Since 2009 I have been using QuickBooks. At first it was QuickBooks Simple Start 2010 and it worked, for a while. Until I became an LLC in 2012 I was able to gain the information needed, even with it’s lack of reports. Then in 2012 I started to keep an Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheet as I expanded my service area so I needed to have a way to see how much I made inside say Madisonville vs Owensboro so I could prepare tax returns for each location. Then at the recommendation of my accountant at the time, Tammy Rich, I upgraded to QuickBooks Pro 2014. It made a world of difference as I now had access to class based tracking, so now I could make a class for Madisonville, then another for Owensboro, then another for every other location needed and using the Profit & Loss Report by Class I had that information at my fingertip. It also opened me up to doing a few other things better, such as when accepting cards via Square I just needed to do a normal deposit and when I record it I could then enter the line item for Square for it to actually match the bank deposit vs making a check after the fact for the fee like I was used to.
How I Use QuickBooks
But now I have reached a point where I’m faced with needing a better way to handle mainly invoicing and reports for sales tax. Now that I’m doing business in Indiana I need to further divide my classes, but at the same time I also do Programming and Web Development. So do I need to have my classes setup as Programming -> Kentucky -> Madisonville, Kentucky -> Madisonville -> Programming, Madisonville, KY -> Programming, or any other way of arranging it? At the end of the day I need to be able to easily get a total by state for Sales Tax, then a total by location for those tax returns, but to also easily pull a report to know my expenses for PC Repair vs Web Development. Then I also have the issue of being able to do invoicing remotely without switching to the Online version (which can’t handle fully customizing the template) or risking data loss from me copying the company file between my Desktop and Laptop.
Now at the end of the day, as a checkbook and for tracking unpaid invoices QuickBooks works wonderful, and in all honesty if I only did work at my office and didn’t travel then QuickBooks would have remained without issues as I’d just have classes for the different things I do. But as it stands I need to choose between switching to something else, or having to manually track the extra fields outside of QuickBooks.
I already have an online work order tracking system, ismypcfixed.com, so the best case scenario would be for me to use that for all my work and not just electronic drop offs. I already have a field for total, so it would just require adding two more fields, taxing district, and division. Using this I could build multiple queries so I could easily say I want the grand total of all work done inside Madisonville, KY city limits for PC Repairs. This could also be expanded by also offering online payments, as I print out a copy for my customer to sign, so I’d see it’s already been paid for. Something that would be extra for QuickBooks and requires sending out the invoice through QuickBooks.
The other benefit is I get to easily print off a copy of this anywhere, as it’s web based. This means I can pull it up on my iPhone and easily print a copy anywhere, which would be a very big benefit. So if I need to have someone working for me I wouldn’t have to give them access to QuickBooks just to print out how much is owed.
For putting this into QuickBooks I’d simply do a summary entry for the day, just so the bank account would balance, as the work order tracking system has a lot more details than I’ve ever used on an invoice. This would be less work than I do now as I often do an Invoice or Sales Receipt and I copy and paste the details between the two.
The other alternative is to switch to another complete bookkeeping system. This would have a major time sink as I’d have to keep using QuickBooks for the next few months as I move the entries to the new system as I wouldn’t want to be using two systems at once and having to duplicate everything. But it would mean just using one system, which at the end of the day might be the best solution. Only most solutions I’ve found are either too expensive for my needs, or wouldn’t let you modify the template, or do per location reports in a way that would be worth it to switch. So this might mean I need to just roll my own system. Which would mean doing what I said under Easy Scenario, and just slowly code the missing features for it become a complete bookkeeping, customer relations management, and work order tracking system.