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Quickbooks Question

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by HighGrass, Mar 9, 2006.

  1. HighGrass

    HighGrass LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Z5 MA
    Messages: 1,237

    Just got Quickbbooks Pro.

    Here's my question. Since I charge a different amount for mowing for different customers, how do I set up my "Item" list? How do you do it?

    Say you are creating an invoice...and you want to charge Jane Doe 35.00 for that service, how do you list it as an item? I was think listing it either "Mow/30" or just "30" or maybe something different.

    Any ideas?
  2. John from OH

    John from OH LawnSite Member
    Messages: 144

    I assume you charge per cut for mowing. Here's how we set ours up. It will take some time up front, but will save time later.

    Click on List, go to Memorized Transactions List. Click Memorized Transaction on the bottom right of that screen. Next click on New Group. Enter a name for the group. We use the days of the week or the routes as group names. Click Don't Remind Me, and Click OK. This will set up your daily routes.

    Now, create an invoice for Jane Doe for $35.00. Then click Edit, Memorize Transaction. Fill out the memorized transaction template by clicking With Transactions in Group. Next, find the name of the group/ route that you want Jane Doe in. Click OK. Then go back to your invioce and click on save. The next time you mow for Jane Doe, click on List, Memorized Transactions List, and then find Jane Doe and highlight Jane Doe, click on enter transaction at the bottom of that template. Jane Doe is now entered.

    If you are using routes, follow the above procedure, except highlight the route or group you want to enter, click the enter transaction button and the whole group will be entered. If you skip a lawn, you enter the days work on at a time, or, enter the group, do a sales report by customer, and delete the lawns that were not completed. You can set up any reoccurring transaction this way. We charge by the month, and just use a monthly mowing group. Snow plowing is by route, and maintenance by the grouped by the month.

    If you try to set up invoices by dollar amounts you will have much more work every time you enter a mowing.
  3. Mower For Less

    Mower For Less LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 823

    I set mine up so Mowing is an item, priced at $1.00. Then each customer has a price level that increases it a fixed percentage to whatever there price is. That way there is only 1 item entry for mowing, but each customers unique price shows up when I make the invoice. Biggest drawback is that I have to manually enter Fertilizer prices manually because they are not directly proportionate to lawn prices. But mowing makes up over 90% of my business so its not that bad yet.

  4. Littleriver1

    Littleriver1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 811

    It is not nessary to enter a price when you set up an item. When you create an invoice and click the item it will come up as $0.00. You can enter the $ amount then. Some people like to see the amount automaticly but it really isn't nessary. I don't think it takes all that much time to type in the amount each time, but thats just me. I invoice once a month for each customer. If you invoice for every cut and print 300 a week then you may need a short cut. Some people assign a different name to how ever many prices they have. Like a service, b service, c service.
  5. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    Littleriver1 -- I'm new with QuickBooks and still learning, but I think I have done what you suggest at the end of your post. The bulk of my transactions are mowing tasks, each entered as a separate line item on an monthly invoice. I have about six unique prices for mowing, so I have given them a name in the items list (GC50 -- for Grass cutting, $50.00). When I need to make an invoice entry I can merely call up that name and the description and price will be inserted into the line.

    At least, that is how it is working with my simulations! When the season begins and I'm making new entries each day, we'll have to see if it works.

    I have also employed the idea John suggested (at his suggestion in an earlier exchange). I have put all my regular customers for a day (5-7) into a memorized transaction. I am hoping that activating the memorized transaction will make all of the regular entries for the day. The odd one, such as those on non-weekly mowings, will have to manually entered. My biggest concern with this approach is that the memorized transaction will create a new invoice, rather than made additions to an invoice already opened.

    As a side question (I don't want to get the thread too badly derailed), how can I "close" an invoice? I intend to make entries over the course of a month, then "close" it out at the end of the month, print and mail. When I print it, I want to secure it, that is guard against my inadvertently making an addition, change, or whatever. I'm afraid I will alter what I have printed and sent to the customer. Remember, I am only thinking in terms of an error on my part. I just want to protect the data on the invoice, so I don't screw it up. Anybody know how to do this?

    I ask this question because I have done some work through the Winter and have processed odd transactions, nothing recurring like mowing. But, I have already done just what I was fearing I would do -- printed an invoice, sent it out, then was not watching closely what I was doing and made another entry on the invoice form. Stupid ...? Yea, but I am prone to making an error from time to time!
  6. John from OH

    John from OH LawnSite Member
    Messages: 144

    Roger, when you create an invoice, fill in the memo box, (lower left corner of invoice template) with the detail of the service provided. At the end of the month, you can then send statements and the all the information in the memo box will be printed on the statement along with an invoice number for each time the property was serviced. As you grow and you get an occassional question from a customer, they will give an invoice number for the service in question. You can then directly look at 1 invoice and solve the problem. With the method you are using now, they will give you an invoice number and you will have to sort through all the services on that invoice.

