View Full Version : Quickbooks Pro question...

02-27-2007, 11:20 PM
I am glad that I finally purchased this program. I am looking forward to learning its capabilities.

My question is about setting up "Items & Services".

I have created some "Items" (i.e. "Item" is "Weekly Service", "Sub Item" is "Reoccurring Services" in "Account" "Maintenance Services". but I am not too sure that this is the most efficient way to set up these Items. It seems like it may be overkill but maybe that is a good thing. Quickbooks recommends using numbers for "Items". I have also read some posts on here about setting up services as customer's name.

Any advice or examples would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

02-28-2007, 01:09 AM
I think that you are unable to convey the question via here .
I do not understand .
There is FREE support and that's where you need to go for the answer .
I pay a small fee for yearly 24/7 support , that way it always available

02-28-2007, 09:37 AM
I have put in for callback support and I am sure that they will give me some ideas. I am trying to see if there is a common way that LCO's are entering their "Service Items" so that it is a little more industry specific and efficient. If my question was not clear I will try and explain better; What is your method for entering a "Weekly Mowing Service" that you want to charge $45.00? Do you use "sub Items"? Do you use numbers to describe your "item" like quickbooks suggests? Do you use customer names as your items (this method sounds interesting but I am not too sure how it works)? Thanks again.

02-28-2007, 10:02 AM
We set up all our items as our customers name with the description and price we charge for the service to that customer. For example if you set up a service.
Item=John Doe
Description= Cut grass trim and edge
Price= $40.00

If you just set up "weekly mowing" price$40.00" you need to verify that every time you use weekly mowing you change the price according to the customer you are billing, one may be at 40 and another 35 etc.

I hope this helps you some.

02-28-2007, 10:17 AM
I set up QB Pro last Winter and have used it for one season. I'm sure there could be better ways, but ...

I set up a list of Item as:

Grass cutting
Leaf removal

as major types of work. I am very limited in my offerings.

In some cases I make sub-item, such as for Grass Cutting.

I make an Item,

This designates an entry for, Grass cutting, rate $45.00.

When I want to make a daily entry on an invoice, I enter the service date, then GC45. The "Grass Cutting" and $45.00 will be entered into the appropriate column on the invoice.

I have other items,

GC40 - same, except rate is $40.00
GC50 - same, except rate is $50.00

and so forth.

Under Item, Trimming,

I have subcategories

Turf description is "turf trimming" with no amount
TT18 description is "turf trimming" with $18.00
Bush, hedges description is "Bush, hedge and light tree trimming" with no amount.

Item Mulch as no sub-items, nor does Item cleanup.

I think you get the idea. I have merely made larger work categories, then added sub-categories as needed. The sub- are not needed, but when I can add the amounts, the designation saves me from putting in the amount each week. Since cleanup, mulching, trimming turf are all variable in amount, I have no amounts associated with those Items, and manually enter them as needed.

The major problem with my scheme is that the database holds onto the GC45, GC50, etc. The words on an Invoice are fine, but Statements only show the Item name (e.g. GC45). This designator carry-over is one I cannot eliminate, and is a problem if I wish to issue Statements, rather than Invoices (another entire topic for another day!).

02-28-2007, 11:01 AM
Please post what you find out from support. I'm also in the middle of setup and have the same type questions.....

02-28-2007, 11:50 AM
In the process of working out our setup in QB as well - I'm using the structure we have at my other job: using estimates for each customer to set the variable charges: for instance at the basic setup level
item= mowing
cost=35.- (default min charge).
Then I create an estimate for each customer where all individual charges will be listed on the one estimate; i.e. mowing 65.- ,beach cleanup 25.-, spring cleanup 275.-, etc.
When I go to invoice QB will pull the estimate specific to that customer and autofill the invoice... then I delete everything I don't need, have the correct mowing charge (and/or whatever else that month) in front of me to replicate for each date. If the rates are changed over the years the estimate can be edited and it will not affect earlier invoices created from the estimate.
Not sure if it is the "prescribed" way, but I has worked well for me through the winter billing cycles...

02-28-2007, 01:02 PM
I have it set-up as:

Lawn maintenance, etc

Monthly lawn maintenance fee

Hedge Trimming




Tree Trimming

I love how at the end of the year you can see exactly what % of the above you have done.

