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tiedeman
02-21-2005, 12:38 AM
The last year I have been keeping track of my individual hours spent in the shop, out in the field, and in the office doing paperwork. I have found that I spend approx 10 hours a week during the winter in the office, and approx 15 to 20 hours a week during the summer. That is lost time as far as I am concerned.

I have been trying to make things easier as far as invoicing, expenses, scheduling, etc. I have been using Quickbooks Basic since I don't know when. I just upgraded to 2005 this past December. I also use a seperate scheduling program as well. Well, lately with the lost hours I decided that I needed to do something fast. I was getting sick of double entering information on schedules and then in Quickbooks.

I checked out many software programs and their intergraded scheduling with invoicing. The one thing that I didn't like was the fact that I was going to lose my merchant account processing through Quickbooks.

So after looking at new softwares, and also add on's to Quickbooks I final decided what I needed to do. I really liked the way Qxpress allowed you to upload your schedule completed into invoices in Quickbooks. But the only way that I could use Qxpress was I needed to upgrade to Quickbooks Pro. So like I said, $650 later, I upgraded to Pro and downloaded Qxpress Standard to try to solve my many wasted hours spent in the office.

I will keep you guys updated on how it works and pro and cons. $650 was well spent in a situation like this I feel.

lawncare3
02-21-2005, 02:33 AM
Is this $650 for the qb pro program. And how much would u sell your not pro qb for. Thanks Chris

tiedeman
02-21-2005, 02:55 AM
well since I already had Quickbooks Basic 2005, all I had to pay for was an upgrade to Pro which was approx $212.00 Then Qxpress was around $430.

walker-talker
02-21-2005, 05:09 AM
Should save you from double entry on the income side. I think you add payment to invoices received on the Qxpress program and download that info directly into QB. I use Lawn Monkey from Alocet and really like the program.

Precision
02-21-2005, 07:38 AM
I thought Qxpress was a subscription program. Am I wrong. And I would really like some feedback on how effective it is.

Thanks.

PMLAWN
02-21-2005, 08:37 AM
The last year I have been keeping track of my individual hours spent in the shop, out in the field, and in the office doing paperwork. I have found that I spend approx 10 hours a week during the winter in the office, and approx 15 to 20 hours a week during the summer. That is lost time as far as I am concerned..

I am all for you working to become more efferent and I think the set up you are going for will work. Worth it? YES!
I have a concern about the way you look at the paperwork issue. You say that this is time lost. This is not time lost any more than trimming or mowing. It is all part of getting the job done and should be included in overhead and applied to all jobs.
Many people on this site do not look at office time and do not count that against income. It is great that you are tracking it and that you are working to improve. This is a thread that all should read and apply to their business.
Good luck with the program and let us know how it works.

Roger
02-21-2005, 09:13 AM
I too look at the administrative part of the task as overhead. Yes, it has to be done, but isn't productive in the sense of keeping equipment running.

I'm a small solo operator, but still feel I spent too much time with the admin tasks. I've used Quicken, along with a series of utility programs of my own writing, to manage scheduling, reporting, and invoicing. This Winter, I've spent time looking at all the options, but have decided to stay with my old schemes.

One of my biggest problems is having up-to-date invoicing information with me when in the field. I know it sounds strange, but so many people ask "what do I owe you" when they have my invoice (they've received in the mail a few days earlier) in the house. Short of printing double invoices and putting them in my briefcase, I don't have all that info at my fingertips. Apparently, I've convinced many of my customers that they are my ONLY customer and I know everything about their account.

I have considered buying a PDA and dowloading the invoices. Carrying the PDA with me would allow me to pull up the info easily and quickly. Anybody do this? I don't have a PDA and therefore don't know what functions it can perform. I've read all the advertising, but much of the information is all about features, not about usage. I don't want to buy a laptop either -- more $$.

mtdman
02-21-2005, 04:10 PM
What do you do for 10 hours a week in the office during the winter? I am just curious as to how you are spending all your time in the office. I've been using qb for a long time, and at most it takes me 10 hours a month doing admin work. What kind of scheduling are you doing that takes you so long? Especially solo. Just curious.

Also, does that qxpress program allow you to enter scheduling info into statement charges as well as invoices? I don't use invoices, I do statement charges and statements instead.

Just curious.

:D

tiedeman
02-21-2005, 04:17 PM
from doing invoicing, scheduling, cash flow statements, expense breakdowns, etc. That is why I am in the office so long. I usually spend around 1.5 to 2 hours a night doing the paperwork

mtdman
02-21-2005, 04:21 PM
What kind of scheduling? Also, what about the qxpress questions?

I'm not trying to be rude or anything, it's just that it takes me so little time to do all that that I'm trying to understand what other people do scheduling and paperwork wise.

:D

tiedeman
02-21-2005, 06:29 PM
I really don't know about the statment charges. Before the scheduling I had to enter in the name and service, and then select the time and date.

tiedeman
03-02-2005, 08:39 PM
by the way everyone. I tried out the Qxpress for about a week, and I hate it. Not very user friendly, especially when scheduling appointments or repeat appointments. It's cool that you can keep prices in there, and everything like that for fast uploading into Quickbooks, but I don't care for it at all. Maybe I will keep on trying it and get used to it, but like I said, I hate it. I went back to my old scheduling program through Atlas.

I do love my Quickbooks Pro though. I still haven't figured out my time/costs yet. I don't know why it won't work for me. But I do love the estimate feature on it, awesome.

walker-talker
03-03-2005, 05:12 AM
I have ran Lawn Monkey for the last couple years and it's been a real time saver....even though I only service about 20 accounts. It really saved me time and headaches last spring when I had to do a lot of switching around and scheduling other jobs in. This year I am hoping to gain about 40 accounts, so it will really shine this year. I even upgraded to the Full Deluxe version. I really didn't need to (this year), but I would rather learn this stuff while I am in my early years of the business. I tried Gopher for a couple of hours, but felt that Lawn Monkey is a more powerful and easier to navigate than Gopher. If I had to do it all over again, I would of probably went with Gopher from the "get go" since it's more affordable.

Did you go through the movies that Qxpress offers? The movies for Lawn Monkey are pretty good, but could go more into depth.