QuickBooks® for Contractors Bookkeeping Tips & Training

Nancy Smyth

Nancy Smyth, President of Sunburst Software Solutions, Inc. has used and supported Intuit products and end users since 1986. I've worked with clients in a lot of different industries, however, I prefer to work with commercial and/or government construction contractors who utilize QuickBooks Financial Software for their accounting needs. Let's face it, doing bookkeeping can be pretty boring - but doing books for a construction contractor has always been my passion - there's always something "quirky" that they need or want. That's the challenge - and I love a challenge! I've been a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor since 1999; and as President of Sunburst Software Solutions, Inc., I am a key player in the development of several QuickBooks Add-Ons for the construction industry. I also the author of the QuickBooks for Contractors blog, in addition to the Learn to use QuickBooks in your construction business website. Join me the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 5-6 p.m. EST on Google+ for a live QuickBooks for Contractors Hangout, where an experienced panel of QuickBooks folks are available to answer your questions.

Email Etiquette eBook

Email messages are surprisingly permanent, take a good look through the contents of your Inbox, and you just might be surprised to see just how old some of these messages are. Would you have kept a paper inter-office memo or letter of inquiry for that long? Probably not. The really worrying part of this is, that most people give very little thought to the content of an email message, even though it might linger around for years. If you are able to deal with email in a professional manner, you will provide yourself and/or your company, with a competitive edge. Learn how with our email etiquette eBook. Price:  Free
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Live Monthly QuickBooks for Contractors Hangouts – Join Us

Join us for a live, monthly QuickBooks for Contractors hangout on Google+. Hangout will be held live the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 5-6 p.m. EST beginning on Wednesday, July 11, 2012, recorded and hosted on YouTube to be watched later at your convenience. Bring your QuickBooks questions and get answers about job costing, payroll, best practices, QuickBooks training, and other timely tips and/or information.
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eBook: Documenting Change Orders

It is sad to say, that the days of the “verbal agreement” or the “handshake”, are pretty much a thing of the past. You must now be able to prove or demonstrate that your company has been required to perform extra work on the project, and you must, also, be able to prove the contract value of that change order or extra work order. In other words, it is not enough for you to show that more money than anticipated was spent in the performance of the work on the project. When you put the requested changes in writing on a construction change order form and get your customer's signature, there's no "weasel-ing out" on the customer's part when it comes time to payment. Just show them a copy of the change order form with their signature on it and they can't claim that you did the extra work without their authorization. Price:  $14.95
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VIDEO: How To Make Your QuickBooks Customer:Job List More Meaningful

The QuickBooks Customer:Job records hold a lot of important information, project information, customer types, job types, job descriptions, start dates, and many other things as well.

QuickBooks offers you two different ways in which to view your Customer:Job List, and did you know that each view can be customized to display additional information that is found within the various tabs of each record? How cool is that?

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eBook: Payroll Mistakes. It’s Not As Easy as 1-2-3!

Payroll is an essential part of your business – not just a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly annoyance. Payroll is the primary way that employees are rewarded for good job performance and retained. If you are issuing late or incorrect paychecks, it can lead to dissatisfied, unmotivated workers – or worse. It’s hard to keep good employees when a company gets payroll wrong. The consequences of some mistakes can be more serious than just your paychecks simply being incorrect. Many mistakes result in getting a very hard time from people you don’t know (and certainly don’t want to know) – the federal and state enforcement types. Price: $6.95
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VIDEO: Worker’s Comp & Payroll Tax Strategies for Public Works Contractors

Worker's Comp and payroll taxes take a huge bite out of a contractors profit when working on Public Works construction projects - especially if the contractor is paying the full fringe benefit rate of the prevailing wage to the employee in cash and not to the Union Hall or into bona-fide plans. Contractors in California will soon be faced with yet another increase in Worker's Compensation premiums.

Join Tim Blackwell of InsuranceDude.com, Steve Kuzmack of Fringe Benefit Experts, and Nancy Smyth of Sunburst Software Solutions, Inc. for a free, live 1 hour *Google+ hangout on Tuesday June 12, 2012 from 5-6 p.m. EST where we discuss easy to understand strategies for saving money.

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ARTICLE: What to Look for in a Construction CPA

Hiring a CPA or tax accountant for you construction business is as critical as hiring a supervisor on the job site. Not all CPA's or tax preparers understand construction and when they don't your books could be in as much of a mess as your job site would be if you hired a supervisor with no experience! In that perfect world, your company wouldn’t need a CPA. We would all just pack up our adding machines, green eyeshades, and armbands and move on to other professions. But, that isn’t going to happen, is it? In fact, the regulatory environment is headed in the other direction. States are looking for revenue, there are three or four new federal tax acts each year, and GAAP is going global. These current and future changes will make the role of your company’s CPA more important – not less. Price:  Free
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VIDEO: QuickBooks Integration 101

The integration between QuickBooks and a 3rd Party Application is often very transparent - and totally confusing to both QuickBooks ProAdvisors and end users. The communication between the two programs takes place behind the scenes leaving very little to be seen – often only the end result of a report or task done outside of QuickBooks OR a transaction created in the 3rd party program that is posted into the data file. Everyone says “I need to SEE how IT (the integration) works”. It’s becoming more apparent that people confuse “integration” (the developer’s code) with HOW (the end result) the program works with the data from QuickBooks; even after watching a video about what the program does and how it does it. Watch this pre-recorded video to learn more.
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Project Information Worksheet-Keep Your Contract Info Organized

WORKSHEET: The simple practice of recording important detailed information for each contract will make everyone's life easier when you need to complete progress requisitions and/or make collection calls. One of the best ways to stay organized is by using a Project Information sheet, it will help you to keep your project paperwork organized. Our worksheet has been created using Microsoft Word, so that you can easily add more information, specific to your company, and then create a master document to complete with each new construction project. Once you've completed the worksheet, you can use the QuickBooks Attach Documents feature to attach it to a specific job in your QuickBooks company data file. Price:  Free
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About Your Host:
Nancy Smyth, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Nancy Smyth, Sunburst Software Solutions, Inc.
QuickBooks Construction & Payroll Expert


I've been using and supporting QuickBooks products since the early 1990's. I've worked with thousands of contractors, assisting them with QuickBooks setup, Certified Payroll Reporting requirements, AIA Billing and Weighted-Average Overtime.


QuickBooks is a powerful product, but learning how to use it in your construction business can be difficult. I hope you find resources available here to be helpful.

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