800.475.0311 Get Started

How Quickbooks for a Landscaping Business is Like a Complicated Relationship

Posted On Jan 2, 2018 4:27:12 PM By Nanette Seven, Vice President

Is QuickBooks a good option to run your landscaping company?Things started out okay with you and QuickBooks. In fact, you were getting along pretty well. But that was a simpler time in your relationship. Now you feel like QuickBooks isn’t meeting all of your needs and the relationship is starting to feel a bit one-sided. Actually, you’re beginning to wonder if it’s time for a change.

If you’re stuck in a complicated relationship with QuickBooks, then you’re not alone. That system is how a lot of landscape companies run their businesses, especially in the early years. But QuickBooks for landscapers, as well as other work-around systems that are out there, are pretty complicated and frustrating to use since they’re not tailored specifically to the landscape industry.

In the beginning, it might have worked for you, but over time you began to realize that an industry-specific solution would have been a much better fit. Now, you’re just concerned that you’ll make the wrong change and wind up in another complicated relationship instead of something long-term.

Let’s delve a little deeper into how QuickBooks for your landscaping company may be failing to meet your needs in order to weigh if it’s really worth all the work to try and keep this relationship going. Then, let’s look at what might be a better solution to your relationship woes.

The 3 Biggest Ways That QuickBooks is Failing You

1. It is Not an All-In-One Solution

Is QuickBooks a good option to run your landscaping company?As your business has grown, you’ve likely found that QuickBooks for landscape contractors is not an all-in-one solution. You’re now finding that you require other systems in order to meet all of your needs. On top of using QuickBooks, you might also be using an estimating system to price your jobs and maybe a scheduling system to set up your operations team.

While each of these systems meets your needs individually, none of them “speak” to one another and that’s leading to duplicate data entry. It’s also leaving you more open to making mistakes since you’re entering data in more than one location.

Plus, as you grow, you find that you want even more tools. You’d like CRM capabilities, an inventory tracking tool, and the ability to seamlessly move from one functionality to another (ie: taking an estimate right into the proposal phase and from there moving it on to production).

2. Job Costing is Cumbersome

Another big downside to using QuickBooks for your landscaping company is that job costing can be a very complicated process. If you’re working with another scheduling program or estimating system on top of QuickBooks, then you are going to have to re-enter the same sold work into QuickBooks as well as into the secondary program. After that, when the work is completed, the time will need to be entered correctly into QuickBooks for payroll and invoicing. After invoices are paid and payroll is completed, you’ll need to enter that information into a spreadsheet to compare the data from sold work in order to get an accurate job cost.

It’s a lot of steps and a lot of moving data around. You can see how the process can easily get bogged down. It’s very complicated to run numbers that way and frankly, it’s a lot of work, too. It shouldn’t be this hard.

3. You’re Not Receiving Real-Time Data

Using QuickBooks for your landscaping company will calculate some data for you, but it’s all after the fact. For instance, it would be difficult for you to determine if you were over the budgeted hours for a job in enough time to make an actual change. Instead, you’re typically reviewing the data after the job is completed and trying to make changes to the next job. In that way, it’s more of a historical analysis of your jobs than a real-time solution.

Other Relationship Concerns

While those three factors are your biggest concerns, you have other worries as well. You’re concerned that as your business grows that QuickBooks won’t be scalable with your growth. As you have more assets to keep track of, you’re concerned that the system will slow down, or, that it might slow you down.

It would also be nice to get rid of so much paper. If you’re like a lot of companies who are using QuickBooks, you’re probably also still printing a lot of paperwork. From paper time sheets to Excel spreadsheets with routes, you’re ready to say goodbye to all of that paperwork and integrate everything in a streamlined way.

Crucial reports for landscaping companiesAnd then there’s concerns about security. Your company’s financial information is of vital importance to you and you want to ensure that it’s extremely secure. There are some ways in which the audit trail is broken in QuickBooks.

