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Hello all this is my first post and hopefully not my last. I've come here to get some useful information. Heres my situation bare with me. Im the son of an electrical contractor. Currently im in an electrical exam prep course to get my electrical license. My father has been in business for 8 years. We specialize in wiring high end custom homes. We work closely with 7 builders and currently have 6 employees including me and my father. We have solid relationships with our builder and continue to get referred by them to other builders. Ive worked out in the field and have my share of experience, recently i have started to take on more of the office responsiblities and have become overwhelmed with what i've seen. My father is a great electrician but hes not the most organized person ive met. Id like to get some input on how some of you guys run your offices. The problem seems to be there is no organized way of keeping up with the jobs we do. Id like to set up and organize each job, but i dont know how to begin.

I want to see how some of you guys organize your jobs from start to finish also how you organize material, time management, invoicing of the rough and trim.

Thanks
 

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First off all incoming calls (requests for estiamtes) get placed into a database. Each estimate is assigned a job number. This number is in numerical order, but prefixed with the year for example I am somewhere around 2004-070. Once January hits I will be at 2005-001

This database is updated with the status of the estimate: No-Good, pending, awarded, complete, Dead. I assume you can figure it out ;) This database is a custom database that I tailor made for myself, but an excell spreadsheet would work well enough!

In addition to each job having a spot in the database, each estimate, other than No-Good, has a folder with a sketch of the job and other details. Each estimate has a typed proposal and is titled based on the estimate number 2005-001 etc...

Sparkyson said:
I want to see how some of you guys organize your jobs from start to finish also how you organize material, time management, invoicing of the rough and trim.
Once a job is awarded, we collect a downpayment and the job is entered into our billing software, quickbooks. This is a very advanced database that stores alot of information. I recommend every service contractor, such as yoruself, get quickbooks or something like it. It's worth every penny when it comes to accounting.

Every penny in and out is tracked with quick books. This includes labor, labor burdens, overhead, materials... You name it.
 

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I've just started using Quickbooks Pro 04. I've got my builders set up as customers and can track my open invoices (jobs) according to builder. I have not yet figured out how to track by jobs on Quickbooks. Im currently tracking my jobs by invoice number but this is not practical because once i recieve my rough draw the invoice is paid and have to re-invoice for trim, changes, and add-ons. How can I avoid this?
 

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Jobs are easy. Say for example you go to "Create invoice" Pull up the builder youa re working for. Next to his name type ":jobname" without the quotes. For example:

Joe Schmoo:2005-001

You will see a prompt that says "This job is not setup, would you like to set it up now?" and you will see buttons like "Setup" "Quick add" "cancel"

Choose "Setup" Then go to the tap that says "job info".

Done. I have a few customers with multiple jobs. It makes tracking really easy.
 

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Sparkyson said:
recently i have started to take on more of the office responsiblities and have become overwhelmed with what i've seen...The problem seems to be there is no organized way of keeping up with the jobs we do. Id like to set up and organize each job, but i dont know how to begin.
Hi Spark- Your dad has had success over the years so he must have some kind of 'system'. Have you tried working with him to fine tune it or is he not interested at all in that end of the business?

Can you give us a little better idea of the level of organization you're starting with? Are things filed now or not? If so, how? How much space do you have to work in? What storage and workspace furniture do you have? How many bills do you need to pay / send out each month? How many jobs are you doing per year? It won't take a lot to square things away once you've got a 'system' developed. Give us some more facts and I'm sure they're plenty of good ideas here for you to get organized.
 

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Sparkyson said:
Im currently tracking my jobs by invoice number but this is not practical because once i recieve my rough draw the invoice is paid and have to re-invoice for trim, changes, and add-ons. How can I avoid this?
Since you use the Pro series somewhere in your manuel is a section on progress invoicing. Grumpy's version may be newer than mine, to track jobs I set a a customer account and then "add Jobs" to each customer for each individual projects.

The best thing you may want to do is find an Accountant who uses Quickbooks Pro and have them help you set up custom reports to view what you need to see in your particular business.

Pat Ledford
 

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SRC, that works too. I have just found my method to be a shortcut. I have the same verson as Son.

What I did was to download the contractor premier edition. I set up my account under the trial version which setup all the accounts and reports and stuff. Then I bought the pro edition and when I converted premier to pro, all the accounts and many of the reports carried over.
 

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SRCraftsman said:
The best thing you may want to do is find an Accountant who uses Quickbooks Pro and have them help you
Spark-this is very good advice. Get a professional bean counter type to help you. I hired a QB Pro expert from a big local accounting firm (it's a service they offer) to come out and work with me for 5 or 6 hours total on a couple of different days. I think it cost me 3 or 4 hundred dollars and it was money well spent. QB Pro is amazingly easy and powerful when you get a feel for how to use it. If doing the bookkeeping yourself isn't something that you see benefiting the company in the long run (maybe you can grow sales by being in the field) then think about "outsourcing".
For me, the bookkeeping is only about 50% of the clerical work. Project management is a whole 'nuther nut to crack.
 

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I had a knowlegable bookkeeper set me up on QBPro for $15 per hr. She can also access my books from her office, I'm always online.
I still rely on my dry erase board for day to day, for me it's faster.
 

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Sorry Grumpy, The old guy still likes to see what's going on in a glance.
Each driver is considered a crew leader and is responsible for keeping track of mileage, vehicle expenses, purchases, etc. This info is transferred to the board at days end by them to be entered later. At the end of the day I can walk in, glance at that board and get a pretty good idea of how things are going in less time than it takes for my monitor to come on. Don't even have to put the cheaters (glasses) on.
 
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