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View Full Version : Are your invoices hand written or do you use a computer?


Hardcore5657
03-26-2011, 09:24 AM
Just wondering if I should buy a invoice program for my computer or if I can just hand write them?
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Golfpro21
03-26-2011, 09:29 AM
ours are all computer generated.....way easier to track and looks so much more professional.

You can generate them using a word processing program such as Word......then save a copy of them all in a file if you do not want to buy new software

ALC-GregH
03-26-2011, 09:34 AM
What best fits your business plan? Are you trying to be like Brickman or a local lawn service company? How do you collect your money from your customers? Weekly, monthly?

I personally don't even do any invoicing. I do the job, they pay me. If they need a receipt, I write one up out of my sales receipt book.

yardatwork
03-26-2011, 09:38 AM
I buy personalized booklets from Nebs. They have my address, phone number, contractor number, and a line that states the late fee policy. But...anything else on the invoice is hand written!

JB1
03-26-2011, 09:39 AM
its all out of quickbooks.

AdamChrap
03-26-2011, 09:43 AM
I am surprised out of five guys only one mentioned Quickbooks. We would be lost without it!

AI Inc
03-26-2011, 09:46 AM
I am surprised out of five guys only one mentioned Quickbooks. We would be lost without it!

only way to go.

Snyder's Lawn Inc
03-26-2011, 09:48 AM
2010 quick books bill montly

desert rose gardening
03-26-2011, 09:49 AM
Hand written, most of my people are retired so when I come to mow its a big event for them and they come out to see me and pay me.:waving:

nepatsfan
03-26-2011, 09:56 AM
Hand written, most of my people are retired so when I come to mow its a big event for them and they come out to see me and pay me.:waving:
:laugh::laugh:HAHA we have a quite a few older customers and they all seem to be like that.

AdamChrap
03-26-2011, 10:06 AM
I think a big difference here is going to be single mowing crew vs multiple. I can't imagine my guys being paid on the spot. Not only is it just odd to me but we don't have time to go up to the door, get paid and chit chat.

Don't get me wrong I know it is important to talk to your customers and what not. But I do that when I stop in to check on things. My guys need to simply work.

nepatsfan
03-26-2011, 10:11 AM
I think a big difference here is going to be single mowing crew vs multiple. I can't imagine my guys being paid on the spot. Not only is it just odd to me but we don't have time to go up to the door, get paid and chit chat.

Don't get me wrong I know it is important to talk to your customers and what not. But I do that when I stop in to check on things. My guys need to simply work.

The other reason for me to not have guys collect at the door is I really don't want them to know how much I am charging.

Tyler7692
03-26-2011, 10:13 AM
WAY too much chit chat would be going on if I was paid by the week / went to the door type thing. I'd literally lose two lawns a day in time.

Monthly billing / Quickbooks. Easy. Done. Paid.

AdamChrap
03-26-2011, 10:15 AM
WAY too much chit chat would be going on if I was paid by the week / went to the door type thing. I'd literally lose two lawns a day in time.

Monthly billing / Quickbooks. Easy. Done. Paid.

Exactly right!

CLS LLC
03-26-2011, 10:29 AM
Monthly invoicing in quickbooks. It makes it easier for not only me, but the customer as well. I can't imagine hand writing invoices and collecting money each week. That just seems ridiculous to me. No offense to those who do. To each his own. I just can't see doing that.

1MajorTom
03-26-2011, 10:50 AM
I think it can depend upon how many accounts you have. If you are doing 18 lawns a day, it will get very time consuming to knock at the door and get your money after each time. Add in the fact that half the customers might not even be there, that would be a nightmare trying to remember who paid, who didn't. We bill once a month, I print the bills out from the computer. Much easier than trying to hand write them all.

