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October 2, 2019 at 6:58 am #999789
We’re currently using MYOB v19.2 so with the inception of STP reporting we found ourselves looking at alternatives to our current system. I’m hoping someone who works with bespoke/trade/manufacturing businesses might be able to help us here. Hubby and I have a small home based business, however we also employ 1.2 people (1x f/t, 1x ~4.5hrs/week). We make bespoke ironwork. Our current process with MYOB is that we enter orders in as ‘sales orders’, take a deposit, and then invoice on completion of the job. The advantage being that we can clearly see what orders need to be made and can print out a ‘to do’ list of orders pending, showing due dates, customer name, item and inv no.
Our accountant is really big on Xero and so, also, it seems is the general tradie population. Being the supposed “bees knees” I trialled the programme and sadly found that to replicate our process was near impossible without going through 101 steps (OK I’m exaggerating but you get the drift) including creating draft invoices, credit notes for deposits, etc and still not being able to give hubby the option of simply printing out a ‘to do’ list of orders. The accountant was big on saying we could enter inventory and ‘build’ our products in Projects making quoting a breeze, however upon closer inspection and testing, it ain’t gonna work! Now the dinosaur in the workshop, aka hubby, has managed to deal with the MYOB system of entering orders, applying deposits and converting to invoices but I’ve got no way in heck of teaching him a convoluted method that would be required in Xero. His paper quotes are piling up and I was really hoping to get the mess vamooshed by training him to do it digitally. I’m really disappointed to find Xero’s probably not a good fit for us. My Xero bubble has been burst.
We also use Zoho CRM for contact management. I found it has templates for quotes, sales orders and invoicing. I’m aware we could probably use Zapier to connect ZohoCRM to Xero, however in looking at Zoho’s templates they too seem to have limitations, or rather, glitches … like separating out GST, and it’s not easily configurable. I really don’t know where to look for a system that will work for us. The forums suggest that Xero has no intention of adding sales orders. After going to the trouble of have JetConvert do their thing it seems we’re back to the drawing board to find an affordable ERP come accounting package with CRM integration that will work for us. Meanwhile I’ve registered with the free Reckon STP reporting app (which works beautifully I might add), to buy us some time. I suspect MYOB might start playing games with v19.2 users as they did a month ago (that’s a whole other story) and they’ve now pulled all support for the older versions, so I probably need to address our accounting issues before something drastic happens. I’m happy to trade in my CRM, spreadsheets and MYOB for something that flows. Ideas anyone?October 2, 2019 at 7:39 am #1221361beaglebookkeepingMember
- Total posts: 9
Is there a reason why you don’t want to upgrade to MYOB AccountRight which will cover you for STP as it is the online version and still do everything you are used to with the Sales Orders, Inventory, etc?
Otherwise you could possibly look at Quickbooks Online as another alternative. You can issue quotes in QBO similar to the sales orders in MYOB and make payments against them by issuing progress invoices for the deposits and not completing the full Invoice until the jobs are finished. You could then print a list of your open quotes each day as your ‘to-do’ list. Their inventory management is pretty good as well and they also have a ‘Projects’ function that might be a better option than the one in Xero.
Their payroll is also pretty good and is STP compliant.October 2, 2019 at 8:24 am #1221362beaglebookkeeping, post: 267368, member: 51317 wrote:Is there a reason why you don’t want to upgrade to MYOB AccountRight which will cover you for STP as it is the online version and still do everything you are used to with the Sales Orders, Inventory, etc?
Thanks for your suggestion Michelle. We’ve never been happy with the support from MYOB and tbh I think their ethics leave a little to be desired. I’ve also heard that their online offering is not that great and our accountant has for years told us to stay with v19.2 as it’s more reliable. From memory MYOB were also quite expensive in comparison to Xero, etc.
I’m not sure the ‘quote’ option will work as we send out a minimum 15+ quotes a week, so unless there is a function for people to click ‘accept’ I’m not sure we can filter those quotes that have not been accepted vs those that have. And those that have had deposits applied vs those that are accepted but pending deposits paid.
I suppose our dream programme would be one where we can build our staple products , eg gates and garden arches to track steel inventory, and then list these products in the inventory to choose from when creating quotes. We don’t keep items in stock but make to order. However we also need to list our materials in inventory so that we can quote on bespoke items. At present we’re just using a spreadsheet. In the latter situation we clearly wouldn’t want to show our costings (materials, hrs, etc), but just present a final balance or a breakdown of the final balance for the item, and separate installation/delivery costs on the quote.
