I have a small business baking sweets (mainly cakes) at home. Business is definitely starting to pick up, so I am looking into affordable software that would help me out. Does anyone use the CakeBoss software? Or can recommend another software? I need a program to help keep track of customers, orders, accounting/invoices, and most importantly pricing. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!
it's good stuff -- lots of peeps on here have it -- i retired shortly after my purchase so i have been a light user -- i hope someone else pipes up for you -- it's a great program for pricing, invoicing, lots of stuff, recipes, inventory, customer base -- just plug in the numbers -- for true accounting i'd go with quickbooks but again i haven't used mine in a few --
I purchased the software about six weeks ago...I had created excel spreadsheets for costing and expense tracking and just before I went to compile my taxes my hard drive kicked the bucket and my info was irretrievable! That's a whole lotta work and effort down the toilet!
So, I invested in the software. It took me about two weeks to feel fairly comfortable. I had some questions and I was able to easily find the answers via the tutorials. I'm still not 100% with all of its capabilities, but I use it heavily for costing, tracking expenses, and customer orders. There is a package feature that I really like. I add a cupcake recipe, a frosting recipe, and the materials (boxes, etc) into one saved package that I can drop into orders with a click. There are lots of reports that can be generated from multiple areas. It also has inventory tracking which I have not yet taken advantage of. I think there is a 30-day money back guarantee, too.
I am happy that I purchased it- besides, there was NO WAY I was going recreate excel databases- the software did all the hard work for me! And, the info is in the "cloud" so I hope to never hear the word: irretrievable, again!
I have the old version (not cloud) because we do not have great internet connection. I have used it for over a year. I have currently switched to another software for billing/inventory. I will probably still use it for a customer data base/picture storage but that is it.
1. My billing was off. Most of my invoices printed were totaled incorrectly.
2. My tax reports were off. I had to spend hours recalculating my sales tax for three reasons.
A) My state requires that I give them the total of my receipts without the tax included. The report that printed was inclusive.
B) My state has three numbers beyond he decimal point. I have to round up or down for this software causing my calculations to be off a little.
C) My state has two different sale tax rates. The software only accommodates one.
3. There was no inventory control. (Although I read the other person state that there was now)
4. The balance due (when payments were made) was listed on the top of the invoice instead of the bottom where most people look causing the need to send refunds.
5. I couldn't see all the orders that were coming up. Just for the ones that week. I want to see everything so I can plan my bulk orders in advance.
6. I would have liked to have my calendar up front. I ended up just adding a cake calendar to my Google Calendar because they are always front and center so I don't miss anything. It's a good concept though.
Now, having said that, the invoices not adding up correctly came after I upgraded to Windows 8 from Vista. No matter what we have tried, it just will not work. The cloud base may work better or there may be upgrades. The cloud base just would not work for us.
The tax is a problem because of the requirements DOR has put on the business owners of our state. It may not be like that in yours. It is something to check out.
Inventory may not be an issue for you if you do not sell inventory like I do. I have to keep up on lows. I also need PO's and vendor information so I know where I purchased a particular item for a cake that someone else likes. My memory isn't that great anymore. ;) However, yummyvegan stated that there is inventory control now.
The dashboard may be different on the cloud as well where you see all of your orders and not just a week out. Because my suppliers have large minimums, I like to get everything in that I can under bulk orders to save on shipping or dealing with trucks coming in. Saves me time and my customers money. Again, this may not be an issue for others.
Because I can't remember everything, (I have two business, a hubby and four kids!) I live by calendars! There is one on there, but I never remember to put things in there because it is not front and center. I ended up just adding another calendar for the cake business on Google. It's always sending me reminders when I need to do something.
Again, these things may have changed on the new cloud version. I am just sharing my experience so you can look at a few things while you are looking. Some things I didn't discover until later. I made do. I am still going to use it for some things (I love the picture feature) I just can't use it for billing/inventory because of my particular requirements. I will also say that when I started having issues with my invoices not adding up correctly, the company responded quickly and really tried to fix it. They are really great people to work with. I would have LOVED to continue to use it. The concept was great! It just didn't work for my needs and your needs may not be the same.
I am looking to purchase software for our business as well. In addition to cakes we are a small start up bakery with cookies, desserts, and breads. We bake on demand and to sell at other locations on consignment using a rented kitchen with hopes of one day soon having our own storefront.
Would the cake boss software work for us? Does it help compile tax data for the end of the year? What about payroll? Would quickbooks be a better investment? If so which version?
