By Richard Foulds|19th July 2018

Time, Absences, projects & Expenses custom software

Where does TAPE come from and why did we need it?

There is an old English proverb that says ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’ and that was certainly the case when I decided that it was time to move away from a process of recording the company timesheets in Excel spreadsheets.

The old method had been in place for many years and was both time consuming, inconsistent and difficult to manage, even though I was only handling the details for 8 employees

As most people do, I proceeded to scour the Internet for online time sheet applications.  I checked review sites and ultimately registered for 7 or 8 trials.

I had previously been involved in designing and developing ‘Time Recording’ applications for one of the largest accounting firms in the UK.   That knowledge, plus my own requirements enabled me to make a list of the main functionality that I needed.

I was most surprised to find that even some of the most basic functions were not available in any of the trialled applications.


  • I needed to be able to create a project and post both chargeable and non-chargeable time to that one job. Virtually every trial required me to define a job as chargeable or non-chargeable.
  • I needed to be able to post multiple timesheet lines to the same job on the same day. Virtually every trialled application had 1 entry per job per day.
  • I needed to assign employees to projects so that only they can post to it.
  • I wanted to record travelling time, but also record the mileage at the same time.
  • I wanted all reporting to be in Excel output…..etc

So, given that I couldn’t find what I wanted, I decided that as a software company, we could write it ourselves and ultimately produce a packaged application for the open market.

I worked alongside a single developer for about 6 months and the 1st prototype was born.  We tested and started using internally.  After a couple of months and a few adjustments, we went live and now it has been running for around a year.

The subsequent launching of a product to market is another project by itself.  Firstly, we needed a name and logo for the product. After a few ‘convoluted’ attempts, our talented marketing team came up with TAPE  (Time, Absences, Projects and Expenses) and the excellent logo.

Then came the boring, but necessary business parts.  Pricing structures, advertising, Beta testing and documentation etc.

Now they are all done and TAPE is ready to go !!!!

If the management of staff time, holidays, absences, expenses and travel time are important to your business, then you can: –

Richard Foulds

DCS Development Director