QuickBooks Construction Software Integration
QuickBooks has a version for contractors (QuickBooks Premier for Contractors). Why do you need SmartContractor in addition to QuickBooks?
Good question. The functionality of the QuickBooks Premier Contractor version is the same as the Pro version, but QuickBooks Premier for Contractors attempts to provide a complete setup — including a Chart of Accounts, and an Items List — that allows users to avoid many of the decisions that would have to be made when setting up QuickBooks Pro. It also contains a Contractor-specific menu of tasks such as estimating, invoicing, entering bills, and paying employees, and a special Contractor menu of job-related reports. Other than that, it is the same program as QuickBooks Pro.
The main reason people need SmartContractor in addition to QuickBooks is for the issue of job costing. Job costing allows you to see whether you are making or losing money. Clearly it’s important to be able to do that within a single job, and that you can do in QuickBooks, but what’s more important is to be able to do that in ways that summarize and identify trends, such as by Job Phase (excavation, foundation, framing, etc.), Job Type (commercial, residential, remodel, new construction, subcontracted, work done in-house, etc.), by Sales Rep, by Lead Source (referral, job site sign, advisement, website, etc.), Zip Code, etc. QuickBooks can’t do any of that, but SmartContractor can. Plus, there are a whole raft of functions that are specific to the construction business that SmartContractor can do, but QuickBooks can’t. For example, lead tracking and sales appointment scheduling, job scheduling, job options and alternatives, allowances and automatic allowance accounting, RFI’s, Submittal/Transmittals, vendor/subcontractor quote requests, integrated product database, integration with takeoff software (i.e. PlanSwift, etc.), integration with Google calendars, subcontractor liability insurance tracking, AIA Payment Applications, etc.
Plus there are some things that QuickBooks can do but SmartContractor does better. For example, when you generate things like Purchase Orders and Invoices in SmartContractor, you can do that using the data that is already in the job estimate, whereas in QuickBooks you have to re-type the line item information. Also, when you enter job costs in SmartContractor, you can do that against the line items that are already in the job estimate (without typing anything except the actual costs – if they are different from the estimate), whereas in QuickBooks, you have to re-type line items for the costs you enter.
So why do you need QuickBooks if you use SmartContractor? While SmartContractor provides all of the construction specific business functions, it does not do the general business accounting functions that QuickBooks does, including accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, general ledger accounting and financial reporting, bank account reconciliation, and check printing. One more important thing about QuickBooks is that every tax accountant in the United States uses it, so when tax time comes, all you have to do is send them your QuickBooks data, and they can take it from there. That is a huge time saving for both you and your accountant.
The integration of SmartContractor and QuickBooks is a powerful combination that gives you everything you need to run your construction business, from end to end.