Job Costing Case Study: JMC Mechanical

Featured

The Problem

Before turning to ComputerEase construction accounting software, JMC Mechanical used Quickbooks for managing their business.

JMC Mechanical was growing and starting to work with larger clients. Their larger customers demanded more visibility and billing capability than Quickbooks offered.

Project Managers and Management at JMC Mechanical needed Job Cost reports, which Quickbooks couldn’t provide, to better manage costs and work. After purchasing Quickbooks and working with a consultant that specialized in Quickbooks, JMC Mechanical still didn’t have the visibility and functionality they needed.

Why Construction Companies Need Job Costing

Job costing is the key to managing construction budgets and identifying if a job will be profitable. It simplifies the complexity of managing a contracting job. This is especially true when a construction business works on larger and/or longer-duration jobs. There is simply more to manage and track. Or in other words, there is a higher likelihood that a business can lose money on a particular job.

According to Lisa at JMC, “Job costing is not something Quickbooks is capable of, even in their contractor version… it just wasn’t cutting it.”

The need for job costing was not going away. In fact, the need only grew as the company grew. Therefore, Lisa at JMC Mechanical was tasked to explore, vet, and select a new business management solution that met their specific needs. After several months of assessing construction-specific products, JMC Mechanical chose ComputerEase as their business management solution.

How ComputerEase Made a Difference

ComputerEase offers job costing software as part of the base system. When you invest in ComputerEase, you’re ensuring that you’ll always have an easy way to track your job costs, whether it’s through work-in-progress reporting, labor analysis, projected costs, unit production, or all of the above.

Since implementing ComputerEase, JMC Mechanical now had the ability to:

  • Estimate jobs accurately and quickly: Without job costing, estimates are a best guess. With other bidders competing for the same work, many contractors end up underbidding. Without quick and easy access to historical records, mistakes are made that end up hurting the job and business. Job costing puts the data at your fingertips, so you can estimate jobs accurately and quickly.
  • Manage profit for every job: Job costing gives you control of the money you make for every job. You see how much a job is costing. There’s no more stress, worry, or guesswork in managing a job, because expenses are broken down accurately. You can see how you need to manage work to maximize profit. “It’s been very helpful… for several reasons,” explained Lisa. “One is, being able to track costs and track where we are on a job. If it’s starting to go south, we know that by making changes we can save the job before things go to the point of no return.” Armed with critical information, the team could solve problems before it was too late.
  • Work better with customers and vendors: Over estimating and under estimating can lead to project delays, lost profit, and broken budgets. This causes stress between you, your customers, and vendors. Job costing eliminates that stress. You can better collaborate and deliver more value to customers. That means future work and business for your company.

Looking Ahead with ComputerEase

Job Costing reports and ComputerEase have helped support JMC Mechanicals rapid growth. It has been an instrumental tool in supporting large projects and customers. The system improves cash flow and gives managers the visibility they need to keep jobs on track and profitable.

If you are a company facing similar growing pains as JMC Mechanical, we recommend you consider learning more about ComputerEase and how you can more effectively and more comfortably run your business.

Share this
Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someone

WIP or Get Whipped: Turning a Report into Contractor Success

Featured

An accurate and timely Work in Progress (WIP) report is an essential tool for running a business.

A contractor will often create a WIP report out of an obligation to the bonding agent. Perhaps the bank requires one. When these contractors aren’t using that data to manage the business, they are throwing away money with every job.

A WIP report can be the difference between success and failure for a contractor’s business. It allows a savvy business owner or project manager to look into the future using forecasted projections.

Here’s how it works.

Importance of Accurate and Timely WIP Reporting

With a WIP report you can proactively manage work and profit using actual job data as opposed to being reactive. Rather than managing problems when you find them, you’re staying ahead of the game and optimizing profit with every job.

Accurate and timely WIP reporting starts with clear communication between accounting and project management. The project manager collects and uses real-time, accurate data from the field and the role of the accountant should be to question potential inconsistencies in the report.

With information from the project manager and guidance from the accountant, the company can make smarter decisions. They can deploy resources to maximize profits. This is the key to success in contracting.

WIP reports allow you to scale and grow your business. You can manage jobs accurately and create accurate financial statements that can be used to analyze your company’s stability and growth.

Understanding and Using WIP Reports

Not everyone will use a WIP report the same way as other contractors.

For example, consider the schedule for when a WIP report should be run. The frequency will be based on the specific parameters of your unique business. Keep in mind – the sooner you receive that information, the sooner you will have visibility of problems and can solve them.

