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Accounting Software Recommendations?

 
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Old 01-19-2010, 05:48 PM   #41
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Re: Accounting Software Recommendations?


I hear what you are saying, but with that in mind....I have contractors who have gone to more expensive software (Master Builder, Timberline or American Contractor) and they are looking for the P & L by job like they can get from QB when exported to excel. You just never know what people like. If items are set up like divisions and activities or cost codes, you can get pretty nice reports in QB, although many are excel reports because they are exported to excel.
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Old 03-19-2010, 04:14 PM   #42
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Re: Accounting Software Recommendations?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah9910 View Post
I hear what you are saying, but with that in mind....I have contractors who have gone to more expensive software (Master Builder, Timberline or American Contractor) and they are looking for the P & L by job like they can get from QB when exported to excel. You just never know what people like. If items are set up like divisions and activities or cost codes, you can get pretty nice reports in QB, although many are excel reports because they are exported to excel.
I'll revive this thread instead of starting a new one.

I know a couple of guys that swear by American Contractor, it's a bit to pricey for me right now. I agree with Mike though I have Quickbooks all I use it for is payroll and somewhat keeping track of my checking account.

Has anybody else here tried American Contractor?
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Old 03-20-2010, 07:35 AM   #43
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Re: Accounting Software Recommendations?


I reviewed after seeing the post and wanted to an opinion on to the table that has more to do with the current market conditions as opposed to the software company themselves. Most of these older software packages came into fruition when the construction industry was growing, business software was slowly becoming maintstream and there was additional money available to invest.

Now most of these software packages have matured to a point that they really fit into the process of a much larger established business with too many bells and whistles, but the market and supporting companies have shrunken and there are now many much smaller independants just getting started. That said, most of the market does not need such elaborate applications, let alone the price and time to get started.

The evolving tech savvy contractor is ready to start something today, on their own. Most of the products mentioned have an older consulting sales cycle tied to it. It makes me laugh when I see a "Contact Us for a Demo" link on a website. There are too many things to even bring up why this is so much like the 80's and early 90's thinking. I have found that the evolving folks want to sign up TODAY, try it TODAY without limitations with their own data and without needing to talk to someone via the TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF scene. Even worse is when you see something like tricks for a free trial and then the website says "thank you, we we will get back to you shortly. That is not a free trial for today's contractor. And if it is, then that is an old way of thinking.

The evolving small contractor usually doesn't have five to ten thousand dollars available to get automated, and even if he does, shouldn't have to schedule around consulting training to get the basics of his basic business up and running. I am sure there are many who will disagree, and it will probably be those with a vested interested to hold onto the past. But the bottom line is that no one is available to train how to use this Forum, how to use LinkedIn or Facebook and there are many contractors who are learning a lot quickly.

Most of the older software systems mentioned are for an industry (established contractors that took a long time to embrace technology) that is fading quickly. Most of the older software systems mentioned are for a time when hyper growth and abundant cash was available. Now you have smaller, faster and cost sensitive contractors who can do a lot by themselves when it comes to getting technology started.

I view many of them as established companies that did a great job in a different era, sort of like Alexander Graham Bell versus Nokia then Blackberry. My hats are off to the past, but I place my bets on the future. Or for this technology forum, I am looking forward to when we can stop mentioning so many older Windows based platforms when so many newer technologies are on the table where the newer contractor is evolving to.
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Old 03-20-2010, 11:25 AM   #44
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Re: Accounting Software Recommendations?


Quote:
Originally Posted by MOTB View Post
I am looking forward to when we can stop mentioning so many older Windows based platforms when so many newer technologies are on the table where the newer contractor is evolving to.
Any examples?
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:32 PM   #45
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Re: Accounting Software Recommendations?


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Any examples?
One of them is the MyOnlineToolbox platform of course. But remember I am a co-founder and of course prejudice towards this reply. By no means do I want to project that I am the best software package out there since I feel that is always left up to the user. But I do feel that we are all by ourself when it comes to an easy to use, Software-as-a-Service package that serves also as a Business-to-Business-to-Consumer platform.

Our users are also part of a community platform where data can shared (if you want) to subcontractors and homeowners and suppliers.

Our database structure is similar to that of FaceBook and LinkedIn who are masters of the web 3.0 space. This in itself is a separate conversation that can take on a whole conversation in itself. But the data is designed in such a way that it is transparent how information can be shared among other databases (if the user wants to).

The challenge is creating a simplistic system that gets someone from A-Z in the most simplistic and inuitive manner possible in order to keep costs low and support to a near minimum without any consulting to implement. We do this by targeting a specific evolving tech savvy contractor without focusing on the entire market.

I have seen a few others who are creating software over the internet, but the weakness that I see is that they follow the older software development techniques and provide simply a software package that works over the internet as opposed to Windows. They are limited or non-existent with connectivity. Becuase of the non-existent connectivity, they will limit how collaboration will work with others.

Brian

PS. Forgive me for the elaborate answer above. I didn't want to provide the basic answer that we provide scheduling, estimating, work orders, purchase orders, invoicing and collection.
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Old 03-20-2010, 10:07 PM   #46
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Re: Accounting Software Recommendations?


