PDA

View Full Version : record keeping from day to day.


NickD
11-11-2010, 10:09 PM
I need some input or advice for better record keeping for what you have done at each account or just what you did for the entire day and then maybe you go back later and break it down into your different accounts. I keep track of everything I do i would just like to find a system or a form that you fill out to keep things simpler and neat. Im open to anything. forms or software. Let me know whats good and whats working for you.

Roger
11-12-2010, 06:38 AM
QuickBooks Pro. Every night, all sales are entered on Invoices, and all expenses are entered in appropriate category. Receipts are filed in a monthly folder. I am always up to date before going to bed. A couple of times each month, I assemble a bank deposit while I am doing the daily updating. Bank statement reconciliation is done when the statement arrives in the mail. Sales taxes reports are generated on day #1 or #2 of each month, and a tax filing is done (electronically) at that time.

Sure, it takes some time, but I don't want anything to slip through the cracks, either sales or expenses. At the end of the year, all the work is done, and I'm as confident as reasonable the information is correct.

NickD
11-12-2010, 07:50 AM
I'm actually using a quickbooks trail right now. I have about 5 uses left on it then the demo trial (which has no limits) runs out and I get locked out or I have to buy it. Honestly to me quickbooks is somewhat confusing and overwhelming. I cant seem to get a good handle on it.

Roger
11-12-2010, 08:08 AM
Yes, QB takes some time to learn, and, more importantly, setup. Perhaps you want to take some time in the off-season to sit with somebody who knows it well. Explain your business, what you need, and how you operate.

The good thing about QB is that it is very flexible, and can adapt to many needs. The bad thing about QB is that it is very flexible, and can adapt to many needs. Yes, the versatility can provide challenges to make a right setup. And, the initial setup is very important. If a poorly created foundation is laid, other parts built above will not work well.

I used some off-season time to learn QB. I think I probably started over three times, doing mock companies, mock transactions, etc. Each restart showed a weakness that needed corrected. When I had a structure that I though would work, then I went "live." The trials and mock use helped flush out problems that would have been difficult to correct after going "live."

There is currently another active thread about QB, something in the title about having to buy every year. There are some good comments in that thread, specifically about the value of using QB to manage your finances.

GlennZ
11-15-2010, 11:44 AM
So how do you track all your schedulng in Quick Books and how much time the crews spent on each property so I know if I am making money on a perticular customer?

Roger
11-15-2010, 08:14 PM
GlennZ, don't know if your question was directed to me, ....

I'm solo, and manage scheduling with ToDo, an app for my iTouch. It allows me to easily track the day's work, click it off when done, set up repeat cycles, etc.

I keep a journal in the truck, a simple one, in a notebook. Each customer is noted, a time-to-complete (stop watch strapped to the assist handle on the truck so I can see it through the window), along with relevant information (mower used, height setting, bag counts, and so forth). Writing down the times off the stop watch embeds the time in my mind, and I know which jobs are priced right and which ones are not. My typical job time is about 1:15, sometimes less. When the time varies from week to week, either up or down, I review what I did, and why it changed. I only make price adjustments at the beginning of a new season. Knowing well the time spent on each property helps to estimate a potential new property, "... this one is almost like XXX."

GlennZ
11-16-2010, 08:18 AM
GlennZ, don't know if your question was directed to me, ....

I'm solo, and manage scheduling with ToDo, an app for my iTouch. It allows me to easily track the day's work, click it off when done, set up repeat cycles, etc.

I keep a journal in the truck, a simple one, in a notebook. Each customer is noted, a time-to-complete (stop watch strapped to the assist handle on the truck so I can see it through the window), along with relevant information (mower used, height setting, bag counts, and so forth). Writing down the times off the stop watch embeds the time in my mind, and I know which jobs are priced right and which ones are not. My typical job time is about 1:15, sometimes less. When the time varies from week to week, either up or down, I review what I did, and why it changed. I only make price adjustments at the beginning of a new season. Knowing well the time spent on each property helps to estimate a potential new property, "... this one is almost like XXX."

