Quick Books simple edition vs. Microsoft Access?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by machsixer, Sep 6, 2006.

  1. machsixer

    machsixer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    I've been using Access for 3 years now and am considering trying Quick Books simple edition. I've designed and modified my MS database and am able to keep track of customers, jobs, dates, fees, mileage, accounts receivable, payments, taxes, etc. I feel I've done a pretty good job of designing my db and also have 2 degrees in the i.t. world so I think I know what I'm doing. However; I'm still contemplating trying QB simple edition because I see it's on sale this week for 40 bucks at our local Best Buy and other places. Does anyone think it's worth it?

    p.s. the reason I work in lawn care with 2 degrees in i.t. is because there are NO entry level jobs available. Tell any potential college age people this fact. Tough times in i.t........ enough of my babble. I appreciate everyone's opinions.
  2. Grits

    Grits LawnSite Silver Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 2,994

    I have always wondered....what does i.t. stand for?
  3. Poncho25

    Poncho25 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 369

    do i sense sarcasm? :)
  4. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,923

    machsixer ... Tell me about the programming language for Access. I started using QB Pro this season, after using Quicken for many years. Using Quicken for money management, I was able to create text reports, write many utility programs for generating reports that I found useful. Also, I wrote a program to generate my monthly invoices. All the programming was done in QuickBasic.

    Now, with QB Pro, I am unable to get reports that are useful. I have been unable to find utility programs to get access to the QB database, so that I could write my own reports.

    QB Pro works so well for invoices, handling payments, deposits, expenses, etc. I would hate to give that part up. I am considering getting Access for next season, running QB and Access in parallel. I need to write programs to use the database of Access to generate the desired reports. Cross checking between QB and Access has to be done. At the moment, I can only think of grand totals on sales as the check.

    So, my question: What do I need to write programs to utilize the Access database, generating outputs?

    I know QuickBasic pretty well, and have been told the included language with Access is similar. I have also been told I need Visual Basic to do the task. Can you shed any light on my questions? From your brief post, I gather you have had experience in this area, and so my question might seem elementary.

  5. machsixer

    machsixer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    At this point, don't worry about the programming language used in M/S Access.
    Access has very many useful wizards that will help you design your database. By database, I mean your table/s, queries, reports, and maybe eventually forms to make entering data easier. The primary thing you should learn how to do is design a simple database with maybe 2 or 3 tables. Say one table for customers, another for jobs, and a third for payments. Learn how to join tables, and then how to "ask" the database questions in the form of queries. Queries are at the heart of any usefulness of a database. With queries, you can ultimately produce the reports you've mentioned. There are functions for any mathematical operation you will need in your reports, such as a sum for a month, year, or day, for example. A database is all Quickbooks is. It's just Quickbooks has done all the table development and relationship handling for us; this goes for queries too, QB has done all the legwork(i.e. design) for us. Obviously, this is why it costs some $$. Maybe I should just design and sell customized DB's for lawn services. What do you think? Anyway, keep in mind, designing a DB from scratch is no small task and don't let my post make you think it's a 10 minute job, it's not. Get a book on DB design and see what you think. Let me know if you need help or any tips.

  6. machsixer

    machsixer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    stands for information technology.
  7. Total.Lawn.Care

    Total.Lawn.Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 841

    Being that I have been in the IT world and I am also an accountant, I woudl suggest getting the Quick Books. I have not seen the simple edition, but I use an OLD (like 5 year old) version of Quick Books Pro. I like it, but it is not realy very friendly when it comes to customer maintenance. What I mean is in this industry, we may have one customer with several service addresses. Quick Books is not really capable of handling this the way I would like. You almost have to treat each address as a customer, but then your receivables would be really mixed up.

    Long and short, for the accounting aspect, I will continue to use quick books, but you may want to continue to utilize your MS Access for some of the analysys that you are currently doing if you like what you are seeing.

    I have not used MS Access really. I would love to be able to learn it. There is alot of things that I want to be able to do that I probably could in access like you have. I know alot of SQL Commands and about joining tables. I have done it on AS400 softwares. I just have to learn the MS spin that is in Access and play with it.
  8. soccer911

    soccer911 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 98

    Would you send me a copy of your access file to use? Im also looking into the quick books.
    email kevin@cookseyslawncare.com

  9. Total.Lawn.Care

    Total.Lawn.Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 841

    I would like to see a copy of that MS Database File as well. Would you mind?

  10. lawnwizards

    lawnwizards LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,434

    as for the original question. i have the simple start edition. use it mainly for billing purposes. it only works up to 50 customers so you may want to just go with quickbooks.

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