Streamlining financial processes with QuickBooks integration

Are you ready to make your financial process more efficient? Today on “The Better Way: A podcast by Buildertrend,” Reece and Zach are bringing you all of the must-know information related to integrating QuickBooks with your Buildertrend account.

Check out the full episode to learn how the two platforms work together to help streamline your business’ financial processes.

IS IT DIFFICULT TO SET UP AND LEARN?

  • It really isn’t hard and it’s worth it. It will take time to learn the ins and outs of Buildertrend with the QuickBooks integration. Adopting a new software always has bumps, but the relationship with Buildertrend and QuickBooks will help businesses embrace updated and efficient financial processes.

WILL INTEGRATING SAVE ME MONEY?

  • Yes!
  • You can continue to grow without hiring more admin staff
  • Our PO systems won’t allow payments to go over the budget
  • Eliminates double payment, overpayment, missed payments and reconciliation issues

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Reece Barnes and Zach Wojtowicz | Buildertrend

Intro:

Welcome to “The Better Way,” a podcast by Buildertrend. We are here to help you simplify and establish processes that will make meaningful changes to your company and help you achieve your goals. There’s a better way to run your construction business, the Builder Trend way. Tune in this season as our consultants, Reese Barnes and Zach Wojtowicz will help you master your financials.

In this episode, we’re discussing the QuickBooks integration. Learn how this accounting software works with Buildertrend to help streamline your business’ financial processes.

Reece Barnes:

Hello everybody and thank you for joining us for another episode of Buildertrend’s financial series. My name is Reece Barnes, and I’m an additional training consultant here at Buildertrend. I’m joined with my cohost, Zach Wojtowicz. Zach, how is your week starting so far?

Zach Wojtowicz:

Good man. Doing great. We’re back here to talk about …

Reece Barnes:

We are back.

Zach Wojtowicz:

… Buildertrend and QuickBooks today. This is a big one.

Reece Barnes:

This is a big one.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Excited.

Reece Barnes:

I would assume that a lot of people are going to want to listen to this.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Absolutely. There’s a lot of misinformation, a lot of questions. How does this work? What happens? What is the right time to integrate? All that. So, hopefully we can address some of these things and get people excited to take the plunge so to speak.

Reece Barnes:

Yes, let’s debunk some of the common myths.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah. So, sorry go ahead.

 

Reece Barnes:

I was just going to go over the agenda. Outline the relationship between Buildertrend and QuickBooks. Highlighting the actual integration setup itself. And then, going over common concerns. We’ll go over values, we’ll go over what might some of the roadblocks be that we hear that are common. But Zach, if you want to tee it off, just outline the relationship between QuickBooks and Buildertrend, so that our user base actually knows what information is going over to each.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Right, absolutely. That common concern one is really important because whenever you’re adopting a new software, there’s a lot of unknowns. And then, you’re taking a second software, and you’re kind of trying to marry the two. But with your new software you’re developing some processes in your already existing software. You already have processes. So, how do you navigate what that’s going to look like? And ultimately, we want Buildertrend’s integration with QuickBooks to be as simple as possible. That’s ultimately the goal.

And it is relatively simple. Everything that Buildertrend integrates with already exists inside of your QuickBooks account. It’s about pulling information out of your QuickBooks account and moving it into Buildertrend as the origination piece. This is where it starts now. When we’re thinking about construction A to Z, start the job, finish the job, you’re going to have different touch points as far as where data gets into Buildertrend and into QuickBooks. And ultimately, the goal is to try and make Buildertrend the focus.

For a lot of companies, QuickBooks is the focus, but there are a lot of people who might not have a QuickBooks license who are integral to getting that job completed. Buildertrend kind of helps open up that operation to your project managers, your superintendents. Anybody who has a Buildertrend login can get important financial information that normally they wouldn’t get. So, there’s a lot of value there, right?

Reece Barnes:

I hear that from my clients all the time. And that’s a big component of when we have people that are using more of QuickBooks, and they’re trying to understand how the integration works, but they’re not willing to do their job costing in Buildertrend. They want to keep doing it in QuickBooks.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Right.

