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ncr
Senior Explorer *

What apps can help me? I use Knowify, but...

Knowify is not working well for the price I have to pay for it. I'm not happy with the invoicing style, the mobile app glitches and screws up my time tracking, and the support team assumes I'm technologically stupid and don't know how to refresh the app. I can't get an e-signature on any attached documents, only on the proposal itself. I need an app or combination of apps that can do the following for my construction business:

 

1. Have e-sign capabilities for proposals (doubling as contracts) and additional documents (disclosure statements, lien notices/waivers, warranties). Bonus points if an invoice for deposits can automatically be created upon signing (like DocuSign payments or 17hats).

 

2. A way to build an estimate by making a labor and materials list to cost jobs before pricing. We only perform fixed-cost contract jobs.

 

3. A robust time-tracking app that can show which employee worked on which job, and create a schedule (knowify does not have a good way to make an employee schedule and it's very frustrating!)

 

4. A good job scheduling option like integrating to Google Calendar would be ideal. Knowify only has its own internal calendar and it is terrible. You can't even block out days or just put in tasks (or even holidays!).

 

Hoping to get some suggestions to check out! Getting super frustrated with Knowify! Thanks!

20 Comments
Established Community Backer ***

Re: What apps can help me? I use Knowify, but...

Hey @ncr - thanks for offering so much detail in your post. Very helpful! @ParkwayInc, do you have any ideas to share?

ncr
Senior Explorer *

Re: What apps can help me? I use Knowify, but...

Thank you @EmilyCowan! Hoping to come to a solution soon. Would be amazing if QBO did all this, but I know I'm dreaming lol.

Established Community Backer ***

Re: What apps can help me? I use Knowify, but...

Yeah, that would be amazing @ncr - let's ask some QBO experts! @Pen@lynda@EmilyMockett?

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: What apps can help me? I use Knowify, but...

Hey @ncr,

 

Which apps are you currently looking into, besides Knowify? Some apps on the store have trials and test drives you might want to check it. 

 

I'd recommend making a short list of 3 apps for each of your 4 requirements to narrow down the scope. If there are any repeats, you have some clear winners.

 

It sounds like you may need 2 or 3 apps to cover all your needs. Consider these as a long-term investment of your resources (not just money) - if your current requirements are going to change in a year, plan and spend accordingly. It takes time and energy to integrate new elements into your systems.

 

Going with fewer apps is better, but you go with however many make your workflow easiest to manage. You may feel drawn to apps that are easy to learn now, but again, think about your feature requirements a year from now. If you have to change, it's another piece of software to learn. 

Off the top of my head, DocuSign is a highly recommended app by many of our accountants. For time-tracking, T-Sheets all the way (@Anonymous can add more to this). There is a free integrated Google Calendar App that imports what you schedule in GC into QuickBooks Sales forms, and there are a number of apps that handle the first task of inputting schedule data into Google Calendar. 

 

There are lots of options, so the first task is creating your short list and narrowing the field. 

 

Hope this helped!

ProAdvisor

Re: What apps can help me? I use Knowify, but...

I actually highly recommend Knowify for contractors so I am surprised by your bad experience. 

 

If you wanted to ditch the app, you could use qbo plus and projects feature for the job costing.  Note, this feature is very new and has a few minor limitations (it will get better and better as it grows). There is Tsheets for time tracking.  I use 17hats for contracts, invoicing and you can really automate it as it syncs with qbo.  It also syncs with google calendar (this is my set up).  Then I will also throw my favorite app Hubdoc into the mix for automating your a/p and doc attachment.

 

 

ncr
Senior Explorer *

Re: What apps can help me? I use Knowify, but...

Hi @Anonymous,

 

Great advice about thinking ahead to what I expect our needs to be in the future. Our needs have definitely changed over the last few years, but I think our requirements will remain the same for quite a while moving forward. I don't mind the investment at all, but I do prefer to get as much from that investment as I can (which is why I'm disappointed in Knowify). A few different apps won't bother me at all. Just want to find the right ones so I can create a process that will be as seamless as possible! I've dedicated this weekend to testing out some new apps in hopes of coming up with some solutions. Definitely helps to have suggestions from seasoned users to narrow down my options and save me some time and sanity!

