Translation Office 3000
Thread poster: Arnaud Jacobs

Arnaud Jacobs  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 05:40
Member (2003)
English to Dutch
+ ...
May 14, 2012

Hi there,

Can anyone please tell me about their experiences with the accounting software package: Translation Office 3000?

Both good and bad experiences are welcome.

Thank you.


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Annett Hieber  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:40
English to German
Hi Arnaud May 15, 2012

I bought TO 3000 last December and started to set up client data. However, I think it is not self-explanatory. I have downloaded some instructions, but due to lack of time I haven't come round to really using it.

Therefore, I also would be interested in opinions and experiences of users of TO 3000.

Annett


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Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:40
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
My 2 cents May 15, 2012

Dear Arnaud,

I've been using it for a couple of years now. It indeed is not very intuitive, as its user interface isn't structured in a very logical way (for my old brain, at least). You don't find things where you expect them to be. All this has improved a little with the recent introduction of version 10.

After getting used to it, it has proved to be a very valuable tool I wouldn't like to miss.

I'd recommend that you give it a try (there's a free trial period). Don't give up too early if you find it confusing.

Regards,
Erik





[Bearbeitet am 2012-05-15 07:08 GMT]


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:40
French to English
+ ...
Not intuitive for me either May 15, 2012

Hi Arnaud,

I've had TO3000 for some years now and although I find it quite useful for planning and statistics, I haven't found it very intuitive either. I was never able to use it to send out invoices as I couldn't manage to customise the invoice templates to resemble my existing invoices, so I've stuck with my own tried and tested Excel-based system for invoicing. Likewise I'm sure I should be able to do more with it in terms of drawing up statistics - how many words have I done for a certain client or a certain language, for example? I also use Microsoft Money to keep track of my personal finances and found myself using it to work out my client statistics (amount received per client) the other day, which was a simple matter of finding certain data and creating a report - easy! And yet I can't for the life of me work out how to do that in TO3000, which is a great shame.

I had to seek help from the creators at the outset as I found it so difficult to get going, but after a couple of basic questions (which helped), they said I'd have to pay if I asked any more.... I went to the ProZ conference in Rome last year hoping to attend a training session, but the presenters were held up and couldn't make it - so I'm obviously fated not to progress. Whether I'd recommend anyone to buy it at its current price is highly debatable - it really doesn't do much for me that I can't do with Excel or MS Money; I'm sure it could, but I just can't work out how....

All the best,

Claire

[Edited at 2012-05-15 08:04 GMT]


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:40
Member
English to French
Perfect for my needs May 15, 2012

I have been using TO3000 since 2005 and it helped me tremendously in getting all my business info in one place and finding anything I want. I haven't upgraded to v10 yet, but will do from v9 when the sky is clearer.

Although it may look daunting at first, I found it user-friendly and easy to customise to match my previous setup with clumsy Excel sheets. But switching to a new program requires effort and a good grasp of what it can do for you.

In my case I just wondered why I went through all the headache of maintaining Excel sheets before buying this program.

You may have to change your habits and follow the folder structure offered in TO3000, but it is very convenient: work info on one side, customer info on the other, all linked within TO3000 in order to find everything easily. I never use Windows Explorer to find work files and folders, because It is easier with TO3000.
Dealing with Trados grids (client-specific) and weighted wordcounts is also very easy.
You can keep track of any info about the client, from first contact circumstances to latest rate increases.
And of course, you can monitor how much money is in the pipeline, how much there is to invoice, which customers are late, how much that customer ordered lat year and various other stats.

To get started, the bad part is entering customer info. I suggest that you download the 1-month fully functional trial version and play around for a while before switching from your current management system.
You should also read the Help thoroughly to figure out what is interesting for you and what you can leave for later. Invoice and quote templates need a bit of thought, but I have been able to create exactly what I wanted.

TO3000 is part of my startup folder, alongside Outlook and Internet Explorer, and became one of my core programs for work.

I know there are people who cannot get used to working with TO3000, and a forum search will help you make a decision. Claudia Alvis is another TO3000 enthusiast who shares tips about using TO3000 (http://www.hispaniclanguages.com/blog/2009/06/29/tip-for-translators-using-to3000-to-keep-all-databases-in-one-single-place/). I am sure there are other places where you can find useful info.

Note: I work for repeat customers (14 last year) and handle about 200 deadlines a year. In 2005, it was 400, and a real management program became highly desirable...

Philippe


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Alina - Maria Chiteala  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 06:40
Member (2011)
English to Romanian
+ ...
Me May 15, 2012

Well until I got the hang of all those variables it took me a while but once all was in place I really like the way this program works.
I like it very much that you can customize the program in every way you want, adding any field and any variables you want. For instance the program was not really suite for the Romanian laws in terms of invoice issuing and so I had to customize many variables, but finally I did it and now all is fine.


