How to Successfully Integrate Construction Accounting and Operations
Visibility throughout a construction business is critical for long-term success. Decision-makers need to have access to real-time data to steer the company in the right direction, and those managing projects on the ground need clear communication from the office to execute projects efficiently and effectively.
It’s no secret, though, that many contractors rely on spreadsheets for workflows like accounting, project management, scheduling and estimating. We did a survey of some of our own customers and prospective customers and found that 46.1 percent of them still use spreadsheets for construction project management. Microsoft Excel is a useful tool most companies are comfortable with, but it has its drawbacks—namely maintaining multiple data sets, duplicate data entry into software systems and spreadsheet reconciliation.
The Challenge of Disconnected Construction Software
We’ve seen many contractors replacing manual processes with software solutions for their construction workflows. On the whole, this is great since software can streamline many functions. Many contractors, however, still rely on Microsoft Excel as a bridge between different departments’ software programs.
Sachse Construction struggled with this situation, using spreadsheets as a go-between for the software used by its accounting department and the software used by operations. This situation required manually moving data from one place to another, which slowed down processes. For a company that was growing quickly, these slowdowns were hurting the business.
The company also faced efficiency losses because it relied on the accounting department for financial reporting, lacked access to real-time data and faced margin erosion because issues couldn’t always be identified quickly. Furthermore, a lack of collaborative project management software led to status logs being circulated by email. That’s not the transparent, real-time communication that helps everyone do their jobs easily.
Modern Tools for Effective Integration
Sachse Construction decided to adopt an integrated construction ERP software solution that connected operations and accounting and made it possible to work from one set of data, accessible across all departments in real time. The company opted for Vista by Viewpoint, our integrated ERP solution, and Viewpoint Team, our collaborative, cloud-based project management solution. These tools are designed to work together, providing the visibility and accessibility features organizations like Sachse Construction need daily.
As a result of implementing these new software solutions, Sachse has experienced major performance improvements. Data only needs to be entered once. Less time is spent on administrative tasks, freeing up more time to concentrate on projects and planning for future ones. Operations can see project financials without waiting for reports from accounting. And the accounting staff gets the data they need when they need it in order to process invoices and payments faster. Overall, this sped up project execution, cut costs and stopped margin erosion.
“Instead of Accounting living in one world and Operations living in another, it’s one world,” said Kathy Sulik, a project manager at Sachse Construction.
Get Your Team on the Same Page
To get your accounting and operations departments—as well as the rest of your extended team like architects, engineers and subcontractors—working in the same world, implementing software that enables real-time collaboration can make a huge difference. Providing easy access to information, whether in the office or the field, creates transparency and a productivity boost that a spreadsheet often can’t deliver.
You can learn more about Sachse Construction’s success with Vista by Viewpoint and Viewpoint Team in this recent case study about the company’s transition to Viewpoint software. For more information about selecting a solution that makes sense for your company, get in touch. We’re happy to help!