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  • #16
    Re: Business software?

    Originally posted by youngsplumbing View Post
    westcoastplumber,

    Can you (or anyone who uses it) tell me the differences between Quickbooks Pro and the Quickbooks Pro Contractors edition? What useful applications does the contractors version have...is it specifically a plumbing version or a generic contractors version?

    Also, did you (or whoever uses this software) take the Quickbooks course or have a Quickbooks adviser come in and help you? I checked in to an adviser and the quote I got was $330 for first two hours and $150 each additional hour. I don't mind paying if I get the desired results but hate to throw over $300 into the issue just to find out it's not what I want.

    Any feedback from anyone who uses Quickbooks would be appreciated.


    It is a generic contractors edition. I can make into whatever I want.

    the system is pretty easy to use once you get involved in it.

    I would bet you can get it pretty quick, maybe 3-5 hrs of teaching and be set, just take notes.

    when I first started, I had entered everything, like 3 months, and then I had a bookkeeper come in and make sure I was doing fine, then after that I went to my CPA, and got a list of things I needed to move around to make it IRS friendly.

    you will be happy with the software, you can do bids, inventory, job costing.
    sigpic

    Robert

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    • #17
      Re: Business software?

      Pro lets you do job costing. The contractors edition is more for builders who are pricing entire homes and doing system and percentage of completion billing.

      To do the sales analyis that you want in QB is very easy. I am a CPA in VA and teach classes in QB at the local community college. Any good Qb specialist should be able to set up the items that you invoice the way you want in an hour or so at 75 to 100 per hour.

      You need to make sure that you sit down and map out what you want on paper to show them and to have it clear in your mind.


      Originally posted by youngsplumbing View Post
      I don't have a whole lot to do with the software at this time but I'm trying to better understand it.

      Can someone tell me the differences between Quickbooks Pro(which we currently use) and the "Contractor" edition.

      I went back looked at some old posts and noticed a couple of regulars said they use it.

      Comment


      • #18
        Re: Business software?

        The way "Today's" world is going , you wont need quick books much longer or any software

        Stack cash under your mattress and when your back starts to hurt , Your business is doing well.

        When you SLEEP though the night with that huge lump and your back is hurting but you sleep all night long anyhow because your so tired , WELL then now you know your business is remarkable

        I know this thread was about software and I know that I myself have used software , But I am also a true believer in OLD school methods,


        In Todays world Marketers make you think you need software BUT you really Do NOT

        Maybe some of the "more seasoned" ( 40 years plumbing or more ) can tell us how they piped America with out tech software,

        Here is a start




        OH PS ......Quick books is good software

        I have used it
        Last edited by PlumbingSkool; 05-18-2008, 10:37 AM.

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        • #19
          Re: Business software?

          Originally posted by PlumbingSkool View Post
          In Todays world Marketers make you think you need software BUT you really Do NOT
          I couldn't get my router to work, called the store I got it from and they referred me to the "Geek Squad", who in turn told me it would cost $175 for the visit.
          I decided to give it one last try before I called them back.
          Turns out all I needed to do was visit the MFG website to update a driver.
          It was all of 5 minutes, no tools or parts, sat on my butt the whole time.
          I lug 50 lbs of tools up two flights of stairs, wreck my back in abnormal positions, cut, burn and gouge myself for less money than that...and still have to dole out insurance premiums.

          I see that you can pay $1K for the priviledge of learning how to use software you purchased and having it set up and it just seems easier to do it all old school.
          Those price ranges may be worthwhile for larger companies, but I think the industry is missing out on a very big market with the smaller sole prop and mom n' pop shops. (wow...poetic)

          I also own QB, and to be honest, I don't use it for fear of becoming dependant on software to do my thinking for me, having to listen to pitches on periodic upgrade purchases leaving me to wonder if my software still works without the upgrade, or spending countless hours in the "learning curve".
          I'd just as soon use that time to browse the code, do my own estimates (using a somewhat obscure tool...the brain) and hanging here bickering with you guys.

          As for records, windows is surprisingly adequate for the basics, I can sort customer files alphabetically, or by date created...though admittedly job types and amounts have to be handled elsewhere.

          As it stands, it looks like Open Office will do that for me.
          It has a database feature that I can store info and create my own categories for each, like amount of job, type of job, location...etc.

          It also looks like I can create reports based on these categories....more to be revealed as the learning curve progresses, but so far I don't see any ads for pricey upgrades. (heck it's free in the first place!)