Golfpro21
03-26-2011, 10:50 AM
we use quickbooks for our accounting, invoices, but for quotes we use a self designed form.....quickbooks does not allow enough space for details of jobs etc in quotes

ALC-GregH
03-26-2011, 11:38 AM
I think it can depend upon how many accounts you have. If you are doing 18 lawns a day, it will get very time consuming to knock at the door and get your money after each time. Add in the fact that half the customers might not even be there, that would be a nightmare trying to remember who paid, who didn't. We bill once a month, I print the bills out from the computer. Much easier than trying to hand write them all.

You're exactly right. I collect weekly because I don't have the volume of accounts that others may have. I only have 16 accounts but all of them are full service accounts. I do EVERYTHING for ALL of them outside of the need for a contractors license. I won't go into detail but I make very close to the same as I did as a auto tech only I work 3 days a week less! I have plenty of room to grow each year and honestly, I don't want to be a 100+ accounts a week type of business. In the end, I'm happy, my customers (whom I treat like family) are happy, I make a good living, pay my dues and live comfortable. When I say comfortable, I don't mean living in a million dollar home. A simple single family home in a nice neighborhood is more then enough. My goal isn't much. Debt free, work less and play more.

Darryl G
03-26-2011, 11:48 AM
Computer generated invoices for the most part with Quickbooks. I do have some pre-printed invoice forms I got from staples for field invoices for small one-time jobs that are billed and paid at completion. Even for those I generate an invoice on Quickbooks when I'm back in the office and send them a copy marked paid for their records.

b&b landscapes
03-26-2011, 03:24 PM
I am surprised out of five guys only one mentioned Quickbooks. We would be lost without it!

Everybody talks about Quickbooks.......

We use Sage Peachtree, and it includes all the goodies Quickbooks wants you to pay for and its the same price and easier to navigate.

gasracer
03-26-2011, 03:52 PM
We use Quicken Business and it does just fine.

AdamChrap
03-26-2011, 04:13 PM
Everybody talks about Quickbooks.......

We use Sage Peachtree, and it includes all the goodies Quickbooks wants you to pay for and its the same price and easier to navigate.

I took a look at Peachtree and I didn't like it. Also it doesn't integrate with so many other programs like QB. I hear a lot of people complain about the price of QB. I don't understand that. I buy a new version about every two years and it is about $200. So $100 a year for a product that my whole office runs on sounds cheap to me.

b&b landscapes
03-26-2011, 04:52 PM
Quickbooks is same price in store as Peachtree but Quickbooks charges you more once you have the program to do payroll, taxes .. one or both cant remember and Peachtree does it included and it is way easier to navigate than Quickbooks is......

And there is no need to intergrate anything with it nor Quickbooks for that matter...

I mean why buy a program for landscaping than pay for Quickbooks too.... or Peachtree

both programs are basically the same as every program i have seen, like gopher is alot like quickbooks and groundskeeper is almost identical to peachtree

to each their own tho, but seems to me like smaller companies would use the most versitile program for the money and to me Peachtree is the way to go.

JB1
03-26-2011, 05:05 PM
CPA gave me a copy of peach tree once, I was totally lost with it, I'm the opposite I find quickbooks easier.

AdamChrap
03-26-2011, 06:25 PM
CPA gave me a copy of peach tree once, I was totally lost with it, I'm the opposite I find quickbooks easier.

That is what I am saying. I didn't like it at all.

tradeyouraccounts
03-26-2011, 09:46 PM
Quickbooks you get reports in seconds and just imagine trying to do prepare your'e taxes and profit and loss reports with hand written bookkeeping. I know it all used to be hand written back in the day but there is just no need to do it with all the tech advances. If you ever go audited it would be timely i would think.

SHPSLLC
03-27-2011, 02:02 AM
Ive been doing hand written invoices, but i found it to be a pain after a while. Ill be upgrading to quickbooks this year, as soon as i figure out which one is best for me!

Roger
03-27-2011, 07:02 AM
For all those posting here that you write out your invoices by hand, or use Word, Excel, or an invoice generating program, ...

