record keeping from day to day.

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by NickD, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. NickD

    NickD LawnSite Member
    Posts: 34

    I need some input or advice for better record keeping for what you have done at each account or just what you did for the entire day and then maybe you go back later and break it down into your different accounts. I keep track of everything I do i would just like to find a system or a form that you fill out to keep things simpler and neat. Im open to anything. forms or software. Let me know whats good and whats working for you.
     
  2. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,916

    QuickBooks Pro. Every night, all sales are entered on Invoices, and all expenses are entered in appropriate category. Receipts are filed in a monthly folder. I am always up to date before going to bed. A couple of times each month, I assemble a bank deposit while I am doing the daily updating. Bank statement reconciliation is done when the statement arrives in the mail. Sales taxes reports are generated on day #1 or #2 of each month, and a tax filing is done (electronically) at that time.

    Sure, it takes some time, but I don't want anything to slip through the cracks, either sales or expenses. At the end of the year, all the work is done, and I'm as confident as reasonable the information is correct.
     
  3. NickD

    NickD LawnSite Member
    Posts: 34

    I'm actually using a quickbooks trail right now. I have about 5 uses left on it then the demo trial (which has no limits) runs out and I get locked out or I have to buy it. Honestly to me quickbooks is somewhat confusing and overwhelming. I cant seem to get a good handle on it.
     
  4. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,916

    Yes, QB takes some time to learn, and, more importantly, setup. Perhaps you want to take some time in the off-season to sit with somebody who knows it well. Explain your business, what you need, and how you operate.

    The good thing about QB is that it is very flexible, and can adapt to many needs. The bad thing about QB is that it is very flexible, and can adapt to many needs. Yes, the versatility can provide challenges to make a right setup. And, the initial setup is very important. If a poorly created foundation is laid, other parts built above will not work well.

    I used some off-season time to learn QB. I think I probably started over three times, doing mock companies, mock transactions, etc. Each restart showed a weakness that needed corrected. When I had a structure that I though would work, then I went "live." The trials and mock use helped flush out problems that would have been difficult to correct after going "live."

    There is currently another active thread about QB, something in the title about having to buy every year. There are some good comments in that thread, specifically about the value of using QB to manage your finances.
     
  5. GlennZ

    GlennZ LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    So how do you track all your schedulng in Quick Books and how much time the crews spent on each property so I know if I am making money on a perticular customer?
     
  6. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,916

    GlennZ, don't know if your question was directed to me, ....

    I'm solo, and manage scheduling with ToDo, an app for my iTouch. It allows me to easily track the day's work, click it off when done, set up repeat cycles, etc.

    I keep a journal in the truck, a simple one, in a notebook. Each customer is noted, a time-to-complete (stop watch strapped to the assist handle on the truck so I can see it through the window), along with relevant information (mower used, height setting, bag counts, and so forth). Writing down the times off the stop watch embeds the time in my mind, and I know which jobs are priced right and which ones are not. My typical job time is about 1:15, sometimes less. When the time varies from week to week, either up or down, I review what I did, and why it changed. I only make price adjustments at the beginning of a new season. Knowing well the time spent on each property helps to estimate a potential new property, "... this one is almost like XXX."
     
  7. GlennZ

    GlennZ LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    Roger, that is very smart that you do all that. You understand the whole concept. If you decide to get bigger then the challenge is to replicate what you are doing and keep track of much large sets of data since now your crews will be doing all the work.
     
  8. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,538

    Quik books is good for billing/recieving but not schuduling. What i use for day to day is a spread sheet. I use the same sheet for the entire month and bill on the first of the month for the previous month. My spread sheet lists all and has 31 days across to check off which day the yard was serviced. At anytime with a single glance i can see exactly what day every customer was serviced at any time for the entire season as i keep each sheet in my clipboard at all times. I circle the box for the next weeks sevice on all clients showing which day i will cut them. So if i decide a lawn doesnt need a cut for 2 weeks i will circle a box 2 weeks from that day before i leave. If i have done extra i make a note right next to the circled box. When i am ready to bill i have everything on the spread sheets right in front of me. Its also an easy way to compare last years mowing schedules with a current year at a glance.
     
  9. joallen001

    joallen001 LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Posts: 247

    So when using quick books for invoicing do you manually transfer your dates from your spreadsheet to quick books once a month. The main thing that keeps me from buying quickbooks is having to manually type in all the visits for each customer. My schedules are created in excel though. I print them once a month and hand them off to the crews. Once the schedule runs out I invoice the customers in Lawn Pro
     
  10. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,538

    quick books has a drop down menu where you get to choose the service your charging for. That drop down menu is created and edited by the user. So i have mine set up so if a client is a $37 mow i open the drop down menu and choose the menu title i created "mow37". Then it pops up with the descrition and charges. The only thing i dont like is i have to enter the date.
     

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