Premier Painting, a painting contractor based in Buffalo, MN has been providing painting services since 2010. In 2018, Kevin and Brian joined forces and have been growing ever since. Most recently, they hired a project manager and realized they didn’t have the systems set-up to properly communicate among the management team. Below is the documentation behind how we changed their software packages to better reflect their business model and collect the necessary information to provide a dashboard for their business.
Kevin hosted QuickBooks Desktop on his personal computer and was responsible for maintaining the books. Brian was estimating in excel and all his files were stored on his local machine. On the operations side, time-tracking and payroll was handled through ADP apps namely, Time&Attendance and RUN with no configuration for job-costing capabilities.
Financial software is necessary to keep the books on the entire business. It is also typically a tool to track project financials including estimating, costing, and progress invoicing. As the leadership team grows past a single person, how do you share this information among the management team? Can it be done using QuickBooks Desktop?
There are multiple options to host QuickBooks Desktop in a way that it can be shared among multiple users. Most of them are a bit clunky and archaic. For example; you can host on-premise using a specific computer, but that computer must be turned on and connected to the internet at all times. Less than desirable when the computer starts having security issues, needs for software updates, etc.
In the case of Premier Painting, we ultimately decided to make the relatively straightforward transition from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online. It’s hosted in the cloud, accessible from anywhere with wifi, and has a multitude of app integrations to take advantage of.
Premier’s largest expense is labor and thus carries the biggest opportunity for job costing. ADP Time&Attendance (the incumbent solution) works well for time tracking, and integrates well with RUN ADP (payroll) however, the time tracking systems don’t integrate well with QuickBooks Online. That is, usage of the ADP time tracking app requires dual data entry for job information and doesn’t include provisions to track time against a service (e.g; painting vs prep).
Because of these challenges, Premier is migrating to QuickBooks Time. This will enable job costing, product-service costing, and class tracking at the time level (units; hours). QuickBooks Time has an integration with RUN ADP and we’ll update this blog to let you know how the data comes through. If we can’t facilitate job-costing with this integration, we’ll be looking at turning to the QuickBooks apps.
QuickBooks Online tracks all transactions running through your connected accounts (banks, credit cards, etc). Your bookkeeper’s job is to make sure these are all tracked to the right accounts and jobs. Of course, this necessitates a communication loop commonly known to tradesman by the act of collecting receipts and passing them back to the office. The QuickBooks Online app makes this much easier by allowing you to take a picture of the receipt and classifying it yourself. If you need to grow it past the allowed QuickBooks users, there are apps such as Expensify that enable this. No more keeping envelopes full of receipts!
Premier was already in Office 365. To solve this problem we set up multiple cloud-based SharePoint sites – one for the office and another for the field team. This enables access to the relevant files from any computer, phone, or device with wifi using the O365 apps.
There are a host of similar situations. In the case of Premier, we were able to properly set up their systems to reflect the operating model of their business to (1) define their operating process and (2) harvest the data necessary for the real-time reporting and app integrations that will come upon them as they grow.
Is your business experiencing growing pains similar to Premier Painting? As your business management partner we can help refine your software to deliver clarity to the areas your business needs most so you can move forward with confidence. Let’s Connect Today to get started!