The construction industry is complex: full of behemoth-sized projects, unique processes, workflows, and other monumental tasks that always seem to be due yesterday.
Without a good construction accounting software, businesses will likely collapse. For those that do have one, there may come a time when they must start looking for a new software package to meet new demands. However, it is worth exploring ways to extend the life of the software instead of replacing it.
Important considerations for your accounting software
The team at Smith Schafer has provided some good insight and outlined two important considerations before committing to a new software package.
- Determine what your construction company needs in its accounting software.
- Determine if your current accounting software meets those needs.
In the Smith Schafer article, it goes on to offer four additional, but specific, items to consider if a new accounting software is a final recommendation from the company assessment they suggested. But as mentioned earlier, there is an entire area that is often overlooked which should never be ignored in this day and age that may ultimately lead to a decision to keep the existing solution.
The accounting ecosystem you can’t ignore
Any good accounting software has an important but also limited value to a business when used alone. But, when it becomes part of an integrated technology ecosystem, it sees both its value and longevity substantially increase.
The majority of today’s accounting solutions are backed by entire ecosystems of 3rd party applications, integrations, and other connections. So any construction business looking to remain standing should always consider this ecosystem as part of their accounting assessment.
Take for instance an example with Intuit’s QuickBooks Enterprise Contractor Edition, a powerful accounting desktop solution that helps businesses in the construction industry manage their bids, estimates, change orders, vendors, subs, employees, reporting and a whole lot more.
QuickBooks, a heavyweight in the accounting space, started off on a now-famous kitchen table, trying to solve one specific problem: “how do we balance this checkbook?” It has since evolved into a best-in-class cloud accounting platform with an app marketplace that boasts hundreds of other applications built by third-party developers each solving their own set of unique problems.
Adding value by adding integrations
It’s really within these software ecosystems that you find solutions that not only integrate with your construction accounting but also specialize to solve problems that you may not even be aware of. In most cases, these additional connections turn out to either solve the problems better than the original software could do on its own or solve a problem that it was never designed to solve.
Knowify is best known for their powerful job costing tools and offers solutions to help plan jobs and itemize labor and material budgets for creating estimates.
TSheets for QuickBooks offers an easy, cost-effective alternative to traditional punch time clocks on the job site. Employees simply clock in to track time against jobs, equipment, departments, and more. Since TSheets is already a member of the QuickBooks family, it’s no doubt this is an easy addition to your existing accounting software.
In the case of Method:CRM, it adds value to any construction company by looking at the entire workflow. Whether it be gaining new customers or finding repeat business, Method:CRM helps turn more bids into projects via the shared pipeline for your entire crew to see. It specializes in eliminating redundancy in your workflow using its bi-direction, real-time sync with QuickBooks sending all your important transactions to accounting. These are just some example of the endless problems that are solved with a Construction CRM as part of the accounting ecosystem tailored just for your business.
How to start adding integrations
It’s important not to be intimidated by the accounting technology landscape. As it turns out, most of us already have some experience with apps and various connections by just tailoring the use of our smart-phones. Yes, it’s remarkably similar to what we already do from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
By simply embracing various apps and add-ons for your mobile devices, you have created your very own tailored experience. Whether it be as a business or an individual smartphone user, you have quite literally built an environment to meet your unique needs and preferences.
So, the next time you’re assessing your construction accounting, include some extra research as part of the plan. Check the software vendor’s website and do some simple Google searches for potential app stores, marketplaces or other integrations. You’ll be surprised at the possibilities to help extend your existing software’s lifespan.