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05/09/2014

Hi All,

I have been a member for a few months and have been learning a lot from everyone.  We have a small log cabin inn (5 guest rooms) in Michigan which we purchased in September 2014.  Thanks to you, we are now set up with Reservation Key which I really enjoy using - I'm still exploring all the features it has!

However, I am wondering what accounting software do you use?  Is Quickbooks the gold standard or is there another that works better for  bed and breakfast type businesses?  I tried searching this but most of the posts about accounting software are older and out of date by now.

I appreciate your help.

Thank you,

Anne

 

 

JimBoone's picture
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12/18/2014

Day job, now retired, I used Peachtree, at the time parent organization favored it over Quickbooks. 

For our mom and pop motel I have used Quicken and/or Microsoft Money (now outdated/discontinued). Generally I'm not sending bills, money is collected when the guest arrives and I mostly need a computerized check register like Quicken rather than a full double entry bookkeeping system.

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07/07/2016

just starting using Waze for our 3 month old B&B... I am really liking it so far.

 

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lazarus

 

Anon Inn's picture
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Wave?

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just starting using Waze for our 3 month old B&B... I am really liking it so far.

 

seashanty's picture
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 I use quickbooks.  I like it very much.

  WHATEVER software you use, the important thing is to get all those receipts and purchases and payments into your books once you've set up the proper accounts.  

  This is a really good lesson for innspirings -- doing the bookkeeping is very important and takes time.  It's something that someone has to do - even if it's not the innkeeper, someone has to save the receipts and indicate what they went towards.  

 If you're a 'put the receipts in a file til later' person, then do yourself a favor and jot down on the receipt what it was for.  Takes just a minute and will save you headaches later.  

 I help do the books for a couple small businesses on an informal basis ... and I give them big manila envelopes to put their receipts in - to one guy I say 'before you stash that receipt in your wallet, or that atm slip for the $100 you're going to use to buy lunch to meet with new clients, jot down on the slip what it's for.'  gas money. cab fare. last minute copies of blueprints. office supplies.  makes both our lives easier.   at the end of the day or by the end of the week, he loads up the manila envelope and seals it.  then he starts with the next envelope.  I take the envelope and sit with a pile of slips and sort it out.  

your expenses at a b&b will be different, of course.  but it's really helpful to see where you're money is going. running to the hardware store for some random plumbing repair item - ending up at home depot you might buy tp and cleaning supplies on sale, a garden trimmer, plus the part for the plumbing repair and note what exactly that repair is.  room 1, toiilet  for example.  

I had different categories for gardening, property management and guest supplies.  the more detailed your books, the more you will discover.  for example - we were continually fixing the same toilet and saw that over a year's time it would have made more sense (not just in time but in guest aggravation and expense) to purchase a new toilet. so ....  

 

Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

There are several very small shops i deal with whose register receipt is an adding machine tape. No date, no company, just the amount. I have to write on all of those.

By now Gomez knows I'm only buying candy for guests so I just need to put the date and store name.

But, he can also hit the intercom and ask me. You can't do that with your people.

It's especially important if the bookkeeper is not in house or someone else is doing the purchasing, not the bookkeeper or innkeeper.

I know we miss something here and there or I buy something for the inn with my money. We don't even come close to claiming all the mileage. Gomez has been short counting that for 10 years. 

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Anon Inn's picture
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Last year I started using the Everlance app for mileage.  Mileage is tracked automatically.  You just have to attribute the trips to the proper category (that you set up)

 

Ack.  Replied to a dead thread.  Again.    Waiting on check-ins.  <blush>

Lee2014's picture
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  We'll forgive you!  At least this time...cool

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Have a great day!

 

Anon Inn's picture
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Mileage.

I just started using the everlance app.  Love it.Tracks automatically.

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If you all will pay closer attention to the original post date, you will know a spammer hit the thread and that is why it has come to the top again. No need to respond..but if you do..that is fine too.

Anon Inn's picture
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I've got to start looking at those post dates!

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05/09/2014

Thank you Kay,

I missed your last post before I posted.  I have some accounting knowledge, and my accountant said she can help get it going, but a class would be a great idea.  I appreciate your input.  This site has a lot of great people and is a good source of information and support.  

