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Army of One, post: 25009 wrote:
Thanks so much for your responses guys – I really appreciate the efforts.

I have looked at the Intuit market place, and I found a couple of good possibility that may work for my client, one such being Open for Business which provides an online ordering / invoicing system that would probably suit my client.

However – according to the technical specifications the system only supports US + UK + Canadian version of QuickBooks.

I am going to see if it does work with the Australian version however (test using the free / demo version)

It might be cheaper to ask them to add the feature, and offer to pay some for it. (if the rest of the application works out). Getting that quote might help you appreciate the costs of custom dev (which are usually not apparent).

Army of One, post: 25009 wrote:
In terms of the cost, the amount spent annually on what my client would need using the subscription for the Open for Business web based application would be about equal to the cost they would have to pay a bookkeeper to do it manually – so it is not really a cost saving measure.

The end goal is to help him have better quality information to manage his sales team (distributors) and also provide the ability for the business to grow. This is why I will encourage him to invest in a custom web based solution. Although this will cost significantly more in the short term, the long term benefits are definitely there.

It makes sense to do so if the ROI works out. In my experience (which may differ to others) most people have in mind a mansion when thinking about their custom software, yet only have the capital for a shack. If they really want something thats more useful than off the shelf packages they will be looking at minimum $100,000 and more than likely into the $200,000+ once they start dreaming of all the fantastic things they can do…

Army of One, post: 25009 wrote:
Also, if possible an application that integrates directly with QuickBooks without the need for importing / exporting manually would be preferred. I believe such an application would need to use the QuickBooks web-connector.

One thing that makes software development so expensive is that every job is different. You will likely find it hard to find a programmer who has had specific experience with quick-books web-connector. They have to research it as they go and the information they learn becomes useless for their next job.

Army of One, post: 25009 wrote:
So – if anyone knows of any existing solutions or develops who already have (or would be interested in developing) such an application – please let me know.

I cannot help with suggesting an off the shelf package as I haven’t looked for a while and they are in constant flux. It certainly will give you a headache tho :)

In terms of custom development;
http://www.ssw.com.au <-- these guys are expensive, top of the line, corporate guys, but if you spend an hour or so talking to them (they start billing after 2 hours), you'll learn some stuff. They also have some good 'rules' on their website. I don't suggest you use them tho as they really are more geared to corporates. Can I ask how many staff they have, and what their turn over is? I may be interested, I am capable of doing such work and have the credentials to back it up, but I need to choose who I work with carefully. Additionally, I am not currently geared to be consulting in that specific area so while I can give you good advice I might not be the best candidate.