From the April/May 2007 Review of Construction Accounting Software
What began as an entry-level bookkeeping program has become a series of specialty niche software products in a variety of sizes to suit small to midsize companies. The Contractor Edition of QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions 7.0 provides users with an excellent software product designed specifically for growing and midsize contractors and is now available in five-, 10-, 15- and 20-user versions. In addition, version 7.0 features enhanced capacity and can handle 100,000 or more customers, vendors and employees, and 100,000 or more inventory, non-inventory and service items. Under the Contractor function is the Job Costing Center. Using the Job Cost module, users can track jobs per customer, assign expenses (including labor to that job) and even check to see if they’ve missed any expenses by running the Expenses Not Assigned to Jobs report. Users can enter estimates and track them as jobs progress. As well, the program allows for tracking of income and expenses for contracting jobs, including subcontractor expenses, which can be added and then directly applied to the related customer invoice. Enterprise Solutions for Contractors will also track Workers’ Compensation and General Liability insurance, so users will know exactly when insurance is due to expire.
LEARNING CURVE — 5 Stars
Like all QuickBooks products, the main screen features a drop-down menu bar at the top, along with a navigation bar that provides access to various centers such as Customers, Vendors, Employees and Reports. Other options include the ability to create invoices, write checks, enter bills, search the chart of accounts, along with access to links to various system options. Information can also be processed by using the flow chart on the main screen. Screens are customizable, so features and options can be added to reflect the business’ needs.
Navigating Enterprise Solutions is easy. Despite data-entry screens that are somewhat cluttered, a tremendous amount of information and capability is provided, including the option to e-mail invoices and purchase orders directly from the entry screen. Even those new to Enterprise Solutions will find it easy to find their way through the program, and the availability of new user tutorials makes it even easier.
MODULES & ADD-ONS – 4.5 Stars
Enterprise Solutions is not a modular system so all functions are available with the system purchase, including GL, AR, AP, Inventory, Purchase Order, Fixed Asset, Estimates, Banking and Job Cost. Payroll is also included, although a subscription to QuickBooks’ Payroll service is required in order to have access to the Payroll center. QuickBooks Time Tracker, which is also sold separately, records timesheets via the Web, making it easy for field employees and contractors on the job to record their time worked. Enterprise Solutions also offers the Contact Sync for Outlook, which allows users to enter customer information via Outlook.
PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS – 4.5 Stars
Enterprise Solutions’ centers allow users to review, track and enter information all from one area. The Decision Tools option, found under the company heading, provides a series of informational reports, including the ability to measure profitability, analyze financial strengths, and compare debt and ownership. The Alerts Manager maintains a checklist of things to do that can be checked off upon completion. The system can also be set up for online banking, so users no longer have to wait for a paper statement to keep files completely up to date.
IMPORT/EXPORT & INTEGRATION – 5 Stars
Enterprise Solutions allows for easy import or export of Excel or Word documents. Addresses can also be exported directly to text files; reports can be exported to Excel; and Quicken, Peachtree and Microsoft Small Business Accounting files can be converted. As mentioned earlier, Outlook can also be synced with QuickBooks for quick data entry from any location. Enterprise Solutions will also integrate with hundreds of third-party software products designed to work with small businesses. Check Intuit’s website for a complete list.
REPORTING – 4.5 Stars
The Report Center provides a centralized area to print reports. More than 120 built-in reports are listed by type and include Company & Financial, Customers & Receivables, Jobs, Time, Mileage, Employees & Payroll, and Purchases. All reports can be displayed onscreen, modified, printed, e-mailed, or exported to Excel or a *.CSV file. Modified reports can be saved as memorized reports. The Financial Statement Designer allows financial statements to be formatted according to the business’ needs. Multiple reports can be processed by checking those desired from a list of available reports. For more advanced reporting needs, QuickBooks data can be retrieved via ODBC-compliant applications such as Microsoft Access, Excel and Crystal Reports.
SUPPORT & TRAINING – 5 Stars
Enterprise Solutions includes the Full Service Plan, which provides users with one year of full product upgrades, a dedicated technical support engineer, custom reporting services for modifying built-in reports, interactive training tools, online backup service and data protection services. This support can be renewed annually starting at $750 for the five-user version. Training options are extensive, with learning center tutorials included with the program as well as a Getting Started option, which guides new users through Enterprise Solutions. The QuickBooks Community forum provides getting started suggestions and a forum for asking questions.
RELATIVE VALUE – 4.5 Stars
QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions: Contractor Edition 7.0 is an excellent product for those needing less-stringent construction functionality. Starting at $3,000 for a five-user system, it is also affordably priced and extremely easy to navigate with solid support and training options available.
2007 Overall Rating – 4.5 Stars