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mark123
11-14-2011, 12:42 AM
It's getting near the end of the season and I'm evaluating my software. Right now I'm using Gopher to do my scheduling, invoicing and track payments and Quicken Home and Business to handle my bank accounts and expenses.

It's really annoying to do double entries so I quit putting invoices into Quicken this year and am just using Gopher for that by itself. It's still two apps and I still have to input payments in both to keep the accounts in order. I'd really like to be able to either use one application for everything or use something that syncs both applications.

I was considering Quickbooks with QXpress but it's just too costly and not quite in the budget. Many people seem to hate Quickbooks and complain about the forced costly upgrades but then they keep using it because all their data is already there and it would be inconvenient to switch. This is what I really want to avoid.

I do need something that handles odd scheduling intervals for example I have a few customers that want mowed every 10 days. I don't want the days to shift to different days of the week so it ends up being every 10 days and then every 11 days and then repeats. This keeps them on Mondays and Thursdays all season.

In Gopher I set that up like this:
http://images.imaginekitty.com/10DaySchedule.gif

I do need that ability in the app I choose.

I'm very seriously also considering going back to Macs so that's also a consideration.

Do you have any suggestions to offer? I do appreciate it.

phillie
11-14-2011, 01:19 AM
YOu know, I'm in the same boat. Im using groundskeeper pro but want to upgrade to something more efficient. I have narrowed my search to an internet based software that I could access from anywhere. So far I am leaning towards Service Auto Pilot or jobber. There are a few others I have seen on here i will be checking out. So far, I suggest looking at service auto pilot.

mark123
11-14-2011, 01:30 AM
YOu know, I'm in the same boat. Im using groundskeeper pro but want to upgrade to something more efficient. I have narrowed my search to an internet based software that I could access from anywhere. So far I am leaning towards Service Auto Pilot or jobber. There are a few others I have seen on here i will be checking out. So far, I suggest looking at service auto pilot.Service Autopilot does look nice but it's over $100/month. I just don't think that's in my budget. Jobber is more reasonable. I may give the trial a whirl. Thanks for the input. :)

Maybe I'll have to write my own software. :D I'll do it! I will!

phillie
11-14-2011, 02:00 AM
service autopilot has 3 different price ranges but I didnt see the one that was over 100. I saw a $30 a $42 and an $80. I think Im going to start with the $42 mid grade one. I still have to check out the others.. If you write one let me know, I'll test it for you. HAha

mark123
11-14-2011, 08:34 AM
service autopilot has 3 different price ranges but I didnt see the one that was over 100. I saw a $30 a $42 and an $80 ...
The two-way quickbooks sync is an extra $25/month and is only available on the $80 version. If I have to use two apps I may as well stick with what I have now.

Yeah, I'm probably not going to be happy unless I make my own.

HBFOXJr
11-14-2011, 08:44 AM
I've used qx from the beginning and am looking to leave. Svc autopilot looks to be the choice at this time.

Too many people think they can't afford an investment in capable software. The thinking might better be, that you can't afford not to have good management tools. Well implemented and used, they can make you money.

mark123
11-14-2011, 08:57 AM
I've used qx from the beginning and am looking to leave. Svc autopilot looks to be the choice at this time. May I ask why you are thinking of leaving QX?
Too many people think they can't afford an investment in capable software. The thinking might better be, that you can't afford not to have good management tools. Well implemented and used, they can make you money.
I agree to a point. It's just that what is offered is not worth the extra cost. I'd rather just spend an extra hour per week on paper work and an extra day or two per year on tax prep. It's not worth it at that price for a one man operation.

I also have an aversion to subscription services. I want my apps and data to be mine forever no matter what happens.

HBFOXJr
11-14-2011, 09:16 AM
Search "QX" as there are some recent posts. If you remain 1 man, why software other than QB. If you are planning growth, it may be worth while to get started now with a foundation.

mark123
11-14-2011, 09:20 AM
... If you remain 1 man, why software other than QB. For scheduling.

... If you are planning growth, it may be worth while to get started now with a foundation. Agreed. I'm already beyond the beginner apps (like quickbooks simple start or the $30 version of Service Autopilot) so I may be jumping in at the middle instead of at the beginning.

Jobber
11-14-2011, 11:56 AM
Greetings,

I'm one of the Co-Founders of Jobber, and I just thought I would chime in with a few responses to the great points being made in this thread.

1. Day Specific Job Scheduling: mark123 would like to see the ability to specify job scheduling frequencies, including the ability to specify the day of the week. I'll be honest and say that Jobber doesn't allow you to specify the day of the week, although we are looking into that capability. I don't believe many of the other options offer this ability either. That being said, Jobber has the most robust and flexible job scheduling system available for contract style jobs, allowing you to independently specify both a scheduling and invoicing frequency. Very cool stuff.

2. Software is an Investment in your Business: This point cannot be understated. I agree that if all your software is doing for you is saving a couple of hours a week on paper work and a few a year on taxes, then it's not doing it's job and you should ditch it immediately. That's the problem with most of the software out there —*it's primarily concerned with moving all of your manual processes to the computer, and it usually does this in a convoluted clumsy way. That would be cool if it was 1995, but it's 2011 and it's just not good enough anymore. We have the technology to do so much more. Jobber takes care of all the boring paper-elimination you would expect back in 1995 —*that's easy — but what really excites us is the opportunity to build software that gives your businesses new and innovative tools with which to grow. We're focused on helping you improve organization, offload repetitive and cumbersome remembering, and improve customer service, all with the ultimate goal of saving time and increasing profits.

