Why Contractors Upgrade from QuickBooks® to Deltek + ComputerEase
Most small to mid-sized contractors rely on low-cost software like QuickBooks® to run the accounting functions of their business. In fact, most small to mid-sized businesses in general rely on QuickBooks®. That’s because QuickBooks® does a great job addressing the needs of companies by size. It’s a one-size-fits-all solution that is perfectly suitable to keep record and facilitate many accounting functions for the typical small business.
However, some contractors using QuickBooks® reach a point in their story where they need a solution that isn’t for every industry, can support rapid growth, and can meet requirements that are usually associated with larger and more complex construction jobs. That’s when it makes sense to explore a purpose-built solution for construction like Deltek + ComputerEase.
WHY CONTRACTORS OUTGROW QUICKBOOKS®
The construction industry is entrepreneurial by nature. New construction businesses start every day. Many construction workers that have spent years working in construction eventually decide that they are capable and ready to run their own business. It starts as an idea and then it turns into a couple of clients, a logo, and an office space.
Soon after, contractors establish the basis for how to operate their business to include the software tools they use. Contractors at this stage typically use software tools like QuickBooks®, spreadsheets, and low-cost mobile apps. These low-cost tools can adequately serve a contractor for a long time.
However, some contractors may experience quick growth. Maybe it’s an increase in the number of jobs or maybe it’s the emergence of much larger jobs. While growth is an exciting development for a construction business, it often introduces new requirements. Requirements such as detailed WIP reports to get a surety bond for a job or to increase a line of credit with a bank, managing prevailing wage and certified payroll, or AIA billing. These requirements can be difficult to manage with a tool such as QuickBooks®, which is not intended to address construction specifically. To meet these needs with QuickBooks®, it usually requires the introduction of several new spreadsheets, additional 3rd party software, and modifying how QuickBooks® was intended to be used. Many contractors who have outgrown QuickBooks® end up spending a lot of their time managing their business outside of QuickBooks®.
Contractors that continue to use QuickBooks® while their business is rapidly growing or facing new, complex requirements leave themselves vulnerable to:
- Thin profit margins or profit loss on jobs
- Poor cash flow
- Penalties due to violating compliance
- Inefficient data collection
- Human error
- Lack of clarity into critical project and financial metrics
- Increased potential for negative client interactions
While growth is typically good news, the inability to manage growth and new requirements can be devastating to a contractor’s business. It’s at this point in the contractor’s story that they need to seriously consider adopting new processes and tools to support their growth. Processes such as job costing and tools such as a purpose-built software. Similarly to how contractors adopt new and more sophisticated physical tools when they take on more complex jobs, the same concept can be applied to the software tools contractors use to run their business. For example, there comes a time when a backhoe is more worthwhile than a shovel and there also comes a time when a purpose-built software is more worthwhile than QuickBooks®.
When Purpose-Built Software Makes Sense
The following are top considerations for why a construction company like yours chose to upgrade from QuickBooks® to Deltek + ComputerEase:
- Rapid growth in jobs became unmanageable in QuickBooks®
- Job profitability was misunderstood and uncertain until after the job
- Cash flow was poor and not easily tracked
- New jobs with new requirements such as prevailing wage and certified payroll
- Needed accurate and detailed WIP reports to get a bank loan or a bond for a job
- Jobs expanded into states with local income taxes or new payroll complexities
- Services expanded from residential to commercial
DELTEK + COMPUTEREASE SOLUTION OVERVIEW
Whether your organization has 5 employees or 300, Deltek + ComputerEase is priced and packaged for the needs of contractors. It includes everything you need to manage your books, control job costs, and meet construction requirements while connecting them all together in a single solution.
Job costing excellence is at the core of high performing construction companies. Unfortunately, generic accounting software programs, such as QuickBooks®, fall short on providing the functionality that construction companies require to be successful long-term.
For contractors that take on government contracts or prevailing wage jobs, it can be nearly impossible to manage compliance. QuickBooks® and similar solutions simply don’t speak the language of construction. They don’t understand prevailing wage, unions, AIA billing, or Work-in-Progress.
