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· BrooklineElectric.com
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59 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After 48 years in the business, I think it's time mr me to go paperless but I need your help, if you succeeded in doing so.

Please recommend any software and of hardware you tried and found useful, or perhaps you will even share your failures so we can learn.

My failure is that my wife spends almost as much time as I do keeping track of the books which means the income I bring in is really only about half of what it would seem like if I was doing everything myself.

John A Peters
Brookline Electric SF
Same Day Service all by my self. (I love it)
 

· Senile Member
I make all the electrons line up for their Flu shots
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36,897 Posts
Two things John, First is I am glad to see you posting, and I hope all is well for you. Second is , after all these years you are still at it? What about selling the business and retiring , maybe a nice long ocean cruise or move over here and sit under the coconut tree like how I like to do?


I am sure you have tried the Brushman's ES2 or whatever he is calling it now, program haven't you? That one seemed to me to be the cat's meow for service companies, and it can store all your data and integrate to Quickbooks as well . I used to use it when I was mainly more service work than now and I found it to be pretty good. There are lots of other options also available for iPads and the like , that also export all sales data back to Quickbooks so you only have to enter data once.
 

· Registered
Arsholeprentice
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You could also simply just use Quickbooks online, then only enter data once. You can quote directly through it, invoice directly through it, and accept payments directly through it. You can snap a photo of a receipt and post it to whatever account/customer on the go, no doubt entry.
 

· BrooklineElectric.com
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59 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You could also simply just use Quickbooks online, then only enter data once. You can quote directly through it, invoice directly through it, and accept payments directly through it. You can snap a photo of a receipt and post it to whatever account/customer on the go, no doubt entry.
That sounds good. Now I have to do is find out the trials and tribulations and risks of switching from hard disk based QuickBooks to online version.

Anyone done that?
 

· Hackenschmidt
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14,373 Posts
That sounds good. Now I have to do is find out the trials and tribulations and risks of switching from hard disk based QuickBooks to online version.

Anyone done that?
They make this very painless for you, you basically back up your info and upload it, and they do the rest.

There are some features in the regular version of qbks that aren't in the online version, but at this point most of the stuff that most people use works in the online version.

If you use other software that integrates with Quickbooks, it probably requires the installed version - probably won't work with the online version. That will be a deal breaker for a lot of people that rely on qbks for the accounting but some industry specific software to do things that Quickbooks doesn't.

Last I saw it was a free trial for the online, and you could convert your stuff back to the installed version easily.

One thing to watch. A lot of people keep the books for more than one company in quickbooks, maybe you keep separate companies for construction, service, and real estate. If you have multiple companies, the online version is going to cost you the monthly fee for EACH company. With the regular version, you pay once for each computer you run on then you can run as many companies as you want.
 

· BrooklineElectric.com
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59 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Execelent comment. I am learning from you - Thanks

I've been practicing for the last few days. When I am writing an invoice by hand on a job site I imagine having a computer. So far on the the little quick service call jobs I have been etting a feeling of a little bit of awkwardness imigining if I had to start using a computer instead of just quickly writing up an invoice and getting out of the clients garage front porch or kitchen. Maybe it'll be better when I start filling out the QuickBooks invoice before I go to the job and then I'll only have to put in the details when I get there.

The other experiment is to use team viewer to go directly to the QuickBooks running on the home office desktop computer. Of course that requires either an iPad or notebook computer with cellular access or tethering to my iPhone 5.

For a short time there was an Apple program called tether that allowed you to use a cable and go online via your cell phone without any extra fees but Apple pulled it back (in 2011?)

I'm now doing an online search for something similar.
 

· Registered
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iPad, iPad, iPad.

Execelent comment. I am learning from you - Thanks

I've been practicing for the last few days. When I am writing an invoice by hand on a job site I imagine having a computer. So far on the the little quick service call jobs I have been etting a feeling of a little bit of awkwardness imigining if I had to start using a computer instead of just quickly writing up an invoice and getting out of the clients garage front porch or kitchen. Maybe it'll be better when I start filling out the QuickBooks invoice before I go to the job and then I'll only have to put in the details when I get there.

