When people first start using QuickBooks, they focus on the essentials – being able to invoice, receive payments, pay bills, track your income, expenses and cash. But there are some very useful features in QuickBooks that can help you save time and strategize. I’ll divide them into 2 key areas:
Within the “fields” category, there are fields QuickBooks already has that you may not be using and those you can add (custom fields).
|Type – Type is an existing QuickBooks field. There are customer types and vendor types – and you can even do sub-types. Type is found in the Additional Info section of your “edit” screen
- Job Type – You will find over time that certain types of jobs are better for your business than others, so use job type to help you refine.
There are several types of templates in QuickBooks – estimates, invoices, sales/work orders, purchase orders. You can customize these so they can save you time and/or help you collect data so you strategize.
- Estimate: You can have different estimate templates for different types of estimates (e.g. contract price vs time & materials quote).
- Sales orders – Often Sales Rep, Customer PO, and ship dates are fields you’ll use, but you might also want region of country or type of project.
- Work Orders – While QuickBooks will call it a Sales Order, you can customize the Sales order so it works as a Work Order. For example, you can design it for your crews so they see the work that needs to get done, special instructions, location, but not the pricing.
- Invoices – I’m sure most of you have at least added your logo to your invoice, but you can again have different types of invoices. Perhaps you use one style if it’s a contract price and a different one of you are going to invoice based on quantity (hours or numbers) and rates for time & material invoices. You may even need to customize an invoice further for certain customers, as there may be specific information they want to see such as a project number or PO number. You can add the custom fields to the header of an invoice to track sales information associated with this customer (doesn’t have to show on the printed invoice), such as source of lead.
- Purchase Orders – If you order the same part from more than one vendor, chances are they each have a different part number. So you can customize a PO to show the part number for a specific vendor. Back when I resold hardware, I had 3 different PO templates for the 3 places from which I ordered. That way the PO would automatically pull in the correct part number (I had the part numbers as different custom fields for my Items) and I could have other information on the PO specific to the vendor. Saved me lots of time and headaches!
So think about information you’re tracking elsewhere that you could easily track in QuickBooks, or other information you’d like to track, or tasks that are taking longer than you’d like. You may find that these tools can simplify some of your work and give you more data to help you strategize.
If you’d like some assistance, just let us know!