By Joseph F. Schuler Jr.. Software integration is an issue everyone grapples with, and a new program that manages service and warranty calls promises to deliver those needed ties to QuickBooks accounting software. The program is Service Management for QuickBooks, sold by EXR Software of Anacortes, Wash.

Lorin Mackay of Mack's Handyman Service, Bountiful, Utah, and CEO of EXR Software, says he suggested the program to software developers when he could find no other easy solution for managing service calls.

"It's a great fit with QuickBooks. You don't have to import and export data, it's already there," he says. "Whether I set it up in QuickBooks or in Service Management, it's the same database." In fact, the program won't work without QuickBooks, says Julie Rauch of EXR Software.

Mackay says the program is geared for service tickets and saves the step of creating invoices. The program allows for customer tracking and lets users know when a warranty has expired. The client's service history and equipment inventory also can be tracked.

The program alerts you to what equipment and appliances require servicing and how many times someone has already gone on a call. A Help Desk feature centralizes information about such details as product recalls, allowing users to create an information bank from vendors and suppliers. Digital photographs can be imported into the program and can be searched by title or product.

Michael Thacker, spokesman for Intuit Inc. of Mountain View, Calif., makers of QuickBooks, says nearly 300,000 contractors use QuickBooks, and many use the 110 applications that link to the program (see EXR's product is one of the latest available.

About 65% of QuickBooks' 2.5 million active users use a third-party application. EXR's Service Management for QuickBooks, also available at, sells for $795, then $495 for each additional user.