• Posted by skuhn

A Simple Guide To Evaluating Construction Accounting Software

The process of looking for new accounting software can be overwhelming. Just the thought of making a change like that is a lot, let alone researching features of different programs and making a list of questions to ask. You may not even knowwhat questions to ask. 

If you’re not sure where to start, start here: 

Do you need new accounting software? 

When you’re thinking about new construction accounting software the best question to start with is “Does our company even need it?” Here’s how to find out if the answer to that question is yes.

What does your business need? 

Start by thinking about what your business needs, including what you will need in 5 years and 10 years. Think about the features you use or could use every day and how it would affect your employees. What features would reduce the amount of time they are spending doing everyday tasks? Create a list of these features. 

Are you getting the most out of your current software?

Do you already have everything you need? Are you using your current software to the most of its capabilities? Maybe it’s time to cash in on that support you’ve been paying for and schedule a full system audit. Your current provider should be able to tell you what you are doing well and what areas could use some improvements. 

If your current system can do most of what you need there is no reason to invest in something new. Your time and money will be better spent learning how to use your current system to the most of its capabilities. 

Should you look into new software? 

If your current software isn’t meeting your needs and it’s not capable of meeting them, then it’s time to look for something new. There is no perfect solution that will do everything exactly the way that you want it to, but there are systems that will do the majority of it. You shouldn’t have to struggle day in and day out just to get by. 

What is so special about construction accounting software?  

What makes construction accounting software different from regular accounting software? Construction accounting software is an integrated system built specifically for contractors. It has specialized tools that only contractors will need and use, including integrated job costing that ties to the general ledger. This lets you track job costs and revenues by job according to cost classifications. You can also produce detailed reports so you can see where your profits are coming from and where your money is going. 

Specialized construction accounting software will also offer features like:

  • Certified payroll
  • AIA billing
  • Automatically post labor to job costs
  • Davis-Bacon and Section 125 deductions

 

How do you find the right construction accounting software?

You have decided that you need to upgrade your current software, but how do you find a new one that is right for you? Here is a step-by-step guide. 

  1. Talk to your employees – Ask the people at your company who are going to be using the software what they like and don’t like about your current system. Ask them what they are missing and what they would like to have. Compile a list of needs and wants. Your current employees are also a great resource for finding new software. Ask them what they have used in the past and what they like. 
  2. Look for new software – Do your homework on new software packages. Look at websites for as much information as possible. 
  3. Schedule a live demo – Schedule a demo with a live person. Ask questions about the program, about the strengths and limitations. This is a great opportunity to see how the company handles customers questions and how their support will work. 
  4. Check references – Ask the company for references from current users. Contact at least three of these references and ask for honest opinions about the software’s strengths and weaknesses. Remember to ask about how support works as well. 
  5. Check out their support – Remember that learning a new software program is going to require a lot of support up front. Look at the implementation plan and the support system that is in place after implementation is complete. What training options does the company offer and what kind of continuing education plan do they have? Do they have any online resources? Do they offer system audits or consulting services down the road? 

About C/F Data Systems

C/F Data Systems is the developer of STRUCTURE Blue construction accounting software, a fully integrated job cost accounting application with project management and mobile apps. C/F Data Systems has been serving the construction industry for more than 40 years with best in class customer service and support located in Weymouth, MA. Let our sales team help you find the solution that works best for your business.