Roger, that is very smart that you do all that. You understand the whole concept. If you decide to get bigger then the challenge is to replicate what you are doing and keep track of much large sets of data since now your crews will be doing all the work.

punt66
11-16-2010, 08:43 AM
Quik books is good for billing/recieving but not schuduling. What i use for day to day is a spread sheet. I use the same sheet for the entire month and bill on the first of the month for the previous month. My spread sheet lists all and has 31 days across to check off which day the yard was serviced. At anytime with a single glance i can see exactly what day every customer was serviced at any time for the entire season as i keep each sheet in my clipboard at all times. I circle the box for the next weeks sevice on all clients showing which day i will cut them. So if i decide a lawn doesnt need a cut for 2 weeks i will circle a box 2 weeks from that day before i leave. If i have done extra i make a note right next to the circled box. When i am ready to bill i have everything on the spread sheets right in front of me. Its also an easy way to compare last years mowing schedules with a current year at a glance.

joallen001
11-17-2010, 10:09 PM
Quik books is good for billing/recieving but not schuduling. What i use for day to day is a spread sheet. I use the same sheet for the entire month and bill on the first of the month for the previous month. My spread sheet lists all and has 31 days across to check off which day the yard was serviced. At anytime with a single glance i can see exactly what day every customer was serviced at any time for the entire season as i keep each sheet in my clipboard at all times. I circle the box for the next weeks sevice on all clients showing which day i will cut them. So if i decide a lawn doesnt need a cut for 2 weeks i will circle a box 2 weeks from that day before i leave. If i have done extra i make a note right next to the circled box. When i am ready to bill i have everything on the spread sheets right in front of me. Its also an easy way to compare last years mowing schedules with a current year at a glance.

So when using quick books for invoicing do you manually transfer your dates from your spreadsheet to quick books once a month. The main thing that keeps me from buying quickbooks is having to manually type in all the visits for each customer. My schedules are created in excel though. I print them once a month and hand them off to the crews. Once the schedule runs out I invoice the customers in Lawn Pro

punt66
11-18-2010, 05:17 AM
So when using quick books for invoicing do you manually transfer your dates from your spreadsheet to quick books once a month. The main thing that keeps me from buying quickbooks is having to manually type in all the visits for each customer. My schedules are created in excel though. I print them once a month and hand them off to the crews. Once the schedule runs out I invoice the customers in Lawn Pro

quick books has a drop down menu where you get to choose the service your charging for. That drop down menu is created and edited by the user. So i have mine set up so if a client is a $37 mow i open the drop down menu and choose the menu title i created "mow37". Then it pops up with the descrition and charges. The only thing i dont like is i have to enter the date.

Roger
11-18-2010, 06:22 AM
I do something similar at punt66 suggested. I have my memorized transactions based upon customer. This insures that each customer transaction is entered only once, when the memorized transaction is established -- no opportunity to get a charge wrong for a customer. He is right, the only entry needed is the date, and that is taken from a calendar drop down.

The room for error when transferring information from one place to another could be a problem. I always wonder why people want a separate program for invoicing. Why use one program for invoicing, then transfer the information to QB (or similar) for financial management? The likelihood of getting something wrong in transferring information from an invoicing program to another program for receipts is something I want to avoid.

ProMo
11-18-2010, 07:32 AM
I track everything I do in excel, started with a pda switched to a laptop and now use my phone. I can go back over 10 years and tell what I did, when and how long it took for each customer.

hotwired
11-26-2010, 05:58 AM
Having used QB for years now (2002), and using it to run a web design, lawn care and rental realestate businesses, I'm quite married to it but do have a bit of frustration regarding "scheduling." Also, time tracking an invididual client for the year (ie. how much time did we spend total billable hours) -- now I think I have solved it, though it requires a bit of math on the mowing foreman's part:

When we do a cleanup, maintenance, weedi, etc., we pull down the appropriate item, then in quantity enter the time as decimal percentage of hour (i.e. 20 minutes would be .33 etc.) and we have a "rate" already setup ($65 per man hour maint. $75 per man hour fall and spring cleanup, etc.) so it puts the correct amount in. (if it's a per bid job, I then change the billed amount which automatically changes the per unit /hourly number which is handy).

Now come lawn care .... the crew memeber or foreman will have to tally all his numbers, so it will mean "paying" him an extra 10 minutes or so per day, but then when I enter mowing times, I can enter them as percentage of hour and actually see what our "hourly rate" is each time I enter a lawn. This is nice. No surprises or going thru time sheets to find out where our time killers are. Now here's where the report comes in so we can actually FIND OUT how much time we spent on a aparticular clients lawn / property.

under reports, SALES, you can do "sales by item summary" and then double clikc on the item you want to analyze which will show you total amount taken in for the period as well as the "quantity" and the "amount per quantity" (ie. $$$ earned per man per hour). Alternately, you can do "sales by item summary" and double click the customer and see the same thing. Here you'll see each task, listed in order, with a "quantity" (# hours) as well as "sales price" which is your amount earned per man hour. Pretty neat and of course you can customize the report then memorize it so you can quickly see it just how you like to see it. Hint: when memorizing, setup the report date generically (this year to date) vs. manually setting the date range. If you memorize "this year to date" it will give you just that. if you memorize 1-1-2010 to 6-3-2010 it will give you just THAT next time. (I think!)

