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Keeping Books/Accounting/Newbie

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Old 01-24-2005, 10:05 PM   #1
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Keeping Books/Accounting/Newbie

Hi everyone, I'm in the process of starting a small remodeling business in the nyc area, I am really new to the accounting side of things. Has anyone heard of a payroll program called PayCycle(if so is it recommended) or "quickbooks for contractors"(does this handle the accounting needs from a to z). I appreciate any help on this subject.
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Old 01-24-2005, 11:51 PM   #2
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Re: Keeping Books/Accounting/Newbie

Quickbooks is by a landslide the industry standard for not just contracting but just about all small businesses, you start to see some other products when talking to more substantial companies, but for the couple of million dollar a year and below its probably used by something like 9 out of 10 companies. As far as the contractor version, you will hear some people use and while others see little benefit over the standard version. You should get some other responses but I will be surprised to hear much different.


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Old 01-25-2005, 12:11 AM   #3
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Re: Keeping Books/Accounting/Newbie

Accounting sucks ass. I could not tell you how much easier my life would be if I didn't have to track every penny in and every penny out. It is a tremendous burden on me for my time. This is the first duty I give my offie manager once I hire one.

By far uick books is the industry standard but that's nott o say it's the only solution out there. I personally use Quickbooks Pro. I didn't think the extra $ was worth the upgrade to premier.

What I did was set my company up with a trial version of the contractor edition. That set up all the accounts and contractor specific goodies. Then I purchased the pro edition and transfered the data over and all the account and most of the contractor specific goodies remained. You can fight the man!
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Old 01-25-2005, 08:27 AM   #4
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Re: Keeping Books/Accounting/Newbie

We like the accountant edition because we are in total sync with our off-site accountant and can send him data, then receive our monthly reports.

Mike's right - the contractor edition just really doesn't have enough to entive us to it. I almost have the feeling they read contracting books then made it, rather than hiring contractors as consultants when making it.

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Old 01-25-2005, 09:28 AM   #5
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Re: Keeping Books/Accounting/Newbie

Quickbooks Pro and my bookeeper can access it from her office so she may have upgraded to accountant. I'm like Grumpy about the number details, just tell me that I made a lot at the end of the month.
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Old 01-25-2005, 09:54 AM   #6
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Re: Keeping Books/Accounting/Newbie

I'm using quickbooks pro but I wish i did a little more research on how to set up my company before I started using it. I would reccommend purchasing the Quickbooks for Contractors book, you can get it at amazon. They provide you with an estimating program and a sample file that gets you up and running with all the items and accounts you'll need. It's good because you can just follow they're reccomendations instead of learning the hard way like I did. Now i'm having loads of fun trying to straighten out my books.
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Old 01-30-2005, 11:13 PM   #7
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Re: Keeping Books/Accounting/Newbie

I agree, use QB Pro Accountants Edition. If you need custom chart of accounts and cost codes etc, for home builders go to and check out the accounting pro product, it's a database that works with Quickbooks for home builders. If you need help setting up, I can help you remotely.
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Old 02-16-2005, 08:35 PM   #8
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Re: Keeping Books/Accounting/Newbie

We use a three prong approach to our office/accounting needs.
1. for figuring hourly rates
2. For estimating we use a digitizer into a program by Vertigraph.
3. For general accounting we use MYOB.
Although if I was to start a new I would use a web hosted program called Netsuite which handles all your accounting plus CRM plus email marketing.
But it's expensive.
Good luck.
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Old 02-22-2005, 08:23 AM   #9
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Re: Keeping Books/Accounting/Newbie

I use QuickBooks Premier Contractor's Edition - but it is NOT necessary to go that route. In fact, it may be beneficial if you start with a smaller version - even Quicken, which is more user-firendly and you and adapt the accounts to suit your needs.

Talk to your accountant first. See what he/she recommends. Most accountants will adapt to any bookeeping system you draw up.

It's probably easier for you to start on a 'cash' basis, instead of accrual. That just means you record money-in and money-out and do not record your accounts payable and receivable.

Payroll, at this point, can be done on paper and you can record your transactions each time you actually pay out. Contact your state offices for the proper forms you will need to file. They will send you the current withholding rate booklets.

Don't rush into buying a top-of-the-line program. Get a handle on what it means to track your expenditures first and then decide based on your specific needs.

A business accounting class, perhaps from your local community college, would be a super idea.

Good luck.

Last edited by JAT; 02-22-2005 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 02-22-2005, 09:34 AM   #10
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Re: Keeping Books/Accounting/Newbie

another voice for Quickbooks.



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