Reece Barnes:

And the big thing is, a lot of our successful clients that use the integration say, we don’t want to have to go back and forth. We don’t want to have to go to the job and then go into QuickBooks to see the financials. We want to see that picture painted in the budget, and we want to be able to go into all of the estimates, all of the change orders, the purchase orders, the invoicing, what line items. Then, we can start pulling information on that.

So, I love that you hit on that because that is such an important piece. To understand from the very beginning when you’re considering the integration, you start everything in Buildertrend. If it’s set up appropriately, it gets pushed into QuickBooks so your accounting software can be reconciled, up to date and get you ready for taxes.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah. In a lot of ways QuickBooks becomes the input, the processor, the thing that cuts the checks and takes the money. But the actual guts of what’s happening is going to live within Buildertrend as a project management software. That’s something I always try to paint the picture of for a lot of companies. That QuickBooks really should be where the transactions are going through and doing the final touches and giving you the company information like your profit loss, your job profitability and your balance sheet, the health of the company. And we’re not changing that.

We’re just changing where the entry is starting and how I get things into the system without needing a license or training on a more complicated software. Buildertrend is very easy to use for what you need. And QuickBooks has a little bit higher skill gap that it takes to kind of learn where things are at and what the terminology really means. If you don’t have a background in bookkeeping, it can be confusing.

And if you do have a background in bookkeeping, you are the accountant. Buildertrend is much easier for those people to learn quickly because they’re already used to kind of how things work. So, it’s just tying that story together, making it all talk. So, what are we actually putting into Buildertrend, and what goes into QuickBooks?

So, just like in QuickBooks, you have to link your customer and your job up to QuickBooks. So, that’s the starting point. If I were to go into my QuickBooks, and I were getting ready to build something, I would have to put it somewhere. Well, customer. Buildertrend works the exact same way. We have a customer, then we have a job, and you can link to those together.

So, you can let Buildertrend push that into QuickBooks for you, or you can set it up in QuickBooks first and then link the Buildertrend job to the existing QuickBooks one. And that’s a choice a lot of people make where I want to put everything into QuickBooks first and then just map to it. Great. Or, I want to put it into Buildertrend and let Buildertrend push it into QuickBooks for me. Great.

Reece Barnes:

What do you suggest?

Zach Wojtowicz:

So, it just depends on the company’s dynamic as far as …

Reece Barnes:

Okay.

Zach Wojtowicz:

… what kind of building are you doing? Do you like a specific way that you name things in QuickBooks? If you’re a brand new company, you’re just getting started with QuickBooks, you probably are fine letting Buildertrend push data over because the formatting is going to be the formatting. But if you are a very established company, and you’ve got two years, three years, five years of QuickBooks data, and you like a specific way it’s organized, then don’t change that.

Reece Barnes:

Sure, okay.

Zach Wojtowicz:

There’s no need to. Set it up in QuickBooks first.

Reece Barnes:

It’s going to be a personal preference.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Exactly. And then, you just map your Buildertrend information to it. The key thing with that is how do you do that handoff? How do I ensure that the information is getting into QuickBooks first and then going into Buildertrend to set it up?

So, a lot of people will use a to-do, right? To say to the accountant, hey, this job is ready to have QuickBooks. Get their job set up. Here’s the job information. They do it and then, they go through and map it. And that can vary by the size of the company, too. If it’s a three man crew, then it’s not as big of a deal, but if you have 30 employees at your company, you’re going to have more touch points. Ironing out that process of how the job gets into QuickBooks is very important.

The other thing that we can kind of touch on is other elements that you need to be in your Buildertrend account. Vendors, right? Same thing, they need to be mapped up. And then, once those core things are set up, here’s really what’s happening. Buildertrend is kind of like throwing the football over the fence. I create a new build in Buildertrend, I save it, it’s linked to all the proper information. We’ll kind of touch on what that means here in a second. And then, it throws it over as an unpaid bill. It sits there until your bookkeeper gets the approval to cut the check.

And again, that operation works very, very different for companies. Some people have a very tight approval system, where the owner looks at every invoice and says, this is ready. Others are a little more efficient and they just know if it’s in QuickBooks and the due date is on there, it’s ready to pay and the bookkeeper processes it. Again, that doesn’t have to change. But, what we’ve done is thrown the information ready for evaluation to pay it or not.

