Core Features



Dazzle clients with small and/or large images. Hide component pricing when you need to.


Store mulitple images for each item. Crop, rotate and even annotate them, then select from 15 page layout formats.



Include images, customized notes, and PDFs of technical drawings or vendor quotes.



Include images, apply client deposits and hide component pricing when you need to.



Create comprehensive specifications and/or cut sheets.


Grab item details and images directly off websites and add them to DesignSmart.


Create amazing mood boards and cilent presentations.



Manage and bill for time using single or weekly timesheets.


Monitor shipments and be alerted when they are late.



Specify existing products to simplify the specification process.



Assign tasks and monitor progress.



Record and track client and vendor deposits accurately.

DesignSmart Companion

This module is included with DesignSmart and pushes data from websites into DesignSmart.

Impress Clients
and Manage Projects Better
with DesignSmart’s Reports

DesignSmart includes dozens of standard reports that will impress your clients and provide your firm with the data necessary to improve workflow processes, provide better client communications, and manage projects more efficiently.

And if you need additional reports or changes to DesignSmart’s standard reports, we can make any modifications you require so DesignSmart works the way you need it to work.


Make It Yours

Your firm works hard to distinguish itself from the competition and has probably developed unique reports and workflow processes to help achieve your distinction. Unlike regular off-the-shelf software, DesignSmart can be customized so it works the way you need it to work.


Quickbooks Connector

Our most popular add-on links DesignSmart to QuickBooks Pro, QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Enterprise. Clients, purchase orders, invoices, deposits, and vendors that are entered in DesignSmart are pushed to QuickBooks eliminating double entry, delays and typos.


Optional Modules

Depending on your firm’s focus in the design industry, you might need one or more optional modules.

OVERTURE – Express Yourself!

Overture allows you to create mood boards and high quality client presentations. The presentation can consist of a cover page, inspirational pages and technical drawings.


Take advantage of the full power of a real accounting system by choosing the version of QuickBooks that best meets your firm’s accounting requirements.  With our most popular add-on module, the QuickBooks Connector, any item, client, vendor, invoice or purchase order entered or created in DesignSmart is electronically pushed to QuickBooks eliminating double entry, delays and typos.


This module was developed for the type of commercial project where an item is specified once and then linked to multiple areas or guest rooms. You can define the project room matrix at anytime. Quantities for items and their components are updated automatically based on the room matrix. Include distribution reports in the primary and/or component specification. Export a comprehensive Excel document listing all items in all areas.

Hospitality Module

Revit Integration

Manage Revit families & BIM data for use with DesignSmart.

Executive Dashboard

Intended for owners, management, and other interested parties, the Executive Dashboard provides key financial data and reports. The top section of the dashboard provides data from both QuickBooks and DesignSmart. The lower portion is where your accounting team can place weekly, monthly and quarterly reports that you can access with the click of a button.

Project Dashboards

Image of a dashboardA customized project dashboard allows you to view key information about projects on a single layout.  A project dashboard might consist of delivery statuses, invoice statuses, and estimated work remaining. DesignSmart does not include an “out of the box” project dashboard because we have found that our clients will only benefit from the dashboards they have developed for themselves that reflect the data they need. If you’d like to learn more about dashboards, or if you have a dashboard in mind for your firm, then please contact us.

Click on images to zoom in.


PresentSmart is an iPad app designed for making presentations to residential clients. Clients can view multiple images of each item, see detailed notes and then select which items they want to purchase. At the end of the presentation the client can sign their name to confirm their consent to release the items for purchase. All data and images are loaded on the iPad prior to the presentation so you don’t have to worry about wireless coverage. Once the presentation is complete, you can email the client a proposal listing all of the items that were approved and the required deposit amount. DesignSmart is automatically updated with this data so you can move forward to purchasing.


Click on image to zoom in

Our commissions module is a win-win for staff and management.

