May 21, 2021

Accounting vs. Management Software: Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!

Accounting vs. Management Software: Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!

Ladies and gentlemen, owners and techs, welcome to the showdown of the year!

In the right corner, we have accounting software.

In the left, we have shop management software.

In the middle of the ring is you, the shop owner trying to decide which software will benefit your shop. Sure, you could use both, but what if you only feel like you can afford one?

What will it be, shop owner? Do you pick the app that will handle all your financial ins and outs? Or do you go for the app that will help you manage your shop?

We won’t beat around the bush: Fullbay is shop management software. You’re on our page, so obviously we hope if you can only choose one piece of software, you pick the shop management version—more specifically, we hope you pick us.

But we don’t expect you to just take our word for it. Don’t make any shop-changing decisions without giving them proper thought. Instead, read on to learn about the differences between accounting software and shop management software, and why the latter might just be the right choice for you.


Accounting and shop management apps are both tools a shop owner can use to make their life easier. The question to ask yourself is, “Which is the right tool for this job?”

Remember, just because you can remove a tire using a screwdriver doesn’t mean that a screwdriver is the best tool for that particular task. If you want to run an efficient and profitable operation, then you need tools that will help you do just that.

Accounting software has one trick: accounting. It’s good at that trick, no doubt, but that’s all it does. It also tends to be templatized; that is, you can use most accounting software across numerous industries. It’s not built for your shop, whereas shop management software—whichever one you end up choosing—is at least designed around the operational requirements of a shop and will have features that will be helpful to your specific business.

Okay, Fullbay, you’re saying, I get it. Now give me some more reasons.

Your wish is our command! Here are five ways shop management software absolutely pummels accounting software.


Even if you don’t have a management system down on paper, you have one in your head. How do you mark up your parts? How do you keep track of what’s in stock vs. what’s been sold? How do you know who’s working on what vehicle? Your accounting software won’t be able to do much with all that. Shop management software, on the other hand, excels at it.

“Immediately, right off the bat [with Fullbay] I saw a 50% increase in revenue just because I was able to pump it out faster.” – Jennifer Callaway, Inland Empire Fleet Maintenance


Your financial software is probably great for sending invoices, but it’s not going to tell you how efficient your techs are. Shop management software can show you who your most efficient tech is, and who makes your shop the most money. It can also show you who might need help and additional training. When your techs are more productive, your business is more productive. In short, management software helps you make the best decisions for your business as a whole.

(But don’t take our word for it. Want to see what happens when you increase your invoiced hours or efficiency by just one hour? Give our free financial model template a whirl and find out!)

AAA Semi-Truck & Trailer saw a 36% uptick in labor revenue after adopting Fullbay.


If you’re just using accounting software, odds are you’re chasing down a lot of paperwork to build out service orders and invoices. That can mean translating scrawled notes on Post-Its, playing phone tag with techs (“Is this what you meant?”) and trying to sort out service orders, what parts you have in stock, and which you need to purchase. Shop management software like Fullbay does that for you.

“Before Fullbay, I would forget to invoice customers at least three times per month.” – Felipe Gonzalez II, Quality Diesel Repair, LLC


Your shop management software is going to keep a handy record of everything a particular vehicle has been through. It won’t just keep track of emergency repairs and preventive maintenance; it’ll also record things like declined repairs and warranty issues. Your customers could receive a DOT audit at any time; pulling a record of work completed from an app like Fullbay can really save their day.


Of course, the real way to see if shop management software is right for you is to give it a spin. Here’s an amazing coincidence: you can demo Fullbay for free. If you’re ready to look beyond simple accounting software and want to get up close and personal with all the perks we described above, then give us a whirl. We can’t wait to take the gloves off and help you turbocharge your operation!

Suz Baldwin