3. Owning Your Information: I can certainly understand the leap of faith involved in moving to a subscription service if you're new to that style of software deliver. The fact of the matter is that it is the best way to create, deliver and consume software in this category (business management) in almost all respects. No upgrades to worry about (continuous software updates actually, depending on the vendor), computer and operating system independence, decentralized data storage, automated and redundant data backups (again, depending on your vendor). The other fact of the matter is that some companies are better at this than others: At Jobber we go out of our way both in our marketing material and customer interactions to ensure that our users know our customer data policy: Your information belongs exclusively to you, and never to us. You can always retrieve your data out of Jobber, whether you're currently a paying customer or not. I'll reiterate this point, because I think it's important: Any data you store in Jobber can be retrieved at any time. We will never hold your data hostage under any circumstances. Currently this service is provided as a manual process (contact support), but we're currently working on automated account data export functionality so that you can download your information any time.

4. Cost: Our strategy at Jobber is not to compete on price. The cost of our service happens to be cheaper in most cases than a lot of the other serious contenders out there, but within certain reasonable boundaries cost should't be the deciding factor anyway. When you consider the mission critical function that good business management software serves, the question really becomes whether it's worth the cost of a cup of coffee a day, or a tank of gas for the work truck. If your software isn't worth it, or isn't a good fit, you'll know after a month or two of using it, and should try something else.

I hope these opinions are helpful, and if anyone has any questions or concerns about Jobber feel free to get in touch with me directly.

Sam Pillar - sam [at] getjobber [dot] com

mark123
11-14-2011, 01:10 PM
... I'll be honest and say that Jobber doesn't allow you to specify the day of the week, although we are looking into that capability. I don't believe many of the other options offer this ability either. That being said, Jobber has the most robust and flexible job scheduling system available for contract style jobs, allowing you to independently specify both a scheduling and invoicing frequency. Very cool stuff. It seems that an application that costs a one time fee of $99 beats jobber in robustness and flexibility.

2. Software is an Investment in your Business: This point cannot be understated. I agree but if you don't offer more for the higher price then why would I choose your software?

I agree that if all your software is doing for you is saving a couple of hours a week on paper work and a few a year on taxes, then it's not doing it's job and you should ditch it immediately. I meant that switching from my current system to yours (or QX) would only save me a few hours of work. That's why I'm not willing to pay the high prices.


3. Owning Your Information: I can certainly understand the leap of faith involved in moving to a subscription service if you're new to that style of software deliver. The fact of the matter is that it is the best way to create, deliver and consume software in this category (business management) in almost all respects. No upgrades to worry about (continuous software updates actually, depending on the vendor), computer and operating system independence, decentralized data storage, automated and redundant data backups (again, depending on your vendor). The other fact of the matter is that some companies are better at this than others: At Jobber we go out of our way both in our marketing material and customer interactions to ensure that our users know our customer data policy: Your information belongs exclusively to you, and never to us. You can always retrieve your data out of Jobber, whether you're currently a paying customer or not. I'll reiterate this point, because I think it's important: Any data you store in Jobber can be retrieved at any time. We will never hold your data hostage under any circumstances. Currently this service is provided as a manual process (contact support), but we're currently working on automated account data export functionality so that you can download your information any time. I'm not convinced that there are any advantages to subscription based software. I do appreciate that the data is available without fail though. I'd much rather store it locally though because if you go out of business what happens then?

4. Cost: Our strategy at Jobber is not to compete on price. The cost of our service happens to be cheaper in most cases than a lot of the other serious contenders out there, but within certain reasonable boundaries cost should't be the deciding factor anyway. When you consider the mission critical function that good business management software serves, the question really becomes whether it's worth the cost of a cup of coffee a day, or a tank of gas for the work truck. If your software isn't worth it, or isn't a good fit, you'll know after a month or two of using it, and should try something else.Actually, you are competing on price. At least for my business. Well, I mean after you improve your scheduling abilities.

Jobber
11-14-2011, 03:52 PM
I hardly think that robustness and flexibility can be fairly measured and compared solely on the basis of a single scheduling feature that has more or less disappeared from the more modern software out there. It's not a feature that our users have indicated is particularly important anymore, and I imagine other companies are hearing the same thing. Nevertheless, I've just confirmed with our development team that an upcoming update is going to add the ability to define recurring schedules like "every Tuesday", "every second Friday", etc.

Taking a look at the Gopher website I'm curious when the last serious update to their software was — the only date I can find on their site is on the pricing page: September 9, 2007. I sure hope that wasn't the last time the software was updated. We updated Jobber just last night and the changes were immediately available to all of our users worldwide, without having to download or install anything.

That is of course one of the major benefits of hosted software. We're constantly improving Jobber, and upload new features and tweaks every single week. If there's a bug or a problem with the software our team is notified and dispatched immediately to fix it without you even having to contact support —*no waiting for a software patch to arrive in the mail or download and install.

Add to that the fact that our user data is backed up multiple times a day, you can access your information from any computer or mobile device in or out of the field, and the seamless and intelligent integration of your customer data and workflow, and you might start to see just how Jobber actually does offer more.

I invite you to sign up for a trial and have a look for yourself. I would be pleased to speak with you via email or phone as well to discuss how Jobber might work for your business if you like —*just let me know!

Cheers,
Sam

mark123
11-14-2011, 04:49 PM
Sorry that my previous post was so dismissive. Perhaps we have different definitions of robustness. The fact that you say it's not an important feature anymore sounds like feature discontinuation in Quickbooks (its #2 complaint after forced upgrades).

Yes, the biggest complaint about Gopher is that it is missing some features due to the fact that it hasn't been updated since 2006. Lack of emailing invoices is kinda of huge. It does allow for creating PDF files that you can email and I do use that feature. But it's a few lines of code to make that happen during invoice generation.

