Contractor's Guide to QuickBooks Pro 2009 eBook (PDF) & Software Download


If you'd rather be building homes than burning the midnight oil trying to balance your books, you should have this eBook. It includes a template for a construction company to aid your set up, an estimating program with a 5000-item database, a program that converts your estimates into QuickBooks forms so you can compare with your actual costs, and blank construction forms for your use.

ISBN 978-1-57218-221-9
Page Count 344
Author Karen Mitchell, Craig Savage, Jim Erwin
Publisher Craftsman Book Company

QuickBooks Pro can save you hours of time in keeping your books and keeping track of your finances. But setting up the new 2009 QuickBooks Pro can be complex and time-consuming.

Contractor's Guide to QuickBooks Pro 2009 can save hours of time in setting up and putting to use all the new features that this 2009 edition offers. QuickBooks Pro isn't just for taxes. You can use it for payroll, keeping track of your vendors and subs -- even job costing (comparing your estimated costs to your actual costs and finding out where you're making and losing money.)

If you'd rather be building homes than burning the midnight oil trying to balance your books, you should have this new eBook. It includes a template for a construction company to help speed your set up, an estimating program with a 5000-item database, a program that converts your estimates into QuickBooks forms so you can compare with your actual costs, and blank construction forms for your use.

Interested in getting started right away? This text searchable, PDF version of the book is available to download and comes with the same free estimating software and forms offered with the book. Craftsman eBooks are for use in the freely distributed Adobe Reader and are compatible with Reader 5.0 or above. Get Adobe Reader.

The National Estimator System Requirements:

  • PC with 300 megahertz or higher Intel (or equivalent) processor recommended; 233 MHz minimum required.
  • Operating Systems:
    • Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows ME or Windows 98SE.
  • Requires up to 160 megabytes (MB) of hard disk space.
  • Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher resolution video adapter and monitor.
  • CD-ROM or DVD drive.
  • Keyboard and Mouse or compatible pointing device.
For Internet access:
  • DSL or Cable recommended; 56 kilobytes per second (Kbps) or higher-speed modem minimum.
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 (or higher), Netscape 7.1, Firefox 1.0, or Mozilla 1.7 minimum.
ShowMe Tutorial System Requirements:
  • 1024 x 768 or higher video resolution required.
  • To listen to video tutorial - Sound card and speakers or headphones.

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Introduction, 5
Why You Need This Book, 5
What You Can Expect from This Book, 6
QuickBooks, QuickBooks Pro, or Premier Contractor Edition?, 7
Why Should You Believe Us?, 8
The CD and How to Use It, 11
Removing the Installed Files, 14

1. Setting Up Your QuickBooks Pro Company, 15
Getting Started, 15
QuickBooks Pro Company Files, 15
Begin With Our Sample and Company Data Files, 17
Upgrading to QuickBooks Pro Version 2009, 21
Convert from Quicken to QuickBooks Pro, 23
Convert an Existing Data File to Our Setup, 24

2. How to Set QuickBooks Pro Preferences, 27
General Preferences, 27
Accounting Preferences, 28
Bill Preferences, 30
Checking Preferences, 30
Finance Charge Preferences, 33
Items & Inventory Preferences, 34
Jobs and Estimates Preferences, 35
Payroll and Employees Preferences, 36
Reminders Preferences, 38
Reports and Graphs Preferences, 39
Sales and Customers Preferences, 39
Sales Tax Preferences, 40
Send Forms Preferences, 40
Service Connection Preferences, 42
Spelling Preferences, 42
Tax: 1099 Preferences, 43
Time and Expenses Preferences, 45

3. Chart of Accounts, 47
The Chart of Accounts, 47
How to Use the Sample Chart of Accounts, 49
Change, Add to, and Print Your Chart of Accounts, 55
QuickBooks Premier Contractor Edition Features, 57

4. Items, 67
Entering Items for a Non-Inventory Based Business, 68
Entering Items for an Inventory Based Business, 70
Creating a Group of Items, 72
Entering Non-Job Related Items, 73

