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blgriffin83 5th June 2011 03:55 AM

Billing And Invoicing
We're a small construction company but over the past year or so we've been growing quite a bit. We've never really had a solid invoicing system. We simply complete the job, type an invoice in MS Word and send it. As for collecting payment, we do this by memory. This is crazy and we know it but don't really have a better solution at this time. We use quickbooks to track expenses but as for invoicing I don't like their templates and so never use them. Now that our business is growing we need a solid way to invoice, keep track of who owes us and bill those customers. Please offer some pointers or simply describe your setup. I'd greatly appreciate it :)

ArcSine 6th June 2011 07:57 AM

Excel (or any other spreadsheet) might be a nice weapon of choice. Create a simple billing database.

Each job has its own row, with columns for all the obvious stuff like Customer Name, Supervisor in Charge, Address, Phone No., Job Description, Contract Amount, Date Started, Date Completed, Date Billed, Date Received, ......

A simple formula taking the difference between the current date and Date Billed gives you the Days Outstanding at a glance.

If need be, individual jobs can occupy multiple rows. Make sure there's a column for entering the unique job number or identifier on each row, and then Excel's filtering functionality can let you click on a particular job number and see all of that job's multiple rows gathered together on the screen, regardless of where they actually exist within the data table.

Excel is easily customizable to create whatever billing and AR management capabilities you might need; if you already have a copy it won't cost you anything but a little time; and with creative use of Excel's functions (and/or a little VBA programming) you can make a pretty sophisticated data analysis tool.

Good luck with it, and with the business.

phanio 6th June 2011 01:25 PM

Couple of suggestions:
First, you should be able to modify the invoices in quickbooks.
You might look at their online applications - makes them assessable from anywhere.

Microsoft also offers a free application that does invoicing - I have not used it to invoice - but the rest of the program is OK.

You might also look for an open source systems that will meet your needs and is free - these are usually a bit more customizable.

tgriffith 13th June 2011 04:19 PM

You could consider letting an outside firm handle your accounts receivable... pretty common in the construction business.

Portal 20th June 2011 11:38 AM

Excel is pretty good and you can easily move it onto the cloud if you want real time editing (use google business solutions). If you have a little extra cash to throw, I would recommend you just hiring a developer to create a personal system. You can easily find a developer on

BeTheBest 20th June 2011 02:07 PM

You already have QuickBooks. Use it! Sure, the templates are not really nice... but who cares. Do you want the money?? Or do you want to look nice??

Here is my simple suggestion. Get yourself a jump stick for a couple of bucks. (Now watch... because if you make a mistake... this could really mess you up... so don't do this while you're texting your wife and talking on the phone, ok?)

Put your current QB file on a jump drive. Use that as a back up. Then, try invoicing for a week. Look, the only expense (if you don't have a jump drive) is a couple of bucks, right? I am suggesting that because it will FORCE you to look on another drive and you will not get confused with the data files.

I came from a background of a full blown ACCPAC Accounting system. Then I moved into MYOB and did that ONLY because of the ability for it to allow me to invoice in different currencies (did business in 5 or 6 countries).

Now... I use QB. I will tell you that I didn't like it either. But here is the real nice thing... at Year End... I just toss my accountant the entire file. He does everything... and most of his work is ALREADY DONE... (yeah!) and the YE costs are cheaper.

At the push of a button, the reports are bang on. If you need help with all that, I am sure there is a QB for Dummies book (nothing personal... I use Dummies books all the time) that will walk you through things. I am thinking that if you make expenses into categories that work for YOU you will quickly be able to see if you're really making money... or if that cash in your pocket is already spoken for... if you know what I mean.

Good luck! I hope this helps. ... and quit trying to reinvent the wheel. The rounds ones work well! ;)

Hugha 26th June 2011 07:45 PM

I am in construction too. I also use Quickbooks.
I do not use Quickbooks Invoice template but I rely on QB for Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable.

I don't have the budget for a lot of help in the office so I try to use tools available to me that can keep my costs down adn Quickbooks is one of those tools.

robert_mann 16th July 2017 02:43 PM

Actually at first I tried invoicing from QB but felt it difficult for me to complete. Actually I fell it was not user friendly. Except invoicing its a good one. When I need to get invoice template I always use Zipbooks. Both accounting solutions are great. But at a time I use them both as I always love double entry bookkeeping and a back up always great.

Kartik 7th October 2019 01:26 AM

Billing And Invoicing
In this scenario, Sage 100 Contractor is a good option. It has features specific to construction businesses like subcontractor management, retainage, labor burden calculations, job progress reporting. This software provides complete vision on every facet of the business.

It has a reliable invoicing system, which makes payments manageable. All your requirements can be easily fulfilled with this software.

Hosting Sage 100 contractor on the cloud would be a more practical solution. It will help you to keep track of your business anytime, anywhere, and collaborate with people working off-site.

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