Being a niche business it’s hard because we’re not a straightforward manufacturer or retailer and we don’t fit the ‘creative’ model either. So I suspect we may need to combine a CRM or ERP with an accounting package to get what we need.October 3, 2019 at 6:58 am #1221363
Have you tried the Xero Quotes function? The templates can be customised and renamed to whatever you like (like Sales Orders). Maybe list the exact process you follow in MYOBOctober 3, 2019 at 7:15 am #1221364JamesMillar, post: 267377, member: 5318 wrote:Have you tried the Xero Quotes function? The templates can be customised and renamed to whatever you like (like Sales Orders). Maybe list the exact process you follow in MYOB
Yes, we’ve played with it in the demo. The problem we have with Xero is that deposits can’t be put against quotes so renaming it doesn’t help. Secondly there is no way of printing a list of items to be built from the quotes. We’d also have the issue of separating quotes from those that have been accepted. We need to separate quotes from orders so that we can track what needs to be made and can print out a ‘to do’ list of orders pending, showing due dates, customer name, item and inv no. Some customers pay a 50% deposit others opt to pay in full so using the balance owing won’t help separate them either. The only workaround we’ve been given with Xero is to raise a draft invoice and save deposits as credit notes. This is too messy and convoluted for my husband who also needs to use the system. We’re trying to get away from spreadsheets and double handling. Hence the problem.October 3, 2019 at 7:45 am #1221365
I’m wondering if workflowmax is worth investigating. Xero purchased the company and offer it to their gold partners (rebadged as Xero Practice Manager).
Unfortunately it’s often the case that no one platform does everything well. We had to change some of our previous practices when we moved to Xero Practice Manager but overall the change has been a good one because the cons are offset by the pros.October 10, 2019 at 3:00 am #1221366MischelleMember
- Total posts: 805
Have you considered just using Zoho Fiance Plus or Finance Books? It integrates with your Zoho CRM.
This might be an option for you.
Also, make sure it works for you and your business.
I keep seeing accountants and bookkeepers say they don’t like a product or encourage clients to a particular product because many are partners and get commissions from the providers. When I moved to QuickBooks online, and my bookkeeper said but they are Reckon partners and they prefer that, I simply said that’s alright, we can get someone else, they learned it quickly LOL
Best of luck
MischelleOctober 10, 2019 at 5:58 am #1221367Mischelle, post: 267428, member: 60404 wrote:Hi,
Have you considered just using Zoho Fiance Plus or Finance Books? It integrates with your Zoho CRM.
Thanks for the suggestion Mischelle. I signed up for the trial, but found that it didn’t have payroll. With STP compliance I think it’s something I need to have integrated into the accounting package. I haven’t had a close look at it, but found that the invoice in the CRM is buggy. It’s a known issue (re tax amounts) that people have been complaining about for a few years, but Zoho hasn’t seen fit to address it. I think it might have been fixed in the Books package though.October 10, 2019 at 6:02 am #1221368JamesMillar, post: 267379, member: 5318 wrote:I’m wondering if workflowmax is worth investigating. Xero purchased the company and offer it to their gold partners (rebadged as Xero Practice Manager).
Unfortunately it’s often the case that no one platform does everything well. We had to change some of our previous practices when we moved to Xero Practice Manager but overall the change has been a good one because the cons are offset by the pros.
Yes there are so many options out there. It’s a balance of finding the right package to suit the way we work and our budget. I’ve found a couple potential solutions but the price tag is horrendous – mainly as they’re geared towards bigger businesses than ours. We’re just a micro-business – hubby, myself and one f/t employee in the workshop and a uni student who acts as ‘go-fer’ 4-8 hrs a week.October 10, 2019 at 9:00 pm #1221369
The other thing i’ve come to learn is that despite the range of great platforms available (each with their own subscription) you really don’t want to be using more than 2 tops 3. They all claim to be well integrated (and Xero is probably the best at this) but the reality is there always seem to be compromises. Whether it be that the data doesn’t push across live but happens overnight. Or the data only goes one way automatically. Or there are key features or fields missing, Or it can do one report and not the other when you need both. Testing software is flatout frustrating at times.
So my thoughts – don’t get app fatigue by signing up to five different platforms to get your solution. It will drown you in software and subscriptions. .
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