5. Payroll Items, 77
Using Payroll Items to Track Workers' Comp Costs, 77
Using Payroll Items If You Don't Track Workers' Comp, 84
Including Sole Proprietor and Partners' Time Costs in Job Costs, 86

6. Classes, 95
Using Classes to Track Cost Categories, 95
How to Create a Class, 96

7. Customers and Jobs, 99
How to Set Up a Customer, 99
Adding a Job for a Customer, 103
Exporting or Printing Your Customer List, 106

8. Vendors and Subcontractors, 107
Setting Up 1099 Vendors, 107
Setting Up a Non-1099 Vendor, 111

9. Employees, 113
Setting Up Your Employee List, 113

10. Opening Balances, 121
Entering Opening Balances in QuickBooks Pro, 121
Entering Invoices for Accounts Receivable, 122
Entering Bills for Accounts Payable, 124
Beginning Job Balances, 125

11. Organizing Work Flow, 127
Setting Up Your Office Files, 128
Organizing Your Payroll, 131
Keeping Office Paperwork Current, 131

12. Estimating, 135
Using a Summary Estimate You Make Outside of QuickBooks Pro, 136
Customizing an Estimate Form, 138
Memorizing an Estimate, 139
Estimates and Progress Billing, 141
Getting Detailed Estimates, 141

13. Receivables, 143
Four Ways to Invoice a Customer, 144
Tracking Change Orders on Estimates, 154
How to Handle Retainage, 156
Recording a Payment You Receive, 161
Recording a Deposit, 162
Recording a Job Deposit, 163

14. Payables, 167
Creating and Using Purchase Orders, 168
Using Purchase Orders to Track Multiple Draws and Committed Costs, 169
Entering Bills Without Purchase Orders, 173
Selecting Bills for Payment, 175
Printing Checks, 176
Vendor Workers' Comp Reports, 177

15. Payroll, 183
Entering a Timesheet, 183
Processing Employee Payroll, 186
Allocating Sole Proprietor or Partner's Time to a Job, 193

16. Using QuickBooks Pro on a Cash Basis, 197
How to Record a Check, 198
How to Record a Deposit, 201
Checking Your Transactions with the QuickBooks Pro Register, 203

17. Reports, 205
How to Modify Reports, 205
Using Our Memorized Reports, 209
Using Jobs, Time & Mileage Reports, 228
Using Reports in QuickBooks Premier Contractor Edition, 236

18. End of Month and End of Year Procedures, 239
End of Month Procedures, 239
Reading and Understanding Your Financial Reports, 247
End of Year Procedures, 250

19. Real Estate Development, 257
New Accounts, 257
Setting Up a Development Job, 258
Using Items to Track Construction Costs as WIP, 259
Land Purchase Transactions, 261
Personal Loans, 265
Development Loans, 271
Construction Loans, 275
Recording the Sale of a Property, 278

Appendix A, Estimating with QuickBooks Pro, 283
Three Good Reasons to Try QuickBooks Pro Estimating, 283
A Road Map to Your Destination, 284
Setting Preferences for Estimating, 285
Building Your Item List, 287
Creating an Estimate in QuickBooks Pro, 289
Turning an Estimate into an Invoice, 292
Tidying Up Your Company File, 295

Appendix B Job Cost Tracking and Importing Estimates, 297
A Different Approach, 297
Estimates into Invoices, 300
Handling Tax, 300
Using Items for Job Cost Tracking, 302
Help Learning National Estimator, 304
Estimating with National Estimator, 305
Converting Estimates with Job Cost Wizard, 319
Job Cost Wizard Prints Invoices Your Way, 321

Index, 331


Why You Need This Book

Contractor's Guide to QuickBooks Pro is a simple, hands-on guide for contractors, remodelers, subcontractors, and real estate developers who plan to use, or are now using, QuickBooks Pro accounting software. Think of this manual, like QuickBooks Pro, as a powerful new tool. Used correctly, it will get results you never thought possible - in ways you never imagined.

This book was written for contractors by contractors. That's why it's low on "accounting speak" and high on practical examples. We're not going to talk about debits and credits. QuickBooks Pro doesn't use those terms, so we won't either. Instead, we'll use words we all understand, like checks, estimates, bills, timecards, purchase orders, and deposit slips.