Invoices for customers work very similarly. Our next episode after this one is talking about receiving payments and kind of how that works and the types of invoices. But if I just wanted to create a request for money, I start it in Buildertrend and I release it to the customer. It’s now thrown into QuickBooks. Once that customer pays me, I receive my money, update it. And now, it’s reflected as paid back in Buildertrend. That’s it.

Reece Barnes:

Nice.

Zach Wojtowicz:

It’s really not any more complicated than that. There are details as far as how that information transfers, but you’re just, it’s like a Lego. You’re just lining the pieces up and connecting them. And it really should be very seamless from there.

I always like to tell this story. I went out to a conference for a franchise out in Washington, and at that conference you had QuickBooks users and you had Sage users. And they were going back and forth about if they should use QuickBooks, if they should use Sage. If you don’t know what Sage is, it does have some project management tools. So, there’s been talks with Buildertrend that we should integrate and none of that matters, but I’ll never forget, I was talking to a woman who was about ready to retire. And in her late 60s, had been with this company for 35 years as a bookkeeper.

Reece Barnes:

Sure.

Zach Wojtowicz:

She raises her hand, and she says, can I just say something? And I’m like, ooh, here we go.

Reece Barnes:

Going to get roasted on the QuickBooks integration.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Exactly. I’m up at the front of the room. There’s 300 people. She said, I wish I had done this earlier.

Reece Barnes:

Nice.

Zach Wojtowicz:

And people just kind of looked at her like, what? If she’s saying that, then there’s obviously a lot of value. And she just said, it just took a little time and a little adjustment to learn how the things connect but once it does, you’re really not changing how you use your QuickBooks. You’re just shifting the focus of where that information is being put into the system. And that is a small adjustment to be sure, but that doesn’t mean that it is impossible, right?

Reece Barnes:

For sure, and that’s where, to kind of piggyback on that, even when I’m discussing with clients and say we’re getting ready to wrap up a deal for an onsite consultation, and we’re going to have heavy emphasis on the financial side of things. And maybe they want to use certain components of financials, but they don’t want to use the QuickBooks integration for whatever reason that may be. I always say, if we can just get you to have an open mind and at least consider and hear out what the potential is and then you make the decision after that, fantastic.

But at the end of the day, we don’t offer this as such a heavy hitting feature, component, piece of functionality, if you will, in Buildertrend if it didn’t work. So much of it is though, I mean, it’s their financials. It’s our clients’ business and livelihood. We have to be conscious of them wanting to protect that. But on the other hand, if as the business you are recognizing that you are wasting time with double entry or that you are recognizing that you could be having a better pulse on your jobs’ finances, we have all this room for growth in the Buildertrend account. And it’s going to start with an open mindset.

It’s going to be changing what you were doing to a degree, like you’d mentioned, Zach. I’m actually going to start using that. Refocusing the information because it’s just like with anything in Buildertrend, whether we’re taking notes on the back of a napkin or we’re doing a morning standup meeting for an hour every day to get a pulse on where jobs are, that’s the idea of Buildertrend. Right? We’re still using that information. We’re still sharing it, just in a little bit different method.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah.

Reece Barnes:

So, the thing with the QuickBooks integration is, yes, it does work. It saves a ton of people time. It’s just having that open mindset.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah.

Reece Barnes:

Understanding what you’re going to be getting from it and what you’re wanting to solve by doing it.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah, and I think about that a lot when I’m consulting with clients. How do you measure value?

Reece Barnes:

Right.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Does it have to be …

Reece Barnes:

We’ll touch on that, won’t we?

Zach Wojtowicz:

A little bit. And just sort of the time savings and the money savings, but just from when I’m making a business decision about improving my operations the undertaking you’re going to take here is going to have different levels of impact, right? Every decision you’re making can be small, but it still is going to give a little bit of an increase of how you’re doing things, and that’s kind of how I look at the Buildertrend and QuickBooks integration.

You do have to go through the cost code set up conversation. We discussed that. So, one, that’s key. You’ve done that work.

Reece Barnes:

Have to. Right.

Zach Wojtowicz:

That is a much bigger undertaking than the QuickBooks integration.

Reece Barnes:

Sure.