Hi Brian and others:

I do agree that something like your software or QuickBooks is great for most contractors. In fact, I'm more and more impressed with Quickbooks and you would NEVER have heard me say anything like that 10 years ago. I have been one of those 'trainers' that you all feel are over paid and don't understand your business. I certainly don't live as well as many contractors I know and I have been in this business all my life, just like most contractors, I just wasn't in the field wearing the boots (maybe the trailer though). That said, my point here is that, yes, most contractors can do without the high end software programs out there, Master Builder, Timberline, American Contractor, Great Plains, Foundation. We all know that the majority of contractors are small, under $10M in revenue and if they learn to set up and maintain their books they can do with just about any software. They key is just that, to learn to set up and maintain their books. I can't tell you how many times I've trained a contractor that purchased Master Builder or American Contractor because they insisted that QuickBooks could not possibly meet their needs and when we went into QuickBooks to get there data exported I noticed that they had no items set up, preferences were never edited and they had a chart of accounts 10 pages long. Needless to say, software was not their problem, training was. If only they would have invested 1/3 the cost in training that they did in new software they would have been happy and had a more profitable year. Unfortunately for me, when I see that happen, I've already been contracted by the companies that make the software and it's a conflict of interest to tell them they didn't need it. Personally when I was in software sales, I didn't sell to contractors that didn't need it, believe it or not, that was my motto.

If I had as much money as these software companies, maybe I could promote my website more and get to the contractors before they spend all those bucks on software, but instead, I'm just out here trying to make an honest buck like you. I do get calls from this website and from leads from my own website from those contractors who do their homework, some of them may need the bigger software and I'll tell them that (in fact I did with a guy who called me from this website from Oregon, he was very knowledgeable, technical and I put him in touch with a person in his area) and many may just need to tweak what they already have.

That's my two cents, I'm off my soap box now.
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Old 04-16-2010, 08:01 PM   #47
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Re: Accounting Software Recommendations?


QuickBooks Industry Edition for Contractors is an inexpensive way to keep track of your business. The job costing features aren't that hard to use. It lets you keep track of costs, time tracking, payroll, and a lot more. The reports help you make better decisions.
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Old 04-25-2010, 06:51 AM   #48
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Re: Accounting Software Recommendations?


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Originally Posted by LakevilleHomes View Post
We were spec builders doing $7-10 million annually. We are currently remodelers who will do maybe 25% of that this year.
I am a single family custom homebuilder, doing about 10 million$ a year in customs and specs. I used Buildsoft for several years and switched to CHS (Custom Home Builders Solution) about 4 years ago, I would strongly recommend it for a home builder or remodeler who needs a strong job cost or accounting software.

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Old 04-25-2010, 12:13 PM   #49
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Re: Accounting Software Recommendations?


I'm testing PCMX now, doing an installation and implementation for the builder I work part time for. It's new, by Maxwell Systems. Quest is now called PCMX and the accounting side of the program is new. So estimates will flow into jobs once awarded. It's not intended for home builders but that's who i work for so will set it up as needed for that industry. I'll reply here with my comments when the implementation is complete, will take some time.
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:24 PM   #50
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Re: Accounting Software Recommendations?


PCMX is a great application that we've worked with before. If you need any assistance in setting it up please feel free to reach out.

- Dave Dozier

Last edited by ECO-IT; 05-25-2010 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:08 AM   #51
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Re: Accounting Software Recommendations?


Quote:
Originally Posted by dodgerfan175 View Post
I'll revive this thread instead of starting a new one.

I know a couple of guys that swear by American Contractor, it's a bit to pricey for me right now. I agree with Mike though I have Quickbooks all I use it for is payroll and somewhat keeping track of my checking account.

Has anybody else here tried American Contractor?
New here, and I see this is an old thread, but I've been using American Contractor for about 4 years. I also used QB extensively with a variety of companies in my past employment. AC has a lot of good features for a larger contractor, but the support is somewhat lacking. However, if all you're doing is payroll and checking, you definitely don't need AC.
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:38 AM   #52
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Re: Accounting Software Recommendations?


quickbooks all the way!
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Old 10-28-2010, 10:49 PM   #53
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Re: Accounting Software Recommendations?


We've used Masterbuilder now for about 2 years. We spent around $10k to purchase the software for 3 seats, and another $10k on training and custom reports. We are a developer and GC of multifamily projects, building one or two at a time with about $20mil annually.

It has been an incredible disappointment. The way that you interface with the program is archaic (think DOS). The tools to track RFP's, drawings, etc are nothing more than primitive spreadsheets. Worst of all, the accounting and job costing, AIA pay apps, change orders, management of contingency (all the things that Quickbooks can't do very well and we hoped Masterbuilder could) are full of bugs, are not linked to eachother in "real time." We have to track every transaction in Xcel to have the slightest confidence in the financial state of our project. We paid for significant training and have two bookkeepers w/ 25 years combined experience. It is mind boggling that there are not better options available for the industry. QB looks very user friendly though, by comparison, it is just too bad it doesn't have more features.
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Old 06-21-2011, 04:03 PM   #54
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Re: Accounting Software Recommendations?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah9910 View Post
I'm testing PCMX now, doing an installation and implementation for the builder I work part time for. It's new, by Maxwell Systems. Quest is now called PCMX and the accounting side of the program is new. So estimates will flow into jobs once awarded. It's not intended for home builders but that's who i work for so will set it up as needed for that industry. I'll reply here with my comments when the implementation is complete, will take some time.
So... how did the implementation go? I've just recently installed PCMX here at my office and have been taking the online courses. I find the accounting side of the program to be quite verbose and intuitive, with many improvements over American Contractor. Pricey for the home builder, but for GCs in the $5M and over range, I'd highly recommend.

I've seen demos of the estimating side, and from what I hear, it is loaded with great features. Not being from the estimating side, I couldn't offer an opinion there.

Guy

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