Frequently Asked Questions and Tips

Q1. What if I need support on creating my books?

A. We are here to help. Please start the process by clicking the Contact Support link on the upper right side of the web page. Please be very specific and provide all the details that you can. Include a phone number if you need a call back (Premium Members only).

Q2. Do you have a Total Office Manager® export or interface?

A. We don't. This is a high priority for us though.

Q3. Do you have a QuickBooks® export?

A. We don't have a QuickBooks interface or export. We will very likely offer that later.

Q4. Can I use the export file and then import that information into QuickBooks?

A. Yes. Please search the internet on “How to import an Excel Item list into QuickBooks”. You will need to prepare the file before QB can accept it. This video is helpful and there are many other articles and videos that cover this process.

How to Video
Explanation of Black Belt Flat Rate File

PLEASE NOTE: Our support staff cannot help you import your file into QuickBooks. We are not QB people. Another reason is that the process can be fairly time consuming. There are company to company variables (like chart of account entries in QB).

Q5. Can we use the website when we don’t have an internet connection?

A. There is no offline mode. Since it is a website, you need internet access.

Q6. Can we export our flat rate books?

A. There is no way to export the books. We do plan to offer that in the future. We also plan to build a dedicated app that will be able to show the flat rate books (hopefully without an internet connection).

Q7. Can we print our flat rate books?

A. Yes you can print your books. On the Flat Rate Books page click PDF to create a PDF and then print it.

Q8. How do I change the labor rate for the entire book?

A. If each task has a labor item, you would change the price of that Labor Item in the Item Master List. When you change the properties of a Task Item, you are changing that item globally, so all Tasks will be changed. The only exception is when you "lock" the price using the Lock button.

Q9. If I change the properties of an item within a task, are all tasks updated?

A. Yes. The only exception is when you "lock" the price using the Lock button.

Q10. If I change the properties of an item in a Task, using the Task Item list at the bottom of the Task page, are all other tasks that use that item changed as well?

A. Yes. You cannot change the properties of an item only within a single task.

Q11. Do you have pictures of parts that we can use?

A. No. We are working to obtain the legal rights to some.

Q12. Do I have to add items to a task?

A. No. You can simply enter a price for each "Price Level".

Q13. Why do some of my tasks have numerous price levels and others don’t?

A. Tasks may appear in more than one book (for Premium Members). When viewing the details of a task, you will see all the price levels from all books that include that task.

Q14. How do you set the global labor rate?

A. We do not have a “Global Labor Rate”. Let’s recap how prices are determined in Black Belt Flat Rate.

The task’s Retail Price field is the result of adding up the Retail Prices of all items and labor associated with that task (if any). Tasks are not required to have items or labor. You can enter a Retail Price manually. Other Column pricing can be entered manually or calculated automatically using multipliers.

Users set up as many columns for price options as they wish, per book. Examples can include Regular, Overtime, Preferred, and more. These columns appear on each task within that book.

The columns include a name and a multiplier. There is a default column called Regular with a multiplier of 1.0. The other columns have their own multiplier. Column prices are determined by multiplying the Retail Price of the task by each column’s multiplier. Example: Consider a motor replacement with a retail price of $500.00. You have a column called “Overtime” with a multiplier of 1.5. The “Overtime” Retail Price will be $750.00.

When building a task, you will see each of the columns you have created. The prices within these columns are the Retail Price multiplied by the column’s multiplier. You may also simply enter prices directly into the Price field for each column. These prices can be “locked” against being automatically calculated (like when the retail price changes).

For Flat Rate Plus® Software Owners

Q. When it comes to building the books, how is this different than Flat Rate Plus®?

  1. There are several operational differences.
    1. We no longer use the concept of departments. Instead, we have book titles.
    2. Tasks can appear in multiple book titles.
    3. You no longer enter your labor rates per department. Instead, you create labor items and add the item(s) to a task. When you update that one labor item, all tasks are updated that contain that labor item.
    4. You do not setup labor amounts and item discounts per price column. Instead, you create a “Regular Price” and use multipliers to adjust them. For example, overtime might have a multiplier of 1.5 and Preferred might have a multiplier of .85 (85% of the Regular price).
    5. You can enter (or override) prices on any of your columns. In Flat Rate Plus, each column price was the result of the total of all labor and parts and that amount could not be overridden.
    6. You may now add pictures to tasks and items.
    7. You no longer have to print your books. There is a PDF generator that you can use to view tasks on the screen or print. The layout looks almost identical to Flat Rate Plus. The format and layout cannot be changed. You may also use your browser and click the Presentation button to search for and display tasks in a browser.
    8. You may now have as many price levels (formally called “Columns”) as you wish.
    9. Task Numbers no longer automatically include the three letter Task Category (such as ACA).
    10. Task Numbers no longer automatically include the task’s labor minutes at the end (such as ACA-AT55-0045).
    11. Task Numbers no longer have dashes automatically added to them.
    12. Task Numbers can have up to 50 characters. In Flat Rate Plus, they are limited to 11 characters.

Q. Do you have a Flat Rate Plus® to Black Belt Contracting conversion utility?

A. Yes we do. It is a Premium Member Feature.


  1. You can add a task to two or more books. That way, if you have a common task, you only have to enter it once and maintain it in one place. A task can only be in one task category within the same book.
  2. You can add an item to two or more tasks. In the Task List, highlight two or more tasks and click the Bulk Actions button at the bottom of the list. The same is true for inactivating or activating items or tasks.