Zach Wojtowicz:

But once it’s done, that unlocks these other decisions, like the QuickBooks integration, as being so much more impactful because you’ve taken the time to really figure out the structure. And now, you’re implementing it, you’re utilizing it. And your QuickBooks reports are going to be better because of it. Buildertrend is now just feeding that information.

So, even though the integration itself might seem fairly insignificant, right? We’re describing the process as very simple. That’s because you’ve already done a lot of the hard work.

Reece Barnes:

Right.

Zach Wojtowicz:

It’s compiling on top of it.

Reece Barnes:

That’s what I was going to mention.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah.

Reece Barnes:

But, let’s jump into the set up.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah, and I just wanted to kind of touch on a little bit the things that need to be integrated. Take a step back, I kind of got a little bit ahead of myself here. But that’s just par for the course at this point.

Reece Barnes:

Yeah, just keep going Zach.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah. You have your cost codes, that I kind of just brought up, need to be linked to items. That’s a big concern for a lot of people when they use their QuickBooks, they just book expenses to a general ledger account, which means you don’t really have a specific tracking item mechanism. You’re just saying like, this is what I spent. And the account it goes into. That has to change a little bit. You have to use cost codes that is only linked to items in QuickBooks desktop or products and services on QuickBooks online. Some people aren’t or are aware of these things, but that’s a concession that you’re going to make.

But again, if you spent the time developing good cost codes so you can estimate better, you can have detailed sales proposals, your actual ecosystem of Buildertrend’s cost codes are set up. That’s not a big deal. Then, it’s just putting it in your QuickBooks account and then mapping it to which chart of account accounts that you want those items to feed into.

Your sub vendors, those already exists in your QuickBooks account. You just export them out, then we can mass import them into Buildertrend at that point. Your job information will link up to your customer information. Your internal users, and we haven’t talked about that, but time clock, we integrate with the weekly time sheet for payroll. Well, you already have your employees set up in QuickBooks, and you probably have them set up in Buildertrend, you just need to map them together. And then, you have to map it to your accounts payable and accounts receivable.

So, your asset and liability accounts are tied to it as well. That’s pretty straightforward. 95% of companies have an accounts payable and accounts receivable. Very, very rare for this to be an issue. And that’s it. Once these boxes are checked, I mean I can integrate this in 10 minutes and show people how it works. It really is that simple as far as how operationally those things go together.

Reece Barnes:

Well, and that’s the thing too, is when you look at… I get a lot of people, we’ll get push back on, “Well, how much time is this going to take? We’re so busy right now. We can’t sit down and actually go over making sure our cost codes are solid, and getting all this set up. And we don’t have the time to learn it.” Obviously that’s an easy, easy route for me to say if you don’t have the time we have consulting that can help do this for you.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Right.

Reece Barnes:

But really, it’s not necessarily a matter of that, it’s more so of what’s the direction of … what direction are you going to take your business?

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah.

Reece Barnes:

Because if you look at this and you’re going … if I’m someone brand new, trying to iron out a solid list of cost codes, let’s be generous here, five hours, 10 hours. What do you think? How long does it take to put together a solid list of cost codes methodically?

Zach Wojtowicz:

Depends on how much help they ask for. I think if you use Buildertrend’s resources we have a cost code listing that you can start with that we can tweak and make your own. You can sit down with your coach and be able to have an easy, show me what you estimate with.

Reece Barnes:

Right.

Zach Wojtowicz:

That can be your starting point, and you can build from there. It doesn’t have to be some ornate set of cost codes that are perfect. We just need to have some organization and some structure. So, a couple hours would probably do it.

Reece Barnes:

Sure.

Zach Wojtowicz:

That could last you years.

Reece Barnes:

That’s the point I’m getting at.

Zach Wojtowicz:

It’s a small investment, right?

Reece Barnes:

That’s the point I’m getting at, so many people, they get caught up of they’re running down the hill and the cart of work is chasing them, right? And they don’t want to get run over by the cart. It’s like sometimes you just, you have to slow yourself down and say, are we still wanting to work 70 hours a week, 52 weeks a year? And have all these issues with double entry and not having accurate job costing and not being able to pull those fiscal year end numbers and make data driven insights and decisions for the following year. Right? Or the coming year.