          I did learn a little C++ a few years back, enough to write simple programs & math functions.
          I considered writing a simple estimating .exe, but the bulk of the time spent on estimating isn't the math, it's finding prices from suppliers & considering the best stock, fixtures & fittings suited for the job...not aware of any software that'll do that yet.

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          • #20
            Re: Business software?

            I would stay away from the Geek Squad as they are part of Best Buy. Many years ago they were installing a new hard drive in one of my laptops and cracked the case. They claimed they did not do it but the four cracks all started at the four screws of the new hard drive. In addition, before they take your laptop they check you any damage and make you sign the inspection form. There was no damage when I dropped it off and it was unusable when I picked it up.

            Mark
            "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

            I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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            • #21
              Re: Business software?

              Geek Squad $175.00 for a visit.Was that for the first hour?
              How much for the second.
              Or do they charge per project...No,I'm not kidding,and I'm not going to say the obvious.

              I'm curious cause I've made a mess of mine and before I spend a ton of money on cleaning up this lead sled "first learner" computer,I'm contemplating new start from scratch before I put my company info in.

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: Business software?

                Originally posted by drtyhands View Post
                Geek Squad $175.00 for a visit.Was that for the first hour?
                How much for the second.
                Or do they charge per project...No,I'm not kidding,and I'm not going to say the obvious.

                I'm curious cause I've made a mess of mine and before I spend a ton of money on cleaning up this lead sled "first learner" computer,I'm contemplating new start from scratch before I put my company info in.
                If you watch the deals on the net a lot of times you can pick up a new computer which will do 10X what yours does now for about the price of a few hours with a IT guy. Where the cost comes in is the software but even there you can find stuff like open-office to use.

                Mark
                "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Business software?

                  Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                  If you watch the deals on the net a lot of times you can pick up a new computer which will do 10X what yours does now for about the price of a few hours with a IT guy. Where the cost comes in is the software but even there you can find stuff like open-office to use.

                  Mark
                  There it is quick and easy.Thank-you Mark

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: Business software?

                    Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                    I would stay away from the Geek Squad as they are part of Best Buy. Many years ago they were installing a new hard drive in one of my laptops and cracked the case. They claimed they did not do it but the four cracks all started at the four screws of the new hard drive. In addition, before they take your laptop they check you any damage and make you sign the inspection form. There was no damage when I dropped it off and it was unusable when I picked it up.

                    Mark
                    Ooooooh, yeah...the last straw for me was when we bouight my wife's pc at Best Buy.
                    They advertized a model with a flat screen monitor on sale...we went there to buy it & I noticed the monitor was a regular cathode type.
                    I asked the guy and he says, "Oh yes...thats what they mean by "flat screen"...because the actual screen on the monitor is somewhat flat."
                    Rather than admit they were out of stock and risk losing a sale, they pawned that line on us.
                    Their secret corporate slogan seems to be "We depend on your lack of knowledge to take your money from you."

                    In a related topic, I called a business software co when I first started up about software specific to contractors & service co's.
                    Asked the sales rep how much the software was...he dodged the question with a barrage of bright, shiney features it had to offer and how it would all but run my business for me by scheduling all my jobs, even routing the jobs to make it easier to drive, doing all my accounting and record keeping, as well as free classes on how to use the software "for a limited time"...blah blah blah.

                    After 10 minutes I finally just raised my voice over his and asked "HOW MUCH??", he responded "Well, you obviously know how much time this will save, as well as not having to pay a secretary, accountant..." I interupted again "HOW MUCH??"
                    Turns out there were two versions, the cheaper one for small shops was $3,700.

                    He then tried to appeal to my pride by intimating that running a business without decent software like his was outdated and inadequate, a potential way to fail in the current market where so many companies have that edge. (Lesson, never tell a salesman you're a new business)

                    I opted to reserve that money for tools, overhead and advertising...in that first year that money could have broken me, tipped the scales and put me under.
                    I saw some very lean times, which most start-ups do...I'd done loads of research before I took the leap and knew to be careful.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: Business software?

                      I am not sure of the software we use but it seems very outdated. The office manager still does the old fashioned ledger book thing.

                      As far as computers go, I think I am going to be giving a Apple computer a try. Specifically the IMac.
                      Anyone can tear a man down, few can build one up.

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                      • #26
                        Re: Business software?

                        Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                        If you watch the deals on the net a lot of times you can pick up a new computer which will do 10X what yours does now for about the price of a few hours with a IT guy. Where the cost comes in is the software but even there you can find stuff like open-office to use.

