• November 13, 2012 at 12:46 pm #64236
    Aaron Schreur

    Anyone using quickbooks for invoicing and happy with it? I am a 1 man shop and I am looking for ways to cut cost on software and just wondering about QB and its success for for auto shops (if any)

    November 19, 2012 at 6:16 pm #72952

    Hi Aaron

    I used quickbooks for about 6 years. It was nice because all the accounting, inventory and customer records were there. Its a little hard to use because its not set up for auto repair and each vehicle needs to be entered with owner info. So if a customer has 3 vehicles there will be 3 separate records for him. I was very happy with it But along came more work and money and I decided I needed to upgrade to save time. I still use quickbooks for my accounting, taxes, etc. My new software is strictly used for invoicing and customer records organization, It transfers accounting info to quickbooks.

    quickbooks is nice because you won’t need to pay a monthly fee or update annually.


    November 23, 2012 at 4:12 pm #72953
    Joe Mazur

    When i started out, i also used quickbooks for invoicing, and it

    worked well for what i needed( a basic program to generate invoices,

    and track sales). After about 9 months of using it, we switched to a

    software system, and the only drawback was that any customer

    information and histories in quickbooks could not be transferred to

    the new system electronically, but would need to be entered manually.

    I would offer this advice: You should look at what you want to do with

    your software. IF you are only concerned with generating invoices,

    then quickbooks will do just fine. But if you plan to grow, and want

    to be able to track important business data and have access to reports

    and trending data, and be able to use CRM to keep your customers

    coming back, then you should look at purchasing software.

    Also, dont just look at the cost, but also look at the missed revenue

    that may occur if you dont use a management software. We use the YES

    management system by Pace, and just the maintenance tracking feature

    of it alone, more than pays for the cost. Then there is also the added

    convenience of electronic parts ordering and data transfer right to

    the RO. Just make sure the cost of the software fits into your

    expenses, or look at ways that you can increase charges (Labor rate,

    shop supplies) to offset the cost.

    Hope this helps.

    August 19, 2013 at 2:31 pm #73229

    We’ve been using QB for everything since 2000.  Love it.  We use no other shop software.  QB allows us to create our own forms, queries, and reports.  It handles payroll, taxes, the works.  And it’ affordable.  We have a 5 user license and couldn’t be happier.

    Familiarity has a lot to do with it too.  The learning curve of any software is tough and that’s the main reason we would never switch from QB to some vertical market app.
    J. Larry Bloodworth
    February 14, 2014 at 1:04 pm #73463

    I have in the past trained many shop owners on accounting.  I understand Larry’s point of view, but I tend to side with JeffreyD and Jmazur.  If you just need to write tickets, fine, but if you want to actually use the software as a tool to see and increase your profits, then you want a good management software.  As an example, most good software out there will allow you to see your gross profit at a glance.  You can’t do that with QuickBooks.  For most shop owners I have dealt with, the key deciding factor is if a software is only costing you money or making you money.  

    November 24, 2014 at 11:15 pm #73791
    Jim Masella

    I have used QB’s since 1996.  I is probably the most cost effective system out there.  You can customize your invoice, write estimates and convert to invoice later, payroll, and many good reporting features.  I love being able to pull a P&L statement at any time and compare it to last year to date.  It always works and is very reliable.  Drawbacks are 1.  Not great for CRM.  I can’t figure out how to pull a report on customer’s that have been in from 1 to 3 years ago without a lot of manual work.  You can set up your customer’s name and then have their cars as jobs under their name. You can make any customer’s car “inactive” when they get rid of it.  2.  If you use QB Pro, you WILL get locked out at 14,500 customer’s.  Then you have to upgrade to QB Enterprise Solutions for about $2,000 for a 3 user pack.  (a big jump from the $150 program you start with.  3.  If you do payroll and want to use Intuit’s payroll taxtable download, they will only work with programs within the last 3 years.  ie: you must upgrade every 3 years or calculate payroll yourself and enter the numbers in QB yourself.  QB will still do payroll w/your numbers- I use Suburban payroll’s website- it’s free- for calculating withholding and FICA. 
    I’m checking into software that works with QB for CRM right now.
    I won’t switch do to the process of having 2 different software systems to check invoices for a long time.  Plus everyone know how to use QB’s.  It’s so easy to use. 
    Jim Masella
    Masella’s Auto Repair, Venice, FL

    November 24, 2014 at 11:17 pm #73792
    Jim Masella

    Feel free to call me if you have any questions
    Masella’s Auto Repair
    Venice, FL

    November 28, 2014 at 8:46 am #73795
    Tom Ham

    I know there are quite a few shop that use QB for their management system. For a few it may make sense, but I suspect that most do not realize what an auto service specific system can do today. Parts integration, service info integration, etc. 

    Tom - Shop Owner since 1978

    December 1, 2014 at 2:52 pm #73796

    Tom makes a great point – there is a huge difference between an accounting package and a management program.  QuickBooks primary function is to provide you
    with the tools for IRS reporting using generally accepted accounting principles
    (GAAP), which are standards and detailed rules for financial reporting which
    may not mend well with how to manage your shop. 
    I have had long discussions with my accountant, who not only is a CPA
    but also holds an MBA from University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School Of
    Business, he professes that while QuickBooks is excellent for keeping track of
    finances, it is not the best tool for strategic management especially in a
    niche business such as needed in an Automotive Repair Shop. 

    We need to always have the right tools for the job that
    would mean having both programs in your electronic tool box (computer) – My
    recommendation, select a premier management program and an accounting

    December 20, 2014 at 1:03 am #73819

    I have been using Quickbooks for about 15 years, we are moving on at this point to a more auto related software. Does anyone have any recommendations for software with POS and Customer retention features. We are single family owned shop since 1961. We just feel the we have outgrown the Quickbooks and need a more Auto Repair Tire Store program. One thing I have never understood about Quickbooks is the lack of being able to capture a customer signature on a keypad to print on a invoice . Quickbooks has served us well, we have just outgrown it,  business has changed so much. Thanks for any suggestions.David

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