February 13, 2024
Save time and money with new financial management products

Save time and money with new financial management products


Growing Your Business is a new Landscape Trades column featuring business management experts writing on the topics that matter to landscape and horticulture professionals.

The use of technology in our lives is increasing and constantly evolving. While the landscape industry isn’t typically thought of as high-tech, savvy professionals are starting to embrace technology in the name of enhancing efficiency and productivity.

As a landscaper who was initially resistant to technology, I have experienced firsthand the transformative impact it can have. The right technology can improve and streamline processes, reduce errors and save time. In this article, I’ll share a few financial software products that are either designed for landscape professionals or can be easily tailored to the industry — and how they can be used to drive growth and streamline operations for your landscaping business.

The classic: QuickBooks Online

One of the most popular financial management software for landscape contractors, though not a new one, is QuickBooks Online (QBO). This software offers a wide range of features and functions specifically designed to assist landscape contractors in managing their businesses more effectively. With QBO, contractors can easily track their income and expenses, invoice customers, and create estimates. One of my favourite new features is QBO Snap, which allows me to take photos of my receipts from the app and enter them into QBO right away. This saves me (or more accurately…it saves my wife) hours at the end of the week or month entering receipts). The software also helps with managing bills, tracking sales tax and generating various reports necessary for business performance evaluation. QBO can help manage cash flow, assess project profitability and handle payroll tasks. It also allows users to efficiently track time and ensure prompt payments. Overall, QBO provides landscape contractors with tools and capabilities to streamline their financial processes and enhance overall business performance.

The industry upstart: Fathom

Another financial software product tailored for landscape contractors is Fathom. We became aware of this software just over a year ago and have been so impressed with the reports it’s able to generate. It provides contractors with a range of powerful tools to effectively manage their business. With flexible management reports, contractors can easily track and monitor various aspects of their operations. The software also enables confident planning ahead by providing comprehensive cash flow analysis, giving contractors a clear understanding of their financial position. In addition, Fathom offers consolidated financial reporting, allowing contractors to view and analyze their financial data in one centralized platform. It also provides in-depth analysis and insights, enabling contractors to make informed decisions based on accurate financial information. Fathom provides reporting, analysis and forecasting all in one place, making it a valuable tool for landscape contractors looking to better optimize their business operations.

The simplifier: Dext

Dext is a text software specifically designed for contractors to streamline and enhance their accounting and bookkeeping processes. With Dext, contractors can eliminate manual entry and tedious administrative tasks, allowing them to focus on what truly matters — their core business operations. This app empowers business owners, accountants and bookkeepers to effortlessly capture and securely store receipts, invoices and other essential documents necessary for maintaining accurate and reliable financial records. By electronically recording these vital pieces of information, Dext ensures that contractors can easily access and manage their financial data whenever and wherever they need it.

Dext offers three different products, each designed with efficiency and time-saving capabilities in mind, to ensure that accounting and bookkeeping practices remain efficient and effective. While all three products share the common goal of enhancing productivity, they also offer individualized benefits and features to cater to the specific requirements of contractors in different industries. Dext is user-friendly, allowing contractors to optimize their financial processes and save time.

Getting down to business

Now that we have explored some of the options, the next question is: how do you choose and implement one? Here are some tips to effectively implement new technology in your company:
  1. Choose software as a leadership team: Get input from each division of your business to determine what technology would help make them more effective and efficient. Review these lists and create a clear picture of what you need from your technology, rather than getting overwhelmed with all the generic product features.
  2. Set up an implementation team: Assign a team that meets regularly to work on implementation and set clear goals and expectations. It is important for the leadership team to commit to the implementation process. Assign specific tasks to specific people, use project management tools like Gantt charts or Microsoft Planner to lay out the process and include a time budget in the planning.
  3. Implement accountability: Ensure that your staff follows the documented process and steps of using the new technology. Address any resistance or lack of understanding within your team by explaining the importance of adopting the software and how it affects the company as a whole. Learning new technology takes time, so be patient with yourself and your staff. Consistency is key to successful implementation.

It is important to keep in mind that implementing new technology may create short-term challenges, but the long-term benefits are worth it. Be patient and continue moving forward, even when facing resistance or setbacks. The ultimate goal is to optimize your financial processes, save time and enhance the overall performance of your landscaping business.

If you have any questions about the financial software discussed in this article or need assistance with implementing technology in your landscaping business, feel free to reach out. I am here to help and discuss the benefits of embracing technology in the landscaping industry. Let's "talk tech" and explore the possibilities for your business's growth and success.

Grant Harrison operates Nextra Consulting with his wife Marla in Ingersoll, Ont. He has previously held management positions with Clintar, and Gelderman Landscape Services, and owned and operated Escapes Outdoor Living.