I use Cake Boss Cloud, and for the most part I'm pretty happy with it, and I have a home-based bakery. It did take me a while to figure everything out - thankfully they have lots of how-to-use videos linked to the site. I found that there's a lot of inputting at first - I had to manually input all of my ingredients/materials and prices, but that's a lot easier to maintain once the initial input is finished.
With regard to some of the extremely valid issues that InspiredByMom & Crazy-4-Cakes brought up:
They DO have an inventory function now, although actually pulling the inventory can be a bit spotty. I use mine mostly to get an inventory number for accounting purposes. I do not go through an update the ingredients inventory when I purchase those supplies; however, I do track my materials (boxes, cake boards, etc.) pretty carefully.
Balance Due, Amount Paid, Discount & Discount Reason all print at the bottom of the invoice; the notes and delivery info print at the top, although the amount reserved for the notes is limited to like 6-8 lines pf text (beyond that, and you get a very interesting invoice printed on multiple pages).
They do have vendor screens to list all the contact info, but no place for actual PO numbers except in the Expense description field. Which is limited to a certain number of characters. So it's not very helpful for tracking vendor anything beyond who you bought stuff from, and how much the bill was.
The Dashboard still only shows orders due for the next 7 days. I found the calender function to be a little clunky, and I just reverted back to my Week-At-A-Glance book that I drag around everywhere.
Taxes: You can print expenses, profit/loss, and revenue reports. I can't generate any other accounting reports, and I ended up giving my accountant a very basic income statement that I created in Excel. (Basically, if I can't generate a report in CakeBoss, I gin something up in Excel.)
Payroll: It does NOT calculate or track payroll. I have no experience with Quickbooks at all, so I have no opinions there!
If you have an actual storefront, IMHO, CakeBoss Cloud is too limited as the information tracked is very basic. It's awesome for calculating recipe costs, and scaling things up/down, and I can cost fixed price packages that will always be the same vs. costing custom orders that are one-shot deals. With the level of business I have right now, it's perfect for my needs, but I can tell I will (hopefully) outgrow it one day and need something more sophisticated.
I use it a lot like YummyVegan does, and like I said, I'm very happy with it, but it does have limitations.
Thank you all SO much for your input, I greatly appreciate it! ;)
I tried to get quickbooks. I did a ton of research on the latest version and all of it said that it was cumbersome. I was still willing to give it a go because really, I was out of options. So I thought. I contacted them 4 times to purchase it and they wouldn't bother to return my calls. Upon further research, this is common. Especially if you have software questions.
I found a product from NCH called Express Accounts that is the same (if not better). It does accounting, invoicing and purchasing. It can link to other software they have as you grow for inventory and if I remember correctly, POS. I could even use my scanner with it. The price was WAY better than anything intuit had. They also had a link on their website for a try it before you buy it thing. I also contacted their sales department and they gave an even better price quote.
The only reason I do not have it is because I had already purchased an invoicing/inventory program a week prior to checking them out. I like the one I have (Invoice Expert) for the price but service is extremely slow to respond to questions (if at all). NCH has way better customer service than IE. If you contact them directly, it is even better than what you can get if from Amazon.
fwiw -- i've used quick books and i loved it in my bookstore -- i did pay a qb expert to help me set it up -- it was worth it but it was pricey -- sometimes she would remote into my system and help out with a question or two as i went along -- but my pos was supposed to dump all this info into qb automatically but no it did not and it was crazy for a while --
i wound up entering all the dailies in there myself -- but i really loved the qb -- i could print checks and get more reports than i ever wanted
Nay for me. I would give it a 5 out of 10. I used it one time and I couldn't take it because it can be so much more. I deal with computer software all day. The programming didn't seem intuitive enough, it seemed stiff and ridged. The online instruction guides were horrible and low quality. If I can remember correctly I think my main issue was how off the ingredient pricing was compared to my area. You could edit everything of course but if I was going to do that then there was no use in purchasing the program in my mind.
The software would be taken to a new level if they allowed you to put in your zip code and it matched the pricing with your local surroundings. Or...if it allowed you to put in stores both online and locally where you get your materials from and it monitored your costs that way (price matching would be a great feature). Alerts to let you know that specific material prices went up or went down. Help with monitoring inventory based off how much you bake per week. Making suggestions of things you need to purchase. When it comes to software your imagination is the only limit.
If that happened the program would be a beast. :)
I love Cake Boss Cloud. It does take a lot of effort at first to input pricing, but once the effort is made I find it to be very important tool for the success of how I keep records. I should note that I have never worked with another program and I do not have anything to compare it to. Overall I am very happy and will continue to use it.