Many start-up contractors buy inexpensive and easy-to-use software to provide the information they need to meet their accounting and tax requirements. Unfortunately, they often do not consider that they should be looking for software that can give them information to manage their construction projects as well.
Many contractors utilize the same software they started with, only getting the required annual upgrade to update their payroll tax tables. If you have been using the same software for more than 10 years, are you getting the most out of your software?
- Does your software allow you to dual-date invoices (the invoice date and posting date separately tracked)?
- Can you produce an integrated schedule of your work-in-process, or allocate your equipment costs or overhead to your construction projects with ease?
- Can you print AIA forms or certified payroll reports from your system?
- Can you email your invoices to your customers for a faster and more direct means of getting paid?
- Can you easily tie out your job cost to your general ledger?
- Can you access your system from multiple platforms?
- Can you attach jpg pictures or pdf copies of invoices so information is at your fingertips at all times?
- Does your estimating software interface with your construction accounting software?
- Can your employees enter their hours on a tablet, which are then approved in an electronic format, and transferred to your software, or do you have an administrative employee keying in the hours from manual time sheets?
- Can you track customer change orders or the insurance certificates of your subcontractors in your software?
- Are you having to manually perform functions outside of your software
• Are you using a software that doesn’t necessarily support your company’s needs, or one that has a technical “support” team that doesn’t respond in a timely manner?
Technology has improved multi-fold in recent years. Have you improved your software, or if your system has some or all of these capabilities, are you using them? It is estimated that contractors utilize only 50% of the features available in their construction software.
No one software can suit every contractor. What works for a $500 million contractor may be overkill for a $5-10 million contractor. But, what is clear is that information obtained from properly implemented construction software can provide much more in benefits than in cost. Knowledge is power. Perhaps now is the time to evaluate what your system can and can’t do for you. As competitive as the construction market can be, can you afford not to?
If you have questions or would like to talk about software options that are best for your company’s needs, please contact Pam Swartout at firstname.lastname@example.org.