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Invoices

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by The landscaper, Feb 15, 2005.

  1. The landscaper

    The landscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 845

    I was thinking of making up a master invoice and having them printed out. Would it look alright to then write out the amounts in ink. I was just thinking this would speed up the process, and I would not have to print each one out individually saving a lot of ink in the printer.
     
  2. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    Thats what I did, I had kinda designed what I wanted and had been printing them out with an old dot matrix printer on 2 part duplicate paper but it was always a hassle, slow and loud. lol. so I took my design with a couple tweaks to a local printer and they did a 3 part carbonless so all I have to do is write on the lines, fold and stuff in an envelope.
     
  3. The landscaper

    The landscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 845

    I completely forgot about the carbon paper. Thanks for the reminder
     
  4. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    Let me step out and venture a guess here. ...you're a teenager?? If so think like a business owner, not a teenager.

    Write out your invoices in ink? Very unprofessional, but if you only have a handful of accounts I guess you can. You do understand that having custom printed carbonless invoices will of course be much more expensive than that "ink" in the printer too right? Try a laser printer as we get 3K sheets to the toner. What about all the extra time the bookkeeping and "adding" and subtracting" and making sure the invoices are always correct it will take vs. using a computer program such as Quickbooks? All of our invoices are computer generated as I wouldn't begin to handwrite 100's of monthly invoices.....heck I wouldn't even try and keep up with 50 monthly invoices.
     
  5. Carolina Cutter

    Carolina Cutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 987

    Exactly what I was thinking as I was reading the first post.

    Do you creditors send you bills that are hand written? NO, because it does not promote a professional image. Be professional and your customers will appreciate it.
     
  6. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    Well, thanks for the slam MMlawn... I for one am not a teenager, 26 yrs old, and I know doing them by hand isn't the fastest thing but it gets them done. I have tried numerous programs and not one of them was user friendly enough to be able to put what i needed in the appropriate column. every invoice is a little different with mowing days spread over a weeks time, then all that summed up every 4 or 5 weeks and put on an invoice. I never found a way to do that without having to type information pertenent to each particular customer on every invoice. Yeah, you could save all of them so you would have names and address done already, but all of the other information has to then be deleted and re-entered with the new dates of service. very frustrating doing all that scrolling up and down on a computer screen. plus then u print out, and u have to print 2 copies for each one, one for u and one to stuff. I know paper and ink is cheap but I paid 88 bucks for 500 triplicate carbonless invoice forms. all the spaces are right in front of me ready to be filed in, no clicking and hunting for the right box. All my address labels, return labels (printed out with the computer)and stamps get stuck on the envelope. Invoice is folded and inserted tab is peeled on self stick envelope and sealed. done.

    I like having custom invoices because you can have exactly what you want on them, unlike generic or computer program ones that have a dozen lines with generic phrases on them. mine are easy to read and I only have to write on the lines of the services I provided, mowing, seeding, fertilizing, ect. and all I really write is the days that I was there, ie. 3/1, 3/8, 3/15 then i fill in number of times, 3 (obviously) and then the total $$.

    If there IS in fact a program that can do the invoices and do them without 100 extra lines on them, like I see with most generic programs, then I would like to see it. I have tried enough to know I am faster with a pen so that's where I am. I send out about 45 invoices a month too, not that many in the grand scheme of thnigs. a couple hours of work at the desk once a month to do that. over 100 and I would have to reconsider. Maybe a secretary at that point!
     
  7. BobwithECLC

    BobwithECLC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    I strongly recommend using Quickbooks Pro Premier Contractor Edition about ( $4-500) @ Office Max or someplace similar. You will save your self the price of the program just from reduced expenses from your accountant. I can say this to you because I am 26 as well and have been in your shoes. You can totally customize the form and if you only want one copy to mail to the client then only print one copy. This was a hard thing for me to realize that there was technology out there that could make life easier if I was will to learn how to use it properly. I am not trying to put you down just telling you that I have been in your shoes and have found an easier way to do things. If you want I can give you all kinds of ideas and things that you can do w/ Quick Books to make things easier for you in the long run. Well just my opinion. Hope this helps you.
     
  8. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    holy crap, that's a lot of $$$$ for a program!!! how bout pirating me a copy and shooting it my way! LOL. I think I do need a change, that's for sure. And I'm afraid that I'm going to have to spend the big bucks to get it to be something that I can work with like the program you mentioned.
     
  9. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,915

    bobwitheclc ... I'm considering migrating to QuickBooks. I've scanned many posts, mostly in Element of Business, and don't find much help on which QB is best. You suggested Contractor version. Why?

    I've seen other comments that Basic is all that is needed. My needs do not include estimating, inventory, employees. I'm solo with simple requirements; about 45 invoices per month, about 1,500 transactions per year.

    Any further insight on which version would be adequate. I don't want overkill.

    Thanks.
     
  10. BobwithECLC

    BobwithECLC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    That is almost exactly what I thought when I saw that price for the first time. Here are some benefits to using this program.
    Keep all of your tax documents together in one place.
    Ability to see who owes what at any time
    Track expenses effortlessly
    Balancing of bank accounts and credit cards greatly simplified
    Ability to look at your P&L at any time
    Have your entire price guide available to you
    Professional invoices and proposals that are totally customizable
    Well I could go on and on.
    Oh and by the way it is very user friendly. ( But it does take some time to learn everything )

    Hope this helps
     

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