• February 4, 2015 at 12:34 pm #64553


    I was doing some research on shop management systems and noticed some great threads but given my budget I want to see if I can use Quickbooks since it’s great for invoicing and easy to set up plus cheap. Some questions I had:
    1. How do I assign a vehicle (or vehicles) to a customer? Or every service I provide to the customer will have Vehicle in notes
    2. How do you track any recommendations to the customer’s vehicle – just in notes?
    3. How do you manage estimates and inspections?
    4. How different is QB desktop vs. Online
    5. Do you use anything else to manage daily schedule?
    6. Ultimately can you use QB to run your shop?
    Anyone willing to chat for 30 min if they do use it or share some best practices? Happy to offer a gift certificate for your time. 
    Thank you!
    February 9, 2015 at 12:41 pm #73894

    S AK,

    We used QB online to manage auto detailing business for 7 years. I have some trickS and would be happy to talk a little bit with you. My number is 512-266-6665. Leave me a message I’ll get back as soon as I have a moment.

    Nathan Alhades

    February 9, 2015 at 1:02 pm #73896

    I wouldn’t recommend using QuickBooks for a Shop Management System! They do not have a Vehicle table and if the shop becomes bigger there’s no way to migrate your data from QB to that system easily. We use Omnique.com and they have the best QB integration out there. For a smaller shop they have packages starting at $49 per month and it’s a system that you can grow with as you get larger.

    That’s my 2 cents…Erik

    1 user liked this post.
    February 9, 2015 at 1:49 pm #73899
    Joseph Van syoc

    I am using quickbooks and automotive expert, and the two do not intergrate.  While you can use quickbooks for invoicing, I would recommend a shop management program for writing estimates and ROs, and keeping vehicle history.  One reason is that you want to meet the state requirements for customer authorizations, estimates etc.  And keeping a vehicle history will be much easier on a shop program, as are setting up parts and labor rates margins etc.  Try to find one that intergrates with your QB.  And if you cant, the extra data entry isnt that overwhelming for a small shop.  I use QB to track all the expenses, and OTC sales etc, then enter the sales data from my ROs as either an invoice or a sales receipt. I think between QB and AE I have around $400 invested, and for a small one man shop that seems to work just fine

    February 9, 2015 at 3:42 pm #73900

    Our shop uses QB only. It’s taken some time to set it up with groups, inventory, customers’ jobs, etc. and with great trial and error, but it works for us and eliminates the extra expense of paying for another software program to do service writing and estimates. Since I do all the bookkeeping it’s really nice that we don’t have to dump info from another program into it to complete all the accounting/bookkeeping/reports/taxes, etc. Feel free to call and I can tell you the pros and cons; I’m new at this (helping my husband run the business after he got sick about 2 years ago) so as a newbie, perhaps I just don’t know any better. 

    Deborah – James Thomas Volvo/Subaru Service in Chico, CA
    February 10, 2015 at 8:58 pm #73906

    Thanks everyone. I will reach out separately to talk further. 

    February 12, 2015 at 11:22 am #73907
    Tom Ham

    QB is fine for what it is designed for. It is not even remotely designed for shop management. Think of using a paperclip instead of a scanner for reading codes. Or using a 4 way lug wrench and bottle jack to rotate tires. It can be done, but efficient it is not. 

    There are roughly 125 offerings for management software out there. Fifty of the more well known ones are listed on this site here:
    With that many choices, there is something that would be a good fit for pretty much any shop. 

    Tom - Shop Owner since 1978

    February 15, 2015 at 9:15 am #73909

    A few shops went put of business lately .None used there shop management systems properly.

    Do you email every customer before they leave to make sure you have a correct email address.
    Then do you have 2-3 recommendations for that customer car including the next oil change date.
    how does anyone do that in QB. I know there must me a way but you are wasting so much time inventing the wheel .
    Just think you spend 150-500 a month on your CRM and get a ton of return business.
    Is your shop so memorable that people just say oh my car needs work i will drive extra far to go to _______ shop

    Customer thank me all the time for reminding about upcoming services their car will need and they can plan for it and budget for it it’s a win win situation. Most customers love to hear you don’t need anything right now let’s check in in 3 months . 

    Quick books does do mail merge but have no way of reading the database year make mile and know your can needs its 40k service in 3 months. 
    March 14, 2015 at 10:39 pm #73969

    Wow dead thead 

    March 23, 2015 at 2:30 pm #73986

    Honestly, using QB’s for your repair shop is like using a pipe wrench to remove a nut. Wrong tool for the job.

    There is a reason there are so many repair shop programs out there.. because the majority of repair shops have found that they need the right tool for the job.
    And of course since repair shops are varied, there are going to be many programs to fit different needs.
    It doesn’t cost anything but time to download and try out software. And trying to use QB’s for your auto repair is going to cost you more time than just finding the correct tool (software program).
    There are folks that are total QB’s fans, and they have managed to get it to work for them, but it is much easier to use something that you feel comfortable with right from the start.
    If you have to fight the software to get what you want, it is not the right program. 
    And don’t forget about support. Did you contact QB’s for support? How did they respond? Did they get you setup to your satisfaction?
    A software company dedicated to making repair shop software will get you setup before you even purchase the software so they know, and you know, that the software is going to work for you.
    After all, your job is not to mess around fixing or changing a tool to make it work for you, but to get the correct tool so you can do your real job well.
    August 28, 2019 at 2:22 pm #92308
    Adrian Gates

    I tried integrating QuickBooks with Automotive Shop Management Software.

    Money matters, having your profit and loss statements, your sales tax statements and your income statements correct and ready to share with your accountant (and the IRS) easily is vital for any business.

    Paying a bookkeeper to copy and paste repair order information just doesn’t make any sense and using Quickbooks to try and run your auto repair shop on it’s own just doesn’t work.

    Combining and connecting the two different software systems gives you the power of repair order writing, parts ordering, tech time management along with the power of the number one accounting package for small business.

    Once QuickBooks Pro hosting is integrated with the automotive shop management software system it will automatically transfer the data across from one to the other.

    When a repair order is transferred to QB the following line items will be added, when necessary:

    ·         Discount

    ·         Disposal (Fees)

    ·         Fees

    ·         Freight (Fees)

    ·         Freight (Parts)

    ·         Hazardous Waste Disposal (Fees)

    ·         Labor

    ·         Parts

    ·         Sales Tax

    ·         Services

    ·         Shop Supplies (Fees)

    ·         Sublet (Fees)

    ·         Supplies (Parts)

    ·         Tires (Parts)

    ·         Warranty (Fees)


    If you still need help i would advise you to contact Intuit.




    Senior QuickBooks Hosting Pro advisor

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