02-28-2007, 06:24 PM
Thanks for the replies. These are the kind of examples that I am looking for. I am just looking to be as efficient as possible without a lot of over kill. I guess it is just a matter of figuring out what works for me.

I am leaning toward making customers as items like JC1 has posted but would still like to explore other options.

TGASKILL... I will post what I learn from support however, I am mot too satisfied with their support yet. I can't seem to get anyone who speaks English well enough to understand what I am trying to do.

Drew Gemma
02-28-2007, 06:55 PM
here you go been using qb for 4 years customer support is not free and it is expensive and some times they can not help you! they want me to sign up again 299 for a year to speak to an Iranian or what the hell ever he is. Not fun trust me.

Items are each service I offer
I put in the date and price for each and number of times.
tax total

advantage to this is I track my work by job type such as leaf clean up I know that is 14% of our work dollar wise. while mowing is 70% and mulch edging pruning makes up the rest. then with in that I can track % of profit per item which tells me what we make the most profit on. After all whatever makes me the most money is the one I want to do. Downfall is I have to keep prices on paper and enter them in on a per account basis. plus sales on each item gives you all the reports.

02-28-2007, 09:28 PM
Thanks Drew, please keep the suggestions coming. I just don't have the patience when trying to deal with customer support these days.:hammerhead: I am considering paying for a local certified QB instructor to set this up for me. I believe they charge about $80.00 per hour. I think it may be a wise investment. Thanks again..

02-28-2007, 09:34 PM
Another thing to consider is your local college. Last year my wife took an online class for Quickbooks through The local college. It helped her significantly. The reason we set ours up the way we did with each customer name as their service and the price for each was so that she wouldnt have to know each customers specific price, just the name of who we cut that day.

Drew Gemma
02-28-2007, 09:54 PM
Sand man set up your customers, vendores and all items and accounts just follow the set up. I save all paper work monthly then check it with qb numbers and reports. Credit cards and loans are a pain in the but I can never get the numbers straight. I use all features but those and do my own payroll for one employee qb charges to much. If your bank goes online qb can work with them also in the set up. doing bills I don't enter them then pay them too much extra work so I just pay them out of the check register a huge time saver just put all bills and dates of loans in a folder check as needed when something is due write the check out of register. I also sync all customer info to my Blackjack phone (cingular) so when they call or email I get it on my phone and can reply or call. Also printing envelopes use windows and trial by error line up your invoice so both address show through the appropriate windows. This eliminates qb from opening up word to print the envelope addresses. Huge time saver. Also retype all form letters into the qb letter set up so you can do selective bulk mailings just sellect print send. sorry just ask highering a local and ask questions plus read the set up book twice it will give you a real good understanding of the whole program.

02-28-2007, 11:15 PM
Sandman ... Yes, there are those who can help, even at a price. But, if they do the setup, and then later you need to make changes (inevitable), you may have to return to them for the changes. I spent much of my own time making the setup (in the off season), so that I was thoroughly familiar and could make changes as I needed, as I gained experience and was better able to identify what I needed.

03-02-2007, 08:50 PM
Roger, I did the same as you GC30,40, and so..it was very easy and quick, but when I do a chart to see what I've been doing it does not give a accurate chart since you have 7 different grass cutting items instead of one. I just relisted everything seperate.(Grass Maintenance,Pinestraw,ect. that way you see exactly where you are making your money.

03-02-2007, 11:41 PM
Yes, I think you are right.

The reporting features of QB are not what I would like. I think I will either live with it for another season, or develop another data base from which I can get reports that I want.

03-03-2007, 10:36 AM
ParkerLM & Roger, I have also been setting it up similar but I've broken it out a couple different ways MS** is Mowing service which includes trimming and blowing but then I've also don M** which is for accounts I just mow and MH** for mulching etc etc... So this will break out the different catagories that your looking for correct? In the past doing my invoices in Excel I always broke this out for the cutomer so they could see what they are spending on what.

03-03-2007, 01:13 PM
You probably read my posts about setting up items as customer names. I still find this to work the absolute best.

For example item name is

Then for mulch, tree trimming, other less regular servies I dont use a clients name in the item.

This way you never have to remember how much you charge each client for these services. If you set it up as GC45 then you have to remember you charge that client $45.

I enter most transactions under the accounts recievable window. Makes it reall easy - then send monthly STATEMENTS, not INVOICES.

I can help you more if you are interested in this system.