So you want to start a new ESC database? Whether you're firing up ESC for the first time, creating a test database or need a second database for a new division of your company, you've come to the right place.
To get started, open Electronic Service Control on your server computer. If it prompts you to log in or create a sample, click Cancel.
Now go to File→ New Company. You may have noticed the Create a New Company link on the Dashboard, you can also click that to begin the wizard.
Now you are looking at the Welcome screen of the New Company Setup Wizard. Click Next to begin your setup.
The first step in creating your new database is to give it a name and location.
You'll want to leave most of these fields at their defaulted values, including the User Name for ADMIN. If you would like to sign into the ADMIN account with a password, you may enter that password into the User Password field now. Make sure to jot that password down somewhere, or else you won't be able to access your new database!
Next, assign this file a Database Name. Your Database Name cannot contain spaces or characters and must start with a letter. This does not need to be your full company name.
In this screen, you'll want to fill in your company contact information.
Your company name and address will appear on several default forms in ESC, so make sure it's typed correctly!
The area code you use in the Phone Number field on this screen will be carried over to your customers as the default area code. So it's best to use your local phone number here. This helps when you're typing in a phone number for a customer, if you only type in the main seven digits and then hit the tab key, your area code will appear as the area code of the new number.
Select the industry type you'll be using this database for. If you provide more than one service through your company, then choose the most commonly provided service.
The Company Type that you select will populate defaults into Electronic Service Control so that you may immediately begin using the program as soon as you create your database. Company type defaults include Service Request Codes, Billing Codes, Terms and more.
Departments in ESC are a great way of categorizing your invoices and also help to route costs and revenue from those invoices to their proper accounts.
ESC will start you out with five basic departments. If there are any you won't be using, you may highlight that departments and click the Remove Department button. You may also click the Add Department button to add in any departments that you need.
Not sure what you will or will not use? Don't worry about it! You can add or remove departments at any time in the Enter Departments screen.
Note: If you are integrating with a QuickBooks database that has Classes enabled, you'll want your Departments in ESC to match your classes in QuickBooks. To do this, make sure the Departments in ESC have the same name as the Class in QuickBooks.
Electronic Service Control will provide you with numbers for your accounts, but you can change those numbers here. If you are integrating Electronic Service Control with an accounting software such as QuickBooks, then skip this screen.
If you are using ESC alone or will be using ESC's built-in Accounting system - ESC Accounting - then you can control the names and numbers in your Chart of Accounts. However, this will not be necessary if you are integrating with QuickBooks or Sage 50, as you will simply be passing information over to the accounts in that software.
You will be able to add and edit accounts later using the Enter Chart of Accounts screen.
Going to be tracking inventory? If you answered yes, then you'll want to select your valuation type on the current screen. Otherwise, just click Next.
ESC's Inventory module tracks the cost of your inventory items when you make a purchase and applies that cost to invoices when the items are sold. It also tracks the values for reporting purposes, whether it is looking at a single item or your entire stock. Here, you'll select what Inventory Valuation type you want your database to use: Weighted Average or FIFO.
When generating sales invoices, these settings will determine how tax is calculated.
This screen will allow you to start with two different tax codes. If you need to setup a more complex sales tax system, then you can do so by visiting the Enter Tax Codes screen.
We recommend leaving the Account Number the same, but you will want to assign a Name and Percentage to each taxing authority. Also, make sure to select which components will be taxable.
Just a few defaults to make setting up your customers easier...
If you are going to be integrating with an accounting software, such as QuickBooks or Sage 50, then you can ignore the Late Charge Percent field. Statements will be generated through your accounting system.
You may have more than one Customer Labor Rate, and that's not a problem. Enter the most frequently used one here. This will become your Standard Labor Rate. The Helper Labor Rate will also be a part of the Standard Labor Rate.
Trip Charge will be displayed on the customer's record in the Location tab.
These can all be updated in the Customer tab of System Setup.
Adding your technicians through this screen will create an employee profile for them and also add them to the Electronic Dispatch Board.
To add a technician, click the Add Technician button. Each technician will need a four-digit ID number. If you don't already have an ID system setup for your technicians, simply start with the number '1' and the system will add the preceding zeros for you. Then enter a First and Last Name and click OK.
If you wish to add to each employee's profile, you can do so in the Enter Technicians screen.
That's all there is to it! You can immediately begin entering customers, dispatching technicians and generating invoices.