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By Missy England
July 3, 2016
Having real-time access to the most current and accurate accounting information for your construction firm is absolutely crucial for growing your business. However, too many construction companies rely on single-point software or even manual accounting methods like paper and pen. While these techniques might have been sufficient in the past, the construction firm of tomorrow needs the capabilities to access every expense, invoice, and receipt from any place, at any time.
When this financial data languishes away on documents stored in filing cabinets or on an in-house data server that isn't easily accessible from the field, it means you're not properly utilizing your company's resources to their fullest potential. This leads to missed opportunities for scaling up operations and truly growing your firm into a construction powerhouse.
Just as the project supervisor needs to oversee the field team to ensure that everyone is doing their job, owner-builders must also put their money to work too. With constant, up-to-date financial information, you can identify ways to cut costs, optimize resource allocation, and ultimately re-invest these funds back into the company.
Instead of leaving the accounting information tucked away in a file at the office, give your company around-the-clock access to it. By integrating your QuickBooks system with a cloud-based construction platform like Procore, you can really take your construction firm's success into your own hands with the simple touch of a button on any mobile device.
Being out in the field without real time access to your most current financial information can sometimes mean your general contractors and project managers are blindly estimating budget alterations when faced with unexpected costs and projections.
For instance, let's say the initial schedule for electrical on a project involves a five-day plan to complete the job. However, due to circumstances beyond anyone's control, at the end of this week, the project isn't completed. At this point, an important last-minute choice needs to be made about how to proceed for finishing the electrical work. Using antiquated pen-and-paper accounting methods or even an on-premises single-point solution involves a string of conversations between the field team and the accounting department. This is very time-consuming and can lead to miscommunications.
Thankfully, with Procore's QuickBooks Connector, you or any other field-team member can access and manage a project's financial health and forecast directly from a smartphone or tablet. This lets project managers make informed decisions in the field quickly and accurately, giving everyone the ability maximize resources and stay within budget.
Unpaid invoices serve as one of the biggest pain points hindering business growth. Not having customers and clients pay their bills on time leads to cash flow problems that affect every aspect of the construction process––from hiring the best skilled labor to buying top-quality materials. Further, the lack of consistency in payments creates significant difficulty managing financial projections.
As you are no doubt well aware, there are some notable and perhaps even egregious offenders when it comes to paying invoices in full and on time. As noted by QuickBooks, around 16 percent of all invoices never get paid. This is a big enough loss to make the difference between a construction firm's ability to merely tread water year after year or expand operations.
Small businesses are especially prone to falling victim to unpaid invoices. Not getting paid on time can be much more of a constraint for these operations than for larger ones, due to the former having more limited access to credit than the latter. According to The Wall Street Journal, up to 64 percent of small businesses (defined here as those with less than $5 million in annual gross sales) surveyed by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, had unpaid invoices extend beyond 60 days, and about 20 percent of these respondents said things were only getting worse.
With real-time access to all of your construction firm's crucial accounting information at your fingertips, coupled with the capacity to manage and track all invoices, receipts, and expenses, you gain the unrivaled ability to make informed decisions and more accurate financial projections.
The Anatomy of a Request for Information (RFI)
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