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One of the rotating ads above was for Intuit Master Builder. I know I've heard of this product before but I've never really understood why its so great. I also hear it costs a bundle. I'm assuming its a customized product for large companies. Any experience with this?

-Nathan
 

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I haven't seen any trial version for it and I don't think they have one. In order to get the price on the product you have to contact them for a "personalized quote"

Big Money!
 

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It is a bit more expensive than your standard pro version of quickbooks, but it doesn't really add that much. A few more customized invoices and a couple other advancements on tracking multiple projects. Not worth it in my mind - quickbooks works just fine @ less than 200.
 
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It costs upwards of $7,000 depending of the modules one chooses and several more thousands of $s in support contracts.

It was developed by another company, I think Omware, and bought out by Intuit a couple of years ago to try and get some of the upper-small to medium construction business market for bookkeeping/accounting.

The program itself is a dinosaur compared to the state of current software development. To me, it was like trying to work with a straightjacket on. It may have been OK for the early 80s but not for now. (But it is also true that construction software is generally very far back in user interface design and general functionality compared to other generally used software.)

For example, it doesn't even have a Check Register where a user can easily see a list of checks written, like Quickbooks or Quicken, and printing checks, bill payments, etc is a 4 step process that is so inflexible that it's like trying to file in a dark file room. That's only a small tip of the bigger tip of a huge iceberg.

The program is so restrictive in terms of keeping books for a construction company (which is one of the few businesses that have dozens and dozens of details to deal with in every turn and every aspect of the work day) that, in my opinion, the business has to change its very nature in order to adhere to an antiquated notion of running a construction company according to the program's developer.

Reporting is inflexible, customization if reports is torture, but they do offer ODBC connectivity (I never tried it during my evaluation) that Quickbooks severely lacks and it will never have (on purpose, of course).

If they just keep on adding patches to the program to justify the overpriced annual upgrade costs, the program wouldn't be worth the investment. If they take the basic open database design and try to develop something user friendly, efficient, functional and useful, there may be a small chance of offering something decent for the construction business.

Try it out for yourself and see what you think. I think they still have a money back guarrantee.
 
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Intuit (not intuitive) Master Builder

:evil: I would like to hear from or talk to anyone that has used Master Builder or anyone that would like to use Master Builder. I have owned this software for over a year and paid over $10,000.00. Plus $20,000.00 to $30,000.00 to impliment it and still can,t use it. If anyone likes it and is succesful with it that is in a small operation say under $1,000,000.00 gross per year or there abouts I wish you would contact me. If you would like to buy it and would like to use it first please contact me and I'll figure out a way for you to get it or use mine.

I think "Unregistered" Post of 12-12-2003, 11:11 AM was very accurate. Please Read it. Who ever you are please contact me if you would.

Does anyone know of a site or Chat room or anybody that can use and understand this software. Someone that may have some insite how to do sales tax or make form design not such a dounting task. Possible write an estimate with out 2 months setup.

I think Intuit would not like us to help each other. Lets make a site where we can share info to learn how to use it or warn anyone that wants to buy it of the down falls before what happened to me happens to them. We may be able to get Intuit to make a good software?

The Zoo Keeper
 
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Master Builder

Grumpy said:
Umm yeah 40k for a billing software is way beyond my budget. Try selling it on ebay?
I don't want to sell it, I just want to find some people that like it and know how to use it. If some one would like some information about it I would like to share what I know with them. It may be good software it just has a tall learning curve. The curve may be to tall for my size company and I would like to compare notes befor I spend an other year working with it.
 

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I bought this program 10 months ago, because I got a good deal. ha ha! It is not possible to use this program for anything, it is not heavy enought to work as a paperweight. I would sell this to any fool willing to give me even $2500.
The general support manager of Masterbuilder said "it is very difficult to get started, yes very hard." They have refused numerous requests for my money back as they guaranteed. They now have removed the record of my calling in within the first 60 days for my refund. Many of the customer support people have advised me to "sell it on ebay" "you own it" They advised me that for only $650 they would provide full support for one year to whoever has the license. But be prepared to wait for support, it takes a half hour or more to get a live person. And they can't do anything other than lie about a coach calling you back to figure it out. My biggest cost has been the staff I hired to learn and use the program. They had quick books experience. After restarting every three months, to get a fresh start, we restarted again January 1, 2004.
Payroll is already screwed up. Luckily the old dos system has been used to help get the MB system calculations correct. The old dos system is up to date and will be used for the rest of the quarter because MB is behind two weeks already. I do payroll on the DOS program in three hours, they take all week to do the MB payroll and it is full of voids. Does anybody know of a support group for accountants going crazy over this program.
Run as fast as you can from this program. And don't trust anyone who even mentions this as a possible choice.
 

