When I started my accounting firm more than 20 years ago (in 1994), I decided that I wanted to specialize within the residential construction industry using QuickBooks as my accounting “tool” of choice. For an accounting program, QuickBooks was relatively user-friendly. At the same time it also provided flexibility and powerful job-costing capabilities.
But there were some problems.
QuickBooks is a very broad-based generic software.
- With Intuit promoting the concept of “You can do your own accounting with QuickBooks. All you need to know is how to write a check”, many businesses thought they could simply jump into doing their own accounting without any in-depth accounting training.
- Any type of accounting software requires users to learn its features, flows, and intricacies.
- Job-costing, even for trained, dyed-in-the-wool accountants, can be a challenge.
- The construction industry has relatively complex accounting requirements that vary depending on specific types of construction.
- The “construction-industry-specific” Chart of Accounts and Item Lists provided with QuickBooks (even within the Premier Contractor version of the program) were nearly always inadequate to meet the needs of the clients I was working with. I consistently found that their “hair-pulling” frustration and reporting issues typically STARTED with these prior, underlying “structural set up” problems.
Yes, the problems could be fixed. BUT you have to know what you’re doing, and what the structure SHOULD look like when you’re done “remodeling” the existing file.
Thus, the fix-it process was time-consuming and costly.
In 2000, in cooperation with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), I wrote a book (Accounting With QuickBooks for Builders & Remodelers – 300+ pp). It included extensive information about how to manually create proper setup lists in QuickBooks.
As a result, because manually creating the proper set up took many, many hours, and was prone to user error, my readers’ questions quickly became “Why do I have to do all of this work? Can’t you just do it for me?”
So I decided that a solution to both of these BIG issues (fix-the-problem-file, and set-up-everything manually), would be to develop aQuickBooks construction template. A “model” company file that businesses could use to get a fresh start.
The goal was to create a QuickBooks construction template (company file) that would relieve the pain of confusing, frustrating, inadequate, and inaccurate construction reports. I decided to create a solution that would help both new and existing business owners achieve logical, consistent, and meaningful reports.
And that’s why, and how, AccountingPRO™ came into the world!