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Established Member

Using Quickbooks Online vs. Quickbooks Desktop for Construction Company

So, we are a home builer, and want to really customize our processes.  We currently use Quickbooks ONLINE, but finding it difficult using it the way we need to, ie. customizing.  So far several have said to use Desktop....any construction companies out there that have had the same issues?  If so, did you switch to Desktop?  Thanks for your input. :-)

 

12 Comments
Community Host

Re: Using Quickbooks Online vs. Quickbooks Desktop for Construction Company

Hey @ParkerBuilt,

 

Thanks for reaching out to the community. I'd say the majority of users I've talked to who are in your industry use QuickBooks Desktop. There are many reasons why folks upgrade, but most folks want the inventory assembly and track job cost features (though the later is now available in QBO as the Projects Center) since many construction teams need to track very specific project details and bill for a combination of services and products with every job. 

 

I'm curious, how do you currently have QuickBooks Online set up for your business?

Established Community Backer ***

Re: Using Quickbooks Online vs. Quickbooks Desktop for Construction Company

Desktop also has progress invoicing in addition to what James said.


I do not do construction, so I can not help there as a general overall concept, but if you have specific examples of concerns I may be able to help in that respect.


Be aware that the export from QBO to QBDT is rife with problems, and to be honest you would be better off starting from scratch in desktop.


The export to desktop (US Only) provides you with a file that must be opened in desktop within 10 days, and the file has known problems, some things do not export, inventory exports as service items with no history, payroll if you have it is exported as regular paychecks, these and other known problems have existed for over 9 years
https://community.intuit.com/articles/1145409-export-limitations

 

Print out the QBO P&L, balance sheet, inventory valuation summary (if you have inventory), and sales tax liability as a minimum, compare the QBO reports to the same reports in desktop after you have a desktop company file - they must match, if not you have to find and correct the problems, intuit will not help

 

IMO if at all possible, it would be better to just re-enter all transactions in desktop

how to go from QBO to QBDT
https://community.intuit.com/articles/1145829-exporting-from-online-to-desktop

Established Member

Re: Using Quickbooks Online vs. Quickbooks Desktop for Construction Company

I'm not set up yet...I am in the process of TRYING  to get set up :-/  Finding it difficult to customize the online to my specifications....

Established Community Backer ***

Re: Using Quickbooks Online vs. Quickbooks Desktop for Construction Company


@ParkerBuiltwrote:

I'm not set up yet...I am in the process of TRYING  to get set up :-/  Finding it difficult to customize the online to my specifications....


QBO is very limited not only in customization, but in functions.  a non partisan comparison of QBO vs QB desktop 
http://onsale-apparel.com/Rustler/qbo-or-qbdt 

 

Also in premier contractor you can track vendor (sub contractor) insurance expiration dates

Community Explorer *

Re: Using Quickbooks Online vs. Quickbooks Desktop for Construction Company

We are also in the process of trying it out.  Setting up online, while continuing with desktop. This has not been an easy switch.  It needs alot more reporting functions to save bookeeping time.  We use Job Codes for the vendor expenses, Example Div 1: 01.10001 Dumpster/Debris Removal, I also add the same info in the Class. I only use the number 01.10001.  You add a Group and number them 1-16 or what ever job divisions you use.    Some reports use Product/Service (item codes) over Class and vise versa  .  You also need a "Group" Div 01 all of the Product/Services are a sub under a group division number.  It allows for a little better reporting.  you can sort by groups in some reports, and get a summary.  or you can sort by Product/Service.  I need to up my excel skills.  I see alot of exporting to manipulate things in QBO.   We have been using Co-Construct to organize our jobs for a couple of years. It we found it fills in alot of the gaps, and the  job costing is easier to see over there rather than on QBO (which is sad)  You link each project to it, and it uplinks with QBO daily on its own for the jobs we specify.   We use QBO mostly for the accounting end of the business, since it has such poor reporting capibilities.  I have been using QB desktop since around 1994.  This new product is sooooo different, and not as user friendly.

 

Best of Luck! 

 

Experienced Member

Re: Using Quickbooks Online vs. Quickbooks Desktop for Construction Company

We are just starting out with Quickbooks Online and Coconstruct. I am interested to know how the coding is going. Were you able to merge your codes from CC to QB? I am having a difficult time getting everything set up and going. Any advice is welcomed. 

Community Host

Re: Using Quickbooks Online vs. Quickbooks Desktop for Construction Company

Hello @Christina1,

 

Welcome to the community and to QBO. Happy to lend a hand.

 

What has been the biggest challenge so far? Is it data input, creating transactions, managing accounts?

 

More importantly, what would you say are the three primary account tasks you are trying to manage for your construction company? I know you want to manage many more, but I want to pull back and look at the broad view.

 

We recently put together the “Getting Started with QuickBooks Online” hub which has a ton of great resources for first time users. I’m not sure how far along you are on the journey, but I would start with “Setting Up for Success: The Fundamentals” and “The Big Picture.” 

 

Tell us a bit more about your goals so we can offer you more guidance.