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After hearing nothing but bad things about this program.. is there really a viable solution for everyone? What do other people use? What things are bad or good with the current systems you use or MasterBuilder?
The reason I am asking these questions is that I am developing an online remotely hosted application for cost control accounting that may work for some people. So I am interested in any feedback on what people would like to see in a system like that. The program started out as just a jobsite cost accounting application that essentially tracks costs and budgets for one project... but has hence expanded into a whole company accounting system that tracks payroll, estimates, clients, jobsite costs, company profits, cash flow etc..etc. I have been thinking about expanding it further to have an rfi system, punchlist, etc.. and possibly a client login where the clients can see progress photos (if they are remote to the site), current billings, etc. We'll see where it ends up. Anyway - if the system is functional what would people be willing to spend? I was thinking of doing a monthly cost on a server that I maintained - the main reason for that is because the language I am using to write the program is coldfusion which can be expensive to rent.. and with more users on one server (not more than 100 depending on server load) I can lower the individual cost of hosting.
 

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I saw one for sale on ebay for about $2,500. The guy said he paid $1,500 for it and there he was including some kind of upgrade. Maybe, your the one?

I just bought a quickbooks pro off ebay for $220 brand new and it includes a $100 off coupon for additional Intuit products and/or services. I have been using the trail version of 2004 contractors and decided it is NOT worth the added expense for 10 reports and a customized menu.

Remember I am not a home builder and most of my projects don't last longer than a day so I KNOW Master Builder is more than I need.
 
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Zoo Keeper said:
I don't want to sell it, I just want to find some people that like it and know how to use it. If some one would like some information about it I would like to share what I know with them. It may be good software it just has a tall learning curve. The curve may be to tall for my size company and I would like to compare notes befor I spend an other year working with it.
There is a lot of misinformation being passed around here regarding Intuit Master Builder. If you want facts contact me directly. [email protected]
 

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Zoo Keeper said:
:evil: I would like to hear from or talk to anyone that has used Master Builder or anyone that would like to use Master Builder. I have owned this software for over a year and paid over $10,000.00. Plus $20,000.00 to $30,000.00 to impliment it and still can,t use it. If anyone likes it and is succesful with it that is in a small operation say under $1,000,000.00 gross per year or there abouts I wish you would contact me. If you would like to buy it and would like to use it first please contact me and I'll figure out a way for you to get it or use mine.

I think "Unregistered" Post of 12-12-2003, 11:11 AM was very accurate. Please Read it. Who ever you are please contact me if you would.

Does anyone know of a site or Chat room or anybody that can use and understand this software. Someone that may have some insite how to do sales tax or make form design not such a dounting task. Possible write an estimate with out 2 months setup.

I think Intuit would not like us to help each other. Lets make a site where we can share info to learn how to use it or warn anyone that wants to buy it of the down falls before what happened to me happens to them. We may be able to get Intuit to make a good software?

The Zoo Keeper
I'm a project manager for a residential remodelling/new house contractor in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our company has been using Master Builder since 1999 (I think); although I've only been using it for four years. We find it to be very, very useful. Our payroll, A/P, A/R accounts are tracked in MB. The Project Managers use the estimating and Project Mangement modules constantly to track job costs, labor hours, change orders, etc. In addition, the company Owner and I use Terminal Services to log into our server from home; so we can look at reports or whatever whenever we want. Finally, some of our project supervisors use laptops at jobsites; they can prepare change orders while at the job site while logged into the server and print them in the jobsite office.
There is a pretty steep learning curve, but I (certainly no genius) pretty much taught myself how to use it after taking some of their on-line courses and now customze their reports pretty easily.
I think it's well worth the investment, but I think you need to bite the bullet and hire someone who's willing to learn how to use the program.
 
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