 

I've been looking at DocuSign for contracts. Ideally, I would want to use DocuSign Payments (where it automatically requests a payment upon signing). I don't see any option to sync with Quickbooks, so I suppose for the time being I will need to download PDF versions of estimates to send via DocuSign. I so wish Quickbooks would add an e-sign feature! I can't be the only one who would love that!

 

T-Sheets is one I have seen recommended and I will check that one out. I saw on the website that they have a job scheduling function as well, but it was not clear to me how that worked. Do you create the jobs in T-sheets? Does it pull something from Quickbooks? That could be the answer for #3&4 on the list if it works well! I also noticed it integrates with ADP which we use for Payroll. Could save me some time there as well...

 

For scheduling, the Google Calendar app is actually backwards for us. We don't need to create invoices from calendar events. We just need an easy, clear way to schedule approved jobs (doesn't necessarily need to be Google Calendar, we just use it for everything else so would be nice to integrate). Again, maybe T-sheets does this and I'll just have to poke around in there a bit.

 

The biggest one I am at a loss with is the estimating. This was the main reason I went with Knowify to begin with. I can do all this on paper or in Excel, but if and when I need to edit something (which is often if a customer asks for additional services or products to be used), it is very cumbersome. I really want a straightforward job costing option that makes it easy to plug in my materials and labor budgeted for the job, and mark up from there. Knowify does this reasonably well, but I am not happy with most of the rest of the app and very unhappy with the support as well.

 

Thanks for your help!

ncr
Senior Explorer *

Re: What apps can help me? I use Knowify, but...

Hi @lynda,

 

I was surprised too! I though Knowify would be the answer for us, but it is very clunky and glitchy and the support leaves something to be desired to say the least. I was very drawn to the job costing feature and I do like that part of it, but not enough to make up for all the other problems.

 

Since you know how Knowify's job costing works, can you tell me more about the projects feature in QBO Plus, with that in mind? Can I accomplish the same thing using the projects feature, both labor and materials budget? I use Essentials right now, so I can't really try it out without upgrading and don't want to do that unless I understand how it functions.

 

I have used 17hats in the past when my mom and I ran a custom cake business. I'm not sure if they've done any improvements but it was very glitchy a few years ago. Emails went missing quite a bit and customers were not happy. I also remember being required to have a project date in order to create an estimate, which is not possible for our business.

ProAdvisor

Re: What apps can help me? I use Knowify, but...

@ncr:  17 hats is much better (been on them for 2 years) and I know exactly what you are talking about.  I missed emails but it had to do with me changing a password.  The system doesn't tell you that you are no longer connected.  I figured it out eventually.  QBO projects is new.  Click this link for more info and try it out in the test file here.  It is a great place to play around and not mess up your own books.   :cathappy:

ncr
Senior Explorer *

Re: What apps can help me? I use Knowify, but...

@lynda, Thank you, I would love to test drive it, but I'm not seeing a test file. The link is taking me back to the article.

ProAdvisor

Re: What apps can help me? I use Knowify, but...

Just google test drive qbo.  you will find it!  :)

Established Community Backer ***

Re: What apps can help me? I use Knowify, but...

Hi,

 

At PJCO we have just partnered up with Service M8 which sounds like the kind of app you are looking for.

 

I would be more than happy to talk to you more about the app and it’s capabilities.

 

Please feel free to private message me through the community messaging! 

 

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

Kind regards,

Emily Mockett 

ncr
Senior Explorer *

Re: What apps can help me? I use Knowify, but...

@lynda,

 

Well I found it and turned on the projects feature, but it won't load the page. I will try again later I suppose. I'm super interested!

Community Explorer **

Re: What apps can help me? I use Knowify, but...

Hi ncr,

 

This is Marc Visent, CEO at Knowify.

