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Guys i need some help with quickbooks. I thought this may be a good thread to start for anyone new to this program in construction and you could post any suggestions for using the software. I have got as far as loading the program up and thats it. Its confusing to say the least.

What should i be paying attention to and what parts of the program should i be using.

I just want to log purchases of materials, tools etc etc and then log customer information so that i can keep track of whats going on per job and what i owe venders.
 

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Eater of sins.
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Are you using Quickbooks pro 2014?

Love it. I used to use PeachTree accounting but it gave me a stroke (just kidding), but I thought it might give me a stroke.

QB Pro is so much easier.

I think you should be using the invoicing feature too. You do not necessarily have to be sending out the invoicing but it keeps good records that way.

Andy.
 

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For you to track on per job, its quite annoying/time consuming, i would rather hire a monthly bookkeeper where i would just send them my statements/receipts and pay them 100-150/month in doing so. Sneak your proposal into your CPA's office worker. ;)
 

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use it, learn it, do it

quick books is the answer, all you have to do is hit enter and you know HOW MUCH? Tax time is a snap just hit enter

I wish I could give you adivse but my computer skills and understands are pretty basic at the most, I have learned how to use quick books and it helps alot (I've been using it for five years now best idea ever)

you are pretty much breaking things down into categories and then into sub catagories So if you want to know how much you pissed away on subcontractors, you'll hit enter and know, if you want to know how much you spent on subcontractors for job A, Job B, and Job see you can see that. I"m lazy so most jobs under 5 k dont' get broken down on quick books (i have other methods) Jobs over 5k are all sub'd out into materials, sub contractors, etc

Knowing how much it actually cost to do a job down to the nail and screw is the only way you are going to make money, quick books will help

I'm sure it's a pain, but stick with it and figure it out, I did it on my own and with help of an accountant and friends (bad idea but it helps) bunch of guys with hammers in hand should not be giving out computer advice
 

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I use QB for contractors. There is a sequence that QB needs you to follow.

Starts with a proposal. Even if this isn't the proposal you give your customer you can still fill it out per job. This will automatically log in the customer info.
Then if you get the job you can follow the arrow which should be "invoice" next. It will ask you what percentage of the job you want to invoice or if you want to invoice for 100%.

If you are paying people then start with vendors. Log in the payment info for vendors. If your like me and write checks from QB it will take you to the check writing part.

You will need to put all your bank info into it first. I download from chase bank right into my QB check register. Your bank should have a QB download for this.

What saves my ass is my bookkeeper, every Quarter I send her an Accountants copy of everything I've done in QB for that quarter. This accountants copy can be found, I think its in the preferences, but it's up in the edit part in the top left corner.

The accountants copy includes everything I've spent. At this point I've matched and reconciled everything from my bank account. Which men's I've went through all my spending and gave it a name such as materials, personal, etc. she categorizes it properly when she gets her copy. So when I send it to my bookkeeper she has access to my bank and fixes any mess I might of made in that quarter. She has been my bookkeeper for 12 years, she chews my chit when I phuck things up.

I hope this helps, believe me it can be very frustrating at first. I paid a private tutor to teach me the basics, and my bookkeeper has been a great help.
 

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Also I might add, once you send out an accountants copy you can't make changes in the dates she is working on. When the bookkeeper is done they will send you a new file that you download back into QB that has all the fixes. But while she's working on those dates you can't make any changes for those dates. It will ask you what date range you want to send to the accountant.
 

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Sophisticated Siding Guy.
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I would look into xero. So many reasons that make it better I can't list.

I almost switched last month but am going to wait until 2015. I've used quickbooks for over 10 years. It works but it's bloated and full of upselling.
 

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thesidingpro said:
I would look into xero. So many reasons that make it better I can't list. I almost switched last month but am going to wait until 2015. I've used quickbooks for over 10 years. It works but it's bloated and full of upselling.
Great point, ticked me off when I found out they were soliciting my customers. It did it by default, I had to go into the settings to disable that feature. Every time I sent them an invoice it asked them to send me a request for a pay service. So I would think my customers want to do a direct deposit. When in fact it was QB wanting me to sign up for their service, and using my clients to do so.
 

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Talking Head
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QB is a solid program. They make their money off the add-ons so don't be surprised, just disable everything you can.

If you want to track projects well then you need to condition yourself to either get separate receipts for for purchases or be very good about marking receipts immediately. I have a single letter code for jobs, tools and shop purchases so I can tag a receipt very quickly.
 

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Always Learning
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We have been using it for over 10 years. When we first started we didn't know exactly what we were doing. After a year, I actually started completely over and re-entered almost 6 months of data to get it where I wanted. At that same time we switched accountants and they had us setup the acct. lists to their liking.

The reports it can create are only as good as the info you put in. We setup materials, subs, and labor for each phase of work. So for example I have a framing sub item, a framing materials item, and a framing labor item. We did this for all the things we break down jobs into.

I will take a new home estimate for example and enter all my costs for that job broken down by item. Then I can add whatever markup I need to that item to get my proposal price. Once the job is signed, we can start invoicing. We enter every receipt for everything. If its for a job, it's tagged to that job. We are entering receipts every couple of days. It goes quick. Maybe spend 10-15 minutes at a time when we do it.

So the job is complete, all items entered, now I can compare my actual costs to my estimate. I can pull a report on about anything. It does take conditioning to get it to this point, but it's worth it.

On the accounting side of things, we send a backup every month to our accountant, she does payroll and lets us know if any entries need moved to another acct. or whatever. It is our company financial history. I also backup to the cloud at least 2-3 times a month.

I run pro contractor. It's an older version, but still does what we need. I recommend spending time with your acct and maybe even taking a class to get it setup for you. In the long run it will be worth it. Hell I can even compare multiple years profit and loss and expenses to make sure we are on track.
 

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Sophisticated Siding Guy.
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Is it connectable to your bank account or does it require another step?
It connects to your accounts.

There is so many addons it really can do anything you need.

There is a workflow max addon I was checking out that looks very promising if you bill by the hour and need to do other job costing things.

You can try it for 30 days without paying. Everyone should be keeping an eye on it. I want to switch but I didn't have the time to this end/start of fiscal.
 

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Sophisticated Siding Guy.
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528 Posts
It can connect to your bank account but I feel that downloading a file from your bank and then importing it to QB is a safer method.
Other than there being one other third party having your your password encrypted it's safe. I'd be more worried about using your debt card at a gas station or as of recent Target than a third party downloading your account register.


I have not used xero personally. Greg DiBernardo uses it and loves it. I spent a couple nights in December using it and really liked it. For me the fact that there new seamless payroll feature not being available in my state yet and lack of time to migrate made me decide to push it until the end of 2014.

The main reason I'm wanting to switch is I want to be able to do Purchase Orders in the field. I don't mind being in the office to invoice but sometimes it would be nice to send a Purchase Order from my Ipad while on the job.

I also like how there is loads of add ons like BaseCRM so I can manage my leads and have that data automatically in my accounting software when it becomes sold.
 

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I just took a quick look at Xero. It may be a winner. The thing I don't like about quickbooks is that I can't do much if anything from my tablet.

I don't like paying every month, but the 9 dollar one looks like all I need these days. If I can actually do my invoicing, receipts and customer tracking on the road, it will be worth it. Can you?
 
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