Monday, November 2, 2009

American Contractor by Maxwell Version 8.1

What a nice upgrade we now have in American Contractor. New features like the ability to create your own screen views, filter by any field "easily" (you could do it before but now it is much easier) and the cleaning up of many reports and adding new reports, like number S0571 (billing form for AIA type invoicing).

If you are an American Contractor User, it is definitely time to perform the upgrade. The program is stable and much much nicer than 7.8. When you do, your first step should be to go into each "center" and click on View: Customize Current view. You can add calculated fields to your views as well as simple changes like rearranging columns and deleting columns you don't want to see. No more seeing unnecessary fields (like state and zip) on a daily basis unless you really want to. To me, it was wasted space better used for something like "user defined: job type" or "last receipt date".

And if you aren't using info center yet, you will need to now. Drop and drag your outlook contacts into AC and it will create a contact for you in AC that you can use for any purpose, maybe for a "bidders list". Drop and drag your outlook emails into AC and attach them to a job.

For me, attaching invoice PDF's to jobs is a lifesaver for looking up information. And if you are using efax, they already come to you in fax form, so it's so simple to attach the pdf, you don't even need to scan them. But scanning with info center is a piece of cake. One example of the time saving of doing this: a job is a cost plus job, when it comes time to do an invoice, you are required to submit copies of vendor invoices. Now, just go to the job record, click on info center and there they are, waiting for you to print them to send with the invoice.

All in all, Maxwell has shown that they have the resources and the desire to stay in the market for the long haul. While we are in an economic downturn, they are using this time to improve their product for contractors who are also, in it for the long haul.

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