There are also different ways to calculate WIP – units completed, percent completed, and cost to finish are the most common. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. Let’s look at each:

  • WIP Report with Units Completed. Units completed, in conjunction with the percent of budget spent, is the most accurate method of costing. With his report, you’ll look at how much of the project is completed versus budget spent. It’s an excellent way of identifying problems early in a project. For example, if you’ve installed 50 out of 100 standard light fixtures (50% completed), but you’ve already spent 80% of the budget on the installation – you have a problem.
  • WIP Report with Percent Completed. This method is often used when there isn’t a measurable unit for analyzing completion. Many times, this WIP report will be an educated guess from the PM on the work completed. That guess is better than an, “I don’t know,” and can still provide valuable insight. This will let you estimate the remaining project timeline and resources by calculating the units completed.
  • WIP Report with Cost to Finish. In this report, you need to calculate the cost to finish by listing what has already been spent to date, and the amount of labor and materials costs that have yet to be paid for. Your total project cost would be the cost to date plus the cost to finish. This becomes your revised estimate from which you can calculate expected profit.

The WIP reports provide much better insight into a project than comparing estimated cost to actual cost. The truth is, no contractor ever completes a job exactly on budget.

Leverage Accurate Reporting to Improve your Business

Your goal should be to not only have a company-wide WIP report, but a WIP report for each job. The more detail you can include in your WIP reports, the better you can see which activities deliver the highest profits. You’ll be able to identify where you are losing money.

Realistically, businesses need to keep contractors and project managers on target, but also in budget. That is where a WIP report can help. With a process in place for collecting this data and generating reports, everyone knows the jobs that make money and the ones that lose money.

Real time, accurate job costing is like keeping score in a game. If the project manager knows the score, then they can make better decisions about the next play.

If you would like to learn more about job costing or WIP reports, please contact us at info@computerease.com.

Share this
Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someone

What is Job Costing for Contractors and Construction Companies?

Featured

The success or failure of any construction job is based on profit.

Profit margins are razor-thin in construction. Job costing helps you project job expenses to identify problems before they impact profit. Can work be completed with the money and budget available? What are the risk factors on the job? What do you need to do to be successful?

Job costing is the key to managing a construction budget and identifying if a job will be profitable. It simplifies the complexity of managing a contracting job. It gives you the power to focus on the work with the highest reward.

Job Costing and Construction Accounting

Precision and accuracy are required in construction.

You need to build with the right materials. You need to accurately follow blueprints. You need precision with every cut and measurement.

Job costing brings accuracy and precision to your construction accounting.

With job costing, you can accurately predict, record, and control the cost of each job. Your materials, labor, subcontractors, and equipment expenses are tracked and monitored during the job. You can see where the money is going as work is completed. You can more accurately predict future costs and build a precise record of expenses.

That record is data you can use. It’s the data you need to manage, and grow, the business.

The Benefits of Job Costing

Accurate job costing gives contractors the ability to grow the business. Here’s how it works:

  • Estimate jobs accurately and quickly: Without job costing, estimates are a best guess. With other bidders competing for the same work, many contractors end up underbidding. Without quick and easy access to historical records, mistakes are made that end up hurting the job and business. Job costing puts the data at your fingertips, so you can estimate jobs accurately and quickly.
  • Manage profit for every job: Job costing gives you control of the money you make for every job. You see how much a job is costing. There’s no more stress, worry, or guesswork in managing a job, because expenses are broken down accurately. You can see how you need to manage work to maximize profit.
  • Work better with customers and vendors: Over estimating and under estimating can lead to project delays, lost profit, and broken budgets. This causes stress between you, your customers, and vendors. Job costing eliminates that stress. You can better collaborate and deliver more value to customers. That means future work and business for your company.

Job Costing and your Growing Business

For many contractors and construction companies ready to take control of their business, job costing through construction accounting software is the key. It’s the tool that helps them leverage their ambition with the practical needs of the business.

To make money in construction, you need to stay on top of cost and expenses. That’s what job costing will do for you. You can accurately run labor analysis and measure productivity. It lets you select the most profitable jobs and find profit even when problems happen. It gives you the power to take control of your business.

For companies ready to stop losing money or breaking even with every project, job costing gives them control. It replaces guesswork with accuracy and precision for every job.

Have questions? Contact us at info@computerease.com.

Share this
Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someone

Get Control of Your Business with Committed Costs

As the owner of a construction company, the success of the company is on your shoulders.

You need to lead the construction team, work with clients, seek out new business, and manage money. With the right tools you can manage it all and succeed, but only if you have the information you need.

It’s the data you don’t have that can cause problems. How can you make the best decision for your business when you don’t have all the information?

Committed Costs is a construction accounting tool you should use to get a complete and accurate picture the health of your jobs, so you can make better decisions. Committed costs fill in a dangerous gap in your job costs – a gap that can lead to spending cash you don’t have or wasting money on unnecessary expenses.

With committed costs, you know the score and have the information you need to come in ahead of schedule and under budget.