It's just that it seems to be the best solution out there for lawn care. And quite frankly it takes about 2 minutes tops to complete end of day job completions. For the past 3 years it cost me $99 total, Jobber would have cost me $1044 in the same time with continuing total cost.

However, I do appreciate that you listen to your customers (even potential customers) to include required features.

Just to be clear, I need to schedule jobs that occurs in 11 days and then 10 days, making the cycle last 21 days (three exact weeks). Basically, I need to be able to select, for example, Monday and Thursday (or Tuesday and Friday) and place at least an 8 or 9 day span between them. 8 or 9 days between would make it so that it doesn't schedule every Monday and Thursday. It would schedule one Monday, skip a Monday, schedule the next Thursday, skip a Thursday, repeat. This keeps the schedule clean and predictable. Scheduling every 10 days on a 7 day week makes that job occur on Monday, Wednesday, Sunday, Tuesday, Saturday, Monday, etc. Blah!

I've got to schedule a hernia repair in the next few weeks but I would like to evaluate your software. I'll try to run it through a few weeks of service and see if it meets my requirements.

If I get a database dump do you have an SQL control panel I can use to convert my customers over?

Jobber
11-14-2011, 07:39 PM
Hey Mark - no apologies necessary, and no offense taken! All feedback is good feedback, and I always value the opportunity to communicate with business owners, whether they're Jobber customers or not. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.

Couple of comments based on your reply:

- The idea with Jobber is actually to have NO end of day job completions. With the mobile interface, and multiple user capability, you or your employees can complete jobs right from the field. This way you can see how the day is progressing in real time. The only back-office administrative work left to do is Invoicing, which is also really easy to do with Jobber.

- The scheduling scenario you describe makes a lot of sense. A job with a recurring schedule that has the job falling all over the week, including on the weekends is no good at all. We're going to be implementing some changes over the next week with the aim of moving our recurring scheduling functionality more in the direction of how iCal works. This new system will support monthly recurrence schedules, which will allow you to more or less accomplish what you're looking for.

- Jobber has data import features that allow you to load customer data in via either CSV or vCard files. We don't allow direct SQL data loads as it would be a significant security risk, however we do offer free support to all customers in setting up their account, including getting their data —*in whatever format they have it in —*into Jobber. So feel free to send us a dump of your data in whatever format is most convenient for loading into your account when you're ready to give us a try.

I'm sorry to hear you're having to deal with a hernia — that is no fun at all. I hope the procedure is a quick and easy success.

All the best,
Sam

jlouki01
12-06-2011, 04:04 PM
We rent QX Plat for less than 100.00 / month. Hooks up with QB real well support has gotten a lot better.

mark123
12-06-2011, 05:09 PM
We rent QX Plat for less than 100.00 / month. Hooks up with QB real well support has gotten a lot better.
I see that the platinum edition is $79/month. $948/year. My time would be better spent with a few double entries. The fees are just exorbitant in my opinion. If it made me more money than it cost then I'd see the point. I'm back to square one which is building my own system.

Jobber
12-06-2011, 05:44 PM
While our software (Jobber - http://www.getjobber.com) is a lot more affordable at $29/month to start, I really don't see $79/month as exorbitant. Here's a quick analysis:

If you're working 22 days in a month (and you're probably working more than that), then $79/month ends up being about $3.59/day. Even if you only value your time at $20/hour (and it's definitely worth more than that) the software only needs to save you a little over 10 minutes searching for customer information, generating invoices, doing double entry, etc. every day that you're working in order to be worth it. And that's with pretty conservative numbers.

You also have to consider the long term benefits of having your business information catalogued the way a system like Jobber enables. You can make better informed decisions year over year about price increases, the marginal profitability of your services, resource utilization and much more. The business itself is also worth more from a third party's perspective if it has a solid, easily accessible and searchable historical record and effective business systems in place to help eliminate duplication and error while allowing for improved customer service and efficiency.

That's just my $0.02 though. Sure I'm biased since my company created Jobber, but ultimately we only succeed if our customers succeed, so it's in our best interest to do everything we can to make your business better with software.

Cheers,
Sam

mark123
12-06-2011, 06:03 PM
While our software (Jobber - http://www.getjobber.com) is a lot more affordable at $29/month to start, I really don't see $79/month as exorbitant. Here's a quick analysis:

If you're working 22 days in a month ...Well, it's more like 18 days per month for me. I've got my routes compressed very nicely leaving room for rain, et al.

You've also got to take into account the months that the charges continue but you're work has ceased (December - March approximately) and the fact that 15 of those days entail about 2 minutes of computer work.

I'm just not convinced that I'm gaining anything. $2844 for 3 years sure seems exorbitant. I just don't think I can accept subscription based software. Especially since I don't have to.

mark123
12-06-2011, 06:14 PM
By the way, I'm not saying subscription based software is bad, I'm just saying it's not for me.

HBFOXJr
12-06-2011, 10:01 PM
The two-way quickbooks sync is an extra $25/month and is only available on the $80 version. If I have to use two apps I may as well stick with what I have now.

Yeah, I'm probably not going to be happy unless I make my own.

Spring for SA and never look back. It does so much and can make you more than it costs.

HBFOXJr
12-06-2011, 10:04 PM
Service Autopilot can move your data and you won't miss a beat. My conversion should be complete in 24-48 hours.

mark123
12-06-2011, 10:06 PM
Spring for SA and never look back. It does so much and can make you more than it costs.

If I'm balking at $79/month why would I even consider $105/month for Service Autopilot?

