June 27, 2006 at 06:00 AM EDT
Stamp-Out Billing Fraud & Reduce Wasted Workplace Time Via Billing Assurance Software
'SureTime Helps More People Work From Home While Giving Managers Peace of Mind'

NEW YORK, C3Expo Show, June 27 /PRNewswire/ -- First Guarantee, Inc. announced today SureTime 1.0, a new software program that promises to bring consumers and businesses the assurance of fair and accurate billings as well as significant increases in employee productivity. To accomplish this SureTime uniquely combines professional time tracking in real-time with a verifiable audit trail of activity on the computer. The software allows employers for the first time to authenticate billable time whether it's coming from an on-site employee, work-at-home telecommuter, or off-site contractor. Consumers also gain peace of mind when an attorney, accountant, or other professional bills by the hour and employs SureTime's unique billing assurance system.

SureTime replaces traditional time-billing software that relies on the user to manually input the time in which he or she worked. Such software provides no assurance that the activities performed during this time were even work related.

A recent study by AOL and Salary.com found that the average American worker admitted to wasting over 2 hours per 8-hour workday, not including lunch and scheduled break-time. This costs U.S. businesses over $759 billion per year in lost productivity. Surveys show the problem has only been growing worse with the increasing prevalence of the Internet in the workplace.

Telecommuting has been another growing trend in recent years, yet many employers remain reluctant to let employees work off-site. "Unless I'm checking in on them hourly, how can I know whether an off-site employee spent Friday afternoon working or playing golf?" said Brent Winters, founder of First Guarantee, Inc. "Now I'm free to hire the best people from anywhere in the world, while offering our local employees the advantages of working from home. With SureTime, I don't have to sacrifice peace of mind or productivity, and we protect ourselves from potential litigation by monitoring for illegal activities in the workplace."

What about user privacy? According to First Guarantee, SureTime always operates with the user's full knowledge, running as a toolbar on his or her computer. Multiple options exist to help balance employee privacy with company and client interests. For example, SureTime never records passwords or the actual text typed by the user. However, the applications and documents used, the time spent in each, and the general level of activity are typically logged.

Unlike traditional time-keeping products, when the SureTime user returns from a break, an inactivity window will pop up informing the person exactly how long he or she was away. The time can then be quickly categorized and logged. With SureTime, one no longer has to remember how long a lunch break or client meeting lasted. The user may also review his or her log and exclude personal activities from a billing to further increase time sheet accuracy. The log is encrypted and secured by a password to protect the integrity of the data and to safeguard the user's privacy.

A time-saving auto-billing feature allows a SureTime user to automatically clock out when playing solitaire or accessing a favorite news site and to clock back in after exiting. This capability also helps to increase project tracking and billing accuracy by automatically allocating time to designated clients, projects, or tasks based upon the application or document used.

First Guarantee provides a free version of the software known as SureTime Reporter to businesses and consumers. With the Reporter and a SureTime provided log file, one can verify the accuracy of the activity and the time being billed. Therefore, consultants, accountants, and service companies can offer SureTime logs to provide billing assurance to their clients. Plus, company employees can use SureTime to track time and to authenticate billable hours in the workplace or while working from home. SureTime for Windows is $149 (Standard) or $299 (Professional). The SureTime beta software is available now for free trial download at http://www.suretime.com , or by calling 1-877-892-4040.

Company Background: First Guarantee, Inc. is a 15-year, privately held software development corporation based in Saint Cloud, Florida. Originally known as FirstPlace Software, the company pioneered the category of search engine marketing software in 1997 with the introduction of WebPosition. After successfully marketing the product line for seven years, First Guarantee sold WebPosition to NetIQ Corporation in 2004 to focus on creating a new product category: billing assurance software. With at least half of its workforce routinely operating off-site, First Guarantee quickly became an expert in both the benefits and drawbacks of telecommuting, thereby spurring the development of SureTime, the world's first billing assurance software.

Source: First Guarantee, Inc.

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