Hand writen invoices?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Uranus, Sep 16, 2006.

  1. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Posts: 1,624

    I ran into yet another mowing company that hand writes out invoices. Thats 4 or 5 decent sized business' that do this. So I'm wondering how many others are out there hand writing out bill and dropping them off? I know alot use peachtree, quick books, or quicken. I use quicken but am looking into something else in the spring.
     
  2. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,466

    I do all invoices by hand once a month.
     
  3. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Posts: 1,624


    Sorry but I would think with a web site like the one you have (very Nice by the way) You would print out your billing.
     
  4. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,466

    I'm old fashion I don't trust computers even if you can back them up.
     
  5. DJ Contracting

    DJ Contracting LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 485

    The ones that I hand write, I transfer the to my computer later on when I do invoices. Some of my customers like the invoice as soon as I'm done.
     
  6. john_incircuit

    john_incircuit LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Posts: 309

    Unless you have office help that works for free, I can't imagine why anyone would write the invoices by hand. I guess it depends if you do itemized billing (list when each cut was done) or lump sum, but let's say 50 cuts a week, it got to take at least 10 minutes between writing the monthly invoice by hand, write the envelope, make a copy of the invoice or somehow document that you mailed it out, keep track of the money coming in and so on. 50 customers at 10 minutes, that’s a full days of work.

    We use a Pocket PC, click when we start and finish a lawn. This documents what we cut, where we did cut, when we did the cut and how long it took us. We upload this to our accounting system, at the end of the month we push a button and vola, invoices and all labels get printed, takes around 3 minutes for 50 customers. The most time consuming part is to fold the invoices and stuff the envelopes.

    Once the money comes in, we balances it against the customer accounts, just takes a couples of clicks with the mouse.

    Another advantages of a system like this is that we see how long each cut takes in average, it also allows us to see for example the differences between a spring cut where we mulch and a fall cut where we have to bag.

    John
     
  7. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Posts: 1,624


    That sound cool but how much did you have to invest to do that. I send bills out to 37 customers a month and it takes me about 2 hours to enter 4 or 5 weeks worth of mowing plus the side work. thats entering, printing, stuffing, licking, stamping and mailing. I thought about entering once a week but then I figure it would take even more time. I guess what works for some doesn't work for all.
     
  8. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    I use Gopher...easy and quick...well worth the money.
     
  9. john_incircuit

    john_incircuit LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Posts: 309

    I haven't put a price on the software, I wrote it and it's working pretty well for us. Between a laptop or Pocket PC for the truck, a server for the office, plus a laser printer and all the backup stuff, the hardware alone runs somewhere in the $4 or 5k range.

    As business owners, we usually have a pretty good "gut feeling" about on which property we make time or give up money. The advantages of a good workflow / accounting software is that we really can see the days work in a larger picture.

    If it allows us to work 10% more efficient, an easily to accomplish goal, a good system will “make” easily $10k every year.
     
  10. newz7151

    newz7151 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Tejas
    Posts: 2,419

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