What are you using to do your financial management? Why would you do the task twice? I use QuickBooks, others have mentioned other software (Peachtree, Gopher, etc.). I think all these programs have an Invoice function. Why would you use one program to generate invoices, and another program to do your financial management? QB integrates Invoices with all the other necessary functions.

This thread is not unusual, and I remain confused why somebody would ask the question about using a procedure OTHER THAN the program used for financial management.

As for collecting on each visit, that seems to be a huge time sink. I did that early in my business, but soon migrated away to a monthly invoicing procedure.

meets1
03-27-2011, 12:31 PM
I agree with ROGER.

Hand written invoices? Collect cash or check on the spot. Time is money. That is time wasted.

I would hate to tell ya the amount of invoices that are printed out by the old trusted printer, the postage I pay to mail those inovices let alone the day to process all that paperwork.

I couldn't image you doing that by writing them all down. I would need a forest to keep up with pencil demand!

CLS LLC
03-27-2011, 12:36 PM
I'm just going to throw this out there, despite the fact that people will get upset and disagree.

This thread is the exact reason the public doesn't take the green industry seriously. How do you take a business seriously when they say "just leave the cash under the welcome mat?" I mean seriously that just screams 'beer money' to me. I could never take a business like that seriously. I guess it is what it is but come on guys. If you want people to take you seriously, give them a reason to.

XLS
03-27-2011, 04:07 PM
we hand write 400,000 + invoices a year and it saves alot of time for us hands down. they finish a job they leave the invoice in the mailbox and they walk away . no need to talk , pay postage, we use a statement book from the local wally-world and we stamp our name and address on it and hand write the total . then the homeowner simply mails us a check.

Painting Stripes 11
03-27-2011, 04:12 PM
Agree with Snyders Lawn Quickbooks 2010

Roger
03-27-2011, 04:23 PM
XLS, I don't know for sure how many annual work days you have in your area.

But, if you have 200 work days each year, that is 2,000 invoices per work day. We know you aren't processing 2,000 mowings each day running your business out of a statement book from wally-world. For each of those 2,000 invoices each day, one check is generated. You are not processing 2,000 checks every day, running out of a hand-written financial management procedure.

Am I right about what we know? If so, you need lots more explanation to make your post reasonable. BTW, are you really leaving them in the mailbox?

PerfectEarth
03-27-2011, 04:43 PM
400,000 invoices per year..... interesting. :dizzy:

This thread is the exact reason the public doesn't take the green industry seriously. How do you take a business seriously when they say "just leave the cash under the welcome mat?" I mean seriously that just screams 'beer money' to me. I could never take a business like that seriously. I guess it is what it is but come on guys. If you want people to take you seriously, give them a reason to.

I agree completely. I have ONE regular customer who pays on the spot after every service. But I'll still invoice her for materials uses, separately.

When new customers ask "how do we pay you?" I always say "look for a nice invoice in the mail, could be in a few days or a week, depending on when I write it up..." I make it very cool and stress free. I would hate to be that guy who badgers people for immediate payment the second I load up the truck. Customers don't dig that and it looks cheap. Send an invoice.

I use Quickbooks for EVERY estimate and invoice. I track no real money using it (we do all accounting on a handy Excel spreadsheet, just plugging in numbers) but it's really nice for custom estimates and invoices. Looks very professional, with logo and customized templates.... I also send out a stamped return envelope with all invoices- an added cost for sure but I'm also not sending out 100 lawn invoices every week... my jobs are landscape-oriented. If I'm sending out a 3,000.00 invoice, I think it's not too much to add a stamped envelope. ya know?

I believe making it easy and professional-feeling for the customer is a huge plus. Everyone wants to see a nice, detailed bill or estimate. And the stamped envelope encourages a quicker return I think (or I hope)

Even my buddy I plow for (who runs a much larger commercial operation than I do) was impressed by my invoicing and detail. He joked about wanting me to do his billing.