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05/09/2014

Thank you for all the responses.  Looks like QB is my best option.  We have a VERY small office here, so it has been hard to find places for everything. I am trying to change my habit from "quick stash it in the cupboard" to "touch it once/put it in its place".  I'm getting there!  I do keep a clean desk.  However, it may be risky to open my cabinets.  Establishing a good routine and keeping the paperwork tamed is something I need to work on now that the scramble to get tax stuff together is done.  

Kay Nein's picture
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I recommend Quickbooks.  I'm biased because I'm a QB Pro Advisor and have been a QB consultant for over 10 years.  But there are several reasons why it would be a better choice.  

1 - Most accountants have QB or know how to use QB.  You will find it easier working with your accountant if they can use your back-ups or accountant copies to review your data and send you changes.

2 - It's much easier to find a QB qualified consultant if you decide that you need help than it would be to find a Freshbooks or Quicken consultant.  Most client issues I come across are people who just entered the data wrong and need it cleaned up and a little training to do it right going foreward.  If you get in that boat, you'll need to find someone to help you sort it all out.

The biggest hurdle when getting accounting software is that you need to both learn the program and learn basic accounting theory at the same time.  How you rationalize entering something may not be the correct way to enter it.  I highly recommend that you take an entry level QB class to get you over the initial orientation hurdles so you can feel more confident just moving around in the program.  There are plenty of free videos online that can help also.  Don't hesitate to use any Quickbooks branded online training videos and tutorials.  They are extremely helpful and will give you confidence with the program. 

Let me know if I can help in any way.  Innkeeper to Innkeeper cool

Arks's picture
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Quicken has always been able to do everything I need. I have transactions in there going back to the 1980's!

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Generic's picture
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I have this desire to move to Wave, but can't because the reservation software isn't made to hook in. It's on my wishlist.

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OnTheShore's picture
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We use Quickbooks, but you do want your accountant to set it up for you -- or you need to have a decent understanding of accounting principles if you want to do it yourself. Once it is set up, though, it is pretty simple to "keep the books," produce reports, etc...

FWIW, ReservationKey has a lot of accounting features built into it, although by no means is it a full-featured accounting program (it's a reservation program, first), but depending on your needs you might find that sufficient if you figure out how to use it.

In any case, what ever program you use, it is only as good as the data you put into it. As Joey points out, It is best to stay on top of that and do the data entry at least weekly (rather than yearly!). I try to keep our QB data up-to-date almost daily during the season. As soon as I have an expense or have received a payment, I want to record it! But that's me... Just make sure that you are consistent and always enter the same types of transactions the same way. It is really just a big data base, and if you understand that and how it works, you can take advantage of it to ask and answer all kinds of questions about your business and how to better manage it. Ultimately it is not just about being better prepared to file your taxes, but its about better managing your business.

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05/22/2008

I did and still do daily I can't stand to have anything on my desk

my motto has always been touch it once , do what is needed and move on.

Same thing reason my email boxes are always empty.

 

 

Morticia's picture
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EmptyNest wrote:

I did and still do daily I can't stand to have anything on my desk

my motto has always been touch it once , do what is needed and move on.

Same thing reason my email boxes are always empty.

 

 

I found a folder filled with ideas for packages. Going to revisit that. In box is a whole other kettle of fish. It's my to do list as well as correspondence. The mail sits there until I complete the task.

What I did do was throw out everything I swore I was going to read and use. Years of tourism info packets from the state. I briefly read some of them and here was a helpful tip: if you don't have one, now is the time to get a website for your business.

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EmptyNest wrote:

I dis and still do daily I can't stand to have anything on my desk

my motto has always been touch it once , do what is needed and move on. 

That is fantastic. I have a folder system here and a tidy desk, so I hear you on that one! My family knows the routine. I digress, back to the mess I have created here this week... Smiling Just sidetracked to go online and fill out a new W-4 for DH.

The times they are a changin'...

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05/09/2014

Thank you, Morticia.  

My plan is to do something similar to you - enter data in the evening once a week or so.  RezKey (and I assume other reservation systems) does a great job of organizing info and generating reports for the guest rooms, so that will be very useful.  

Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

The key for us is the basket. Every receipt goes in there. Immediately! We'll go over the credit card statement together and a month later neither of us can remember what we spent $19.89 for at BB&B. Was it online? In person? Where's the receipt?