Community Explorer *

Re: Using Quickbooks Online vs. Quickbooks Desktop for Construction Company

All of your codes must be exactly the same.  It was fairly easy.  I called Co-construct with any issues, and they walked me thru it.  Then they send you an e-mail and recap on it all, so you can reference back to it.  Fantastic Customer Support.  I am still using the desk top version and the online version. I can't master the reporting.  It's hard to let go.  I do love the way that Co-Construct and QBO talk. Our customers like that they can follow the job progress, and see as much info as we like them to see.   I don't like the purchase order side of it still.  on Co-Construct, and in Quickbooks.    not being able to receive part of a purchase order is a real pain.  Having to create new purchase orders when a vendor partial bills for the item is not easy to work with.  partial billing in general makes you have to do complicated things.  We don't have inventory items.  We get "used" to being able to do and see things a certain way, and it is frustrating when you can't. Reporting is still not easy.  I do love the way it reports up until you create an invoice to the customer.  Then that nice clean report disappears.  I love that you can attach PDFs to your vendor invoices, and then attach them to the customer invoices too.  It is fantastic.  You can see any issues you may have with miscoding with minimal effort. 

Experienced Member

Re: Using Quickbooks Online vs. Quickbooks Desktop for Construction Company

Thank you for your help. My husband has just started a business and asked me to do bookkeeping and this is completely new to me.  I would say at the moment my 3 big ones all have to do with categorizing expenses. do you put lumber, rock, brick and all the materials in chart of accounts or product and sales? I figure this is where the accounting codes come in handy so that they communicate with coconstruct. He offers 3D renderings I created a chart of accounts for that, but now think it should be in sales. I apologize I'm still very green figuring it all out. 

QuickBooks Team

Re: Using Quickbooks Online vs. Quickbooks Desktop for Construction Company

Thanks for reaching out to us here in the Community, @Christina1.

 

I'm here to provide you information about the difference between chart of accounts and products and services.

 

Chart of accounts lists all the company's accounts and balances. It organizes the company's assets, liabilities, income, and expense. QuickBooks automatically creates your chart of accounts based on the industry and type of company you choose when creating your company file.

 

Products and services list contains the items your business offers (such as the materials you mentioned above). In QBO, we have 4 types of Product/Service information:


•    Inventory – products you buy and/or sell and that you track quantities of.
•    Non-inventory – products you buy and/or sell but don’t need to (or can’t) track quantities of.
•    Service – services that you provide to customers like landscaping or construction services.
•    Bundle – a collection of products and/or services that you sell together.

 
When entering an inventory item, it'll ask you the type of account that links to your chart of accounts. (I've provided a screenshot below for your reference).

 

 

product account type.png

 

Here are helpful tutorial videos you need to check out to know more about COA and setting up products and services.

 

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLVxBmyedTVhTRQRYeZJfVBpz_12zwHc6Z

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJDraSWW6zg&index=26&list=PLVxBmyedTVhTRQRYeZJfVBpz_12zwHc6Z

 

You can always post your question here in the Community if you need anything else. Wishing you the best for your business.

 

 

 

 

 

Community Host

Re: Using Quickbooks Online vs. Quickbooks Desktop for Construction Company

@Christina1

 

Perfect, let's get you started with some resources.

 

Creating and Managing Accounts:

First, I'd recommend reading "Creating and Managing Accounts." This will give you an idea of how to create "parent" and "sub" accounts. In reality, there's no one right way to create the hierarchy. You could do something like this:

  • Building materials
    • Rock
    • Lumber
    • Bricks
      • Brick type 1
      • Brick type 2
      • Brick type 3

Or, you could start from the second layer, but putting them all under a "Building materials" parent account will make reading reports far easier. I also recommend naming the account "Building Materials" instead of "materials" to be a little more specific and never get confused about which materials you're accounting for. Every node in the hierarchy is the aggregate total of the accounts under them, and you can go 4 layers deep. So it's really up to your preference how you want to go about it. 

 

 

Categorizing expenses (and income):

Categorizing expenses is where things get tricky. If you're selling a product and getting income from it, you'd categorize the payments in income accounts. Send Invoices to customers when you expect to get paid for sales in the future or Sales Receipts if you were paid at the time of sale instead. 

 

If you're paying for something that is used on a regular (daily, weekly, monthly) basis, that is likely an expense. Use Expenses (Plus Icon > Expense) if you've already paid for the expense. If you plan to pay for the expense in the futureuse the bill feature.

 

We go over how to use sales forms in much greater detail here: QuickBooks Online – The Big Picture.

 

Here's where it gets a bit more complicated: bigger items that you plan to use for more than a year are considered assets to your business. These are things like company cars, computers, furniture, etc.  You wouldn't enter these on a normal expense form. Instead, you'd add the asset as a Bank Deposit Item. Look at the bottom section of "How to Make Bank Deposits" to see how this is done. 

 

 

Reports:

Finally, you asked about Profit and Loss Reports. This is essentially a snapshot of all your sales and expenses. If you follow the steps above, you will be 100% on the right track. The Chart of Accounts is for organizing and creating accounts, the Profit and Loss Report is going to give you a readout of what are in those accounts. Does that make sense? 

 

Reports are really important but can be a challenge for those new to accounting. Here's the last resource I want to provide you, hope it's not too overwhelming: "How to use Reports and Reporting Features in QuickBooks Online." 

 

Please keep the questions coming, @Christina1!

Frequent Explorer **

Re: Using Quickbooks Online vs. Quickbooks Desktop for Construction Company

Hi Rustler,

I wanted to let you know QuickBooks Online now has Progress Invoicing for all versions in the US, UK, Australia and Canada!

 

Here's the details, and we would love your feedback:

https://community.intuit.com/articles/1659786-progress-invoicing-for-quickbooks-online