Clouds in Harmony

Ideal for everyone ?

No – Absolutely not – but awesome for many

TSheets tracks time by job, sourcing data from workstations  in the office, mobile devices in the field, and/or tablets functioning as a kiosk in the workshop.   Data entry is exceptionally efficient and is specifically tagged to a job number.    The captured time is then synced with the job records within QuickBooks Online.

ServiceM8 manages and controls jobs and staff including GPS tracking.   Jobs are scheduled and assigned to staff.  Job tasks are defined and tracked, forms are completed, photos uploaded.  Sub-contracted services are monitored.  Virtually all job documentation, and job progress is recorded in a single location.

QuickBooks Online is a full feature accounting system producing conventional tax information, balance sheets, income statements, debtor/creditor transaction processing, stock control, with multi-currency functionality.  The pervasive use of a hierarchical structure throughout the QuickBooks design enhances job tracking by using the ServiceM8 job code as the ‘sub-customer’ within QuickBooks.  With the hierarchical concept active, we’re able to track income and expenses by job.

Dropbox is used as a repository for selected digital objects.  Virtually all of the job data stored within Dropbox will be attached to financial transactions within QBO or uploaded to the job diary in ServiceM8 for immediate access where needed.   Semi-static site data can be maintained in Dropbox then uploaded to a ServiceM8 site – which will then be automatically available on all job diaries related to the ServiceM8 site.

Why not everyone ?

The configuration depicted is very good for a larger, more complex business which will typically have:

Jobs spanning multiple days, weeks and sometimes months
Frequently purchases materials for a specific job.
Optionally desires a formal purchasing cycle from purchase order to delivery.
Numerous staff.
More advanced invoicing requirements.
Requires a hierarchical structure for customers & jobs

Can I use this configuration for a small business ?

Absolutely.  It works exceptionally well for a one man band with relatively simple requirements.  Certain functions used by the larger business will not be used, however, most of each application can be implemented, used efficiently, and is easily understood by the staff.

Why not use this configuration ?

If the business has already implemented an alternative component, and that alternative is working perfectly well ….. then if it’s not broken – don’t fix it.   The most common scenario is an exiting accounting system.   If the existing accounting system is working perfectly – meeting all business requirements – try not to change it.

The harmonic relationship will work with Xero and MYOB – achiving similar results within the limits of the other accounting systems.

If yet another accounting system is well established within your company, TSheets, ServiceM8, and Dropbox can still offer substantial productivity gains without direct integration to accounting.

Can I use Xero ?

Absolutely.  Xero plays well with the other cloud applications.   In the jobbing environment, the most limiting factor seen in Xero is the lack of a hierarchical structure.

Apparently Xero thinks single layer, flat files are simple and good. this simplifies everything thus making it better.  That works if the business requirements are simplistic.

If there is no business need for a hierarchical structure (this relates to customers/suppliers/products/general ledger accounts) – there Xero can indeed be used instead of QBO.

Why TSheets and ServiceM8 ?

Both product track time, provide for staff scheduling and include really effective GPS tracking.   The proposed configuration is cherry picking the best, most efficient component from the best, most efficient products.    Which cherry gets picked and how it is consumed is determined by your unique business requirements.