  • Staff benefit because they can track in real-time how much they will be paid in commissions each month. And they can see which invoices are still outstanding so they can give those clients a friendly nudge.
  • Management benefits because the module relieves them of the tedium and hours of work it takes to track and calculate commissions. Management can make adjustments to commissions as necessary, but overall the time they spend on dealing with commissions will be dramatically reduced.

Because how commissions are processed can vary from firm to firm, it is possible that your firm will require modifications to this module.  Contact us to discuss your firm’s commission workflow processes and we can tell you what modifications, if any, would need to be made to this module.


Whether your firm has a large collection of one-of-a-kind items, manages inventory in multiple warehouses for your retail stores, or manages warehouses for staging hotel installations, DesignSmart’s inventory module can meet your requirements. Below is an example of our projects:

  • List available inventory when creating proposals and in the case of one-of-a-kind inventory put it on reserve for a set number of days
  • Develop iPad and iPhone apps for receiving inventory, shipping inventory and capturing delivery signatures
  • Print inventory tags to a variety of barcode printers
  • Track warehouse movements of inventory


Develop professional Gantt charts to plot a project’s projected schedule. You can edit the chart on the web to set the dates and update progress indicators. Your clients and subcontractors can view the Gantt but they won’t be able to edit it.

Most DesignSmart clients enjoy the fact we host their DesignSmart data on professional grade cloud servers and they don’t have to deal with the cost and hassle of maintaining their own server. However, some clients prefer to host the data on-site so for those firms we offer the following two options.

ON-SITE HOSTING – Using Your Server

Most modern commercial grade servers have the capacity to be subdivided into “virtual machines” meaning one virtual machine might be devoted to CAD and another to operating DesignSmart. If your firm already has a server, then it is highly likely that it can be used to run DesignSmart. The cost for this module includes the time it takes to install DesignSmart on your server and update it on a weekly basis with the newest enhancements.


For firms that want to host their DesignSmart data in-house, but don’t already have a server, we can recommend an affordable alternative that is only 8″ x 8″ x 1.5″. It doesn’t need a monitor, keyboard, or mouse because we will control it remotely. Your local IT support person will only need to plug it into a power outlet and a network cable and get it on your network. Then you can forget about it as we’ll provide all of the necessary support including the daily offsite backups,  as well as perform the weekly DesignSmart updates.

WOO Commerce

WOO Commerce is a popular plugin for WordPress sites for developing online stores. If your firm uses WOO Commerce, then you’ll love our WOO Commerce interface module because it simplifies the process of maintaining your online store.

  • Products that you add in DesignSmart are pushed to WOO Commerce. This includes detailed product information, inventory levels, pricing and images. This means that both DesignSmart and your online store have the most up-to-date information.
  • Sales entered in WOO Commerce can be pulled down to DesignSmart and pushed to QuickBooks. This eliminates data process delays, errors and costs.

DesignSmart is for Serious Firms

Small residential design firms, medium commercial firms, and large international hospitality firms use DesignSmart.

What do they have in common? They are highly professional and serious about how they work.

What our clients are saying

Why no last names? Because we respect our client’s time and privacy, we show limited information.

What our clients are saying

Why no last names? Because we respect our client’s time and privacy, we show limited information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a proposal and invoice only show a sofa’s price such that it includes the price of the fabric and trim?


Can I mark products that I use repeatedly so they are easy to find later on?

Yes. You can mark products as a personal favorite (heart icon) or a firm favorite (star icon).

Can I track if items have been ordered? Acknowledged? Shipped? Delivered?

Yes. And you can create “pick lists” to tell your warehouse what and when to pick items for delivery.

Can items be locked once they are ordered?

DesignSmart can be configured so that items are locked anytime an item is ordered, invoiced or issued.

Does DesignSmart include an audit log?

Yes, it includes both an audit log and a revisions log which can appear on specifications.

Can you adjust billing rates on a project by project basis?


How many images can an item have?

Each item can have up to 9 images, but it can have an unlimited number of PDF attachments. Attachments are typically technical drawings, cut sheets, care and use manuals or vendor quotes.

Can I control what information appears on a proposal? On a PO?