You’re looking at two hours of cost codes if you’re working with Buildertrend. You’re looking at learning the refocus of information and how it’s getting spit back and forth. And it allows your financing, your controller, bookkeeper, accountant, whoever that is, more time, again, to better the business. Do you want to be paying them to be doing double entry? Or do you want to be paying them to be analyzing the information that they’re putting in here and using their expertise and their backgrounds to say, this is how we can work smarter and not harder.

If you want to be maxing out labor and production, that’s great. But we could be trimming up on margins here, and we could be working with different subcontractors here. And we wasted a ton on here.

Zach Wojtowicz:

We’re going to get more into that in episode five, especially and six.

Reece Barnes:

Ooh, I’m excited.

Zach Wojtowicz:

We’ll be covering job costing and reporting and what do you actually get by taking those features and running with it?

Reece Barnes:

Right.

Zach Wojtowicz:

But to your point, that is really important as far as what you get. If you just take the more efficient time savings for your bookkeeper who now has more time to process information because you’re kind of spreading the load out a little bit, that means you can take on more projects.

Reece Barnes:

Exactly. Well, I learned that early. There was one client, they’re up in the Winter Park area. I was talking to them about doing some consulting and the gentleman said, Reece, I’m not interested in doing more work. I’m interested in doing less work more efficiently, better margins. We don’t want to run ourselves in the ground doing 15 houses a year. We know we want to do, say, five. We just want to be as efficient as possible on those houses. It’s hard to do that when you’re not tracking everything as efficiently as you can.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah. And nobody likes surprises either.

Reece Barnes:

Right.

Zach Wojtowicz:

If you’re not paying attention to these things upfront, that’s how mistakes happen. That’s one of the benefits by moving it out of your QuickBooks. It’s really easy to catch things in QuickBooks when you’re looking at your PNL.

Reece Barnes:

Yep.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Why shouldn’t we try and catch that upfront, when we’re actually entering in the expenses and utilizing the Buildertrend budget system? And this is part of that process, is getting QuickBooks integrated.

So, one thing I really want to make sure we have time to go over is the three big questions that you and I get as far as when people decide to take the leap of faith.

Reece Barnes:

Sure.

Zach Wojtowicz:

And give this a shot. And the first one is, you’re changing my reports. Reporting is a very important part of a business. It tells you where you’re at, your margins, how profitable, where were your expenses going? It gives you the total picture, obviously. Well, by and large Buildertrend does not changed your reporting function. The worst case scenario is that your reports are not set up to pull the items from the report list, but they’re pulling the account of the report.

So, that’s the key thing I want to emphasize, is if we switch to using products and services or items in QuickBooks, all you do is designate the correct expense accounts that the information ends up in. It actually doesn’t change which accounts you’re using. It changes how the data gets into those accounts. And, more times than not, I’m able to look at someone’s report and say, oh, we just need to check this box to include items in the report. Boom.

Reece Barnes:

Sure.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Same information, it just looks slightly different. But we’re not changing it. We’re changing the parameters of those reports so that they’re including the information that is coming from Buildertrend. And that alone is the biggest concern that people say is, this won’t work because I’m not getting the information I’m used to seeing. And it’s just, those reports are pre-set up with parameters. We just need to expand them in order to include the information that’s coming over.

And again, that’s only in maybe 5-10% of cases that we need to adjust the reports.

Reece Barnes:

Right.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Most times it just feeds it right into the account, and it’s buying. So, if you take one thing away from this conversation it’s that your reports are not going to change. They still use the same assets. It just means that where you put the information to get to those reports changed into Buildertrend.

So, the next question, are you going to change my operation? You’re saying that we need to move or re-enter the data in, and that is true. But it varies by company as far as how that information is going to happen. So, if you are listening to this and you’re concerned that I’m saying these things, it might not necessarily apply to you. Your bookkeeper might already be using Buildertrend, and that’s very fair and fine. Or, you might have project managers who are responsible for managing their budget. And that’s really how Buildertrend is assuming that you have people in place on the operation side, not the bookkeeping side, who are tracking how much they’ve paid on the PO’s.

