Intuit never stops improving Quickbooks. The software maker is offering a laundry list of helpful features in QuickBooks Premier Contractor Edition 2008 that should help builders manage more efficiently during these difficult times.
Home builders are inundated with paper purchase orders and invoices, for example, creating clutter that is difficult to control. So, QuickBooks 2008 features closer integration with Microsoft Outlook, the popular e-mail program.
Now, builders can create a work order in Quick-Books, click “send,” and QuickBooks automatically creates a PDF and passes the information directly to Outlook Express, which opens up an e-mail and attaches the PDF, which can then be sent to the sub. Builders can include a short message along with the PDF, or they can save the PDFs and send out work orders in batches at a later time. The new software also lets builders send an “accountant's copy” of their financial information. In the past, accountants complained that builders and other small businesspeople had a hard time attaching files when it came time to send information during tax season. Under the new system, a builder's financial information is sent within QuickBooks and travels over an Intuit server, so builders can send large files without worrying about e-mailing numerous attachments or messages. QuickBooks 2008 started shipping last fall and can be ordered online at www.quickbooks.com or at major retailers such as Best Buy, Circuit City, and CompUSA. The price for the contractor version with change-order and job-costing features is $449.95.
Constellation helps builders identify leads and assess online ad campaigns.
Over the past several months, builders have said that they are looking for marketing software that lets them generate and manage more electronic sales leads at any level in an organization, be it national, regional, or by community.
Constellation has answered the call by developing Constellation Marketing, a new Web-based software that ships after the first of the year and will be available for both FAST and NEWSTAR.
“Our module will let builders capture more leads, identify the good leads more effectively, and more accurately assess the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns,” says Mark Dalby, Constellation's business development manager.
Here are some of the software's highlights:
Visit www.constellationhb.com for more information.
Punching Numbers Today, so many workers on jobsites are Hispanic that a Spanish-language calculator that can handle rafter, roof, framing, and stair calculations as well as run numbers on right angles and linear feet is sorely needed. Calculated Industries of Carson City, Nev., is now shipping one of the first Spanish-language calculators, the Construction Master 5 En Espanol. Builders can buy the unit online for $69.95 at www.calculated.com.
Leasing Deal Builders may now lease the BuilderMT production management system in increments of 36, 48, and 60 months. The software maker is offering flexible terms: Builders who sign on don't have to pay the first three months of the lease for every year the lease is in place, and they can skip payments for any additional three months of their choosing. Prices start at $745 a month.