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New questions/idea on billing

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by DanaMac, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    Hey guys, I have a few questions on an idea I'm helping my dad with. I will probably post on plowsite as well. I'm in Mass. visiting him right now.

    Dad has a few buddies that plow snow. And one guy also does irrigation. But like a lot of guys in our industry, they either get behind on billing, don't have the time, aren't too computer savvy, or just don't like doing it. So at least two want to have my dad do the invoicing and receivables. The plow guys have hand written sheets of dates and times and number of times plowed, etc. We have installed QuickBooks on his computer and I've given him the basics.

    My questions are (1) does anybody here outsource this kind of work? (2) anybody have an idea what to charge? What do or would you pay for this service? (3) and if there are any other suggestions on this let me know.

    Most of these contractors are the the kind of guys that want to get the work and do the work. Not run the business. They often leave money on the table because they forget to bill out some storms, forget to track everything, don't know who has paid or who hasn't. Dad is needing extra money due to recent changes in his life, and to keep busy. Very computer literate. We've even talked about him being my office/schedule person. Just have to figure how with him being 2000 miles away.

    Thanks guys
  2. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    Isn't that what accountants are for?
  3. zman9119

    zman9119 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 756

    While I do not have first hand experience on this, I cannot help you on item 1. For item 2, I could see him charging a fixed % based on the total amount billed per week\month\whatever. This would make since (at least in my view) as he would get more $$$ when he has to do more work, and then the companies he is doing work for wouldn't have the extra expense if they don't have work to bill.

  4. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    No. This is what secretaries or office assistants are for. But they are not going to hire someone for that. they don't have the amount of work or the desire to have a fulltime based assistant.

    This would give these contractors the ability to have a parttime need based offfice person.
  5. JeffY

    JeffY LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 324

    I don't know how much to charge for doing this type of work. But for using your dad as an office/schedule person, give your dad a cell phone from your area so that people in the area that call that number don't incur long-distance charges. They won't even know that the person they are calling is out of state. As far as scheduling, set up a VPN on your dad's computer so you can access remotely in and upload all information and he can do all the work needed and then you just print the invoices all from your printer. He can also be setting up your schedule for the day so all you would have to do is field work.
  6. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    For my situation, it is a little different. My main concern would be a scheduler. Since I can get 40-60 calls a day during peak times. And I am planning on having 2-3 techs and myself. I am trying to get myself out of the field for a good part of the day. And eventually all day. Maybe grow the biz to run without me.

    Yes I would get him a cell phone or get an 800 number that routes to his phone. But the problem with him billing, is I would have 2-3 techs plus me, with 2-20 invoices or work orders each day per person. So that means getting that data to him and he can create the days paid receipts or create invoices to bill out. So getting all that data is the problem. So mailing that data by USPS is going to take time and would highly accumulated if mailed out every 2-5 days. And if the techs have to input the data into email or something else, they might as well input directly into QB to save time.

    Pops may be checking in on this thread, so don't call him any names, that's my job.
  7. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,274

    You could always do the old fashioned fax machine, or scan and email the hand generated tickets.
  8. Go to QBKS and check third party software. You are a candidate for invoicing/scheduling software as you may already well know. Do a search on Zman's post on their setup.
  9. Keen

    Keen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    ...that works for me.

    Want to see your invoices get paid faster? Just add color. Academic and commercial usability studies show that customers pay 30 percent faster when color enhances amount due on the invoice page.
  10. zman9119

    zman9119 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 756

    Technically... a black and white invoice has all colors possible on it. (Since white is physically made up of all known colors...)


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