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Arnaud Jacobs  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 05:40
Member (2003)
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
This is great feedback! May 15, 2012

Thank you very much for sharing your experiences.

I find it extremely interesting to read about the good and the bad.

Please keep them coming.

I have reached the decision that I will give the trial version a go and see how that feels.

Thank you very much again.

Anyone else, please still feel free to share your opinion. I would love to hear from you.

Arnaud.


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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:40
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
I recommend it May 15, 2012

I downloaded a trial version over 5 years ago and couldn't come to terms with it (you had to create a new project for each job, before adding the actual job). Also, I didn't have the time that month to add all the data for my clients. So I gave up.

Then about a year ago I thought I'd try it again after reading good reports about it. I spent a lot of time getting it organised (adding client details, customising the invoices, etc.) and I found that it really was worth the effort. You have to be really strict about adding new jobs/clients as soon as they come in, but once the're on the database, it's a breeze. You can see your deadlines, see when payments are due, check when a certain client last made a payment, run off your invoices in a short time, etc. You may think that a "search" button is missing, but the filter functions are very powerful in every window and they are fully customisable.

The latest version, 10, has many new features, but for me the best are:
- Project organisation is optional. So now I add a new job without creating a new project.
- Invoice tab can have custom fields (as others already did).
- The invoice has a "mark as paid" button, so you just have a single click to do when you see the money in your bank account.

The other very positive thing about it is the excellent support that is provided. Support logged through the website is answered within 24 hours, in my experience.


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:40
Member
English to French
Oh yes, support May 15, 2012

Emma Goldsmith wrote:
...The other very positive thing about it is the excellent support that is provided. Support logged through the website is answered within 24 hours, in my experience.

Support is very good indeed.
When I relocated from Morocco to Spain in 2010, I asked support if I could keep everything in my database but past business (invoices, payments and quotes). The thought of reentering detailed customer info and custom settings was beyond me.

They understood exactly what I wanted, and within a day, they sent me a script to remove everything I didn't want from my older database, alongside instructions to run it. It worked perfectly. And they didn't charge me.


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:40
French to English
+ ...
Support? May 15, 2012

It's a shame I had a completely opposite experience to Philippe and Emma in that case. They did help me the first couple of times, and were certainly very prompt, but the things they tried to help me with - customising my invoice, for example, weren't really what I wanted and I couldn't figure out how to adapt them further, plus, as I said before, all support came to a sudden halt when they said they'd have to charge! Maybe I'm particularly dim, or this software just isn't on my wavelength, but I didn't find the Help pages very useful. A comprehensive manual would certainly help in my view, or even offering training sessions or webinars.

I must admit I haven't updated to the latest version just in case that throws up more problems than it solves, and my experiences of the support were a few years ago, so it may be they've ironed out the teething problems, but I for one was left disinclined to probe any further. Thus it acts as a glorified (extra) filing system - which I'd like to think might one day come into its own if I can ever find out how to produce reports of the information I want!

Sorry to be so negative...


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Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 05:40
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
The support is excellent May 15, 2012

And the new version is much improved as the developers discussed it with the users in the forum and introduced many (or even most) of the suggestions.

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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:40
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
link to thread May 15, 2012

Natalie wrote:

... the developers discussed it with the users in the forum and introduced many (or even most) of the suggestions.




Here's the link to the 10-page discussion:
http://www.proz.com/forum/software_applications/202627-suggestions_for_translation_office_3000_to3000_version_10.html

It makes for interesting reading if Arnaud wants to decide whether to buy this software.


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Arnaud Jacobs  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 05:40
Member (2003)
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you again. May 15, 2012

I am following all comments with great interest.

I have opened the link Emma posted and I will start reading it immediately after posting this comment.

Still not made a decision either way, but I am enjoying reading about the pros and cons.


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Alina - Maria Chiteala  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 06:40
Member (2011)
English to Romanian
+ ...
Support May 16, 2012

@Claire - for new invoice templates and reports you have to pay. This is the only thing that cost me beside the license. Also this is stated on their web site. So it is logical they won't help you for free.
Anyhow support was excellent for me 2. Just to be noted


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:40
French to English
+ ...
Thanks May 16, 2012

Alina - Maria Chiteala wrote:

@Claire - for new invoice templates and reports you have to pay. This is the only thing that cost me beside the license. Also this is stated on their web site. So it is logical they won't help you for free.
Anyhow support was excellent for me 2. Just to be noted


Thanks Alina - I hadn't realised it was a general policy. This was ages ago, to be honest. It's a pity they don't produce a more helpful manual that explains how you can do it yourself in simple terms in that case! I really don't think you should have to pay extra to use what should be a basic tenet of management software, i.e. to produce a customized invoice template or straightforward report.


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