Getting Started

Overview

Get started by locating your topic in the side menu or search field above. For best search results, enter keywords with the exact terminology used in SoloAssist. If you are new to SoloAssist, we recommend you get started with Setup below.


Throughout SoloAssist software are Help buttons that link to the topic of your location in the Help Centre. It explains toolbar features, how to do common tasks, user tips, and troubleshooting.

Setup

1) Default folder structure

After SoloAssist is installed, there will be (5) folders setup in your (C:)Documents SoloAssist

It's not mandatory to use this location for you SoloAssist folder structure. Many users copy them into OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc, to share between multiple devices and or for automatic backup purposes. Below is an overview of each folder.



All databases created by SoloAssist are stored here. In addition, you can find automatic backups of your database files within the DocumentsSoloAssistDatabasesBackups folder should you need recovery files.


This is where SoloAssist saves a copy of your Database backups.


If you are using multiple devices, you will need to share and access the database files from a central location e.g. OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.

See Options to learn more


This is where SoloAssist keeps your Live Pricing suppliers price lists and connection details. The supplier price list files cannot be viewed outside of SoloAssist as they have been securely encrypted to protect the intellectual property of the supplier.

We recommend storing all business logos or image files in this folder that you use in SoloAssist. However, this is not mandatory.

This is the SoloAssist default location for storing your quotes and jobs. You are not restricted to use the SoloAssist default folder location. You may choose to use a different folder location to save your files.

In the SoloAssist default folder, you will find subfolders for storing Quotes Open that you are working on, as well as Quotes Closed that you did not win. There are also folders for Jobs Open that you won as well as Jobs Closed that you have completed.

The Backups folder stores the SoloAssist automatic time spaced backup files. This Backup folder is the first place to look when attempting to recover lost work.


This folder has multiple time spaced backups of all your quotes and jobs.


This is where you should be saving your new quote folders. To save folder setup time, you can copy & rename the Sample Job folder as its already setup for you to start. Then delete the Sample Template file out of the new copied folder.


The Sample Job folder is setup with sub-folders to show you an example of how a job can be setup. To save time, copy, rename and paste it into the Quotes Open folder for a new quote/job folder before starting a new quote.


This is for quotes you didn't win, move the job folder here.


This is for quotes won! Move the job folder here.


For completed jobs, move the job folder here to archive. These are best archived into yearly folders. e.g. 2019, 2020, 2021


SoloAssist saves your software settings here. We recommend this folder not be shared with other users as the settings are specific to your computer. The Settings folder files can be safely deleted as SoloAssist will recreate them back to the default settings.

This is a convenient location for you to save your suppliers price lists. However, this is not mandatory location to save to.

2) SoloAssist setup

Follow the steps below to setup your SoloAssist estimating views.


Step 1
Start New Quote

From the SoloAssist software Home menu, select Start New Quote. Then select Use a copy of the Sample Template. Fill-out the Job Details then go back to the Home menu.


Step 2
Company Setup

Go to Home menu and select Company Setup. Enter your business details including your header logo. Then select Business Terms of Trade and setup your default terms & conditions for Business, Variations, and Sales Invoices. If using the Sample Template or a copy of the Sample Template, it will already be setup with default terms & conditions for you to review and edit.


Step 3
Column Width Adjustments

From the Cost Schedule view across the the Progress Payments view you will need to check each views column widths making sure you can read all the information running down each column. Move your mouse cursor over the column heading bar, then hold down the left button and drag it wider to the right-hand side. On each views 'Notes' column, you can widen the column from the (4) dotted gripper on its right-hand side.


Step 4
Price List (shared database) - Activation

After starting your first quote, it's important to activate the price list database as soon as possible. If you have already been using SoloAssist and have many quotes or job files, then click here, to read the instructions first. Otherwise, proceed below.

To activate your Price List database, go to Home menu ► OptionsDatabasesPrice List File Location ► press Activate.

Use the Help button to learn more.


Step 5
Xero or MYOB Connection

Go to Home menu and select MYOB or Xero Connection, then fill-out the prompts to connect.

Use its Help button to learn more.


Step 6
Suppliers

Go to Suppliers view and add your suppliers details. This is mandatory before starting a quote. It will automate your supplier selections throughout SoloAssist to save time and enter quotes. If you're wanting to import suppliers details from Xero or MYOB, then go to Suppliers Settings.


See Suppliers Settings to learn more


Step 7
Price List

Open the Price List and add all your common supplier names and link them to their Suppliers view details. Then enter their pricing to the items in the Price List.

Use the Help button to learn more.


Step 8
See the 'Quoting Guide' below.

To complete a quote, you only need to add items into the Cost Schedule, Timber List and Job Specifications.

Note: Deleting items out of SoloAssist, will remove them from your quoting template. Items not used, will not show or contribute in the quote print reports. It will only show contributing items.


Use the Help button in each view, to learn more as you go.

3) Starting your 1st quote

Before starting a quote, make sure you have setup a job folder and saved your plans into it or a sub-folder of it.


Step 1
Start New Quote

Go to Home menu, under Welcome select Start New Quote. Then select Use a copy of the Sample Template. If you have already started several quotes, then choose Use a copy of an Existing Quote Template. Then select your most up-to-date quote file with template and price list changes.