We'll help you set up a good, effective, highly-professional bookkeeping system as quickly and painlessly as possible. You'll know, at the click of a mouse button, who owes you money and who you owe. You'll know if there's enough cash on hand to pay bills. When you need a current profit and loss statement, you'll have one in a minute or two - either for the month, the year, or for just one job. When a lender or a bonding company needs a balance sheet, you'll get one in minutes.

Contractors have special payroll requirements. This book will show you how to get the most out of QuickBooks Pro's payroll system. No matter where you do business in the 50 states, QuickBooks Pro has a current tax table exactly right for your company. If QuickBooks Pro isn't doing your payroll now, we predict it will be before too long.

Since estimating is important to most construction contractors, we're going to cover estimating from three perspectives. In Chapter 12, you'll see how to enter the summary data from estimates you've already written into QuickBooks Pro. From here, you can do progress billing and job cost tracking. In Appendix A you'll learn how to use the estimating system built into QuickBooks Pro to create estimates. And for those who want still more estimating power, Appendix B has complete instructions for using Craftsman's estimating software, National Estimator, and Job Cost Wizard, a program that lets you turn estimates into invoices that will export to QuickBooks Pro. Both are included on the CD in the back of this book.

Contractor's Guide to QuickBooks Pro 2009

According to a recent national survey, more construction contractors use QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks than all other accounting programs combined. And for good reason. QuickBooks Pro excels at all the routine paperwork in a construction office: writing checks, keeping track of your bank balance, sending out invoices and statements, creating up-to-the-minute profit and loss statements for the month, year or by job, writing payroll checks, paying suppliers and subcontractors, tracking job costs, comparing estimated and actual costs for each job, and much more.

But there's a lot to learn in QuickBooks Pro. And converting to a new accounting system can be a complex and confusing task, even if you have a strong background in accounting and plenty of time to install the new system. That's why this book was written—because most construction pros aren't accounting experts and have more important work to do at the job site.

Contractor's Guide to QuickBooks Pro 2009 will walk you step-by-step through QuickBooks Pro's detailed setup procedure and then explain item-by-item how you should be using QuickBooks Pro every day. In days, rather than weeks, you'll create a first-rate accounting system that's an asset to your company.

Here you'll find simple, well-illustrated instructions for customizing the setup for QuickBooks Pro 2009, including what each screen on your monitor should look like. This manual explains every choice you need to make and every button you need to click on. Includes a CD in the back with software you'll want to use when estimating costs with QuickBooks Pro. Here's what's on the CD:

  • A QuickBooks Pro 2009 file preconfigured for a construction company. The file has a chart of accounts already entered, plus a complete set of memorized reports. Just plug in your own company data—vendors, subs, customers, etc. And at the click of a mouse, you have all the information needed to run your jobs.

  • National Estimator—an easy-to-use estimating program with more than 100 pages of construction cost estimating data for general contractors. Dozens of other databases are available. (QuickBooks Pro doesn't come with any estimating data.)

  • Job Cost Wizard—converts your National Estimator estimates into QuickBooks Pro estimates so you can create and send invoices, track job costs (charge every check to a cost category in your estimate) and compare actual and estimated costs. You'll know exactly where you made and lost money on every job.

  • Blank construction forms you can open on your computer (with nearly any of the popular word processing programs), customize, fill out, print and send to customers and subcontractors.
With this book, the other programs included in this package, and QuickBooks Pro 2009, you have at your fingertips all the financial tools needed to keep a company running strong and in the black. Just add your own company data.

The Authors
Karen Mitchell, Craig Savage and Jim Erwin are contractors, accountants and QuickBooks Pro experts. They've spent years studying and simplifying the installation of QuickBooks Pro in construction offices. Karen, Craig and Jim tour the country giving accounting seminars to professional groups, consulting with individual contractors and actually setting up QuickBooks Pro accounting systems for builders. They'll help you get excellent results with QuickBooks Pro the same way they've helped hundreds of other construction professionals.