Setting Up For Estimating

Before you start using Goldenseal cost estimating software, you'll need to set it up with information about your company.

Cost Categories and Locations

Goldenseal uses cost categories and cost locations to identify costs in estimates, expense transactions and job costs. A good system will help you to get a very clear picture of how your business is doing.

The starter files already include a system of cost categories and locations. Those may be sufficient for you, or you may only need to make minor changes to them to use them in your business.

To check the cost categories, choose Category Setup from the Costs menu, then choose Cost Categories or Category Systems from the submenu.

Creating a New Category System

If you already have a system of cost categories, you can enter it into Goldenseal. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Category Setup from the Costs menu, then choose Cost Categories from the submenu.
  2. Enter each of the categories and subcategories that you use.
  3. Choose Category Setup from the Costs menu, then choose Category Systems from the submenu.
  4. Organize the categories into a system of categories and optional subcategories.
  5. If you use additional category systems for different types of costs, repeat steps 3 and 4 as many times as you need.

Basic Accounts

Create accounts for each person and company that you do business with. You can enter all of your accounts at once, or enter them 'on the fly' as you need them.

To enter accounts, choose one of the commands from the Accounts menu, at the top of the screen..

You might want to start with the following types of accounts:

  • Customers-- Enter anyone who purchases goods or services from you.
  • Projects-- Enter any projects that you are doing for customers or for internal use.
  • Bank Accounts-- Enter checking, savings, credit card and loan accounts.
  • Employees-- Enter details about each of your employees.
  • Equipment-- Enter details for each vehicle or large equipment item that you use.
  • Material Suppliers-- Enter each of your material suppliers.
  • Subcontractors-- Enter each subcontractor who provides services to you.
  • Other Costs-- Enter tax agencies, insurance agencies, and other businesses that don't fit into one of the other cost account classes.


If you create your company file from a starter file, many of the lists will already include items for your type of business.

When you start doing data entry, use the popup button next to each clairvoyant field to see the contents of that list.

To change the list or to add new items, choose the Edit List command at the bottom of the pop-up menu. You can also access list items through the menu bar at the top of the screen.

You might want to start by setting up the following lists:

  • Company Divisions-- Create separate company divisions if you'd like to assign assets and liabilities to different portions of the business.
  • Cost Types-- Use Cost Types to group your employees, subcontractors and suppliers into basic areas such as 'utilities' and 'services'. HINT: You do not need to use Cost Types for basic expense categories-- that is handled with Cost Categories.
  • Job Types-- Use Job Types to classify customer and projects in whatever way best suits your business.
  • Payment Terms-- Enter details for the way you bill customers, and the way vendors bill you.
  • Sales Branches-- Enter each location used for sales.
  • Sales Taxes-- Enter the rates you charge customers and pay to suppliers.