As the construction sector grows, unifying data across fields, sites, and contractors is crucial to achieving end-to-end visibility into contracts, clients and financial books. But with most companies still using entry-level financial accounting software, which does not provide accurate project accounting.the issues in reconciliation of contract billing and costs at the end of the month and year are way too many. The challenge becomes multi-fold when there is an audit from the union or the contractor.
If companies want to rise to this challenge, they must think of ways in which they can make their accounting software a part of a modern and integrated platform.
The Shortcomings of Entry-level Accounting Software
For EPC companies that have just begun their journey, entry-level accounting and financial software like QuickBooks are great for carrying out basic financial management tasks. However, as the business grows and becomes more complex, these entry-level solutions cause many problems:
- They are unable to keep pace with burgeoning growth and don’t scale with your enterprise.
- Their underlying technology limits how much you can grow or how big you can get.
- Since these systems tend to solve complex business problems with detached point solutions, they are only able to fix one problem at a time.
- • They do not interact with other systems in your company ecosystem, resulting in data silos and choices made without taking the whole picture into account..
- They lack standard industry and business-specific features and do not offer advanced reporting capabilities.
- Most entry-level accounting software also causes many problems with desktop and online versions, especially around multi-user logins and customer service.
- Because these solutions are hosted on-premises instead of the cloud, user interfaces are extremely slow and out-of-date.
- They are also highly vulnerable to ransomware and hacking, which can lead to the misuse of critical financial data.
- With many companies now working in a remote work environment, the lack of a unified system can stifle efficiency and productivity.
- With time cards being entered and stored on paper, it becomes extremely challenging to track time.
- • Manual inputs in Excel that are reentered into these systems must be adjusted in the following payroll, resulting in additional effort.
- Although compliance reports have to be sent to State and Federal institutions for certified projects, union rate changes and time does not seamlessly flow into the payroll and billing software.
- While solutions like QuickBooks are very economical to adopt at first, they tend to get expensive quickly.
- Since there are limits to how much payroll businesses can run, companies find it challenging to scale their business.
- They lack detailed inventory management capabilities and do not offer integrated time-tracking features.
The Need for an Integrated Platform
Traditional accounting software solutions offer limited advanced financial functionality and often carry a very high price tag. Since a single solution is insufficient to cater to the growing needs of any EPC business, companies are forced to invest in a host of other systems to get the financial visibility they need.
EPC firms must invest in industry-specific solutions built on strong platforms like Dynamics 365 that offer customised time and field modules for different projects in order to allow payroll and client invoicing in a single integrated system. An integrated platform:
- Unifies data from different fields, sites, contractors, and systems across the EPC enterprise and presents a single version of truth for accurate and timely decision-making.
- Connects the EPC business with intelligent business applications and predictive AI-driven insights for EPC reporting, progress monitoring, and planning and control.
- Ensures accurate time reporting, enabling companies to build correct billing invoices and correct pay checks.
- Seamlessly shares data with all other systems in the enterprise ecosystem, allowing companies to make smart, timely, data-driven business decisions.
- Is highly customizable and scalable, allowing EPC companies to meet unique business needs and offer enhanced customer service experiences.
- Automates redundant data entry and processing workflows that adapt to quickly-changing local and global financial requirements.
- Provides clarity and visibility of project performance, variance, and margin gain/fade.
- Forecasts job costs, handles possible delays, and improves equipment performance.
Most EPC businesses automatically turn to QuickBooks without thinking about how the software will perform when the business grows or needs more. Although software like QuickBooks is straightforward to use and learn, they are only suitable for smaller operations. As your business grows and becomes more complex, the need for advanced and optimal solutions becomes crystal clear.
Having a robust ERP system in place can improve your ability to gain better visibility into your EPC business. Timely and reliable reporting, AI-enabled capabilities, and automated workflows mean you can efficiently send invoices, track payments, fulfill contractual obligations, and accurately maintain your books.
Connect your EPC business today with an intelligent business application and make the most of modern capabilities and insights to forecast job costs, handle possible delays, and improve equipment performance.
How CEM Can Help
As a business that has over 20 years of experience driving digital transformation in the EPC field, CEM understands the need for multifaceted Engineering, Procurement, and Construction companies to deliver quality projects on time.
As experts in the EPC field, we can help build innovative processes, solutions, and tools specifically for your unique business and help you achieve your complex enterprise goals.
Using our expertise, we can integrate your back-office with the field site, streamline supply chain operations, manage specialty contractors, handle risks, optimize construction processes, and increase profitability. By bringing all processes, data, and workflows into a unified system, we can provide visibility of every project’s journey and its impact on your business.
Using a centralized cloud platform, we can help you run your entire business with a new-age construction platform that has been specifically tailored for the field. Our construction ERP software brings you the most advanced technology to improve your business’ efficiency and profitability.
By unifying all your data across fields, sites, and contractors, we can deliver software solutions that can help you take your project-based civil engineering and construction projects to the next level.