Cloud based construction software allows you to store and access information over the internet, instead of relying on the information on your company’s server.
Increasingly construction companies are using cloud computing to improve efficiency, streamline processes, and manage their data more easily. An additional benefit is that the labor and cost of keeping up with computing hardware and software become the responsibility of your software provider which in our experience means less stress and less stuff to manage.
Why Do I Need Cloud-Based Software for My Construction Company?
Cloud computing is now more accessible than ever and high quality software can provide your company with advantages that your competition doesn’t have. Here are 4 reasons to consider moving your construction software into the cloud.
1. Improved communication and collaboration.
With the cloud, your team will be able to collaborate from any location. When all of your project information is available from any location, all of your departments can work together more easily.
Pro: Uniform processes keep everyone focussed on the job because there’s less searching for information.
2. Increased Flexibility.
Because you’re accessing your data remotely, your team can work from anywhere including the office, a job site, or home without restrictions. That means you can access your data from any internet connected device no matter where you are. Your onsite teams won’t have to wait until they return to the office to post labor hours, update POs, or access important documents.
Pro: Attract younger workers who are very comfortable with various types of software and mobile technology platforms. It also increases your ability to work outside of traditional office working hours.
3. More accurate data.
Every person on your team will be working from the same data that’s saved to your software provider’s server. That means your team can stay plugged into the job with the most current information about updated job costs, budgets, cash flow, and invoices.
Pro: Reduce rekeying, mistakes, and duplication of effort with a single source of data. More streamlined work processes mean you’ll also be able to reduce costs.
4. Work more efficiently.
Do away with waiting around for importing or exporting data from separate systems used by different departments. Everyone on your team will be able to access the information they need in real time so jobs get finished more efficiently.
Pro: Storing construction documents and forms in the cloud simplifies searching for the right data.
What are the Different Types of Cloud Based Construction Software?
With all the specialty cloud software offerings, it may be difficult to decide what’s best for your construction company. The sheer volume of options and features can feel both confusing and overwhelming. In general, there are 2 main types of cloud based construction software. (There are also a ton of construction apps and products to help you accomplish specific tasks, but we won’t get into that here.)
Cloud based construction management software, also known as construction project management software, helps companies complete projects more efficiently by providing tools to track and manage project budgets and timelines, work teams, outside subcontractors, equipment, and site features. Construction project management software makes it easier for project managers and subcontractors to communicate and collaborate to finish jobs successfully.
Cloud based construction accounting software allows you to manage your business finances as well as the various projects they are working on using tools to capture updated job costs; manage billing, payroll, and invoicing; handle construction documentation, and provide updated reporting on all these items.
Cloud Based Construction Software Options to Consider
Ever wonder is QuickBooks Online good for Construction?
With many different construction accounting software programs to choose from, you may be wondering which one is the best cloud based option for your business. Here’s a look at some pros and cons for some well known brands.
QuickBooks is a great off the shelf accounting program that many new businesses use when they are starting out. The only problem is that QuickBooks doesn’t have the specialized features construction companies need, like fully integrated job costing, the ability to track AIA billings and retainage, and construction document management.
JOBPOWER offers the best of both worlds – construction management features that allow detailed oversight of your projects from job costs to subcontractors, as well as comprehensive accounting tools to maintain control of your finances with ease.
Procore is a project management software that’s made for construction businesses to track every step of the construction process. Unfortunately, Procore does not have the accounting features you need to run your business. That means that you would still need two different types of software to run your business, which adds a layer of complexity, unnecessarily.
Foundation is software for construction companies to track financial statements including job costing on a single platform. Our industry sources tell us that Foundation requires an extensive set up period as well as in person, hands on training, which makes it more difficult to integrate and for your employees to use. And while Foundation has a mobile app for its software, it requires manual data synching, which means you may not always be working with the most up to date data.
ComputerEase (now Deltek) is construction management software that has recently been taken over by a large software maker. One critical issue to note is that the software does not have integrated job ledger and general ledger, which means it’s all too easy to get out of balance. Most construction companies must keep a laser eye on cash flow and so it’s a major drawback to go out of balance.
How Should You Choose the Best Cloud Based Construction Accounting Software for your Company?
As construction companies increasingly turn to technology solutions to make their businesses more cost and time efficient, there are many cloud based solutions to choose from and it can be challenging to know what to look for. Here’s what to look for so you can get the most bang for your buck.
Look for: A unified software system that’s made for construction businesses so you can tighten project control.
If you have had to make separate software systems communicate, you know that every time you import or export data that adds to the potential for mistakes and makes your processes needlessly complicated. With cloud based software that has specialized features for construction like JOBPOWER, you won’t need to have separate systems to handle your accounting, documentation, job costing, and reporting. Unified data helps you work smarter because decisions are made with all available information.
Look for: Cloud based construction accounting software with GL and Job Cost updates so you can ensure you’re cash flow positive.
Cash flow is a key indicator of your construction company’s overall health and ability to take on new projects. Your cloud based construction accounting software should allow you to combine bank information, billing, and invoicing into a unified source of information so you can get clear information about your cash flow.
Look for: a system that’s flexible enough to track your key data, but user friendly enough so you don’t have to call IT every time you need a new report.
Clear, easy to use reporting means you can keep track of your jobs and your budget at every stage. With up to date reporting, you can improve your budget controls, and you can use the data to make more accurate budget forecasts for future jobs.
Look for: software that allows you to set up approval routing, so you have greater control over purchasing, invoicing, and ultimately better cash flow responsibility.
Ordering supplies, renting equipment, managing jobsite labor and your office team can add up to a complicated amount of information to handle. You can use cloud based construction software to automate and streamline your processes. For example, your admin can track materials and components off site, but the materials can be received and inspected at the job site, which will be more efficient.
Look for: remote time tracking features & software that works on different types of devices, including phones and tablets as well as laptops and PCs/MACs.
The ability to complete work remotely means fewer work stoppages. If you have been held up on a job in the past, a switch to the cloud can solve many paperwork process issues. For example: changes made on the job site to RFIs and timecards can be synced to the office immediately. Similarly, work won’t stop while you wait for approval for an important PO.
Some Final thoughts.
Boost Your Competitive Edge
New technologies are changing the way construction companies work for the better. Cloud based construction management software and construction accounting software include tools that help you reduce rework and increase your ability to collaborate. With remote access, it’s possible to upload and immediately share job data to authorized users, which reduce work delays. More efficient processes mean that your company can be more competitive. Using cloud based construction software also means that you can shift the responsibility for IT systems to experts and instead focus on what you do best: running your construction business.
Take advantage of powerful construction accounting software that’s available in the cloud. Get in touch to learn how you can use cloud based construction software to streamline your processes and get more work done with less runaround.
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