by Bill Constantopoulos
As your construction business grows, your needs change. This holds particularly true for financial management systems. As operations expand, basic financial software is no longer adequate to meet growing needs. Here’s how to “rightsize” your financial management software.
Recognize the Signs
- Inefficiencies: If you spend significant time on manual data entry and reconciliations, or resort to multiple software programs and spreadsheets to fill gaps, you need a more robust system.
- Lack of Advanced Features: If you could use features like advanced reporting, multi-entity management, or integration with other business systems that your current software doesn’t offer, it is time for an upgrade.
- Limited Accessibility: If you need access from multiple job sites or on mobile devices, you may want to consider a cloud-based solution.
Know Your Needs
Analyze your workflows and identify bottlenecks and pain points for current and future needs.
- Project Accounting and Management: Gain access to project costing to track costs and revenue for specific projects, and progressive billing to keep the cash flowing.
- Time and Expense Management: Employees should be able to log their time and expenses, a critical measure for construction projects that are time-sensitive and require detailed expense tracking.
- Financial Visibility: React to problems and take advantage of opportunities with real-time dashboards that can include KPIs important to construction management. Customizable reporting options make it easier to view financial metrics by project, location, or other dimensions critical to operations.
- Compliance and Auditing: Someone is always going to be looking over your shoulder. Make sure your software will keep you compliant with GAAP standards and create a trackable audit trail for both internal checks and external audits.
- Integration: Your accounting software should integrate with the software tools commonly used in the construction industry like project management software, HR systems, and inventory management solutions.
- Scalability: If your construction company has more than one project going on at the same time, advanced financial software allows you to track across projects and scale up (or down) as needed. Part of this scalability is having a cloud-based system for access any time, from anywhere.
- Collaboration: Give various team members different levels of access, based on their roles, making it easier to collaborate on financial matters without compromising security.
Explore Available Alternatives
There are many accounting software packages available in the market tailored for mid-sized and growth-oriented construction companies, including Sage Intacct, Procore, or Fieldwire. Here’s what to look for while exploring these alternatives:
- Scalability: Your new system should grow with your business, be flexible and scalable, offering additional modules or features as your business needs expand.
- Integration: The software should seamlessly integrate with your other business systems, such as CRM, inventory management, and HR software.
- Customization: The software should be customizable to suit your unique business requirements.
- Cloud-based Solution: A cloud-based solution allows you to access your data anywhere, anytime.
- Support and Training: Vendors should provide robust support and training, ensuring a smooth transition from QuickBooks or another basic program.
Engage a Consultant
Outgrowing your financial software is a sign that your construction business is flourishing. Embrace the change and equip your business with the tools it needs to continue to thrive. Engaging an integration consultant who is familiar with the construction industry and its requirements can guide you through the process, ensure data integrity, provide training, and help customize the software to your needs.