Yes and yes.

My firm has a very specific specification format. Can DesignSmart be customized so it creates a duplicate image of our form?

The answer is that we probably can since we have not come across a specification format or report we could not reproduce. If you can show us your specification, we will confirm if we can replicate it.

Can a purchase order include both an image and multiple PDFs?

Yes. Purchase orders can include an image and multiple PDFs such as technical drawings and a pricing quote from the vendor.

Can I develop my own reports?

Yes, we have a report writer that is available as an optional module. The module involves a learning curve but should not be too challenging for persons who are already familiar with other graphics layout programs or report writers.

Does DesignSmart create sidemarks automatically so I don’t have to?

Yes, but you can override the default sidemark that we set up for your firm.

Can I include an image of an actual signature on documents?

Yes, but this requires some customization.

Can DesignSmart be customized to automatically send out email alerts?

Yes. You would just need to let us know what would trigger an email

Does DesignSmart include a client portal for residential design firms?

No. To date, none of our clients have requested a client portal because they tend to work on high-end projects and they focus on building the relationship between the designer and the client. Our clients feel a client portal would create a barrier to that personal relationship. If your firm would benefit from a portal for your residential clients, we could develop one to your requirements.

Does DesignSmart include a client portal for commercial design firms?

We have developed a client portal for a commercial client, but it was specific to their needs and not something that would lend itself to use by other firms. If your firm would benefit from a portal for your commercial clients, we could develop one to your requirements.

Our firm does not use QuickBooks for our accounting system. Can DesignSmart be customized to work with our accounting system?

Perhaps, but it would depend on the various technical capabilities of your accounting system. A good start is to ask your accounting software vendor if they provide an API to their accounting system.

If I have DesignSmart customized for my firm, will we continue to receive the monthly updates?


Is QuickBooks a good fit for a design firm?

Yes and no. QuickBooks by itself is not a good fit for design firms because it is an accounting system and not a project management system. However, when used with a project management system like DesignSmart that can communicate with it so dual entry is eliminated, then it is a good fit.

What is the best way to learn more about DesignSmart?

Because of the depth and breadth of DesignSmart, the most efficient way for your to learn more about DesignSmart is to sign up for a one-hour overview presentation. During the presentation you’ll have a chance to see the system in operation and ask questions as we go through the various features. At the end of the overview, you will have a good idea if DesignSmart might help your firm be more efficient and profitable.

Why can’t I purchase DesignSmart online?

With rare exceptions, every DesignSmart client will have the system customized to meet their unique requirements. For this reason, it is important for us to learn about your firm’s workflow processes and goals so we can provide a general outline of what customizations will be required and their subsequent costs.

Is a free trial available?

We do not offer a free trial, but we do offer a 50% discount off the monthly price for the first month.

Live online training is provided at no cost for 90 days from the date of your purchase.

Is the DesignSmart Companion an additional cost?

No, it is included in the monthly and annual pricing. It is a separate module from DesignSmart, but it is included in the “core” system.

Can my firm host DesignSmart on our own server?

Yes, if you purchase the “On-Site Hosting” module. This module covers the time required for us to install the system on your server, and update the software weekly.

How long will it take to get DesignSmart fully online?

We recommend that most firms start using DesignSmart as is without any customizations, or with minimal customizations. Firms who can go live in this manner can be fully operational in a matter of days.

Larger firms will typically assign a small team to master DesignSmart in order to determine what customizations will be required before the entire firm goes live with the system. In these cases, it can take several weeks or even months before the firm is ready to go live.

How is technical support provided?

All support is provided Monday – Friday from 9:00 – 5:00 PM Central time.  All non-urgent support issues are emailed to a support address and responded to within 1 business day. We offer live technical support for urgent support issues.

How is training provided?

Free online training is provided for the first 90 days from the date you purchase the system. After that time, additional training can be purchased for $50.00 per hour.

Onsite training is available upon request.

Does the QuickBooks Connector push timesheets to QuickBooks?

It can, but it is not required.

