Construction accounting software offers a wide array of functionality to contractors. Most is said about the high level functionality like Job Costing, Payroll, Project Management, Inventory, etc. Not much is said about the in-depth functions that make up the larger modules. A look into some of the deeper level functionality of construction accounting software will help others further understand the true benefits of employing this technology.
UNDERSTANDING THE BENEFITS
The advancement of construction accounting software has made important tasks seamless and easier than ever. Let’s take a look at some of these functions.
When performing government work there are certain legal requirements that contractors must meet. One of them is producing Certified Payroll Reports.
If you perform government or public jobs then you are very familiar with Certified Payroll reports. You are also then familiar with how tedious preparing these reports can be. Ensuring that accurate Certified Payroll Reports are produced is crucial to keeping your business in compliance. Also, contractors must know which form to file. Construction accounting software can instantly create Certified Payroll reports in the correct format, which is key. Outside of the Federal WH-347 form, there are state-specific certified payroll reports that may be required and most states have different formats. Some states require electronic filing and some don’t. When creating Certified Payroll Reports in construction accounting software, you can choose which state-specific forms to use. Also, to make things easier, it can automatically run after you conduct your weekly payroll, further automating the process. So, now contractors no longer have to create them manually, exposing themselves to errors.
There are some contract jobs that have certain workforce requirements. This is common in government or public jobs. These jobs will ask for a minority report. These are reports detailing your workforce by gender and ethnicity. These can also be automatically generated easily with construction accounting software. The main reason is that employees are already entered into the system for payment purposes. Each employee has a record of their ethnicity, gender, etc., so, with a simple click of a button you can run a report on all employees working on a particular job. The report will contain classification codes indicating gender, ethnicity, etc., saving time and energy as compared to having to manually create these reports.
MOBILE APP INTEGRATION
In today’s world, it’s all about getting accurate information fast. The emergence of mobile apps has completely changed the way construction firms perform their jobs. The emergence of mobile technology has opened up workplace productivity, bringing important functions to contractors in the field. Construction accounting software and mobile technology working hand in hand can form a powerful tool for contractors. There are many mobile apps out there today that have integrations with a whole host of construction accounting solutions. There are even some construction accounting solutions that offer their own selection of mobile apps providing native integration and eliminating the need for third-party applications.
Many contractors prefer the AIA billing format, because it has become the standard for billing. Having to create G702s and G703s manually can be an arduous task, and it is crucial that they are filled out properly to ensure timely payment. One of the biggest challenges to manually creating a G702 form is the amount of information needed. Original Sum, Net Change by Change Order, Retainage, and Sum to Date just to name a few.
Contractors can make this process fast and simple with the right software. Here’s how: By using construction accounting software for day-to-day accounting operations, all of the required information for the G702 is already available. All the relevant job information is already entered into the Job Cost module, including Change Orders. You already have the information, it is just a matter of manipulating it to create the form. Now the AIA forms can be automatically generated, saving contractors time while simultaneously eliminating errors.
One of the most important aspects of tracking a job is looking at the costs of the job. Being able to categorize the costs provides contractors with even more insight into how and where the most resources are being allocated. It is one thing for a contractor to know that they spent X amount of dollars on a job, it is another thing to know how much they spent on each aspect of a job. Having this information allows contractors to better see where they stand on a particular job and make the neccessary adjustments to improve profitability. It also allows for them to better budget and plan for future jobs. This is a huge benefit as contractors no longer have to use complicated Excel spreadsheets or sort through stacks of paper to see how they are performing on jobs.
There are many critical functions that construction accounting software can perform. Much is made about the big ticket items like Payroll, Job Costing, Accounts Payables, Accounts Receivables, and Payroll, though it is important for contractors to see some of the core functions that make up those larger pieces; only then can contractors begin to see the value of construction accounting software and how it can help streamline their business practices. Contractors researching construction accounting software should look deeper into its functionality to really get a sense of what it can do and whether the software is a good fit for their businesses. ■
About The Author: Eric Goldstein is the president of C/F Data Systems. With more than a quarter of a century of experience in the construction software arena, Eric has led C/F Data’s ongoing development of the company’s flagship solution, STRUCTURE. He began his career at ADP, and first joined the C/F Data System sales department in 1985 and was quickly promoted to vice president of sales. After sales positions with Timberline software and Textura, Eric returned as C/F Data’s president in 2009.
Modern Contractor Solutions, April 2017
Did you enjoy this article?
Subscribe to the FREE Digital Edition of Modern Contractor Solutions magazine.