Jobber
12-07-2011, 11:18 AM
mark123,

Indeed hosted software isn't for everyone, and it can definitely be a little bit of a leap of faith if it's something you're not accustomed to. Conventional wisdom would suggest that paying for something month over month is a much worse investment than paying once and owning forever. In practice however the benefits of cloud based software quickly outweigh the purchase & upgrade cycle of old-school software. In the cloud you're getting wide-scale availability, device independence and automatic backup and redundancy built right in as part of the platform, not to mention the consistent upgrades and new features you automatically get access to (with Jobber anyway... not so much with some of the other guys).

Anyway, like you say, it's just not for everyone. That being said though, cloud based software (also known as Software as a Service, or SaaS) has gained a lot of momentum in the past number of years and has rapidly become the most cost effective means of both developing and maintaining software. You'll soon find that traditional desktop based software will be difficult if not impossible to find in a modern, supported form. It's already clear that the old-school desktop options out there are outdated, ill-supported and lacking in modern features and abilities.

Anyone who's interested in giving Jobber a try shouldn't hesitate to get in touch with any questions they might have or for help getting set up.

Cheers,
Sam - http://www.getjobber.com

grass-scapes
12-07-2011, 06:26 PM
I paid for the stand alone version of Qxpress several years ago. I have to pay the hostage fee....er...yearly update charge, but other than that, Its mine. I can choose NOT to pay the fee, and my qx still works, I just don't get upgrades or support.

I get quickbooks when its on sale, not right when it comes out. I got the 2011 bundle with qb pro and enhanced payroll for 141.00 at sams club last February.

Keep in mind that enhanced payroll direct from intuit is over 300 bucks. Whatever you do, don't let intuit have a credit card number.....They will automatically update your subscription to payroll for that 300 plus dollar amount.

mark123
12-07-2011, 06:32 PM
... I get quickbooks when its on sale, not right when it comes out. I got the 2011 bundle with qb pro and enhanced payroll for 141.00 at sams club last February.

Keep in mind that enhanced payroll direct from intuit is over 300 bucks. Whatever you do, don't let intuit have a credit card number.....They will automatically update your subscription to payroll for that 300 plus dollar amount.

Good info. Thanks. :)

I may get it at amazon.com as it's $159 so I can have it now and learn how to use it.

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-07-2011, 07:01 PM
How does the scheduling part of Jobber work, do you just enter all your customers addresses and it gives you a recommend schedule each day based on location and efficiency?

gardenkeeper88
12-07-2011, 09:47 PM
I didn't see all the pricing for jobber on the website.
Is it on there?

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-07-2011, 10:08 PM
I didn't see all the pricing for jobber on the website.
Is it on there?

Only thing I saw was $29/Month

Jobber
12-07-2011, 10:09 PM
gardenkeeper88 —
There's a link to "Pricing & Signup" in the upper right hand corner of the website. You can also just follow this link: http://www.getjobber.com/pricing_and_signup
Let me know if you have any questions!

New City lawn Care LLC —
In consulting with lawn care companies and others while building Jobber, route planning was something we talked about a lot. The complaint we kept hearing from everyone is that automatic route planning is done really poorly in other software, in many cases forcing routing decisions that may not be optimal when the many additional factors of a standard day at a service company are taken into account.

Jobber's routing capabilities allow you to see all of your Jobs for a day automatically plotted on a map, and provides an hourly grid for the day with all of your employees listed. You simply drag the jobs to the grid wherever it makes the most sense for your particular organization for that particular day.

I hope this helps —*let me know if you have any other questions.

Cheers,
Sam

Jobber
12-07-2011, 10:13 PM
New City Lawn —

Just a quick follow up. The service is $29/month. You can add all of your employees to the system in order to manage scheduling at this base price. If you would like your employees to be able to log in to the system as well you can simply "switch on" log in access for each of them individually for just $9/month extra per user.

Hope this helps —*let me know if you have any other questions.

Cheers,
Sam

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-07-2011, 10:17 PM
Okay, I am going to check it out a little further and see all its features, possibly take a free trial...

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-07-2011, 10:19 PM
So it gives suggestions on a particular day of what jobs within a vicinity of each make sense to do together, with the exception if theres too many to accomplish in a days work?

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-07-2011, 10:39 PM
We do Landscape Maint. so we service the same customers, the same day each week, week after week...

Jobber
12-08-2011, 03:55 PM
New City Lawn Care —

Jobber's scheduling interface will show you all of the jobs for a particular day, along with the scheduling details you provided when you created the job (Anytime between 10am and 3pm, after 4pm, etc...) You can then see all of those jobs laid out on a map so that you can assign them to your employees in the most efficient manner possible based on whatever else might be happening that day, including whether you've got all of your employees available that day or not.

Jobber has really great support for the kind of recurring jobs it sounds like you do a lot of. We do this through our "Contract Jobs", which support the ability to define both your scheduling frequency and your invoicing frequency, so you can do the job every week, while only invoicing once a month for instance.

Cheers,
Sam

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-08-2011, 06:04 PM
Sounds intriguing, I guess I should get a trial and play with it a bit and see if I like it or not....

johndeereguy
12-12-2011, 10:45 PM
I just signed up for Service Auto Pilot, hope this works out, cause we hate using Qxpress

HBFOXJr
12-13-2011, 09:08 AM
I just signed up for Service Auto Pilot, hope this works out, cause we hate using Qxpress

I'm w/you bro. Our data conversion from QX to SA is nearly finished. SA is looking so much easier, comprehensive and productive. I think we can make more money because we'll be able to manage better.

Jobber
12-13-2011, 06:20 PM
HBFOXJr —

Back on the 6th you mentioned your data conversion was supposed to be finished within 24-48 hours. ServiceAutoPilot must be giving it a good massage :)

For the price, anyone thinking about hopping on the SA train should give Jobber a try first! We have a no risk, no commitment, 30 day free trial, whereas ServiceAutoPilot makes you pay right out of the gate.

