software and contract renewals

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by HBFOXJr, Feb 11, 2005.

  1. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,712

    This is my 4th season using Qxpress. For the most part it has streamlined office operations dramatically.

    My biggest dissatisfaction is the way in which the software or perhaps me, handles prepaid services such as lawn fert pkgs that must be renewed on an annual basis.

    I'd like to talk by phone or email with other users of this application or other similar applications if you do lots fert programs and/or irrigation services.

    I posted this in the business forum to no avail. Anyone here that can weigh in on this topic?
    __________________
    Harold
     
  2. Pilgrims' Pride

    Pilgrims' Pride LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA.
    Posts: 481

    HBO,

    I'd like to know more about qxpress myself.
    I have been looking for new software and I'm finding "good stuff ain't cheap!"
    What are the pros and cons as you see them w/qx?
     
  3. kickin sum grass

    kickin sum grass LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 628

    yes it is bad with prepays. They could do much better if you could receive payments into qx and then dump them into qb. That way you could attach a prepay with the actual service.
    Heres how I do it for about the 25% that prepay.
    I make a charge description called a pre-pay contract. Then I add each item in the job item window with the price. Then I set it to be invoiced upon completetion. I close the window and then complete it in the calander and invoice it. Then I go back and set each service to prepaid and under contract. that way the price shows up on the screen but it bills it as zero.
    Then the following year when things are renewed I open the prepay contract and change the price for each job item. I also change it on the service in the schedule window so I see it there too. I then send the prepay contract bill out at renewal time.
    If someone cancels the prepay I simply cancel the prepay contract and uncheck the prepay and under contract boxes for each service and then it gets billed as services go along.

    I would be interested in hearing how you handle it.
     
  4. kickin sum grass

    kickin sum grass LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 628

    As far as discounts go I also incude that in the prepay contract as a seperate line item named discount. That way the price of the actual service is not discounted per say but they do receive money off set up on your terms.
    Again, if they choose not to prepay I cancel the prepay contract ad the price of the service in the schedule screen takes effect to bill out as individual services.
    If I want to change the discount I simply edit the prepay contract and change the discount price manually.
     
  5. MidAtlantic

    MidAtlantic LawnSite Member
    Posts: 123


    Sounds like a lot of work....What features do you guys like that makes this software worth it? Do you guys feel its worth the $1300 verses using quickbooks pro only? Are there any other issues or features that have some room for improving with the program?

    I am considering using this program for the various services I offer. I was just curious as to how well it was working for some guys that have been using it.
     
  6. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,712

    Midlantic - QB is merely for acctg and payroll. In no way does it help you bid, estimate, schedule production, manage production or keep relevant client data like this type of management and scheduling software.

    I have posted and read posts here for several years and it seems arbitarily that 95% of the people here are afraind to invest in management tools as compared to production tools. Management drives production. Business life starts in the office. This type of product does not build image or feed the ego like a new truck or an enclosed trailer with a name all over it.

    A tool of this type can cut paid staff hrs in the office or in the field, free your time for other management or production work. It minimizes repetitive clerical and management tasks and can provide information for sound decision making.

    In most cases it isn't about whether you can afford $1300 but how long can you afford to not spend $1300. How soon to you want to save office dollars, time, increase sales etc. It is an investment that definitely pays even for a one man business. Do your job costing with it to determine if every client is paying what they should for your services. Even if a one man mow and go, how much change do you think you would need to make in 30 cuts/yr for 50 clients, plus the other services you provide for them to make this pay.

    How about quality of life issues. Use the palm device to record field work and make office time really trim down. Go to you kids practices, fishing, bowling, bar or spend soemtiome with your significant other with out killing yourself or hiring a full or part time person.

    Management software pays big!
     
  7. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,712

    kick sum - yes it is bad with prepays. They could do much better if you could receive payments into qx and then dump them into qb. That way you could attach a prepay with the actual service.
    Heres how I do it for about the 25% that prepay.
    I make a charge description called a pre-pay contract. Then I add each item in the job item window with the price. Then I set it to be invoiced upon completetion. I close the window and then complete it in the calander and invoice it. Then I go back and set each service to prepaid and under contract. that way the price shows up on the screen but it bills it as zero.
    Then the following year when things are renewed I open the prepay contract and change the price for each job item. I also change it on the service in the schedule window so I see it there too. I then send the prepay contract bill out at renewal time.
    If someone cancels the prepay I simply cancel the prepay contract and uncheck the prepay and under contract boxes for each service and then it gets billed as services go along.


    You don't need to run the $$$s thru qx. I record a clients pre pay in qb receive payments not as a credit, just like they were paying a bill. That leaves them with "credit balance" in their acct.

    In qx you can simple select the service or services that are being prepaid and as a group you can insert the discount all at once and then repeat the process to mark all the jobs prepaid. My type 2 invoices for fert get printed in qx listing the service price, followed by the discount, followed by tax and total. Then a prepaid amount is listed which leaves you with a zero $ inv for the client.

    My route sheets indicate which cllients are prepaid. Each day I mark jobs complete in qx and export the inv to qb. The prepay amount is left off the inv in exporting leaving the client with a bill in QB. I go to receive payments in qb, select the client, select the inv and apply part of the credit that they have in their acct from the pre pay. Works just like they sent you a check.

    I set these prepays not to renew. I want to renew them invidually and manually as they prepay so I don't service anyone by accident or for free. The problem is there is no way to "globally' with a keystroke or 2 to take just these particular clients as a group and remove their old discount, adjust their price and change their job status to estimate. Their is a tool for price changing and discount reset but you come up with a list of everyone. Yes you can sort the list by service but not by any thing else relevant to this task. You must go to each individual client first renwing the job and then changing it to an estimate. Slow an cumbersome.

    I do this a 6 step fert prgm and the jobs as zone based. I'm wondering if this would be easier to group them under a contract like moeing might be done.
     
  8. dantelawn

    dantelawn LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 15

    We just got QXpress this month. Thanks for the prepay advice. We set our accounts as zone based scheduling. Any other time savings tips or initial set up tips you can share with a new user? Also, how long until you got efficient with the product. Thanks.
     

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