Professional with invoicing

"The big advantage that ZEP offers us in practice is the possibility of decentralised time recording via the internet"says Ralf Bräutigam. When the employees are on the road, they enter their times into the system via the laptop. The fact that ZEP is offered as software as a service with a purchase option at a later date was another advantage for the young company when choosing the web application. Initially, the Cologne-based company rented the system for up to 50 users; after five years, it was purchased. Since February 2011, FSP has been using the "Invoice" and "Document Generator" modules in addition to the standard "ZEP Professional" package.

Project controlling with ZEP

For all projects, the times and receipts are recorded with it, the travel expenses are settled, the invoices are issued and the project is controlled. The company also records and organises overtime and holidays with the software. Since the corresponding budget is stored in the system for each project, it is always possible to see how much of the agreed resources have already been used. "Especially when it comes to more extensive orders where several employees book onto the project, this overview is particularly important"says Lydia Happe, assistant to the management. Together with her colleague, she is responsible for the accounting.

The ZEP users are particularly satisfied with the reliability of the solution: the high stability and the short response times. The FSP employees would like to see a session timeout function that could be set individually. This is because all FSP employees use the system every day - but for different lengths of time: while the accounting department, for example, needs a constantly updated and open ZEP for its work, the consultants often enter their times only once a day at the client's or while on the road. For them, such an "auto-off" function, which automatically ends access to ZEP after an adjustable time, would be very advantageous.

Complete invoicing via the system

Transparency and accuracy are particularly relevant for the Cologne-based company. For this reason, the ZEP add-on modules "Invoice" and "Document Generator" have also been in use at FSP since February 2011. The time recording and project management solution has thus been expanded into a complete invoicing system that further simplifies the work processes involved: lump-sum as well as effort-related invoices can be created, travel expenses are directly transferred to the invoice and payment plans can be defined. In addition, the creation of recurring invoices can be automated. The company letterhead can be stored in the system so that invoices or evaluations can be sent directly from ZEP to the customer.

All detailed information on cost accounting, document evaluations, project time sheets, overtime and month-end evaluations are now transparently stored in the system. Even unaccounted times can be recognised immediately. "For most of our clients, the time sheet of our employees from ZEP is sufficient. And so a copy of the proof is simply attached to our invoice."says Lydia Happe.

The demands on the core system are growing

Since the system is worked with on a daily basis, the claim for ZEP is to be "a work facilitator at the push of a button". According to Lydia Happes, individual enhancements are desirable so that all customer requirements can be taken into account when generating invoices: "Especially for clients who want to have FSP services billed according to daily rates, it would be important to be able to set the number of decimal places as desired. So far, the system only allows entries up to a maximum of two digits after the decimal point." In this case, the amounts would therefore have to be calculated by hand and the differences corrected in the system.

ZEP, as the administrative core system, has significantly simplified planning: in addition to the project-related plan/actual comparison and yield evaluations, the software also offers a monthly, quarterly or annual turnover forecast.

As FSP will continue to rely on ZEP in the future, provider and customer are in constant exchange to develop the perfect core solution. Ralf Bräutigam takes stock of ZEP after almost ten years of using the system: "ZEP is a good product and I would rent or buy the web application again."

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Albin-Köbis-Straße 8
D-51147 Cologne