What Are Committed Costs?

A committed cost is a payment obligation that you can’t recover. You are committed to paying that money no matter what.

Money that is obligated for an expense is a committed. Once that money is spent, and goes out, it becomes cash out.

Committed costs are a baseline in job costing. With job costing, you can see where you have money committed in a project. Using committed costs, you can see immediately cash that is obligated. You know, with certainty, the money you have available for future expenses and additional costs.

Let’s look at committed costs on the job:

  • An open contract or subcontractor agreement is a committed cost. You haven’t paid the contractor yet, and at first glance it might appear the money is still available, but it’s money already committed.
  • Purchase orders applied to a job are also committed costs. Even if you are waiting for delivery or the bill for the materials hasn’t been paid, they are a committed cost.
  • As time comes in from the field, it becomes a committed cost. Even if the payroll hasn’t gone out, that money is committed. For example, if you pay employees every two weeks, you need to track labor and hours during those two weeks even if the money hasn’t gone out yet. That’s unposted payroll – a committed cost that will impact your bottom line.
  • Expenses in the field are another committed cost. When you use a credit card for supplies or materials in the field, that money goes against the project budget.

When you aren’t tracking committed costs, you put your budget at risk. You aren’t getting the big picture on expenses, and you don’t really know the score for the job. Planning and finances become guesswork and estimates.

You need committed costs to get a real-time view of job costing – the money you’ve already spent and committed and the budget remaining for the job.

Start Using Committed Costs for Your Business

Many contractors still using manual accounting and bookkeeping methods struggle to track committed costs. This can lead to double billing and mistakes. Accounting that software that isn’t designed for construction or contracting work may not have the level of detail, control, and visibility you need to track committed costs. They aren’t designed for it.

Construction accounting systems are designed to provide the visibility you need into committed costs. They can automate the process, so you aren’t causing errors. Construction accounting system puts critical information on committed costs at your fingertips when you need it, so you can make better business decisions.

Have any questions regarding committed costs and how you can improve your business using them? Feel free to reach out to us at info@computerease.com and we’d be happy to talk with you.

Share this
Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someone

ComputerEase Software Announces Integration with Procore

ComputerEase adds easy connection between its robust accounting system and Procore’s powerful project management features, creating a peerless, full-service suite.

CINCINNATI, Ohio, Feb. 6, 2018: ComputerEase Software, the leader in construction accounting software, today announced a new integration solution with Procore Technologies’ cloud-based project management suite. This new solution completely eliminates the need to manually enter data into multiple systems, seamlessly connecting the superior functions of the two programs.

Procore’s project management solution gives contractors an easy way to track and manage all of their jobs, boosting productivity through better documentation and constant communication. With a user-friendly interface and intuitive dashboards, Procore helps contractors keep apprised of all their relevant project information. ComputerEase does the same for a contractor’s accounting data, giving high level overviews of each job’s profitability that can be drilled down to the smallest detail. As a fully-integrated software solution, ComputerEase can give contractors all the solutions they need – now including ProCore’s shared data – in one simple location.

The new interface brings an unprecedented level of control to contractors’ fingertips. “This partnership is a no-brainer for us,” says John Meibers, President of ComputerEase Software. “As we move more and more toward a fully-integrated, mobile solution to give our users all the features they need and deserve, Procore’s cloud-based technology will provide a valuable edge.”

ComputerEase users who also use Procore’s system will now be able to seamlessly integrate their accounting and project management data. “The advantage is on both ends,” Meiber notes. “That high-level overview that our customers love is now transferable to Procore, and the same is true in reverse. It’s a simple solution on its face, but it’s going to save a lot of contractors a lot of time and money.

###

Share this
Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someone

ComputerEase Launches New Expense Tracking App

CINCINNATI, OH, December 12th – ComputerEase, the leading provider of accounting software for the construction industry, announces the release of a new mobile app for tracking expenses from the field. The new app, called ExpenseEase, is available in Google Play and the Apple App Store.

ExpenseEase integrates seamlessly with the ComputerEase construction accounting software. Once submitted, expense records appear automatically in the flagship software; resulting in accurate and timely job cost reporting. This functionality makes using ExpenseEase with ComputerEase faster and more efficient than any third-party expense tracking apps.

ExpenseEase allows users to enter expenses from the field on any iOS or Android device, including tablets and smartphones. Once entered, the user can then attach a photo of the corresponding receipt, and submit expenses instantly where they are stored securely within their ComputerEase system to be reviewed for payment.

“Our clients drive our product development and over the past couple of years we’ve had a tremendous number of requests for a mobile expense tracking solution. We are very excited to announce this addition to our flagship product. ExpenseEase simplifies the expense recording process and, best of all, keeps job cost reporting more accurate and more up-to-date,” says ComputerEase president John Meibers. “That, combined with the compatibility and integration with ComputerEase will save our clients time and money.”

