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Interior design accounting software recommendation

Estimating and purchase order software to link with Xero or a full replacement

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I work for a small firm of architects and interior designers. I use Xero (including Projects) for the accounts. The interior designers use a bespoke FileMaker application to generate estimates and purchase orders for FF&E. There's no link to Xero or CSV export from FileMaker, so I manually turn the estimates, once accepted by clients, into sales invoices. I do the same with purchase orders, since we usually pay a deposit or full sum to suppliers based on pro-forma invoices. There's no link bewteen the sales invoice and its corresponding purchase invoice(s) in Xero.

For each project, a client may be offered multiple options for, say, sofa fabrics, only one of which would be accepted. Estimates are emailed. Clients receive booklets prepared in Powerpoint showing photos of the FF&E, but it would be better if these were incorporated in the estimates and orders. Some FF&E is bespoke with different elements (BOM) coming from different suppliers. We don't hold stock. FF&E needs to be allocated by room and by type. At any point, I'd like to know how much to accrue for FF&E invoiced to clients, but for which we haven't ourselves been invoiced.

The industry-standard software is EstiMac, but it's a desktop product and doesn't link to Xero. WorkFlowMax seems more geared towards businesses charging for time. Any thoughts, please?


Replies (4)

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By Moonbeam
01st Jul 2021 15:57

I'd be loath to use Workflowmax, as I've read many posts over the years saying Xero has given up on this and it's not very good.
I'm wondering whether it would be easiest to pay a developer to develop an interface from Filemaker to Xero, since your business seems to like both.
Otherwise good software that can cope with specific commercial sector requirements and generate decent accounts is likely to be very expensive indeed.

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Replying to Moonbeam:
By Hugo Fair
01st Jul 2021 16:10

Best (non-accountancy) advice I've seen on here for a while ... but make sure your contract with developer also covers future maintenance (for when Filemaker and/or Xero change something that impacts on your interface software).

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By frankfx
01st Jul 2021 16:40

Just a thought.

Can you reach out to the designer community, others may have designed a wheel that works.

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By tltodman
01st Jul 2021 17:29

I had an interior designer/architect client and workflow max was hopeless for project accounting as you couldn't get anywhere near the level of detail on the purchasing side that we needed to push through to xero. Their set up doesn't sound anywhere near as complex as yours (ie didn't need to go into room level details just by project) and xero, with some export to spreadsheet was hard work but kind of did what they needed at that time. So sorry, nothing helpful to add other than, unless workflow max has had an overhaul, it won't do anything like what you need.

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