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Buyers guide Buyers guide

Different construction management solutions offer different features. Our buying guide will help you to compare functionality important to you.

Across the UK, construction firms both big and small are realising the advantages that construction accounts management software can offer to their businesses. Reducing expenses, streamlining processes and ensuring industry compliance, construction software is now an essential tool for any number of companies working in residential, industrial or commercial construction.

There are, however, several options for construction businesses to choose from once they've decided to make the switch. There are generic accounts packages that can be used across a number of different industries including construction, or there are construction-specific accounts programs which are designed to solely suit the needs of the construction industry. So which one should you choose to help your business move forward this year? Here are some features you may wish to take into account.

Job costing

Accurate job costing is an essential function for companies in the construction sector, allowing them to maximise their profits whilst retaining the ability to price their services competitively. Certain construction accounts management software systems come with built-in contract costing modules designed to help businesses keep an eye on the cost-effectiveness of their contracts. For the most efficient systems, you should be able to manage individual contracts and projects, with full visibility of your incomings and outgoings for each, providing the ability to spot when contracts are in danger of exceeding budgets ahead of time and take action accordingly.

CVR

CVR stands for Cost Value Reconciliation, a construction accounts software module that allows users to analyse the relative cost and value of any individual contract in real time. Using CVR, construction firms can adjust their cashflow processes while contracts are ongoing, ensuring that their jobs are as profitable as possible. Without CVR functionality, there won’t be a significant difference between your current software and a generic system, however many construction companies would find their accounting impossible to manage without it.

Management reporting

Some construction software solutions offer management reporting services that can help to keep business owners in the loop regarding their company accounts at all times. Management reporting services allow businesses to export accounts reports as spreadsheets, PDFs or printed documents, keeping accounts data visible and accessible whenever it’s needed. It is also worth considering what the most suitable format for the management team receiving reports would be, for example a web based dashboard can allow directors to access reporting information themselves, without requiring any knowledge or involvement with the accounts system.

Subcontractor management (CIS)

CIS300 or the Construction Industry Scheme is a piece of government legislation intended to keep subcontractor payments regulated and fair. It’s important that your construction software not only allows you to manage your subcontractors remotely and efficiently, but in a way that keeps you compliant under the terms of CIS300 legislation. HMRC provides a list of all those software providers able to supply CIS functionality. Choose one that also includes provision for other services (such as those included within this guide) for a provider that will grow as your business does.

Applications and retentions

Managing subcontractor applications and retentions are also crucial processes when it comes to working with subcontractors, and it’s important that your construction software is able to handle both of these processes if it is to provide you with the functionality you need.

Order processing

Order processing is a fairly self-explanatory area of construction accounts software, allowing businesses to process material and subcontractor orders with the minimum of fuss. A number of construction software programs offer order processing services alongside their other processes, and many find it useful to have all similar accounting needs housed within one system.

Document management

Document management, storage and sharing services allow construction firms to keep multiple members of staff in the loop at all times, whilst providing a secure and protected environment to store confidential information. Alongside other details, choosing a system with secure document management means that related documents, invoices, purchase orders and other correspondence such as emails can be viewed within the same system alongside the relevant contract. Not only helping to reduce the number of filing cabinets in the office, but saving the time often lost when reprinting or searching for documents which have gone amiss.

Many of these processes, and more besides, may prove essential for your construction firm this year. Choosing a construction accounting software solution that provides all of the functionality you need, then, can prove distinctly difficult. Fortunately, Integrity Software’s range of Evolution construction accounts management software systems provide all of these processes and more we haven’t mentioned here. If you’d like to benefit from the flexibility that our services can provide, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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