Time & Materials podcast - Nicky Goringe Larkin

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Episode 58 – Nicky Goringe Larkin


What is the Best Accounting Software for Construction Companies? Why Quickbooks?



In the final episode of our, ‘What is the best accounting software for construction companies’ series of podcasts, Ciaran sits down with Nicky Goringe Larkin, Founder of Goringe Accountants to discuss why Quickbooks is the best accounting software for construction companies.

Nicky brings a vast amount of experience working in many industries with many clients and in this episode talks through some of the benefits construction companies gain when selecting Quickbooks for their accounts.

Nicky covers why construction companies are selecting Quickbooks over products like Sage & Xero as well as looking at features, benefits and costs of the top accounting products for construction companies.

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Podcast Highlights


What does Quickbooks offer construction companies that others don’t? 

Ciaran Brennan:

I mean, what does QuickBooks offer construction clients say that other accounting softwares don’t, if anything?

Nicky Larkin:

Okay. Well, firstly, we don’t force our clients down any one particular route because the different clients will have different requirements. And so, we don’t only use QuickBooks. We do use Xero, Sage, SAP, all sorts of different ones.

But QuickBooks, you’re talking about QuickBooks. And the things about QuickBooks it’s does your VAT. It’s got a CIS module. You can do your payroll within there. You can do project accounting. You can do purchase order processing. You can do quotes.

There’s an ever growing amount of functionality in QuickBooks. QuickBooks originally was designed for small businesses. However, over the years it’s been very responsive to what customers have wanted. And QuickBooks now, compared to 10 years ago, you wouldn’t recognise it. It’s got loads more functionality. It’s very flexible. We’ve got quite a few construction clients that do use QuickBooks.

What is the difference between Quickbooks desktop and Quickbooks online?

Ciaran Brennan:

And what are the differences between their desktop offering versus as the QuickBooks online?

Nicky Larkin:

Okay. There’s not a massive amount of difference in the actual functionality. The main issue is whether it’s got the cloud aspect. Obviously the QuickBooks online, you can access it wherever you want. I’ve just got one client still that won’t move from the QuickBooks desktop, and I’m still trying to persuade him every month, because it is a bit limited, as in, you still have to do backups and all of that stuff, which you don’t have to worry about if you’re in the cloud, but from what I can see at the moment, it looks like it’s still got most of the same functionality.

So you can still do CIS and VAT, all your payroll and things in there, but so many more… It just really helps. As long as you don’t have an internet issue, the cloud does seem to be the way to go, and you then don’t have to worry about getting a backup, sending it to your accountant, et cetera.

Ciaran Brennan:

And of course, having people to… The ability to be able to work remotely, which has been a big one for us in the last 17 months or so.

Nicky Larkin:

Absolutely. It’s life-changing, so the people now, I’ve got people that lots of clients say you can do that stuff from home, even if they’re on holiday, not that I’m advocating working whilst on holiday, but if you are off in your Portugal villa or whatever, you can still keep an eye on your company and see what’s happening. So yeah, it is a big game-changer, the fact that you can manage your business from wherever you are.

How does Quickbooks support compare to Xero & Sage? 

Ciaran Brennan:

One of the big ones, especially for construction, comes around support. So, my background is construction. And I feel that the industry has an expectation around support, and I think it stems from how we deal with our suppliers. So, the ability to be able to pickup, say a material supplier, like, “Call my local merchant.” And have him answer the phone and deal with a query with me there and then, or get back to me within the hour. I think there’s an expectation that we carry through a lot of our order services.

So, support for me is huge. And I think in software sometimes we forget about different industries. We have this blanket approach. But for construction, I just think it’s absolutely incredibly important that we have a support that carries the same expectations across other construction companies, clients, if that makes sense? How does QuickBooks support compare to others such as, let’s say, ones that we’ve mentioned, Sage, Xero, et cetera.

Nicky Larkin:

Sure. Well, the different levels of support are changing all the time. But QuickBooks is a 24-hour support. It does still have phone-based, whereas Xero doesn’t have a phone support system. You have to send your email or your support query across. And you should get a reply within 24 hours, but it’s not immediate. So, I always used to think Sage had the best support desk. That has unfortunately suffered in recent years. It’s only normal business hours and you often have to hang on for a long time to actually get through to someone. And don’t get me started on the different telephone menu, which drives me crazy. But yeah.

So, generally QuickBooks support really easy to get through. It’s 24-hour. Nine times out of 10 they answer our questions then and there. When they do have to escalate it to some sort of specialist they get back really quickly. So yeah, I cannot fault QuickBooks support. They are really good. And you’ve had evidence of that recently with the change in the VAT system for construction recently. Obviously they had a lot of help. But they were very proactive as well. So they sent out lots of stuff on how do you change, set up your system properly for the new VAT settings, et cetera.

Ciaran Brennan:

Yeah. And it really matters.



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