Jaime Bako

It can be a daunting task when you're considering implementing new business management software into your interior design firm. Whether you're a consulting firm looking for the best project management and accounting software for interior designers, or a design firm office manager on the hunt for something to help streamline processes, you want a robust system that's tried, tested, and makes life easier.


You're searching for a program that is strong across two fronts. It has to be robust enough to handle the complex project management tasks of the interior design world, and it's got to give clear visibility of the financial side of things. Running an interior design business might be built on pure passion, but you need to understand how to manage your firm's finances so you can reach your business goals sooner.

Well, DesignDocs is here to do all that and more. Read on to discover 8 ways that make DesignDocs the best project management and accounting software for interior designers.


1. Advanced financial reporting

Let's face it – understanding the financials of any company is the key to running a successful business. And an interior design firm has a lot of moving parts with an intricate workflow. From clients and vendors to contractors and staff, having visibility of where you might be making money and losing money on each project is crucial. It’s the only way you can stay out of the red and safely in the black. And this is an area where DesignDocs shines.


With the advanced financial reporting built into the DesignDocs system, you can easily see, project-by-project, where you financially stand. And one of the best parts is that the system creates these financial reports for you as you move through the project management side of things. From cash flow and sales and profits reports to project and vendor summaries, DesignDocs allows you to quickly understand your profit margins, gaining insight into improving financials for future projects.


You can also filter, group, and hide columns to create custom financial reports. Then, save the view to easily use them later for whatever project you’re working on.


2. Multiple ways to invoice clients based on your fees model

It's a personal choice with how and when you choose to invoice your clients. From billable time and project expenses to miscellaneous or retainer invoices, DesignDocs gives you the flexibility to invoice your client based on different fee models at any stage of a project.


You can work on a Flat Fee approach, whereby you agree on a sum with your client at the outset, invoicing them either all at once or staggered throughout the project. Or, you might prefer to work on a fee model where you invoice clients for the billable time incurred on a project. From the client invoicing screen in DesignDocs, you can easily see a summary of all the project team’s billable time. Plus, you can filter the list of outstanding billable time entries by task code and/or company personnel and choose the time entries you want to appear on one invoice.


3. Multiple ways to recognize revenue

Accurately measuring sales, cost of sales, and gross profit is extremely important for any business. However, with long lead times and full payments frequently involving multiple transactions, managing an interior design firm’s cash flow or getting a clear understanding of its financial position can be challenging.


Similarly, as with different fee models being used across the interior design industry, how and when a firm chooses to recognize revenue can also differ. With DesignDocs you can choose to count sales from the moment an invoice is generated or choose to defer sales from being counted until all invoices are issued or goods are received. Simply set your preferences in the Revenue Recognition settings to control how and when your incoming and outgoing payments are allocated. Then generate accurate and insightful financial statements that give you confidence in your numbers, allowing you to precisely see where your interior design firm financially stands at any time.


4. Seamlessly generate workroom orders

Custom pieces are often central to any high-end interior design project. A change of upholstery on a sofa or a different finish on some brass door handles can be crucial to realizing your client's dream design. But getting items sent from vendors to workrooms and then to the project site can be tricky to manage. Before you know it, things are sent to the wrong place, without clear instructions. Or items get lost, taking up valuable time to track down.


With DesignDocs however, you can seamlessly generate workroom orders that automatically tie all components together, removing any of this anxiety. DesignDocs allows you to create a special purchase order that functions as a workroom order. These workroom orders provide instructions, specifications, and images about the design elements that will be shipped straight to them from other vendors, making it super streamlined and clear for all involved.


5. Advanced time tracking

Time is money, and all those seemingly little things add up throughout the day. If you're not in the habit of accurately tracking time spent on each project, you literally are working for free. But with DesignDocs powerful time tracking tools, it's easy to capture costs and expenses that may have previously gone unbilled.


DesignDoc’s multiple time tracking options give you flexibility with how you manage and track your time, so you can choose the method that works best for you. Track time by adding a timesheet entry, using a calendar view, or using a running timer to track time as you're working. Create task codes and specific billing rates to track project time spent on different tasks accurately. These can be added individually or grouped on client invoices - the choice is yours.


Even if you're not directly billing a client for time and you're using a Flat Fee pricing model, it's still good business practice to track the time spent on a project. This way, you can measure the variance between hours worked and hours accounted for in your Flat Fee plan. And in DesignDocs, you can easily generate a Fee Plan Variance report which makes all of this super easy to see. Which takes us smoothly into our next point of difference…


6. Customizable project reports

When you're busy working on a project, time is always of the essence. Quickly generating accurate, insightful, and easy-to-understand reports saves you from rummaging around trying to dig out information on a current or previous project.


DesignDocs makes it easy for you to generate project reports that can be filtered and customized to review internally or send to clients. Save report views in your personal folder or share them with your team to use, making it simple for you to refer back to your favorite reports and quickly pull up information on the fly.


7. Intuitive project workflow process

With so many things to keep track of in any one design project, utilizing software that automates and streamlines processes means less time you have to spend trying to remember everything you need to. By using just one system to take care of your interior design firm's project management and accounting, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing you needn't worry about things like integrations, uploads, and syncing.


DesignDocs is a powerful, all-in-one system that handles it all. Created by a designer, a Chartered Accountant, and a team of IT professionals, DesignDocs is built on intuitive workflow processes that reduce administration, making it the best project management and accounting software for interior designers. Watch as accepted items on a client proposal are automatically sent to the client invoicing screen, so you're reminded to send that invoice. Update information on one screen and see it automatically update on another. Get paid using the ePayments function, and watch as all associated bookkeeping updates automatically in your DesignDocs account, with funds directly deposited into your bank account. Simple.


8. Superior customer support

Managing an interior design firm, or any business, is hard work. Knowing that you have responsive support is paramount in helping you to overcome all those challenges that pop up along the way. Well, with DesignDocs, you're never alone. We help get you up and running right from the get-go with a complimentary personal coaching session and our quick-reference Getting Started guide. You also get access to our entire library of Knowledge Base how-to materials and videos, unlimited online communication with our support desk, and access to our group support sessions, webinars, and members-only Facebook group. Our team is here for you to make sure you've always got the right tools at hand to grow your interior design firm and take it to the next level.


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Jaime Bako

As Business Development Manager, Jaime specializes in working with small to medium-sized design firms. By helping to implement DesignDocs into their daily processes, Jaime helps interior design business owners improve their firm's productivity and gain stronger financial insights.
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