Cheers,
Sam

HBFOXJr
12-13-2011, 07:24 PM
HBFOXJr —

Back on the 6th you mentioned your data conversion was supposed to be finished within 24-48 hours. ServiceAutoPilot must be giving it a good massage :)

For the price, anyone thinking about hopping on the SA train should give Jobber a try first! We have a no risk, no commitment, 30 day free trial, whereas ServiceAutoPilot makes you pay right out of the gate.

Cheers,
Sam

Technical issues have made this slow. I use the enterprise version of QX and QB and not many people that use enterprise versions have made the switch. It's not business as usual. SA experience has pretty much been conversions during the active season. At this time of year I have little active stuff left, so they must dig a lttle deeper to extract the right data. We're down to bring in the QX client services. Everything else is in place. They've been great to work with.

bcomstock15
12-14-2011, 01:19 AM
We've been using Service Auto Pilot for about 6 months now, it's incredible stuff. (About 100 Condo type clients, 150 sites looked after for municipal landscape and snow removal) The service afterwards is incredible as well, building features into our specific account that aren't normally available (free), things like that.

I highly recommend at least trying it, give it a few months (watch the videos on their site if your too cheap). Our strategy was to continue using our current database, and do everything in SAP as well for a 3 month period to see if we wanted to make the switch. It was evident that we wanted to switch within the first few days, and obvious after the first month. about $150 to try it for 3 months? $150!? I hated the idea of monthly fee's and my data online before, i feel just as comfortable on SAP's site now as i do on my banks, and seeing the advantages of cloud based, i'll never go back. incredible.

mark123
12-21-2011, 12:06 AM
Well, I bought Quickbooks today. There is a 60 day money back guarantee so I wasn't worried if it flopped. There are so many extra steps to do simple tasks and having to create invoices one at a time is just maddening. I just can't figure out why everyone suggests it. I'm going to go through all the tutorials and mess with it for a few days but so far it looks like it's getting returned.

I'm seeing more and more that what I already use is going to be my best bet. Every other direction is just longer processes and extra steps. Who has time for more unpaid work?

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-21-2011, 12:23 AM
Well, I bought Quickbooks today. There is a 60 day money back guarantee so I wasn't worried if it flopped. There are so many extra steps to do simple tasks and having to create invoices one at a time is just maddening. I just can't figure out why everyone suggests it. I'm going to go through all the tutorials and mess with it for a few days but so far it looks like it's getting returned.

I'm seeing more and more that what I already use is going to be my best bet. Every other direction is just longer processes and extra steps. Who has time for more unpaid work?

I Like my QB but I've used it for so long and know all the shortcuts etc., and I use their mailing service and is a very nice feature and time saving step. Might not be for everyone but like I said works for me.

mark123
12-21-2011, 12:31 AM
I Like my QB but I've used it for so long and know all the shortcuts etc., and I use their mailing service and is a very nice feature and time saving step. Might not be for everyone but like I said works for me.
Maybe you can answer a question. Where do I store completed jobs that aren't ready to be invoiced? I bill at the end of the month and I like to mark jobs completed on a daily basis. I don't see a way to do this in Quickbooks.

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-21-2011, 12:37 AM
Maybe you can answer a question. Where do I store completed jobs that aren't ready to be invoiced? I bill at the end of the month and I like to mark jobs completed on a daily basis. I don't see a way to do this in Quickbooks.

What I do if I want to put things down and aren't finished with the job, is I create an invoice for a particular customer/Job site and you can put in your weekly maint. if you do it by the week each week, just go to your invoice for the month on that customer and just save and close when your done and then go back to it anytime you want, and when your ready to bill the customer just put the date to the 1st of the month and send it out.

You can just put them into an invoice whether your ready to bill them out or not, I do it this way and when I'm ready to send them all out you can send them in batch style meaning all of them at once after you make sure your done with each invoice and everything is complete and correct.

mark123
12-21-2011, 12:43 AM
What I do if I want to put things down and aren't finished with the job, is I create an invoice for a particular customer/Job site and you can put in your weekly maint. if you do it by the week each week, just go to your invoice for the month on that customer and just save and close when your done and then go back to it anytime you want, and when your ready to bill the customer just put the date to the 1st of the month and send it out.

You can just put them into an invoice whether your ready to bill them out or not, I do it this way and when I'm ready to send them all out you can send them in batch style meaning all of them at once after you make sure your done with each invoice and everything is complete and correct.
Well, here's my current process:
End of day. Click "Complete Jobs". Done for the day.
End of month. Click "Generate Invoices". Wait for printer to finish. Done for the month.

Do you see why I can't get behind Quickbooks?

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-21-2011, 12:48 AM
Well, here's my current process:
End of day. Click "Complete Jobs". Done for the day.
End of month. Click "Generate Invoices". Wait for printer to finish. Done for the month.

Do you see why I can't get behind Quickbooks?

I have 99% Monthly Flat Rate Accounts, so whether its pouring down raining 1 week and it gets skipped for the week or not, I bill the exact same monthly price 12 months a year, which is why QB is so simple for me to use and do my invoicing once a month instead of in your case needing to use it on a daily basis, is there a reason you need to mark a job as completed on a daily basis? I'm just guessing you have your customers on a weekly charge program?

mark123
12-21-2011, 12:51 AM
... is there a reason you need to mark a job as completed on a daily basis? I'm just guessing you have your customers on a weekly charge program?
I charge my customers per service billed once per month.

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-21-2011, 12:54 AM
I charge my customers per service billed once per month.