Any other tips for hacking quickbooks ????? I'd love to hear them!! espeically on cost tracking. Like ... do you cost track using classes for say, "landscpaging vs. mowing vs. plowing" and if so, how do you divy up insurances or other "common" expenses...?

Darryl G
11-26-2010, 08:56 AM
I use a day planner for scheduling and recording my work. Invoicing is done on Quick Books.

MarcSmith
11-26-2010, 09:47 AM
i used QB for billing, like PUnt a spreadsheet for the weekly service, on the daily service there was a spot for date of services, and how much time.. and each day was its own route. each day of the week had its own page.

basically made up my own day timer that fit my needs.

I used a 3 ring binder, which held the daily sheets, customer lists, insurance info, equipment inventory with Serial numbers copies of licenses...a bible of sorts...

a simple ledger would have worked as well...

cclllc
11-26-2010, 05:53 PM
I have been using Quickbooks since the early Dos days.I think I still have a copy on 3.5 inch floppies somewhere.I have to say it does all I need and more.It's fairly simple to learn and there is plenty of help screens.If that's not enough there is an online forum you can go to.

duranlandscaping
12-02-2010, 01:48 AM
Having used QB for years now (2002), and using it to run a web design, lawn care and rental realestate businesses, I'm quite married to it but do have a bit of frustration regarding "scheduling." Also, time tracking an invididual client for the year (ie. how much time did we spend total billable hours) -- now I think I have solved it, though it requires a bit of math on the mowing foreman's part:

When we do a cleanup, maintenance, weedi, etc., we pull down the appropriate item, then in quantity enter the time as decimal percentage of hour (i.e. 20 minutes would be .33 etc.) and we have a "rate" already setup ($65 per man hour maint. $75 per man hour fall and spring cleanup, etc.) so it puts the correct amount in. (if it's a per bid job, I then change the billed amount which automatically changes the per unit /hourly number which is handy).

Now come lawn care .... the crew memeber or foreman will have to tally all his numbers, so it will mean "paying" him an extra 10 minutes or so per day, but then when I enter mowing times, I can enter them as percentage of hour and actually see what our "hourly rate" is each time I enter a lawn. This is nice. No surprises or going thru time sheets to find out where our time killers are. Now here's where the report comes in so we can actually FIND OUT how much time we spent on a aparticular clients lawn / property.

under reports, SALES, you can do "sales by item summary" and then double clikc on the item you want to analyze which will show you total amount taken in for the period as well as the "quantity" and the "amount per quantity" (ie. $$$ earned per man per hour). Alternately, you can do "sales by item summary" and double click the customer and see the same thing. Here you'll see each task, listed in order, with a "quantity" (# hours) as well as "sales price" which is your amount earned per man hour. Pretty neat and of course you can customize the report then memorize it so you can quickly see it just how you like to see it. Hint: when memorizing, setup the report date generically (this year to date) vs. manually setting the date range. If you memorize "this year to date" it will give you just that. if you memorize 1-1-2010 to 6-3-2010 it will give you just THAT next time. (I think!)

Any other tips for hacking quickbooks ????? I'd love to hear them!! espeically on cost tracking. Like ... do you cost track using classes for say, "landscpaging vs. mowing vs. plowing" and if so, how do you divy up insurances or other "common" expenses...?

I love quickbooks the way you are tracking your hourly rate for lawn care sounds interesting. Could you pm me about this i would like to go in depth with you on this.

cclllc
12-03-2010, 08:41 PM
I use a day planner for scheduling and recording my work. Invoicing is done on Quick Books.

That's how I've done it for years.That way you have a hard copy for a backup as well. I do regular backups on all my computers.I almost lost everything years ago so i learned my lesson.

JJKK
12-03-2010, 08:55 PM
I also use quickbooks, I then got Qxpress to do the scheduling & track hrs. The best part is that it is designed for use with quickbooks, it automatically updates both ways so there is no double entry of anything. The web site is www.qxpress.com.

DanaMac
12-04-2010, 11:13 AM
I also use quickbooks, I then got Qxpress to do the scheduling & track hrs. The best part is that it is designed for use with quickbooks, it automatically updates both ways so there is no double entry of anything. The web site is www.qxpress.com.

Qxpress is awesome for scheduling. I can see the whole day or week or month scheduling for all three of us on one screen. Hover over one appointment and I can see which zip code each tech is in and if I can schedule another on that day. No way I could do it with a pen and paper schedule. Plus I can email my techs their schedule, as they don't go to the shop every morning.