Step 2
Job Details

After starting a new quote, the Job Details will open automatically to enter the site/job information. Fill out the required fields in each tab view e.g. Site Info, Client Details, Client Representative & Documentation, then click OK to continue. Then save the quote into your job folder. You can return back to job details later if required.


Step 3
Save Quote

Save the new quote into its own job folder. SoloAssist has pre-setup folders in Documents SoloAssist Quotes & Jobs Quotes Open. By default, SoloAssist uses the Site Address as the new quote name, which is typically a good name for its job folder.

See Manage job folders below to learn more about setting up your job folders.


Auto Backups

SoloAssist will automatically create time spaced backups while you work. Backup quote files are located in Documents SoloAssist Quotes & Jobs Backups


Step 4
Plans (on-screen takeoff)

Before adding plans, ensure the job plans have been saved into your job folder first. This ensures job-specific documentation stays together enabling SoloAssist to locate the plans from within the same folder or a sub-folder of it.

Compatible Plan image files: PDF, JPG, PNG, TIF, GIF.


Step 5
Entering Items & Quantities

The Cost Schedule, Timber List and Job Specifications are the only views needed for entering items, materials, labour, quantities and supplier quotes to complete your quote. Use the grey Quantity and Rates column fields to enter your item quantities, supplier or subcontractors quotes. Optionally, you can use Plan Scan to measure-up quantities sending them directly into the quote as you go. The other SoloAssist tab views, help you run the job after winning the quote!


Step 6
Go to Quoting guide

Before proceeding with your quote, make sure you have completed the SoloAssist Setup.

To complete your quote, you only need to add items in the Cost Schedule, Timber List and Job Specifications.

Don't delete items in your quote template if your not using them. This will affect your template for future quotes. Items not used (filled in), will not contribute or show in your quote or job reports.


Use the Help button in each view, to learn more as you go.

4) Quoting guide

The following steps are a guide to start quoting.

To complete a quote, you only need to add items into the Cost Schedule, Timber List and Job Specifications.

Use the Cost Control view to check your overall quoted budgets as a summary.


Step 1
Go to Home menu and select Start New Quote, then select Use a copy of the Sample Template. However, if you have already started another quote then select Use a copy of an existing quote template. This should be your most up-to-date quote with template and price changes.

See Home menu to learn more


Step 2
Open Job Details, then fill-out the Site Info, Client Details and Documentation. Then click OK, and save the quote into your job folder.

See Job Details to learn more


Step 3
Go to Cost Schedule Settings and make sure your Business Markups and Labour Rates are set correctly.

See Cost Schedule Settings to learn more​​​​


Step 4
Open Plan Scan, then add your plans. Then Rename each plan tab to the correct plan names and Calibrate the Plan Scale on each plan you'll be measuring quantities.

See Plan Scan to learn more


Step 5
Go to Cost Schedule and fill-out the Work Groups Preliminaries and Site Setup.

See Cost Schedule to learn more


Step 6
In the Cost Schedule, Timber List and Job Specifications, scroll top to bottom or use the Group search to familiarise yourself with the groups and items already setup.

Entering Quotes

All supplier or subcontractor quotes will get entered into the Cost Schedule items called Quoted by:. Double click on the item name 'Quoted by:' to open the item window, then select your supplier then enter the quoted amount. Then click OK.


Use Plan Scan (on-screen takeoff) on your duel screen in conjunction with each view to measure-up and send in your quantities as you go.


Try to enter and measure items in the same order you would build it.

Each view has a Help Centre link for How do I… and Troubleshooting user tips.


5) Evolve your quote template

1
Make sure you have completed Starting your first quote and SoloAssist Setup, before proceeding.

2
Each time you start a new quote, SoloAssist will ask you to choose from two options, Select an existing quote as a template or Use a copy of the Sample Template. If it's your first quote, select Use a copy of the Sample Template, but if it's not, then Select an existing quote as a template.

When selecting an existing quote as a template, SoloAssist automatically creates a copy of the quote removing any job-specific data entries, leaving you with a cleared up-to-date template ready to start the new quote. Hence, rolling forward all previous template and price changes.

Following this practice will evolve your quote template to suit your future business quoting structure. We recommend you have just one master template, rather than multiple templates you'll need to keep individually updated. But yes, you can have multiple templates if required e.g. Multiple Spec Home Designs.

6) Convert your quote to a job

Step 1
Lock your Contract Total

To convert your quote to a job, follow the steps below.


Double click on the padlock in your quote.


Select Lock (To Run Job), then click OK.

This locks the Contract Total as a fixed amount, and disables the Update Pricing button. It ensures the Contract Total and Payment Stages won't readjust if you make changes to materials or labour items while running the job.


Step 2
Move the Job Folder

If you have saved your jobs to the SoloAssist default location in Documents SoloAssist Quotes & Jobs Quotes Open. Then move your job folder by 'cut & pasting' it from the Quotes Open folder to the Jobs Open folder. Then when you've completed the job, move it to the Jobs Closed folder. This keeps you organised and stops folder and files cluttering on your computer. Following this method, archives your job folders with its documentation as you go.


User Tips
1) Make sure you save all job documentation into (1) folder and its sub folders.

2) SoloAssist software is designed to search the folder of where you save the SoloAssist quote file, and its sub folders for the plans added into your (on-screen takeoff). This helps to not lose the plan links in your quote file.


3) Make sure you save the SoloAssist quote files (.quo) into each of your job folders and not its sub folders. This allows SoloAssist to find your plans automatically.