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Just curious as to what those of you who use Quickbooks do for item numbers. Mostly I am looking for ideas for those of you who are GC's and do a little of everything. I'm trying to streamline my QB database and make it better/easier to find items when estimating.

Thanks.
 

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Contractor
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I use QB for invoicing/payroll and general bookkeeping but when it comes to proposals and contracts the writeup is a word document template which is very thorough. I rarely use the QB for the customer's invoice since the contract has the info-it works for my situation but would like to hear from others who utilize it more than I.
 

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I'd suggest numbers which correspond with CSI divisions. At the very least use sets with sub sets. Sets for categories, sub sets for items, ie 03-1111 whereas 03 would refer to concrete and 1111 would refer to a specific item pertaining to concrete.
 

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Official CT Greeter!
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Roofing = Roof

Siding = Sdng


and so on...abbreviations usually work good for me....
 

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Money Changer
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I use QB for invoicing/payroll and general bookkeeping but when it comes to proposals and contracts the writeup is a word document template which is very thorough. I rarely use the QB for the customer's invoice since the contract has the info-it works for my situation but would like to hear from others who utilize it more than I.
Pretty much what I do as well except I use an Excel spreadsheet for estimating and an MS Access for contracts (found it here and modified it for me :thumbsup:) On larger jobs they get a seperate scope sheet as well. A QB invoice is sent for any due payments.

I find that I need to many QB 'items' to make it work for estimating anything more than small, limited scope jobs. I also haven't figured out how to use items to estimate without having a long itemized list show in the estimate. I still will send out an initial Estimate from QB with a general description for small stuff and initial pricing.

I'm curious 72, if you don't use QB for the invoice, how do you tie payments received to customers and how do you track expenses per job/cust. to see if you are on target with your estimates and pricing?
 

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I do not use QB for estimates, it would take forever to set up all the various line items. I use a very modified version of National Estimator for estimates and then QB for invoicing.

I know everyone hates Natl Est but I have created templates for the most common projects we do,i.e Bathroom, kitchen, addition, decks and so on. In each of those templates are every aspect of the work line by line. It helps me to "remember" everything and makes a complex estimate seem easier when going thru it 1 line item at a time.
 

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I have previously used QB using standard accounting COA with account numbers;
1000 - 1999: asset accounts
2000 - 2999: liability accounts
3000 - 3999: equity accounts
4000 - 4999: revenue accounts
5000 - 5999: cost of goods sold
6000 - 6999: expense accounts
7000 - 7999: other revenue (for example, interest income)
8000 - 8999: other expense (for example, income taxes)

I used classification to identify Labor, Material & sub-contract and others...
I set up items as per CSI Div and built the catalog as needed. This provided great costing data and cash flow. I had managed draws with AIA spreadsheets in Excel. Manually updated form with percentage formulas and manually input data into div and classes in QB. I never felt that the estimate to progress billing was flexible enough. I also felt that running budgets outside of QB kept the numbers more accurate and easier to balance - more likely to catch mistakes.

I have been out of the business for a time and am now setting up a new accounting project. I have COA accounts from NAHB which includes more detailed breakdown in the cost of goods account in the COA as to division of work accounts. NAHB uses the 'Work in Progress' asset account, and I feel that for longer jobs this would make a really true track and measure in the balance. Looks like extra work though...

Question: Has anyone out there hit the right balance as to the detail in the COGS accounts in the COA?

Why does everyone not like National Estimator?
 

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Contractor
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I'm curious 72, if you don't use QB for the invoice, how do you tie payments received to customers and how do you track expenses per job/cust. to see if you are on target with your estimates and pricing?
after the contract is signed and deposit received, in QB's I'll make an invoice with a line item called 'bid by project' and enter the project amount. then checks written out can be attributed to that 'job' and payments received credited accordingly.
 

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JimmyS
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billing in QB

I don't estimate in QB, but I do all my company bookkeeping in it. For jobs, I use what QB calls an estimate, but which I have re-named Payment Schedule. The Payment Schedule lists all the regular Progress Payments (draws) I've planned, with dates. Then when it's time for billing the customer, I open the Estimate (payment schedule) and bill 100% or whatever portion of that line is appropriate. When we get a Change Order approved, I add each as a line item to the Estimate (payment schedule) so I can bill it.
That system works fairly well, as it makes it hard to miss a billing. We rarely use T&M billing.
Jim
 

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Head Grunt
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I use an older quickbooks program from 2007 and it still works well. I also use it for estimating so what i did was break up all my parts/supplies into numbered catagories. Examples would be, All wiring supplies start with the #1. All conduit sizes, fittings, adaptors, glue straps, etc all start with the #2. All switches, recepticles, wall plates, dimmers, remotes, etc all start with the #3. All boxes whether steel, plastic or fiberglass, indoor, outdoor, junction boxes, etc all start with the #4. I put anything misc. like screws, bolts, lags, paint, stain, stencils, caulk, etc start with the #5. I put all lumber starting with the #6. All equipment rental prices start with the #7. All misc. light fixtures start with the #8. All labor, sub labor, inspector costs, generator installation cost, etc all start with the #9. So all i have to do is scroll to the # and search through that #series to find what i need and then click on it. Once you get the #s right you will remember them and just hitting the begining # will jump you right to what you are looking for. This works well for me so far.
 

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I have previously used QB using standard accounting COA with account numbers;
1000 - 1999: asset accounts
2000 - 2999: liability accounts
3000 - 3999: equity accounts
4000 - 4999: revenue accounts
5000 - 5999: cost of goods sold
6000 - 6999: expense accounts
7000 - 7999: other revenue (for example, interest income)
8000 - 8999: other expense (for example, income taxes)

I used classification to identify Labor, Material & sub-contract and others...
I
Which version of QB do you use? Are you using the job costing features?
 
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