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The ease of estimates...

Hello everyone, Tim here again.  For those of you who aren't familiar with me, I am a Residential and Commercial Paint Contractor in the Midwest. For any type of construction or home improvement industry contractor one of the most tideous jobs is simply filling out the paperwork for an estimate.  Sure talking about what a project might entail is simple but then the contractor faces having to put all of that into written format in order to submit to the client. Wait there is more! Once that estimate is filled out and submitted upon acceptance you then will have to follow up with an invoice. Yes more paperwork!

 

In the "old school" way of doing things this process would require you to visit a local office supply store. Purchase an estimate and an invoice tablet with carbon copying features and manually write by hand your estimates. Contractors would constantly find themselves writing the same phrases and terminology over and over again. Which is one of the many reasons that this part of the industry was a dreaded task.  Then over the years different pieces of software and apps would come out and attempt to provide a solution to make this process easier.  The one thing every last one of these products didn't provide was complete functionality and ease to integrate into the business.

 

What makes Quickbooks the only success story in this area is simple. They have done it. Complete and total functionality to the last detail thru integration with the accounting software. They have simplified the process so it is not only painless but you can pump out estimates with ease.  By setting up your key services and classes the repetitve terms and language that you use over and over can simply be applied with a click or keystroke thus making your process more time efficient and productive.  Then having the ability to email your client the estimate for them to review eliminates the hand delivery task which is time consuming and tricky when trying to link up free time in both parties schedules.  The customer can then check their email and go over the estimate at their leisure without feeling any pressure that would be incurred at a physical estimate delivery.  Here comes the part that I find most valuable and amazing.  Once the customer decides to accept an estimate, with the simple mouse click of literally one button, the estimate is transformed instantly into an invoice and already posted within your accounting software as an unpaid bill for you to easily track and update as payments are made.

 

I mean seriously, Quickbooks Online, the only thing you could do in my eyes to improve this process is also assist in collecting the money. Oh wait a minute, did I say I was done? They did that as well. Customers now have the ability to pay your invoice without even leaving their home or office.  This is accomplished thru Quickbooks Online integrating ACH and allowing you to accept Credit/Debit cards right thru your invoice. That's right once you send an invoice the customer or client can be given the option to pay the invoice using a Credit/Debit card or using ACH right there in your invoice.  All I can say is that for a contractor in any trade in this industry Quickbooks Online is a tool you need if you want to improve the time efficiency and productivity of your business.  You can customize the estimates and invoices to tailor fit your business.  I can honestly say that this is one of the most incredible products or tools I have purchased for my business and the team at Intuit and Quickbooks Online have done an amazing job creating a product that is truly useful and valuable to any type of contractor out there. It is not a recommended product, it is hands down a "MUST HAVE" product for your business.

 

Quickbooks Online any chance you can handle my painting as well you have covered everything else? Lol, just kidding keep up the great evolution of Quickbooks Online. Bravo.

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Re: The ease of estimates...

Nice article, @TimThePainter.  

 

Have you checked out the app Knowify?  It is a great tool for contractors.  PS. Rumor has it more good stuff is coming in the job costing dept. with QBO.  Better and better every day!