 

I don't usually intervene in these forums because I feel it makes more sense to let the rest of the community weigh in. This time, however, my team forwarded me your post and I felt that the part that reads "technologically stupid" did require me to say something about it.

 

Our team has never assumed that you are "technologically stupid". In fact, we've tried our very best to help you get familiar with Knowify and make the most of it. At times, that meant we had to give you step-by-step instructions to make sure we were on the same page. We deal with thousands of contracting business and we know from experience that following explanations about how a feature works is not always straight forward, so sometime we just over-explain to avoid any misunderstanding. Even when we saw in the logs that you were not following these explanations, we still tried to find other solutions or ways to get to the end result.

 

I'll will not get into the feature discussion because I feel this is a bit subjective. I believe we have a totally awesome platform, but I also understand that it's not for everyone. What I can say is that if you look for time tracking alternatives, definitely consider TSheets or Clockshark. They have awesome products. I feel we are stronger in the project management side, but they are certainly time tracking master worth exploring. As for the whole project management platform, you can try Buildertrend or Jobber. I feel we are a much better fit, but you are the only one that can make this call.

 

As for Knowify, we are just a group of human beings doing our very best to help contracting companies run a more efficient and professional business. These humans provide an outstanding customer support, and that's something that is not open to discussion. If you feel this is not enough and you want to cancel your account, we'll offer you a 100% refund. If you continue with Knowify, we'll keep trying to help you as much as we can.

 

Best,

Marc

ProAdvisor

Re: What apps can help me? I use Knowify, but...

You can try a private window.  I just did it and activated projects and it worked. 

ncr
Senior Explorer *

Re: What apps can help me? I use Knowify, but...

@marcv

 

I'm quite surprised that you think a public forum is the proper place to have this discussion. Perhaps a private email would have been a better, more professional way to address me if you wanted to have a conversation about my particular account. Instead, you decide to publicly accuse me of not following step-by-step instructions. The only instructions I've received is to refresh the app. I've told support repeatedly that I have done this. Yet, they continue to imply I must be doing it wrong. It's pretty hard to screw up pulling down a screen. The app says "updated a few seconds ago" and it's showing employees still clocked in after they have been checked out and entries approved, or closed jobs with myself checked in for 8 days (when I don't even track my own time).

 

Being told repeatedly to do one simple thing and having someone ignore my concerns and continue to attempt to give me the same instructions after telling them I've done that multiple times is aggravating to say the least. I hope you can understand how this would make a person feel that you assume they are stupid, and why I might not be happy with the tech support.

 

I have emailed support 3 times after having the same issue with the time check in/out feature messing with my entries. I've been told to refresh the app. I have done that over and over with no change. I've explained that the app may say it's refreshed, but it is absolutely not. This caused my already approved time entries to be edited. I was even told that it did not edit approved entries, when in fact it did. If you cannot see in the logs that those entries were approved and then edited from the app, then your logs are not complete.

 

I don't know what you are looking at in the logs that shows I did not follow instructions, but I can assure you, that I have. When I've emailed regarding the messed up time entries in the past, I had corrected the entries first. I was told to let them know if it happens again, and to not correct anything until they look at it. That's exactly what I've done this last time, and yet I still am just told to refresh the app.

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: What apps can help me? I use Knowify, but...

Hello all, 

 

I am really happy to see @ncr reaching out to the community to explore options and discuss his specific experience with Knowify. I want to respect his request that all future discussion about his particular case be moved to private via email or message.

 

I'd like to continue this conversation that has grown into helping @ncr strategize how he wants to set up their entire app ecosystem.  @marcv, we here in the community are happy to see you and your team working hard to deliver a great product. Please continue to offer your insight as long as it is not personal. 

ncr
Senior Explorer *

Re: What apps can help me? I use Knowify, but...

@Anonymous

 

Thank you. This is the first time I have posted in this forum. I would hope that I had the freedom to explore my options without being personally called out by the CEO of the current software I use. Especially since my name is not public.

