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Has anyone tried Craftybase for accounting and inventory software


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Hello everyone,

Wondering if anyone has tried Craftybase and whether they can compare to Quickbooks. They're currently offering a free 14-day trial and monthly membership costs are pretty reasonable now with their 40% off sale. See: https://craftybase.com

I've used Quickbooks before, but Craftybase seems tailored specifically for us and so was looking for some feedback. I started off just using Excel spreadsheets but as my business expands it's no longer practical.

 

Suzanne

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Looks cool but are you sure you will use the features. Operating an LLC as a sole proprietorship and on a cash basis we just file a K form with personal taxes. All of our studio  equipment has finished being depreciated and it really is a fairly simple routine of adding up revenue and expenses and feeding into turbo tax at the end of the year. I get the value of accounting reports and if you have outside people that need to see financials it is essential but it takes a lot of hours to really maintain an accounting system so I would just caution not doing it until there is a compelling reason.  

That said I did bookmark the site :-)

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Their marketing pitch is “ditch the spreadsheet” so I have no doubt it’s better than using Excel. Probably not better than Quickbooks, except that it’s cheaper, which is nice. My qualm would be that it looks like a startup. I wouldn’t want to have my financial data stored in their online servers, only to have them suddenly go out of business. 

I don’t like softwares that you have to rent instead of buying. The reason it’s becoming popular is because the software companies make so much more money. I’m still using Quickbooks from 2015. Quickbooks no longer supports this version, and they have since stopped making anything for Macs. The next time I buy a new computer, I’ll need to switch to something else. They are pressuring me to switch to their online software, which I don’t like. (I spent $250 for the software 5 years ago. If I had rented it monthly for 60 months, I would have spent $1500 and counting.)

My first choice is for my current Mac to run forever. My second choice is to find a different software that will run locally on a Mac. My third choice is to use an online software, but only if there’s no other option. I would consider CraftyBase at that time, because it is cheaper than Quickbooks. 

In reading the Craftybase website, I take issue with their pricing feature. Their software helps you figure out your pricing based on COGS and time, which is the absolute backwards way to do it for a craft business. Too many businesses make this mistake. Pricing can only be done by being realistically plugged into the market value of what you’re making. So I would ignore that feature. Maybe use it for analysis only, but not to drive my pricing decisions. 

Edited by GEP
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I have used quicken forever (early 90s) and tweaked it  big time to fit my full time pottery and part time dive business.I bought a quickbooks mac version long time ago of Quickbooks to switch over just before Intuit they pulled the plug on Mac support. Years later after Macs took of with I pads etc they (intuit) came back to Mac versions but that left a bitter taste-I am still on a 2007 quicken version on my 27 inch large Mac desktop and just bought an old version (new disc) of quiken 2017 -no monthly fees when I have to upgrade that Mac past El Capitan operating system . 

Sometimes its best not to fix it if its not broke.

You need to think ahead in this world of software.

Crafty is something I am going to avoid -lets see if its around in 10 years

Not going to the monthly pay plan-cheaper to keep my old Mac for accounting only if needed.

Same thing has happened to Lightroom the best photo editing program there is for us underwater photo folks.

I have the program licked as well so the learning curve is long behind me.

I do not need any online services connected to the software as well so it really pretty simple for my accountant

Edited by Mark C.
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30 minutes ago, neilestrick said:

@GEP There is still a desktop version of Quickbooks for Mac. HERE

Oh wow, thanks! A few years ago Intuit announced that Quickbooks Mac 2016 would be their last Mac version, and they would stop supporting it in 2019. I guess they changed their minds. 

I had to call Intuit for another issue recently. They lectured me about my software being out and date and unsupported. They urged me to migrate to the online version. He never mentioned a current desktop version was available. Grrrr, That’s another reason to dump them if possible. 

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8 minutes ago, GEP said:

Oh wow, thanks! A few years ago Intuit announced that Quickbooks Mac 2016 would be their last Mac version, and they would stop supporting it in 2019. I guess they changed their minds. 

I had to call Intuit for another issue recently. They lectured me about my software being out and date and unsupported. They urged me to migrate to the online version. He never mentioned a current desktop version was available. Grrrr, That’s another reason to dump them if possible. 

It could be because their online monthly version is cheaper and he was trying to save you money! The single user one is only 7 dollars a month which beats craftybase too

Edited by liambesaw
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I think for the first two pricepoints it's cheaper and easier just to use Square and the reports that software generates for free. It doesn't look like it offers a lot of value beyond google pages, which I can also get for free.  The most useful tier, the one with things like consignment tracking, is the most expensive one.  I think if you're at the point where you need some of those options, it might be a lot more efficient to just pay a bookkeper so you can go make more pots.

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12 minutes ago, liambesaw said:

It could be because their online monthly version is cheaper and he was trying to save you money! The single user one is only 7 dollars a month which beats craftybase too

You’re talking about Quickbooks Self-Employed, which is a “lite” version of QB. It’s only $7/month for the first three months, Regular price is $15/month, which is still way more expensive than buying a desktop software. 

