In the middle ground are stand-alone programs that integrate with just one other program. Lately, I've been interested in programs that connect to Quicken and QuickBooks, the popular bookkeeping software from Intuit. One estimating program that does a nice job of sending a budget to QuickBooks is called LiteningQuick Estimating from Litening Software.

  This Windows-based program is in its third version, and shows a lot of maturity from earlier versions. If the promise of total integration has eluded you, don't despair - there are off-the-shelf answers, and LiteningQuick is one of them. Class codes. Before you can start estimating, you need to select a set of categories, or Class Codes,...

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