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Three things I wish I had known integrating BuilderTrend <> QBO

Has BuilderTrend been on your mind? Maybe they've been reaching out (stalking) you quite often and you are finally intrigued enough to take the plunge. Well, I wholeheartedly recommend using BuilderTrend. The sales process can be annoying and uncomfortable, and the price seems to keep going up, but it really is worth it. However, the rollout and integration with your day-to-day operation might not quite go as planned. Here are the things I wish I'd known when I first integrated BT and QuickBooks Online ("QBO").

  1. Cost codes and products/services must be 1:1 match This might seem easy, but it's not. Especially if you have different people entering data in QBO and BT. I would *highly* recommend making sure each and every BT cost code is mapped exactly to one product/service in QBO and vice versa. This means if you create a new cost code in BT, you immediately go and create the exact same item as a product/service in QBO and map them. This also means that if you have excess fat in QBO, say maybe some old products/services you used to use, you delete them. It can be tempting to create new cost codes in BT on the fly as you need them for an estimate, but if you do that... I would still go into QBO and create the corresponding product service. This is primarily because these cost codes in BT will linger past the time you do the initial estimate and someone might even find a use case for them on another job. They will just be plugging away, entering Bills and/or POs in BT and thinking they are 100% pushing to QBO, but they won't unless they are linked. You might also create a checklist item to quarterly make sure all BT cost codes and QBO products and services are mapped. Likewise, someone could be entering things in QBO thinking it's flowing into BT on the job's budget, but it won't work if it's not mapped. If you don't do this step, you could quickly lose track of costs that belong to your job.

  2. Mappings don't have to be overly complicated When people complete Step 1, they often create products/services in QBO that exactly match the name of the BT cost code, but this is overkill. It's almost always fine just to map every cost code in BT to a single expense account in QBO. For example, this can be simply called "Purchases" under Cost of Goods Sold. That way, when you run your P&L in QBO, you can focus on your overall net income at the bottom. Sure, you can still list out all of your fixed overhead expenses under expenses, but all job-related costs can just show up under Cost of Goods Sold at the top of the P&L. This will also give you a quick and effective look at your Gross Margin. When you do want to drill deep into the job's budget, use BT. This will give you the most accurate cost picture.

  3. Whomever links BT with QBO will show up in the QBO Audit Log This means if you, as the Superintendent, set up the link and then you hire an Accountant to do all the data entry, your name will show up as the creator in every single entry in the QBO Audit Log. Most of our clients rarely look at the Audit Log and many of them don't even know it's there, but I use it all the time. This is especially true when I run across a transaction that doesn't make sense. The first thing I do is look at the Audit Log. If a name appears here, who was not the person who actually made the entry in BT, it could be a problem if I ask (blame) the wrong person for their entry. Another thing to keep in mind is you can find the same transaction in BT (after some careful searching) and BT will reflect the correct name of the person who actually made the entry. QBO is the one who assumes whomever created the connection between BT<>QBO is the one who will be making all the entries, but obviously that's not always true. If you're wondering where to find the Audit Log, here's where it is on most transactions:

and here's what it looks like:

BONUS: Using AirTable and Saasant can incredibly speed up accounting data entry

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