For example, once QuickBooks invoices are created and bills are paid, you can go into QuickBooks and change information after it has been processed. This allows for employees to print a check then change the payee after the fact. Your financials might look okay, but if the same person who is paying the bills is also reconciling the bank account, this can open the company up to theft. You want to be able to lock down months and make sure that nobody can go back and change accounting records.

So, is it time to kick Quickbooks to the curb?

With all of these concerns, it might just be. Of course, we know that’s easier said than done. Although it may no longer be the ideal solution, QuickBooks for your landscaping company is really all you’ve ever known. Therefore, it might be hard to actually take that leap. Change is hard and this change will be no different.

However, finding a better solution will certainly help ease that pain.

A Stronger Partnership Suited for Landscape Companies

Whether it’s hard to come to the decision or not, the truth is that you deserve better. It’s time to get out of your complicated relationship with QuickBooks and find a solution that is a better fit for you. Starting a relationship with landscape business software will solve some of the biggest concerns that you’ve had with QuickBooks for your landscaping company.

Consider just some of these ways in which landscape business software solves your biggest relationship gripes.

  • t-lake-environmental-design-office-computerWith landscape business software, you will have an industry-specific tool that’s not only geared for the landscape industry but that will serve as an all-in-one solution for all of your needs. Instead of requiring multiple programs and attempting to find a way to marry the information in each, the landscape business software will take care of all of that for you. All of the information is part of a single, integrated solution.
  • As opposed to having to gather data from multiple systems in order to perform accurate job costing, an integrated software solution will greatly simplify the process. In fact, landscape estimating software can take the headaches out of the estimating process by eliminating common sales blunders and helping to ensure that important items are not left out. That can have a direct impact on your bottom line.
  • With integrated landscape business software, you’ll also have access to all of this information in real time. That means you’ll know the exact status of your jobs at any given time, allowing you to make changes that will ensure profitability. If you’re falling behind on a certain job you’ll be able to do what it takes to turn things around instead of just having to learn from your mistakes next time. You’ll have a close-up view of budgeted hours versus actual hours on any given job at any given time. This is more than paper spreadsheets ever could have provided you.

Don’t Shortchange Yourself Any Longer

Now is the time to call it quits. Don’t waste any more time trying to make your struggling relationship work when a better solution is already out there. Your initiative to form a partnership with a landscape business software company that can truly meet your needs will make a world of difference in how you run your business.

In the end, it’s your choice. You can continue to fumble your way through the complicated relationship that you’re trying to make work or you can take action and just end it now. By industry-specific software to run your business you’ll be on your way to a smarter and more efficient operation that will have you wondering why you ever waited so long to break up with QuickBooks in the first place.

If you’d like to talk about breaking up with your current, complicated relationship with software and find your landscape business soulmate, Asset, then give us a call at 800-475-0311 or contact us for a free demo.

Watch this Video to Learn How Asset Can Improve the Accounting & Administration Tasks at Your Landscaping Company

Accounting & Admin-Final (Subtitles)

Get Started

Image Sources:  T. Lake Environmental Design

Topics: Accounting & Financial Reporting

Nanette Seven, Vice President

Written by Nanette Seven, Vice President

As a child, I was tasked with summer chores like weeding the rose garden, and helping to plant and harvest the vegetable garden. These childhood “chores” evolved into something I enjoyed. I have a passion for being outside, whether it is getting my hands dirty gardening, coaching and watching sports, or being on the Chesapeake Bay. Outdoors is where I would prefer to be. So, when the opportunity to work for a high-end residential design/build company presented itself, it seemed a good fit. I never imagined that almost 25 years later I would still be working in the landscape industry. I feel fortunate to have worked for Include for the past 20+ years. I wake up every day and do something that I truly enjoy, and with people I honestly like being around. I travel quite extensively to industry events to stay current on the changing needs of the landscape industry. Learning from our clients, consultants, and peers is also a focus of mine; I want to know what they need to help their businesses grow and thrive. This valuable information is used to help build and improve the software and services Include provides. I personally get great satisfaction knowing that what Include Software does as a team is unmatched in our industry. We provide leading edge software with top-notch customer service, and make a positive impact on people and their businesses every single day.