Oh I see, well I do use an excel sheet that lists each property for the week on a calender and has boxes I check each week when I've completed the job but just a way for me to keep track if I completed everything each day/week and if something needs made up, etc...

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-21-2011, 01:03 AM
Here is a link to a similar thread based towards you weekly billing guys, might be helpful

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=366256

krysr7
01-18-2012, 05:12 PM
I have been trying out a few different programs- got Service Auto Pilot yesterday and it has been horrible! I keep getting kicked off, won't save items, times out on pages. I noticed a few have commented on this program- is this the norm? What has been your experience? I want something full service like SAP- any other suggestions?

mark123
01-18-2012, 05:31 PM
Here is a link to a similar thread based towards you weekly billing guys, might be helpful

Listen, I bill MONTHLY. Once. Per. Month.

The issue I have with QB is that I would have to create invoices for every customer, every month and sit there every day,opening the invoice for every job completed that day, putting a job in and resaving. It's insanity. That would add 1 to 2 hours of office work to my work day. My current process doing the same office work takes approximately 1 to 2 minute(s) total.

mark123
01-18-2012, 05:40 PM
I have been trying out a few different programs- got Service Auto Pilot yesterday and it has been horrible! I keep getting kicked off, won't save items, times out on pages. I noticed a few have commented on this program- is this the norm? What has been your experience? I want something full service like SAP- any other suggestions? Thanks for the info. This is a big downfall of online only software. Server down time is too costly. A better solution would be a desktop app with mobile component with cloud backup.

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
01-18-2012, 05:46 PM
Listen, I bill MONTHLY. Once. Per. Month.

The issue I have with QB is that I would have to create invoices for every customer, every month and sit there every day,opening the invoice for every job completed that day, putting a job in and resaving. It's insanity. That would add 1 to 2 hours of office work to my work day. My current process doing the same office work takes approximately 1 to 2 minute(s) total.

Or you could come up with a better way to tally service amounts per customer in a month and bill and send invoices one time per month, opening the program once to do billing, and receive payments whenever or however frequently you'd like...

mark123
01-18-2012, 05:56 PM
Or you could come up with a better way to tally service amounts per customer in a month and bill and send invoices one time per month, opening the program once to do billing, and receive payments whenever or however frequently you'd like...
I suppose but such procrastination just invites errors. Marking jobs complete at the end of day makes for 100% accurate recording. Besides whether put off our not, creating invoices one by one still takes hours longer than my current process.

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
01-18-2012, 05:58 PM
I suppose but such procrastination just invites errors. Marking jobs complete at the end of day makes for 100% accurate recording. Besides whether put off our not, creating invoices one by one still takes hours longer than my current process.

Well then stick with it, why bother changing what is working so well for you? I just don't have that problem, My customers get charged the exact same bill each and every month, 12 months per year no matter what, so QB is super easy for me and I use their billing solutions feature and they mail all my invoices for me...

mark123
01-18-2012, 06:00 PM
When the work season begins, if I remember this, I'll start logging my office work time and post the results.

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
01-18-2012, 06:05 PM
When the work season begins, if I remember this, I'll start logging my office work time and post the results.

I'm not saying what you're doing is wrong, and what I do isn't wrong either, what works and is convenient for one might not work for another.

Sounds like Realgreen.com is what would work for you, but it is quite costly....

mark123
01-18-2012, 06:05 PM
Well then stick with it, why bother changing what is working so well for you? ...

Just trying to make my processes more efficient and trying everyone's claims. Just wondering if anyone has a better system. I'm willing to change things up to save time or money. So far no dice.

mark123
01-18-2012, 06:18 PM
I'm not saying what you're doing is wrong, and what I do isn't wrong either, what works and is convenient for one might not work for another. Yes, I understand. It's hard to explain my process because everyone has their own and they will weigh my idea against theirs.

Sounds like Realgreen.com is what would work for you, but it is quite costly....
I have no problem paying more if it offers more. So far the costly solutions offer nothing extra for the price.

Thanks for the tips.

TMlawncare
01-20-2012, 12:06 PM
Yes, I understand. It's hard to explain my process because everyone has their own and they will weigh my idea against theirs.

I have no problem paying more if it offers more. So far the costly solutions offer nothing extra for the price.

Thanks for the tips.

We have been using qxpress platinum for a few years. Yes I hate the keep it current plan($355/year). The program also has a few quircks but overall it works great. For the most part I think it has everything you have requested.
Posted via Mobile Device

grass-scapes
01-20-2012, 06:28 PM
We have been using qxpress platinum for a few years. Yes I hate the keep it current plan($355/year). The program also has a few quircks but overall it works great. For the most part I think it has everything you have requested.
Posted via Mobile Device

If you have been using it for a few years, then you are only paying $295 for the keep me current as you are grandfathered in. They told me that, and then send a bill for $355.00 I have to remind them every year that I am grandfathered in to the old rate, which is still too much in my opinion.

They took away the forums where users could answer other users questions on it. Now, if you need an answer, you have to have support do it, which means if you don't pay your hostage fee, you can't use support.

I would like to find all qxpress users and get a forum going for problems and issues and general how to questions. Its a pretty decent software package, it has just been neglected over the past few years.

HBFOXJr
01-20-2012, 06:45 PM
I would like to find all qxpress users and get a forum going for problems and issues and general how to questions. Its a pretty decent software package, it has just been neglected over the past few years.

I have been since 2001, but am transitioning to Service Autopilot.