 

@lynda

 

Thanks for the private window suggestion, that worked! Unfortunately I don't think Projects will do what I was hoping, but maybe in the future they will add more job costing functionalities to it.

ncr
Senior Explorer *

Re: What apps can help me? I use Knowify, but...

@EmilyMockett

 

I checked out ServiceM8 a few months ago, but was bummed to find out they only support Apple devices. We use Android and so do all but one of our employees :(

ProAdvisor

Re: What apps can help me? I use Knowify, but...

Hi @ncr,

 

I wanted to offer to take some time with you to discuss your current workflow and your desired workflow, but I feel that this can be best done with a phone call.  As an avid supporter of the Intuit Community, I appreciate the importance of sharing information and would suggest we should still share the results of the conversation for everyone to learn from.

 

While Knowify is one of my favorite programs, I learned some time ago, that what works for one person as a project management tool does not always work for another person.  I have a saying about software and applications:

 

"If you find a program that does 80% of what you expected it would do, then you found a great program. If it does more than that, you probably built it yourself."

 

Workflow design is a specialty of mine, call me crazy but I like to figure out the different ways to link a program together to try to gain the most out of them.  Below are some of the questions that I would want to discuss with you.

 

MY QUESTIONS: 

 

Proposals & Contracts: 

What information changes on the proposals?

How technical do the proposals get? 

Do they include pictures unique to the job?

 

Additional Documents:

Are the same documents always needed?

I assume the goal would be to have the repeatable information be automatically filled in across all the documents.

 

Invoice for Deposits:

What is your progress invoicing payment schedule?

      (This is a new feature within QuickBooks Online)

How are change orders handled?

 

Expenses: 

How are you currently paying for the different expenses for each job?

Do you ever combine purchases for multiple jobs together with any of your vendors?

Do you have cash expenses to track?

 

Robust Time-tracking App:

While trying Knowify, did you utilize their integration with T-Sheets?

 

Scheduling:

Are you trying to schedule resources like vehicles or other equipment?

 

Pricing: 

You stated that Knowify was "not working for the price I have to pay for it”, If the solution were to cost more than Knowify would that still be an acceptable solution?

 

Access:

How do you plan to create and send the proposals? (from an iPad, laptop, computer, etc.)

Where will you be when you do this? (out in the field, or in the office)

How many people need to be able to access the program? 

Do any employees require special access levels?

 

Other Apps Used: 

What apps have you already tried?

 

I hope the questions I provided will help you to better map out the specific needs from an accounting workflow.  Please feel free to reach out if you would like to discuss these questions.

Without a phone call there are just too many variables for me to really be able to dive in with an immediate solution. Based on the number of your requests, here are some apps that could potentially help for the specific request:

 

MY SUGGESTIONS: 

1: Webmerge:

This app will make it, so you can create custom documents that accept data being pushed into the document.  Attached to this response is an example of my test proposal that is automated with Webmerge, Zapier, and Process Street.  The attached PDF is two different documents that were automatically combined to create a custom proposal for our company.

 

  Webmerge & QuickBooks Online with Zapier 

 

2: QuickBooks Online Pro with Projects:

Use Bundles to create little packages with "fixed cost items" then use Zapier to shoot the data over to Webmerge.

 

3: T-Sheets

T-Sheets can be used to schedule your employees shifts and to track the time worked by a specific project. We do this with an interior design company that tracks all their billable and non-billable time per project. When you combine all this information into QuickBooks Online, you can run profit and loss by project as well.

 

Once again, I am sorry that Knowify did not turn to be the right fit for your specific needs, but I would still strongly recommend them to anyone who might read this post in the future.  

 

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: What apps can help me? I use Knowify, but...

@ncr, you always have support here. I will make sure your voice is heard loud and clear. Explore away! Hope we can help you find software that's a perfect fit.

 

OS compatibility can be a blocker - I used to run Android and always had issues getting "the newest thing." I later learned that in many cases, it's more difficult/ time-consuming to code for the multiple Android OS and Apple tends to be a bit easier. So most start with iOS. 

 

Looks like other folks have already chimed in to offer recommendations, glad you are thinking about building this out long-term!  

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