Every once in a while, you run across a special little program or in this case Application that simply rocks your socks off. The Contractor Estimating Invoicing Tool from Joist is one of those applications.
First allow me to qualify myself to make such claim. Do you know that Tech Guy that downloads everything he can get his hands on just to play with it and see what it does. I am that guy. I have tried most of the free and many of the paid invoicing programs and have noticed one thing most common to all of them. Most lack the ability to be easy. Not that many are not easy to use. Most just do not flow easily allowing you to input your data instead making you become proficient with the program before you even start.
The Contractor Estimating Invoicing Tool by Joist is going to change the way you do your business/contractor estimates and invoicing. The Contractor Estimating Invoicing Tool by Joist is a Chrome Application available for free in the Google Apps Store. This little application will surprise you. I started testing it earlier today with the intent to pass about an hours time before I had to go do some real work and I have to admit to being impressed.
I am not an Accountant. I do not want to be an Accountant. I may not even like Accountants. I do not like Accounting Software that makes everything so complicated, that you have to hire an Accountant to run it. I want to just enter a little info to the program and let the program do the work for me. So, for my test I took a ten page detailed estimate of materials and labor for a construction project that detailed quantity, costs, and pricing and sectioned it into specific project sections and using the figures for each section total entered the sections as the estimate items. I took the figure that represents the Property Owner’s direct expenses for materials he is going to purchase himself for the project and discounted it on the estimate interface and saved it allowing it to do it’s thing behind the scenes. The program did all the math and built my estimate ready for emailing to my client. Then I reopened the estimate for editing and added the 10 page detail to the comments section of the estimate form and it compiled the whole thing perfectly.
When you first start using the application you have to go into the “Settings” and set up the different forms used providing your specific details to be printed on the forms. Do not even worry about it. The settings are just a few simple details of which the most complicated is the logo you want to use. And that is only because you have to upload the logo file. The rest of it is just fill in the blanks and you are done.
Now, one comes the fun part. Say your estimate is accepted, now you want to transfer the estimate data to an invoice. Do not go looking for a whole bunch of menu items that do this for you. Just look for the little icons on the top of your preview interface and you can make your invoice, collect payments, and all of it is easy.
Now, I know some of you are saying, “ Rich, you didn’t really explain things very well.” Start the application, create your user name and password, and then log into the application. If you have any issue, have a question, or just want to be pointed in the right direction, you will find a little tab at the bottom of the application interface, click on it one time . . . It opens a direct chat to support. Again do not worry . . . I have already asked all the stupid questions, so they already have the answers.
In all seriousness, this is a cool little program. Some folks may like this kind of stuff complicated. Not me, give me the easy any time. Check this application out, see if you like it as much as I do.