I began writing my own QuickBooks add-ons to meet the unusual record keeping needs of the Electric Distribution Construction Industry.
For example, our large trucks require CDL drivers. That involves a plethora of government paperwork and drug and alcohol testing. We did not want to outsource this or spend thousands on a ready-made system for only a few drivers. My system passed the DOT audit with flying colors. The audit officer even expressed surprise that I had all the necessary documents, forms, releases and test results. Our DOT program owes its success to checks, balances and automated reminders.
Our large trucks must also meet government mileage and fuel consumption reporting. That means each gallon of fuel must be recorded as either reportable or non-reportable and totaled. Each mile driven must also be totaled and reported. My fuel reporting system adds only a few seconds to each transaction in QuickBooks. Fuel recording is accomplished on-the-fly while performing my regular bookkeeping.
If you report to IFTA or to your state, I post that information on FuelRecordKeeping.com.
My invoice system is also a QuickBooks add-on. Billable items are pulled from what is known in the industry as staking sheets. I could write a book on this system alone but the short of the story is that my add-on:
- cross-references items among multiple customers
- simplifies data entry by creating temporary groups (for poles in our case)
- verbally warns the user of possible errors
- reads the staking sheet back to the user line by line and pole by pole for audible confirmation since items consist of letters and numbers with no particular meaning to the user
- provides shortcut keys to code invoices to print notes
- prints changes in red for customer convenience
I have a good thing going in my tiny office with all these efficient add-ons. These systems and how I create them are too good not to share. I offer free downloads of databases that you can change to your liking and your needs.
These blogs (see the All My Sites tab) are dedicated to small business owners without the funds to hire developers or who just like the do-it-yourself approach.
I hope you enjoy them and gain something from them.
1990: began bookkeeping and record keeping in the Electric Distribution Construction Industry (construction and repair of power lines and substations like the ones that deliver electricity to your home).
2000: Microsoft Office Suite
2001: Visual Basic
QODBC is an ODBC driver that reads and writes data between QuickBooks and Microsoft Access. It is the foundation upon which my add-ons are built.
QODBC has made my work easier, faster and allowed me to organize my computer files to an alarming degree of perfection.
The Link Principle
Since the publication of The Link Principle, numerous requests have come to me for software to automate the linking process. Several issues have kept me from sharing the databases that I use to automate The Link Principle for our business:
- They are complicated and constructed for specific use on our computers, for our business and many specifically for the Electric Distribution Construction Industry.
- Software development requires support that I'm not willing to provide.
- The analogy of giving a person a fish as opposed to teaching a person to fish applies. Learn how to use QODBC and you are far better off because you can apply it to your specific industry and business.
You need only copy and paste them, altering if necessary to your specific needs.
The green code notations will hopefully teach you how to create your own code from scratch.
Special note to developers: Obviously, you do not need my codes but you might gain something from my principles that you could use to develop add-ons for your clients.
All code is written by me and tested by me before posting.
Have a great day!