Free or low price software?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Jimmykubish, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. McFarland_Lawn_Care

    McFarland_Lawn_Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,445

    Here's the deal. I have been using Quickbooks Pro for several years now, but we have grown to where the scheduling aspect was quick a hassle and took a lot of time to enter all the work that was done and schedule who needs to be mowed when. Autopilot is pricey but well worth it in my opinion because it auto syncs with my Quickbooks and vice versa so accounting is a smooth transition. The mobile version keeps track of time in/out for each crew on each property and scheduling is very flexible and valuable. If you are used to quickbooks you will love this system. It is very in depth and took me a month or so to get most of the kinks ironed out, but overall we are very happy. There aren't a lot of systems out there that sync with Quickbooks.
  2. McFarland_Lawn_Care

    McFarland_Lawn_Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,445

    Quality comes with a price....Autopilot is not cheap but does work awesome and their support is wonderful!

  3. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    That is why I am looking at Desco-Soft. Right now it intergrateds with Quickbooks and Sagequest for GPS / Fleet management.
  4. inzane

    inzane LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,478

    i'm liking gopher myself, bought the full version a few months back. its good to use if you ever get into doing apps and need to track chemical usage too.
  5. ToddH

    ToddH LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,192

    I thought Clip's claim to fame was the chemical apps. That is surely one favorable aspect of a program but scheduling should be king. The Desco-Soft program is expensive but looks full featured to me. I tried Qxpress years ago. Have they gotten better?
  6. McFarland_Lawn_Care

    McFarland_Lawn_Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,445

    No matter what you decide to go with, just DON'T base your decision on price, please!! Get a money back satisfaction guarantee and try it out for yourself. Good quality software is not going to be "free OR low price".
  7. BC1230

    BC1230 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    Just my 2c but I like to use handcrafted (from word) invoices with my lettter head wich can be used for any month out of the year/any customer simply by using nice blanks where months/names/prices go_________________. And a nice paper planner for organization. I have had electronic devices die on me and no longer use them as my only means to store contacts schedules etc. Now if I have over 20 accounts to do a day then I suppose I may need to upgrade lol
  8. BPS##

    BPS## LawnSite Senior Member
    from WY
    Messages: 828

    For sure, I need some thing that handles a lot more than just invoicing.

    As for the routes either do them yourself or if your coverage is too big I'd look at pairing it down.
    It'll save more than enough in fuel to probably be worth shrinking the coverage map.
  9. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    I used a free program that was designed for the landscape industry, I can't remember what program it was, but it was nice. I liked that things were taylor made to the landscape industry, so I could do most anything I needed to with that program (as far as industry related things). However, when I decided on a full program I chose QuickBooks Pro. QuickBooks takes a little getting used to but is an awesome program and does a ton of stuff. I don't use all the features that it has (like the employee/payroll stuff) but as far as keeping track of all customer information, billing, expenses, etc. can be easily tracked and recorded.

    A lot of it is just preference on what program you liked using the best. Since you can't try all the programs out there for free, I would suggest QuickBooks.
  10. BAMSLandscaping

    BAMSLandscaping LawnSite Member
    from MD
    Messages: 19

    I started with Quickbooks for a couple years and moved to Service Autopilot. I love SA but wish it had more reports that QB had on Sales. Although SA is a CRM and Quickbooks is not so it combines invoicing, marketing, scheduling, and reports. It has the capability of automatic credit card processing which is necessary if you have a ton of accounts - I currently use Square for my iphone which is free (except for a processing fee). Hope this helps.

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