Moving from QuickBooks to an A&E Accounting Solution (Part Three)

Posted by Deltek on November 7, 2014

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Top Considerations for Adopting an A&E Industry Specific Accounting Solution

This is the third in a three part series that explores the limitations of generic accounting systems and why A&E firms should consider moving to an A&E industry specific accounting system. To access part one click here and part two click here.

Adheres to Government Compliance Reporting Requirements

Government contracts require specialized timekeeping, cost tracking, reporting and accounting procedures. If your firm is doing government work (or would like to be) and you’re using a generic accounting system, it will be challenging for you to remain current and compliant with regulations for FAR and government agencies such as DCAA, DOT or DOD.

The key to FAR compliance is to use an A&E industry specific project based accounting solution that will allow you to follow specific accounting and government procedures. At a minimum, the system must be able to provide the ability to track allowable and unallowable costs, accurate time and expense by employee, as well as costs, revenue and profits by project. The system should also be able to accurately report on overhead.

Supports Flexible Billing and Customized Invoicing

Your customers most likely request some level of invoice customization. This can be a challenge for an A&E firm like yours if you are using a generic accounting system. As a workaround, firms often manually create custom invoices using spreadsheets or word processing tools. This approach is prone to error and will not leave a clean audit trail or allow proper tracking for billing purposes.

An industry specific A&E accounting solution is designed with project billing requirements in mind. Invoice designers included in the system allow you to easily customize invoice billing types, billing rates and payment terms. Integrated billing allows your staff to review invoices online, email directly from the system and track the collection process. Streamlining your billing process reduces the time it takes for your firm to be paid, significantly improving cash flow.

Adapts to Changing Business Requirements and Firm Goals

With growth comes new business requirements and goals, and usually new systems and pro­cesses to efficiently facilitate these changes. For instance, take a small firm that is growing quickly. At some point it will want to departmentalize or implement some sort of segmentation in order to understand the different areas of its business and how they are performing.

Generic systems like QuickBooks do not give you the ability to departmentalize or analyze segments by performance. As your firm grows it will be challenging for you to scale the system due to the heavy burden it will place on your administrative staff. Many A&E firms move to an A&E industry specific project based solutions because they simply “outgrow” a generic ac­counting system.

It can be challenging to learn a new system during a time of rapid growth. Successful firms prepare for this by implementing new systems just ahead of the curve so their staff is ramped and business processes and key metrics have been established.

This is the third in a three part series that explores the limitations of generic accounting systems and why A&E firms should consider moving to an A&E industry specific accounting system.  Click to access part one and part two.

To access the full report “Top Considerations for Adopting an A&E Industry Specific Accounting Platform”   < CLICK HERE>