I just gave him a guest receipt for several thousand dollars (whole house booking) that is dated from 2 years ago. It was buried on my desk. Ditto a receipt for a contribution the business made. I know he recorded both because he had the checkbook receipt and the credit card machine printout, but still, it makes it harder for him to have to root around if I forget the receipts.

So, immediately! Into the basket it must go.

(My desk is clean now, no more surprises.)

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Thank you, Joey.  I actually just got all of my (old-school) accounting paperwork off to the accountant last week.  We sold 2 houses and purchased the inn in 2014 and have been so busy making repairs and updates that getting all the expenses figured out was overwhelming. I organized it all the best I could, and now it is in someone else's hands.  What a weight lifted - I can finally see my kitchen table again!

After cussing myself out for being so unprofessional and disorganized, I have sworn to start fresh and do things "right" this year with a real system.  I'm sure everything will magically fall into place, right?

Now I can focus on the hospitality aspects which I enjoy - guest rooms, guests, recipe development...

 

Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

Gomez dedicates one day/week to data entry. We put all the receipts for the week into a basket and he grabs the basket Sunday night, turns on the tv and starts entering and paying bills. (Then I get the checkbooks to balance. Yes, we still send paper checks.)

All the receipts for guests are stored in shoe boxes in case we ever need them and all the receipts for everything else are in a separate shoe box. One or two boxes per year. (Actually boot boxes because they're bigger.)

Our booking software also does reports for taxes but we don't use them.

Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

If your accountant does your taxes it's better to use whatever software meshes with hers. We put our QuickBooks entries in the accountant's cloud storage and he downloads it from there, uploads any changes (if we file something incorrectly) and then we can download the changes directly.

Gomez doesn't like QuickBooks because they want him to buy a new version every year. But it's what the accountant uses.

Kay Nein's picture
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Although QB does come out with a new version ever year, they don't require that you upgrade.  Some of my bookkeeping clients are still using 2010.  The only exception is if you are using any integrated services like payroll or online banking downloads.  But, even then they only require that you upgrade every three years.  I just had to make a client purchase 2015 because the payroll subscription will not work in his 2012 version after May 15th.  

Morticia's picture
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Kay Nein wrote:

Although QB does come out with a new version ever year, they don't require that you upgrade.  Some of my bookkeeping clients are still using 2010.  The only exception is if you are using any integrated services like payroll or online banking downloads.  But, even then they only require that you upgrade every three years.  I just had to make a client purchase 2015 because the payroll subscription will not work in his 2012 version after May 15th.  

Gomez is a sensitive guy. So, when he calls for help and they give him the hard sell for getting the newest version he gets upset. Which means he doesn't call when he needs help and he spends hours trying to figure out something it would take tech support 2 minutes to explain.

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Welcome Anne and congrats on your new life as an innkeeper. I look forward to seeing more photos of your area shared with the world.

Glad you got on board with rezkey, you will be able to do quite a bit with it, and online reservations are more important than accounting software in my not very humble opinion. yes You will need to run monthly reports to pay taxes and rezkey has those features built in.

Quicken is the go-to pgrm. But some of us are really bad and other than budgeting wait until - now - in the off season - at tax time - to put everything together for Uncle Sam and the accountant. Some of us, stuff them into folders and do it all in a week - this week specifically when I can spread it all out and work on it. Don't be like thos people, we they are really bad examples. cool

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

I use the checkbook system. If it does not go through my checkbook, it does not count because I know I will lose the receipt.

Every year I enter the 2 checkbooks - I do not use any computer stuff to write checks - to get everything into the correct category. Then I print it and give it to my tax person. I write the total revenue amount on the top and any other income not entered - I just enter outgo - such as election pay, etc and hand everything over. I get back forms to sign and mail. I send them return receipt requested to ensure proof it was received. Worth the extra cost to me. Now I need to take a day - and VERY SOON - to do it. I used to use Money but OFFICE discontinued it. Had to buy Quicken (cheapest) twice because the first one was a download and I could not find the numbers to load it again after a crash. This time it came with a disc. YEA.

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05/09/2014

Thank you.

My accountant said most people us Quickbooks, but there are things she doesn't like about it. Unless I hear about something that works esp great for innkeepers, I will probably end up with it.  She said a lot of people like Freshbooks, but I found that to be more invoice oriented which is not what I need.

I appreciate the input.

Anne

 

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05/22/2008

Quick books is pretty much standard. Though I use Quicken. Check with your accountant on which they prefer.

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