The other experiment is to use team viewer to go directly to the QuickBooks running on the home office desktop computer. Of course that requires either an iPad or notebook computer with cellular access or tethering to my iPhone 5.

For a short time there was an Apple program called tether that allowed you to use a cable and go online via your cell phone without any extra fees but Apple pulled it back (in 2011?)

I'm now doing an online search for something similar.
If you're small, say 5 and under employees, the iPad is perfect. I used Quickbooks Online which they have a great app on the iPad. Its all on the cloud, so I can view my books from any device. They even have a great app for the iphone/android. When you sign up for their credit card processing, you can get paid and not have to worry about inputting later that night. Its done for you. So yea, spend a little more for the cellular version, and get a 64 gig version. Trust me, I bought 3 ipads because of those reasons. First was 16 gig non cellular. Then I realized real quick, I needed an internet connection at all times (not a fan of tethering). Soon after I got the 16 gig cellular version, then I realized that 16 gigs is not a lot for an iPad. The IOS takes a big chunk of that, and when you find the cool apps to document, take pictures of, and give better presentations, I saw my memory get evaporated and then couldn't update unless I started deleting stuff. So I ended up with the iPad Air 2 with Verizon connectivity and 64 gigs. The best part, was as soon as I started using the iPad and Quickbooks Online, I started making more money. I got paid same day, and was able to see my books at moments notice. So as difficult as it was to buy the iPad, the money I made, made it easier to upgrade. Now each of my kids have an iPad :eek:
 

· Hackenschmidt
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14,373 Posts
For invoices in the field, I think it really comes down to can you do what you need to do without a keyboard! If you can, the Quickbooks Mobile app on the phone might do it, or hotspotting and using a tablet might do it. If you have the invoice set up in advance, it might not be too bad.

If you are going to have to enter it from scratch in the field, I personally would rather eat worms than do it on a phone, and a tablet isn't much better, I need a keyboard. I am a fan of Chromebooks, they are cheap and they make rugged ones. But I'd have to find a place to sit. For me that would be in the cab of the truck after packing my trash.

It may be possible to use paper invoices in the field with the Quickbooks mobile app, you could just do it in paper, snap a picture, and let the wife deal with it. It may not even be important that she enter it line by line, just the customer, date, and amount.
The detail will be attached in QB in the scanned document.
 

· BrooklineElectric.com
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59 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I was able to use my friends iPad with his keyboard cover. We downloaded TeamViewer (free) and I logged on to my home office accounting computer running my local harddisk version of QuickBooks. I was abale to work on an invoice just as if I were in the office.

I am choosing Apple iOS on an iPad over a ChromeBook because dictation is included in iOS and it's an extra couple hundred dollars for Dragon Naturally Speaking on a PC or chrome book. DNS is very accurate and it even learned how to spell Cole Hardware instead of spelling it as cold hardware. The experiments continue.
 

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For invoices in the field, I think it really comes down to can you do what you need to do without a keyboard! If you can, the Quickbooks Mobile app on the phone might do it, or hotspotting and using a tablet might do it. If you have the invoice set up in advance, it might not be too bad.

If you are going to have to enter it from scratch in the field, I personally would rather eat worms than do it on a phone, and a tablet isn't much better, I need a keyboard. I am a fan of Chromebooks, they are cheap and they make rugged ones. But I'd have to find a place to sit. For me that would be in the cab of the truck after packing my trash.

It may be possible to use paper invoices in the field with the Quickbooks mobile app, you could just do it in paper, snap a picture, and let the wife deal with it. It may not even be important that she enter it line by line, just the customer, date, and amount.
The detail will be attached in QB in the scanned document.
What Chromebook are you using? Do you use it in the field?

Cheers!

Jim
 

· Hackenschmidt
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14,373 Posts
I have the acer 15, I think it's great. I do use it in the field. It isn't particularly rugged but at $250 I'll take my chances. I have a customer that gives their guys in the field the Lenovo 11e which is more rugged.
 
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