Reece Barnes:

Sure.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Who are managing what their targets are from a budgetary standpoint. So, Buildertrend becomes the enhanced version of estimated versus actual. Where is that information? What is that information telling you is the key thing. So, if that means your bookkeeper, he is now having to move to putting bills into Buildertrend, but your project manager is able to look at the budget in real time and see that without needing to ask the bookkeeper to run the reports, right? Have a QuickBooks login and learn that software, I don’t look at that as an operational change. I look at that as a reallocation of how people are doing their job.

Reece Barnes:

Smarter delegation.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Exactly. You’re still using the same information, it’s just moving it to where that information is coming from.

Reece Barnes:

This whole, it’s just one big common theme of why would you have … This is really just eliminating cooks in the kitchen.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Right.

Reece Barnes:

Why wouldn’t you have the people, the project manager, let’s just use a custom home builder for an example. The project manager is just as much a salesperson as they are an organizer, right?

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah.

Reece Barnes:

Like if we have a client who is wanting to upgrade cabinets or countertops or faucets, fascia, or whatever the case is, why wouldn’t you want them to see where did we actually estimate this project? How much of our budget do we have left? How could we shift this around? Is this going to be a conversation where I need to explain this to the client, so that on the backend we don’t get someone who’s excited to get granite instead of laminate, which whoa.

But let’s just say, if they’re ready to make that move and they say, yes, we want granite. We put the granites in, they ship them the bill and they don’t understand why, right? If we can have a project manager who’s actually analyzing the budget, where do we come in from an estimated standpoint? What are our actual numbers going to be? How do we communicate this with the client so they have better experience? Just, it’s more efficient work.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah. Exactly. And every company has different terms. That’s one thing that always is kind of interesting, is how by region and state, different companies have different approaches of how they … what roles their people play.

Reece Barnes:

Right.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Project manager can be a superintendent, but he can also track the budget and sometimes there’s three different people. You have the field crew, the superintendent and the project manager. And we understand that, but it can work for all those situations. But it does mean some relearning of where I’m going to be drawing that information. And the majority of people don’t have as many issues if you’re putting that information into Buildertrend because now, everybody’s using the same thing. They’re already using it for their daily logs and change orders. Why wouldn’t they use it to be able to get their financial information too?

So, is it hard to learn? Hopefully that’s one of the main takeaways that people are getting here, is no. It really is as simple as line up your data, learn how to fill it out and throw it over to QuickBooks and process it. Once you lay it out on paper and kind of see how things line up, it really is learning and documenting what that process is going to look like. There will be some bumps, there is no denying. People have had struggles with this integration because they’re uncomfortable with how everything’s going to work. But you have to keep the eyes on the prize as far as where you’re going in three months, four months, five months later. They’re not going to be issues anymore, because you’ve worked through them and you’ve figured out how you want to use the system.

Reece Barnes:

Again, this is no brainer stuff for people that don’t own business, you and I.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Right.

Reece Barnes:

But the big thing is, you have to at some point step back, whether you’re frustrated with it or not. You have to step back and say, is this going to make us more efficient from a business standpoint? And if it is, call us up, have a conversation.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah, the value.

Reece Barnes:

Value.

Zach Wojtowicz:

What do you actually get? What’s the data say? And granted, this is run by Buildertrend data science, based on surveys and reporting and analytics. But on average, we have found that bookkeepers are saving up to 20 hours on their data entry on a month to month basis. Right? That’s a huge time saving from just a management standpoint.

If you have a controller in your company that you don’t have to augment their work as much, you can trust that the system is much more accurate because you’re catching things up front in Buildertrend rather than waiting until checks are being written. Mobile capabilities are something that I think don’t get utilized enough. When your guys run to The Home Depot, they can upload their receipts straight into Buildertrend and even track a bill straight from that for your bookkeeper. The cost code can send to QuickBooks. You can find creative ways to get everybody more involved and pushed along the line, make it work really, really well.

Our partner month ends works with 40 builders who upload their receipts through Buildertrend and cost code it and track PO payments. And it is magical how much time these companies are able to save by putting in a standard operating procedure. Not just for the bookkeeper, but also the people out in the field.

Does it take a little training? Absolutely, it’s software. People have to be taught how to use it. You can’t just lay it out …

Reece Barnes:

That’s with anything.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Exactly. You can’t just lay it in their laps and say, figure it out. Come up with a plan of, okay, I’ve integrated. I know it works. Now, I want to train my field crew how to get information out of the field into the bookkeeper’s hand via Buildertrend, but it can work.

