I developed a simple database with only the data we use to track jobs and to do invoicing. It is:
1. super simple to use
2. I can sort my database down in any sequence you could possibly want
3. I can tie it into letters I create
4. I can tie it into an (almost) automatic re-invoicing system for those couple of people that refuse to pay on time....easy to add the additional fee for sending out a new invoice.
5. I used the same database to put together the experience log the state requires for licensing...this was really simplified by the database
6. Easy to produce a current ledger of jobs for the year...or previous years. A simple list makes looking up old jobs very simple.
I probably am ging to change over to microsoft access in the near future, but the database concepts are basically the same.
Athena has a good log and tracking system. I am still not using it because I am old and stupid! I have a log created on word perfect that I have used for nearly 10 years now. It is old, cumbersome, and inefficient...guess that is why we get along so well!
I believe in triple redundancy systems. If everything is in one place what happens if the system or program fails?
1. Log (Word Perfect - kept on clipboard, updated daily)
I am using the built-in ACI track program. Am curious if htere is a better mousetrap tho- keep us advised if you try it out.
Like Mike I have triple redundancy: it's tell me three times and a copy of one goes offsite on a weekly basis. (belt, suspenders, elastic in the waist to begin with - and a spare pair kept elsewhere???)
Heaven knows the lenders won't be knocking on your door with those unpaid invoice checks if your place burns down...My paper log might survive files in progress maybe, but the off-site would keep the bills paid til I got my spiffy new office
So Mike, now that you are 'happy at home' are you backing up off-site and how??? I's insatiably curious!
I have been considering trying the program as well. I plan to hire a couple of appraisers in the next year or two, so this should help me keep better records. I too currently use a spreadsheet, but its limitations are many. I would like to be able to track turnaround time and appraiser splits/accounts payable/receivables. My system is bearable for one appraiser, but several will make it impractical.
I am like Mike Garrett, I am too old to change. We log in all appraisal request by lender, in a binder, have hard copy paper invoices, have a status sheet that shows all request received and disposition by month as well as disposition in the binder by lender name, and I let my accountant worry about the rest.
I use alamode and could do all this using their system but don't and won't. I like to see paper.