                        Mark
                        There are two things in business I've come to despise...
                        To one extreme, bargain hunters that have completely unrealistic expectations and want me to run out on a sunday night to redo a screwed up DIY kitchen faucet for $40.
                        The other extreme...slimey sales tactics, guys that bid a water heater for $550, then announce to the customer once in the basement with all tools unpacked that half the plumbing will have to be redone for thousands.

                        I mention these because I don't mean to come off like a bargain hunter when it comes to software, nor will I allow anyone to take advantage of what they think I don't know.
                        I know there are programmers who work very hard to make decent software, but then there also are the marketing & sales people who seem to think tradesmen are either drowning in loot, or too dumb to figure out how to use a PC.
                        I may be wrong, but I think Open Office accepts contributions...I will gladly make one...so far I am both amazed & impressed with the depth of functionality it seems to offer, not at all bad for free software.

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                        • #27
                          Re: Business software?

                          Originally posted by drtyhands View Post
                          Geek Squad $175.00 for a visit.Was that for the first hour?
                          How much for the second.
                          Or do they charge per project...No,I'm not kidding,and I'm not going to say the obvious.

                          I'm curious cause I've made a mess of mine and before I spend a ton of money on cleaning up this lead sled "first learner" computer,I'm contemplating new start from scratch before I put my company info in.
                          That was a falt rate...lol...go ahead Mark...say it.

                          Adam, if you're really looking to use your pc for your business, I'd first suggest getting a ZIP drive....it's a seperate storage drive you plug into your computer and can plug into other computers, if your PC were to die...you wouldn't lose the info on the ZIP.
                          I'm not a computer genius, but you have my number...buzz me and I'd happily help any way I can.....all for the low, low cost of me making a few dumb jokes as we go.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: Business software?

                            Originally posted by DuckButter
                            I asked the guy and he says, "Oh yes...thats what they mean by "flat screen"...because the actual screen on the monitor is somewhat flat."
                            Rather than admit they were out of stock and risk losing a sale, they pawned that line on us.
                            That's exactly right. Flat screens differ from bubble-shaped screens but are still CRTs. If you want LCD, you say LCD. The flat CRTs are more expensive than the round fronts. I've looked at a lot of boxes of computers and "flat screen" is usually a CRT. Flat screen can refer to LCDs but it's inexact.

                            I use an old Quickbooks program - Quickbooks Pro 1998. It still works quite well. I made the mistake of updating off the internet once, and now, if I want to reinstall it, I have to also install the update (which I have saved) before it will take the data. I haven't updated it since.

                            I have no idea if the newer versions are improved or worse, but this one works well for me.

                            I have a computer repair business that I do as a hobby/sideline and keep those books in a second company in Quickbooks.

                            I think I got my money's worth.

                            I use a number of word-processing types of programs for various things. I use an old version of Word, Word Perfect as well as Open Office. In fact, I made my flat rate book with Open Office, separated into sections. I did have a little trouble with Open Office when attempting to insert something new into a finished, already-saved file. I don't know if they've worked that out yet. But it will open and edit Word files as well as a lot of others. It does have a little trouble with presentation files like Power Point.

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                            • #29
                              Re: Business software?

                              Hello. I am new to this site and am unsure on how to create my own post so I am hoping someone will see this and can help.

                              I work for a construction company and we currently use Peachtree Accounting software for all of our accounting needs including payroll. There is discussion if whether or not we should switch to Wintac software to assist the office staff with scheduling, tracking, job costing, etc. My question is, does Wintac offer the complete accounting system with debits/credits, chart of accounts, etc..? Aside from Wintac being a business management tracking software are there many differences with regard to the accounting between Peachtree and Wintac?

                              Also, if anyone is familiar with any other accounting software that offers Peachtree and Wintac features, please let me know. I am open to all input. Thanks in advance, I look forward to any responses.

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                              • #30
                                Re: Business software?

                                APHCO

                                Would love to talk to you at your convenience if that can be arranged and you are agreeable concerning Wintac. You seem to have gotten over the hump that I can't seem to in understanding Wintac's way of doing the things I want done in my business. Wintac has the features but seems to not be as intutiave as one would hope for. I would be happy to contact you if you agree to help. Let me know what best works for you. Am new to this forum so not sure what all is here and how it all works just yet. Not even sure if it is permissable to exchange contact info. Hope to hear back from you at your lesiure.

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