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
01-20-2012, 06:48 PM
What do you guys use Qxpress for? Routing and scheduling, etc..?? I haven't looked into it but curious what it does for you guys, I'm assuming Service Autopilot is similar?

grass-scapes
01-20-2012, 07:01 PM
What do you guys use Qxpress for? Routing and scheduling, etc..?? I haven't looked into it but curious what it does for you guys, I'm assuming Service Autopilot is similar?

I use it for routing and scheduling. It syncs with quickbooks. sort of a lower cost version of Real Green. It does most of what we need it for. We have used it since 2004. I have also looked into service Autopilot. Everything I would want in that above and beyond what Qxpress does is extra. Ive already bought and paid for Qxpress (except the hostage fee yearly) My only issue with qxpress now is that I use the qxpress mobile and it only works for windows mobile devices. if they go with an android version of it for a tablet, I would be very happy. I have the mapping add on (which should use Google maps instead of Microsoft Mappoint) and it helps a lot at times. There is a steep learning curve with Qxpress and even using it for as long as I have, I still don't use anywhere its full potential.

I use the platinum version as well.

grass-scapes
01-20-2012, 07:05 PM
What do you guys use Qxpress for? Routing and scheduling, etc..?? I haven't looked into it but curious what it does for you guys, I'm assuming Service Autopilot is similar?

go to their website www.qxpress.com and download a demo. It is a full version, but only lets you use 5 customers. If you don't use quickbooks, its not for you. You can also rent it now or pay for it outright.

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
01-20-2012, 07:16 PM
Yeah I only use QB right now along with some other manual forms, etc. I will have to check it out, thanks for the info....

TMlawncare
01-21-2012, 01:41 PM
If you have been using it for a few years, then you are only paying $295 for the keep me current as you are grandfathered in. They told me that, and then send a bill for $355.00 I have to remind them every year that I am grandfathered in to the old rate, which is still too much in my opinion.

They took away the forums where users could answer other users questions on it. Now, if you need an answer, you have to have support do it, which means if you don't pay your hostage fee, you can't use support.

I would like to find all qxpress users and get a forum going for problems and issues and general how to questions. Its a pretty decent software package, it has just been neglected over the past few years.

It was $295, then last year they sent me a reminder that it was coming up but the price jumped to $355. I do feel like I am now a hostage.lol

grass-scapes
01-21-2012, 02:38 PM
It was $295, then last year they sent me a reminder that it was coming up but the price jumped to $355. I do feel like I am now a hostage.lol

Remind them you are grandfathered in at the old rate. You will get it.

TMlawncare
01-21-2012, 04:19 PM
Remind them you are grandfathered in at the old rate. You will get it.

Thanks, my renewal is up feb 10. I will give it a try.
Posted via Mobile Device

GreenGuysLC
01-21-2012, 07:14 PM
After a month of looking around, trying different software, and reading all the fourms let me just say choosing a good Lawn Care Program is the most maddening thing I have done!! There isnt a single program that seems to fit everything regardless of the cost. In fairness I will say I dont think I have done SA. Looked at Jobber and by no means is it simple... Gopher is at the top of my list right now.Groundskeeper Pro is nice too, and I actually like with I can see on LawnProSoftware. If I could take those three and merge them we may have something. Biggest dislike to what I can see On LawnPro (since no demo is available) is the lack of timesheets, which is also missing in Groundskeeper. I HATE QB. Jobber is right behind it. RealGreen page wont load up so cant say about it. I am thinking of flipping a freaking coin at this point..

landscaper22
01-21-2012, 09:29 PM
After a month of looking around, trying different software, and reading all the fourms let me just say choosing a good Lawn Care Program is the most maddening thing I have done!! There isnt a single program that seems to fit everything regardless of the cost. In fairness I will say I dont think I have done SA. Looked at Jobber and by no means is it simple... Gopher is at the top of my list right now.Groundskeeper Pro is nice too, and I actually like with I can see on LawnProSoftware. If I could take those three and merge them we may have something. Biggest dislike to what I can see On LawnPro (since no demo is available) is the lack of timesheets, which is also missing in Groundskeeper. I HATE QB. Jobber is right behind it. RealGreen page wont load up so cant say about it. I am thinking of flipping a freaking coin at this point..

I agree it is difficult to find a good one. I like this thread, because I have had the same issue. Gopher SEEMED to offer everything I was looking for. It really does a great job, and I have used it for several years. But, I had to get rid of it, and started looking for better options. The problem with them is, they seem like a very small company and they seemed to have lost focus. First of all they won't ever update the software any more. I think I still had 2006 version!!! You won't find very good support from them either. I have I had issue after issue with losing my database info, and crap like that. They will respond to my e-mails, but they won't go very deep with the support. They seemed quick to respond with something like "It must be a computer problem" or something like that. I'm like ummmm everything else is running fine. Seems like a gopher problem to me :hammerhead:

I went with QB pro. It is better than I thought it would be. Not perfect by any means. It doesn't have the scheduling part, but I am still at the level where I can keep that manually. If you set it up right it will do a great job with billing and keeping up with your A/R and A/P. My main problem with QB is it runs so slow and hangs up sometimes. But they have so many things you can add on to QB to make life easier if you want to pay for the services. Just seems like a nice professional package they offer.