What benefits does QuickBooks offer a design firm?
  1. It is a professional accounting system used by 90% of all small businesses in the US.  From an accounting perspective, a design firm is no different than the hundreds of other types of firms that use QuickBooks.
  2. It offers connections to more online financial institutions than the unique, stand-alone, proprietary accounting systems that are included in some project management systems.
  3. It provides more features, reports and third-party applications than proprietary accounting systems.
  4. Finding bookkeepers and accountants who already know QuickBooks is much easier than finding people who know proprietary accounting systems.
  5. It offers web, desktop and mobile versions.
  6. You can start with one version of QuickBooks, then upgrade to a more comprehensive version as your company grows.
Can we add optional modules to DesignSmart later?


Is DesignSmart an accounting system?

No. It creates invoices and purchase orders and can send them into QuickBooks and other accounting systems.

Does the QuickBooks Connector work with all versions of QuickBooks?

The Connector works with QuickBooks Online and with any PC version of QuickBooks Pro, QuickBooks Premier, and QuickBooks Enterprise released within the past three years. Unfortunately, it does not work with QuickBooks for Mac.

How often is DesignSmart updated?

Each month DesignSmart is updated with new features.

How is support provided?

For urgent support needs clients can call for our technical support number. For all other needs, clients send their requests to our Support email address. Support issues are responded to during normal business hours.

Is training free?

Yes, we provide free unlimited training for the first 60 days. After that time, there is a charge of $50.00 per hour.

What kinds of software customizations have design firms requested?

Most firms that issue specifications will have the default DesignSmart specification form customized to look like their current specification. Beyond that, the scope of client requested customizations has varied widely. For example, some firms request that designers be restricted from seeing markups. Some firms have unique multi-step approval processes before purchase orders can be sent to a vendor. Some firms require that all freight estimates be entered before proposals can be created. In the past year several firms have requested specific tariff features be implemented to help make this process more efficient and transparent.

Can our contacts be imported into DesignSmart?

Yes, and we’ll do this for you for free.

What version of QuickBooks works best with DesignSmart?

There are significant differences between QuickBooks Online and the desktop versions of QuickBooks (Pro, Premier, and Enterprise) and you should consult with your accountant to determine which version is best for your firm. DesignSmart works equally well with all versions of QuickBooks, with the sole exception of QuickBooks for Mac. Unfortunately, QuickBooks for Mac doesn’t allow DesignSmart to communicate with it.


Does the Connector only push data to QuickBooks?

No, the QuickBooks Connector both pulls data from QuickBooks and pushes data to QuickBooks.

Is DesignSmart available to firms outside the US?

Yes, but firms outside the US are required to purchase a minimum of 10 licenses.

Is there a cost if I upgrade to a new version of QuickBooks?


Annual Pricing

$5400per User per Month paid annually
  • DS Companion included
  • Overture (for creating mood boards) included
  • Cloud hosting included
  • Monthly upgrades included
  • Free unlimited live training*
  • Minimum of 3 Licenses*
  • 1 Annual Payment

Semi-Annual Pricing

$5900per User per Month paid semi-annually
  • DS Companion included
  • Overture (for creating mood boards) included
  • Cloud hosting included
  • Monthly upgrades included
  • Free unlimited live training*
  • Minimum of 3 Licenses*
  • Payments every 6 months

Monthly Pricing

$6400per User per Month paid monthly
  • DS Companion included
  • Overture (for creating mood boards) included
  • Cloud hosting included
  • Monthly upgrades included
  • Free unlimited live training*
  • Minimum of 3 Licenses*
  • Payments every month

*Free training is provided for the first 90 days, then the charge is $50/hour.

* Minimum initial purchase of 3 licenses of DesignSmart or 2 licenses of DesignSmart and 1 license of the QBooks Connector

For Optional Module pricing, please contact us.

Contact Us

If you are an existing client and need technical support, please email Support@TheSmartDesigner.com

If you would like someone from DesignSmart to contact you, please fill out the information below.

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