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Software for years was akin to a pyramid scheme in the sense that the new buyers paid for the development of new versions and support for the existing users and only a small fraction of existing users will upgrade or buy support if the version they have works well. Since a lot of us are old folks I'm sure many here can cite some examples of good software companies that just disappeared. The more popular the software was the more they saturated the market. The companies made out sized profits by charging large upfront fees and many times the original writers/owners cashed out big time and money flowed but the problem started when new users thinned out and old users were perfectly happy with a version written years before. Lots of these companies have either gone away or revamped with a monthly subscription model.

The good thing about the monthly is that it will probably be around for a long time if its good (or even OK) because there will be money always flowing in because people/users hate change and unless it really goes to crap will keep using what they are used to almost to a fault.

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15 hours ago, Callie Beller Diesel said:

I think for the first two pricepoints it's cheaper and easier just to use Square and the reports that software generates for free. It doesn't look like it offers a lot of value beyond google pages, which I can also get for free.  The most useful tier, the one with things like consignment tracking, is the most expensive one.  I think if you're at the point where you need some of those options, it might be a lot more efficient to just pay a bookkeper so you can go make more pots.

I agree! Tracking even a couple hundred grand in receipts/spreadsheets and processors reports (square) is pretty straightforward once you have everything classified and if the business goes beyond that a quarterly/monthly person is just not that expensive and they just hand you the reports each period and charge a end of year fee to file.

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On 1/21/2020 at 9:07 AM, GEP said:

Their marketing pitch is “ditch the spreadsheet” so I have no doubt it’s better than using Excel. Probably not better than Quickbooks, except that it’s cheaper, which is nice. My qualm would be that it looks like a startup. I wouldn’t want to have my financial data stored in their online servers, only to have them suddenly go out of business. 

I don’t like softwares that you have to rent instead of buying. The reason it’s becoming popular is because the software companies make so much more money. I’m still using Quickbooks from 2015. Quickbooks no longer supports this version, and they have since stopped making anything for Macs. The next time I buy a new computer, I’ll need to switch to something else. They are pressuring me to switch to their online software, which I don’t like. (I spent $250 for the software 5 years ago. If I had rented it monthly for 60 months, I would have spent $1500 and counting.)

My first choice is for my current Mac to run forever. My second choice is to find a different software that will run locally on a Mac. My third choice is to use an online software, but only if there’s no other option. I would consider CraftyBase at that time, because it is cheaper than Quickbooks. 

In reading the Craftybase website, I take issue with their pricing feature. Their software helps you figure out your pricing based on COGS and time, which is the absolute backwards way to do it for a craft business. Too many businesses make this mistake. Pricing can only be done by being realistically plugged into the market value of what you’re making. So I would ignore that feature. Maybe use it for analysis only, but not to drive my pricing decisions. 

Thanks for input! I agree, it really is unfortunate that we are being forced to rent vs. buying software outright. But membership fees seem to be the standard now and I don't see any way around it. Technology is rapidly changing and maybe in a couple years there will be something free or cheaper and then I won't have invested in hundreds of dollars in something that is outdated. In terms of pricing, I haven't looked at the nuts and bolts of how their software works, and totally agree you have to price in terms of market value. I would definitely use it as analysis only, so I understand what my baseline is for COG/time. It would be valuable to track which items have low/high profit margins.

I found a link to software reviews for Craftybase if anyone is interested: https://www.softwareadvice.com/inventory-management/craftybase-profile/reviews/

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1 minute ago, PeppernPatches said:

Thanks for input! I agree, it really is unfortunate that we are being forced to rent vs. buying software outright. But membership fees seem to be the standard now and I don't see any way around it. Technology is rapidly changing and maybe in a couple years there will be something free or cheaper and then I won't have invested in hundreds of dollars in something that is outdated. In terms of pricing, I haven't looked at the nuts and bolts of how their software works, and totally agree you have to price in terms of market value. I would definitely use it as analysis only, so I understand what my baseline is for COG/time. It would be valuable to track which items have low/high profit margins.

I found a link to software reviews for Craftybase if anyone is interested: https://www.softwareadvice.com/inventory-management/craftybase-profile/reviews/

There are plenty of free options.  I use Wave.  I don't use any of the paid add-ons like payroll with them so it's 100% free

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While I agree that knowing your COGS is important, the work in figuring that out isn't in doing the math: it's in gathering all the numbers in the first place, and making sure you've remembered everything that goes into making an item. Our materials costs tend to be pretty fixed, and pretty low compared to other industries or other handmade items. We don't have to worry about the market price for silver fluctuating, for instance.  How much we get paid out of a given piece after that depends on how much we're able to charge for it, and how fast we're able to make it. It's worth revisiting every once in a while so that you know it's under control, but I don't think it's one of those things we need to track monthly.

 

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