Darryl G
03-27-2011, 05:44 PM
we hand write 400,000 + invoices a year and it saves alot of time for us hands down. they finish a job they leave the invoice in the mailbox and they walk away . no need to talk , pay postage, we use a statement book from the local wally-world and we stamp our name and address on it and hand write the total . then the homeowner simply mails us a check.

Are the invoices all numbered with a unique number? Otherwise I don't see how you'd know how to apply the check properly. As I mentioned earlier we use Quickbooks.

And BTW, it's illegal to leave the invoice in the mailbox.

I guess to each his/her own.

JB1
03-27-2011, 05:45 PM
i could not imagine hand writing mine.

XLS
03-27-2011, 06:35 PM
my bad its 100,000+ (type-o ) we do 2100 invoices a week in just our mowing customers we will invoice for 46-48 weeks a year plus our seasonal service clients who we do only 1 task a year for (trimming bushes monthly or spring or fall clean ups . they are just simple statement books and yes they are numbered
as for in the mail boxes it is illegal to place it in a mail box BUT only if the carrier has a problem with the action .( the carrier will be who will report a person ) for the carriers who are hard about it we simply place a container on the mailbox which the homeowner approves of and they cant charge you for a crime at all . ( note this is small towns and not big city).......... we even have some places we will leave the invoice in the storm door , we have even had homeowners ask us to place the containers on the porchinstead of the mailbox then the homeowner will go to their bank make a deposit into our account and done . I guess i was miss leading in saying we leave them in a mailbox ,my bad .....it is 100% on the level

XLS
03-27-2011, 06:37 PM
then once a month all of the invoices they used gets mailed to our headquarters where we pay our accountant to do the numbers for us .

XLS
03-27-2011, 06:40 PM
Darryl each location uses a specific stamp and the home owner will list critical details at the bank insuring that our process is easily tracked along with the invoice number it is quite easy to track invoices

meets1
03-27-2011, 07:29 PM
2100 invoices a week? That is alot of mowing per day. If I read that correctly. So lets see here. 2100 invoices / 6 days = 350 invoices a day. 350 invoices at 1 minute each = 350 minutes for the day. 350 minutes / by 60 minutes/hr = 5.833 hours worth of invoicing. Either i am way off or those invoice numbers / week or / day do not add up.

Please correct me if I am wrong.

XLS
03-28-2011, 02:17 PM
if you want to look at it that way i guess you can meets1 i look at it like this 120 employees 45 crews so its not near as big of a deal as you want it to be sorry
and it dont take a minute to do them neither sorry maybe 45 seconds each none the less its alot

kludgemonkey
03-29-2011, 10:37 PM
Hand written, most of my people are retired so when I come to mow its a big event for them and they come out to see me and pay me.:waving:

I second that. Real big event for them, and I don't blame them. If I could sit there and watch myself mow there yard I would. lol

meets1
03-29-2011, 11:20 PM
XLS - ok 1 minute I said - you say 45 seconds. Over the length of an entire day - you have to admit that is alot of time. Now maybe your 45 crews have 2 ppl / crew and while one is driving away the passenger is filling out paper work but then heck invest in a GPS unit and track each truck / location down to the minute.

I have to say 45 crews - you the bossman??

XLS
03-31-2011, 01:45 AM
yeah i am the sole propriater and the goverment knows me well off my SS# and as for GPS we do video instead to know what goes on in the trucks at all times I can look and see how long a red light took if i thought production was an issue at all

meets1
03-31-2011, 09:28 AM
XLS - I have never been to area but if I am ever close I am gonna look ya up! Enjoy invoiceing and running those crews!

WheatBookkeeping
04-13-2011, 08:12 PM
Always invoice your customers. Best advice was given by darryll gesner. You gurys are professionals in every sense of the word, so you'll need to invoice your customers like any other professional that they do business with.