Eventually, a low-cost and simple solution like QuickBooks® becomes expensive and even complicated for a contractor. Contractors at this point need a solution that allows them to:
- Spend more time on their business vs. in their business
- Proactively make decisions vs. reacting to what has happened
- Make money with their software vs. cost money
- Meet construction requirements within the software vs. outside the software
An industry-specific accounting solution like Deltek + ComputerEase gives contractors the tools they need to make better business decisions through improved visibility and insight to control all areas of their jobs and broader organization. It allows contractors to run their business by looking ahead rather than always looking back through the rearview mirror.
HOW DELTEK + COMPUTEREASE EMPOWERS CONTRACTORS
There are companies who help contractors with strategic goals and vision. They bring knowledge and experience. Then there are companies who provide tools to help you execute your vision. They bring systems for your processes. At Deltek + ComputerEase, we provide both. When you prepare to expand your construction business, generic solutions like QuickBooks® simply aren’t enough. Here are the ways Deltek + ComputerEase helps fast-growing contractors.
Take Control of Your Future - Job costing practices like Work-in-Progress reporting are critical to understanding the future-state of jobs. Deltek + ComputerEase produces both job-level and comprehensive WIP reports that can be customized to meet a contractor's unique needs and to present to different audiences. These reports serve as a tool for contractors to manage their profitability proactively while also providing the essential details often required by banks, bonding agents, and more.
Rest Easy with Job Visibility - Running a construction business can be stressful. Especially when there are several jobs running at the same time with different nuances and compliance regulations. Deltek + ComputerEase supports the entire job lifecycle with comprehensive job costing capabilities. Unlike QuickBooks®, Deltek + ComputerEase helps contractors succeed by arming every part of the construction business with purpose-built tools that allow staff to work together more efficiently and informed.
Maintain a Strong Cash Position - Managing cash flow is vital to survival, and small businesses face unique cash flow challenges. Deltek + ComputerEase provides one version of the truth for all financial and project data and eliminates spreadsheet chaos to improve planning efficiency. Deltek + ComputerEase produces both job-level and comprehensive financial statements. They ensure invoice accuracy with efficient revenue and billing cycles, furnish flexible invoice options, and track vendor and employee time to jobs.
Meet Unique Construction Requirements - Construction jobs may have unique requirements that aren’t accommodated by solutions like QuickBooks®. Requirements like prevailing wage, certified payroll, unions, complex local income tax scenarios, and more. Deltek + ComputerEase speaks the construction language that accommodates all of these requirements and more so that contractors can focus more on the success of their jobs vs. staying compliant.
Reporting Your Way - The art to a financial statement is the ability to tell your story. Financial reporting in construction can be challenging as each contractor can vary by trade, region, union / non-union, commercial / residential, and more. Deltek + ComputerEase’s custom report writer is intentionally flexible to meet the needs of each unique contractor, which gives them the best opportunity to tell their story.
Streamline the Office and the Field - Managing the jobsite from the office can be challenging in construction. Many contractors lack the visibility and connection to what is occurring in the field. Deltek + ComputerEase offers a full suite of mobile field applications that syncs the office to the field so that the contractor doesn’t miss a beat and the office is informed. Whether it’s tracking time, managing work orders, submitting field logs, or recording field expenses, Deltek + ComputerEase has you covered.
If you are a contractor using QuickBooks® and any of the above sounds familiar to you, we recommend taking a look at Deltek + ComputerEase as your next step. It may or may not be the right time to make a change in your business, but if you are experiencing growing pains that cannot be easily accommodated in QuickBooks®, it's likely time to consider a solution that can support your business' growth and changing requirements.
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About the Author
Brian is the Product Marketing Manager at Deltek + ComputerEase. He has worked with contractors and CPAs nationwide to improve their business processes through technology and leadership in a variety of roles including marketing, product management, and sales. He has over 12 years of experience solving problems with technology and is passionate about educating contractors.