Money, and this is something we’re going to touch more on when we cover job costing in episode five. But especially the purchase order system. It has a cap on how much you’re able to pay out on that PO, so that when you receive your invoice from your sub, and it is over what you had originally budgeted for, you will know right then and there that you are over budget. And you can either have a conversation with the sub to say, what happened? Or, you can track it through what’s called Variances in Buildertrend, a very cool feature, that kind of flags it in your budget to say, hey, this was an overage. And you can decide what to do with it. Do I push that onto the customer? Do we eat it? Was it truly our mistake? Now, you’re talking about being able to run reports to say, is this happening a lot? Is this a common theme that I’m finding? Is it always the same sub, or is it, if I’m doing work with a customer I work with a lot, is it always coming up with this particular type of project? It gives you the evidence to really justify your business decisions.

Reece Barnes:

Right.

Zach Wojtowicz:

And that’s extremely useful and hopefully eliminates things like double payment because you can track clearly, like no, I already did pay for this. The bookkeeper a lot of times is not aware of which payments are appropriate or not. They have to look for the project manager to facilitate that conversation where Buildertrend kind of becomes the place. I can see what has been paid or not in my Buildertrend on my phone without really much effort.

And just think of the communication, the streamlining, the handoffs. You can communicate with accounting without needing to talk to accounting. You can get that all in one place, giving the production team a lot more control over what’s happening without having to bother what the other operational side of accounting part of the company. So, I think the value is definitely there.

I would encourage anybody listening to really rely on Buildertrend to help you through this process. We have tons of help videos, obviously, but a conversation with someone over the phone with your questions is going to go a long way to get people on the same page and kind of see where this can go.

Reece Barnes:

Absolutely. And that’s definitely worth duly noting, is don’t try and attack this on your own. Get your CPA involved. If you do have a third party bookkeeper or CPA or controller, have them jump on the phone with Builder Trend’s unlimited customer support. Have them do a 45 minute training on QuickBooks integration so that they can understand how is this information getting pushed from Builder Trend? What is the CPA or bookkeeper’s role in Builder Trend? And why is that the case?

Zach Wojtowicz:

And that’s a great point because a lot of times the bookkeeper or the CPA who’s putting the report parameters in place. They just show them where to go to run the report. But if it’s the CPA who set it up, well they should know QuickBooks. They can change the parameters to include the information we need from Buildertrend so that you are still getting that information. Having them looped into the conversation is a really important piece of that. It’s a great point.

Reece Barnes:

Yeah, don’t be shy, it’s unlimited. We want to help you guys out. We want to make sure that you are utilizing the program to get an ROI on it. That’s the entire point of us being a business and helping our client base out. We definitely don’t want people to get frustrated with this topic. We want to be able to assist as much as we can. We have, like Zach had alluded to, tons of different channels of success, whether it is consulting, videos in the help center, certifications, unlimited customer support. We’ve got a help support line. You can call in and get 15, 10 minute questions answered. Chat functions.

Zach Wojtowicz:

All of the above.

Reece Barnes:

We want to give you every opportunity.

Zach Wojtowicz:

We want everybody to be successful.

Reece Barnes:

Yes.

Zach Wojtowicz:

I think that wraps up this episode.

Reece Barnes:

Is that done? It’s done.

Zach Wojtowicz:

It’s done. Everybody, thank you for listening. Our next episode is talking about how do you receive client payments, what does that process look like …

Reece Barnes:

How do we get paid?

Zach Wojtowicz:

How do we get our money? Right?

Reece Barnes:

Our cheddar.

Zach Wojtowicz:

We appreciate your time today. Have a great …

Reece Barnes:

Yes.

Zach Wojtowicz:

… rest of your day.

Reece Barnes:

We’ll see you.

Outro: 

Thanks for listening to “The Better Way.” If you’re a Buildertrend customer, schedule a training to learn more. And all listeners, be sure to rate, review and subscribe to “The Better Way” wherever you get your podcasts. Also, visit buildertrend.com/podcast to sign up for the email notifications when the next season drops, and explore our other podcast, “The Building Code.” Don’t miss our next episode focused on receiving payments.


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