    At the end of the month, you can print all of your statements at one time by clicking on customer, then click create statements, then enter the statement date if different from the current date, enter statement period, then check the appropriate box - all customers, multiple customers, one customer, etc. and the print.

    This will save you tons of time over going back and adding a line to every invoice every week. Time you can use to grow your business rather than manually entering sales. The more you automate your systems, the easier your business will be to run.
  7. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    John, I think I understand your suggestion. Let me recap:

    1. Memorize regular transactions and have them activated at the end of each day's work. A new invoice is created for that day's work (e.g. simple entry of mowing @ $xx.xx)
    2. Keep running these weekly transactions for the month, creating four or five (depending on the day of week and the month; some months have four cuts for a given day, other months have five) invoices for a given customer.
    3. At the end of the month, run 'statements' which will pick up all outstanding invoices for a given customer, making four (or five) entries on the statement, each itemizing a separate invoice.
    4. Mail the printed statement.

    When a payment arrives it have to be spread across multiple invoices. I haven't worked through one of those procedures.

    The missing part for me yet is the value/importance/use of the memo line you speak about. My assumption is the information in the 'memo' field is for my use, never being printed on an invoice (or statement). Maybe I'm wrong about this point.

    If I am mostly right about your suggestion, I can see how it would save much time. I am getting concerned I will start to see new obstacles when the mowing season starts and I will be too occupied with the learning curve. If the additions to the learning curve would happen in the dry months of July and August, but that will not happen -- it will happen during the busiest mowing months, April and May. Oh well ...

    Thanks for your input.
  8. John from OH

    John from OH LawnSite Member
    Messages: 144


    The memo line is vital. If you do not use the memo line, only an invoice number followed by a blank will show up on a statement. The information in the memo line will show up on the statement along with the invoice number. Just fill out the memo box before you memorize the transaction. Do a test run. Create an invoice for a customer with and without the memo box filled in. Enter the invoice from the memorized transactions using several different dates. Then print a statement for the time period cover the dates you used. You'll see why you need the memo box. Just remember to delete the test invoices.

    When you receive payments. Enter them through the Receive Payment template. Quickbooks will check off invoices in the amount of the payment. Double check and make sure that the payment is applied to the correct invoices. If not, you can apply the payment manually. Using your system with 1 invoice per month, a partial payment will make things tough to follow. With the statement, if Jane Doe doesn't pay for the 3rd mowing in a month for some reason, just don't apply the payment to the invoice for that particular service. You will then be able to keep track of the non payment through aging. I hope that is clear, harder to explain than it really is.
  9. HighGrass

    HighGrass LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Z5 MA
    Messages: 1,237

    Okay...here's another question. Say i want to buy 4 cans of oil, gas for my truck and a couple of blades for my mower and I pay in cash. How can I show that in quickbooks?
  10. Littleriver1

    Littleriver1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 811

    First go to LIST, the first one you see should be CHART OF ACCOUNTS. If and you probably don't already have and account set up for MOWER, you can do it now. With the CHART OF ACCOUNT window open click EDIT for the drop down window and go down to NEW ACCOUNT and click it. I named mine "Mower". The type should be "Expense", and be sure the tax line goes to SCHEDULE "C". I used repairs and maintance. This is very important or it wont hit the correct tax line and report lines. When your happy click OK. Next go to LIST and open CHART OF ACCOUNTS, Go back to edit and open another new account and I called this one Gasoline and use the same settings except click the BOX marked SUB ACCOUNT OF and the arrow lights up and go down to MOWER and click it. Repete this and make another acount called Parts and Supplies SUBACOUNT OF MOWER. Now when you go back to LIST go down and see how MOWER looks, if your not happy you can edit with a right click. The reason I used a sub account for gasoline is because I wanted to keep it seperate so I can see it on a report so I know how much I spend and where for Gas. Also It keeps it seperate from the truck gas which I track as a non tax item because I use Mileage. Later if you end up using an accountant he can look at it and change any thing he wants. Also I consider my line trimmers and their parts and gas as Mowers. Hope this helped. There are different ways to do things so maybe others will give you another way. Some people take their QB's to an acountant to be set up. I think it is a bad idea. I think you should know all you can about your business including how QBs works and why. It's too easy to get screwed.

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