If you are a construction company owner who has been told that QuickBooks Online won’t work for your construction company, you may want to take a second look. There are still quite a few folks who tend to think of QuickBooks Online in the same way as they view the QuickBooks Desktop software package. Don’t get us wrong, QuickBooks Desktop is still a powerful piece of software and it is still being improved upon by the great folks at Intuit. However, to truly understand QuickBooks Online you have to understand the idea of SaaS, cloud computing, and app integrations.
So, what is SaaS?
SaaS stands for Software as a Service. QuickBooks Online is designed to be run from the cloud and one of the major benefits of this cloud computing model is the ability for QuickBooks Online to integrate fairly seamlessly with other cloud-based apps. Cloud computing and SaaS programs – “apps” – are really the future of small business management.
Why, you may be asking, does this matter to me in terms of my construction business?
Back to our original proposition – if anyone has ever told you that QuickBooks Online just doesn’t have enough features for you to properly manage your construction business then you should know that they are right. At STENSON Bookkeeping Simplified, we say that the majority of construction companies (of any size) should really not attempt to manage their construction business accounting solely through QuickBooks Online. But, the beauty of app integrations with other cloud-based software is that now you can take your accounting software – QuickBooks Online – and link it directly to your project management software – and have all of the integrated project management and accounting data be magically imported into QuickBooks Online without having to do any manual data entry from one program to the other.
A Truly Integrated Platform for Construction Companies
Just a few short years ago the various aspects of running a construction company were broken up into various parts – estimating had their software tools, project managers had their software tools and accounting had their software tools. All of these various software systems operated independently of one another. So estimating would work on an estimate (say they put that together in a spreadsheet program.)
Now they have to communicate that information to the project manager and to accounting – both of whom enter the same data all over again into their respective project management and accounting platforms. As the project progresses, the project manager has to communicate with accounting information about project costs, time and materials, what portion of the job is complete, and so on and so forth. Now, in the world of cloud computing, Intuit Apps QuickBooks Online and browse through the list of Saas product.
You will come across Knowify for Contractors for job costing, contract management, change orders. With these two powerful tools integrated nearly every step of a project – no matter how complicated – can now be managed in one simple tool. Accounting still has the ‘back end’ system of QuickBooks Online for maintaining non-project related items such as payroll and bank reconciliations, but everything pertaining to the projects is now flowing through the one, easy to use system operating system and the office staff never have to do double data entry work to make sense of the numbers because there is an App that pushes that information into QuickBooks Online without even having to click a button.
Here is how the Knowify App works
The Estimator enters the project estimate directly into the Estimating Module using as much or as little detail as necessary.
A Project Manager can manage every piece of the project from scheduling to materials invoices to billing right within the Construction App.
All along the way, every detail that needs to post to QuickBooks is posting to QuickBooks for the company staff, who can see every piece of the accounting puzzle as it pushes into QuickBooks.
In the end, financials, job costing, and other reporting tools can be accessed much more quickly because there is much less time between when something happens out on the job and when it is accounted for in the books.
Not only that, but if you need to prepare the standardized method of construction percentage of contract billings developed by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) type billings on a regular basis and they give you headaches trying to figure out what the exact percentage of completion will be for that month, then you will really fall in love with an Intuit QBO App with AIA billing capabilities. Not only does such an App track your costs and progress on the job so that you can have a very accurate picture of percentage of job completion, it even has built in AIA style forms that most general contractors will accept. Does your QuickBooks Desktop do that?
If you need to discuss SaaS for your Construction Trade business whether your business is in start-up, expansion, mature or approaching an exit phase phone or text John L Mottram at STENSON Bookkeeping Simplified at 214-390-7446 or email to john#stensonfs.com for more details.