I am just scared to use any more software offered by these small companies I have never heard of. I also decided against the online billing/scheduling option because you are at the mercy of that company and if the site is down you are out of luck. I hated to switch from gopher. It has not been fun wasting time learning a new software and setting up everything again. The main reason I went with QB is they are a huge company and many businesses use them. SO, I figured it was a better option for me with the bad luck I had with gopher.

grass-scapes
01-22-2012, 09:51 AM
I agree it is difficult to find a good one. I like this thread, because I have had the same issue. Gopher SEEMED to offer everything I was looking for. It really does a great job, and I have used it for several years. But, I had to get rid of it, and started looking for better options. The problem with them is, they seem like a very small company and they seemed to have lost focus. First of all they won't ever update the software any more. I think I still had 2006 version!!! You won't find very good support from them either. I have I had issue after issue with losing my database info, and crap like that. They will respond to my e-mails, but they won't go very deep with the support. They seemed quick to respond with something like "It must be a computer problem" or something like that. I'm like ummmm everything else is running fine. Seems like a gopher problem to me :hammerhead:

I went with QB pro. It is better than I thought it would be. Not perfect by any means. It doesn't have the scheduling part, but I am still at the level where I can keep that manually. If you set it up right it will do a great job with billing and keeping up with your A/R and A/P. My main problem with QB is it runs so slow and hangs up sometimes. But they have so many things you can add on to QB to make life easier if you want to pay for the services. Just seems like a nice professional package they offer.

I am just scared to use any more software offered by these small companies I have never heard of. I also decided against the online billing/scheduling option because you are at the mercy of that company and if the site is down you are out of luck. I hated to switch from gopher. It has not been fun wasting time learning a new software and setting up everything again. The main reason I went with QB is they are a huge company and many businesses use them. SO, I figured it was a better option for me with the bad luck I had with gopher.

Thats why I use Qxpress. It integrates with quickbooks. IF you ever decide not to use qxpress any more, all your info is still in quickbooks. Everything syncs up between the two. You create the invoice in qxpress and it sends it to quickbooks, but it prints in qxpress using custom templates you create.(or download from others) Your data isn't technically being held hostage except by quickbooks. The integration is very good between the two programs.

Do the demo.. I doesn't affect your data on quickbooks if you don't use it after the demo.

gardenkeeper88
01-22-2012, 11:26 AM
Thats why I use Qxpress. It integrates with quickbooks. IF you ever decide not to use qxpress any more, all your info is still in quickbooks. Everything syncs up between the two. You create the invoice in qxpress and it sends it to quickbooks, but it prints in qxpress using custom templates you create.(or download from others) Your data isn't technically being held hostage except by quickbooks. The integration is very good between the two programs.

Do the demo.. I doesn't affect your data on quickbooks if you don't use it after the demo.

I too have not found a program that is as complete as QX with QB. not perfect.
I keep checking out others but for the price I agree. OK I'm in on the QX forum NOT a thread that will get lost though.

TMlawncare
01-22-2012, 11:53 AM
One thing I would love to be able to do is print the pages in the calender. It is like a super quick route list. It will not let you or maybe its a user error on my part. This is not a huge deal since i can print regular route sheets anyway. It would just be nice to print that day summary sometimes in such a quick format. Like I said there is not a lot wrong with qxpress just a few little quirks.

GreenGuysLC
01-22-2012, 08:55 PM
Well I spent ALOT of time on these the last few days. While I didnt think I would .. I did.. I think I have decided SA is the better option. I dont like the service fee especially the $15 per extra user! Thats a crock... but... considering what I can do with it and I have a way to work around the multi user problem I am gonna give it a go. It is only $29 per month so if after a month or two I dont liek it then I havent lost much. Let you know how it goes.

landscaper22
01-22-2012, 11:02 PM
Thats why I use Qxpress. It integrates with quickbooks. IF you ever decide not to use qxpress any more, all your info is still in quickbooks. Everything syncs up between the two. You create the invoice in qxpress and it sends it to quickbooks, but it prints in qxpress using custom templates you create.(or download from others) Your data isn't technically being held hostage except by quickbooks. The integration is very good between the two programs.

Do the demo.. I doesn't affect your data on quickbooks if you don't use it after the demo.

I may give QX a shot. IDK, I just feel like that is an expensive price for scheduling. But, if I grow much more, I will need something like that.

gardenkeeper88
01-23-2012, 10:12 AM
Well I spent ALOT of time on these the last few days. While I didnt think I would .. I did.. I think I have decided SA is the better option. I dont like the service fee especially the $15 per extra user! Thats a crock... but... considering what I can do with it and I have a way to work around the multi user problem I am gonna give it a go. It is only $29 per month so if after a month or two I dont liek it then I havent lost much. Let you know how it goes.

Think about the price if you have to move up to the high level as you grow. $79 per month too rich for me.

BeachysLawn
01-23-2012, 10:55 AM
You guys that say $80 or a $100 a month for good software to capably and simply manage your business is too much to pay, how many of you have cable TV? Or hit the restaurants a couple times a month?

What is the better investment?

outrunjason
01-23-2012, 10:23 PM
I searched for software for a long time. I camefrom quicknooks. I chose SA. So far so good. I am on the 80 dollar plan.

outrunjason
01-23-2012, 10:24 PM
Oh and I even use it on my tablet.

gardenkeeper88
01-23-2012, 10:26 PM
You guys that say $80 or a $100 a month for good software to capably and simply manage your business is too much to pay, how many of you have cable TV? Or hit the restaurants a couple times a month?

What is the better investment?

Depends on the needs. I'm happy and very well managed IMO with 300 per year rather than switching to something around 1000. per year. Not ALL software is best for ALL business's or the mind set of the owner and how their mind functions. I just warned him to keep in mind the future. And if they raise the prices down the road. then that much more. I did not tell him to NOT do anything. As far as cable 39 / mo. Yes I need some entertainment to help me mentally and to relax. The amount I pay for that is worth it imo. Do you live to work or work to live? You can go poor on all the background parts of the business is you don't control what is bought. and that my friend is each persons preference AND needs.

TMlawncare
01-23-2012, 10:28 PM
Looks like Qxpress will now let you print the calender. Must have been a feature of one of the last updates. Good to know someone there is listening.