Founded in 1983, ComputerEase develops integrated construction accounting, project management and field-to-office solutions that help contractors solve problems and increase profits. The scalability of ComputerEase makes it the ideal fit for construction companies of all sizes and trades. More than 6,000 contractors nationwide trust ComputerEase to work for their business.

Share this
Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someone

ComputerEase Software Expands Decades-Long Partnership with ProEst

ComputeProEst Estimating LogorEase expands integration with ProEst to include its new web-based estimation software, providing a more streamlined, user-friendly process to customers of both firms.

CINCINNATI, Ohio, August 21, 2017: ComputerEase Software, Inc., the leader in construction accounting software, today announced the expansion of their long-standing partnership with ProEst. The new integration solution from ComputerEase and ProEst will dramatically simplify the estimation and job creation process for customers of both companies.

ProEst, one of the leading providers of construction estimation software, has recently announced their newest estimation tool, ProEst Cloud. ProEst Cloud is a complete web-based estimating platform for the construction industry. Users can import leads, generate a detailed cost estimate, perform digital takeoffs and create professional sales proposals from anywhere. The new integration between ProEst and ComputerEase allows users to instantly import a job to ComputerEase once it has been awarded.

“We’re very excited to build on our 20+ year relationship with ProEst with this new product,” says John Meibers, President of ComputerEase. “Our new state-of-the-art seamless integration will significantly enhance the experience of both our customers and ProEst’s customers.”

The new integration is available now to current customers of ComputerEase and ProEst.

Since 1976, ProEst has helped over 8,000 of the world’s most prominent construction companies streamline and improve their estimating processes. They continue to live up to their reputation for reliable and expert innovations with the ongoing development of their ProEst estimating and on-screen takeoff software.

Share this
Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someone

Press Release: ComputerEase Software Partners with Strategic HR

SHR_Logo TransparentCINCINNATI, Ohio, August 4, 2017: ComputerEase Software, Inc. and Strategic HR have partnered to provide around-the-clock human resource support to over 6,000 ComputerEase customers across the country.

ComputerEase Software, Inc. is the leading provider of accounting, project management and remote field-to-office software to the construction industry. It provides intuitive, easy-to-use tools for construction-oriented companies. ComputerEase has a nationwide network of clients that includes firms in the fields of general contracting, plumbing, excavating, remodeling, heavy highway construction, HVAC and electrical work.

“Strategic HR’s partnership with ComputerEase means that these business owners can instantly obtain access 24/7 to everything they need to run their human resources function—forms, policies, toolkits, and templates —by using our Virtual HR Library,” says Strategic HR, Inc. President Robin Throckmorton.  “They can also utilize our Virtual HR Coach and consult with our company’s experts when they have questions about handling employee issues.”

“ComputerEase has resources for accounting, project management, IT and payroll administration for our network of business owners, but the missing component was HR,” says John Meibers, President of ComputerEase. “Strategic HR, Inc.’s Virtual HR Library is the comprehensive tool we’ve been seeking. It’s accessible at all hours for professionals who are often away from the office for long lengths of time. All they need to do is use their smart phone to conduct HR business.  Also, by offering it to so many of our customers, they can obtain it at a 33% discount. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Strategic HR, Inc. will introduce the program through webinars for the ComputerEase network of businesses this summer.

For additional information on the Virtual HR Library contact Strategic HR, Inc. at (513) 697-9855.

Strategic HR, Inc. is an award-winning, Cincinnati-based firm nationally-recognized for delivering a full spectrum of HR services across all industries since 1995. The firm carefully reviews a company’s strategy and works to ensure that the overall HR approach and each of its components are carefully aligned. This includes recruitment of top talent; comprehensive training and development of employees; competitive benefits and compensation; effective employee communications and employee relations; careful record keeping; and attention to health, safety and security issues. 

Share this
Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someone

ComputerEase Software Announces Integration with On Center

on-center-logoComputerEase Software proudly announces a new, improved partnership with On Center’s construction automation management and estimating software. The new integration will give ComputerEase users easy access to On Center Software’s Quick Bid feature so that they can instantly import job budget files into ComputerEase, creating a seamless transition from bidding to job costing.

The custom integration between ComputerEase and On Center will bring a wealth of new features to mutual clients. “We’re thrilled to be working with On Center,” says John Meibers, President of ComputerEase Software. “Their automation and estimating solutions offer incredible value to our customers, and this integration makes it easier than ever for our customers to realize that value.”

For both companies, this new partnership represents a bold step forward in promoting improved construction practices. “Construction technology is too often under-utilized,” says Meibers, “Part of our mission is to expand awareness of the powerful tools out there that many contractors don’t even know exist.” Integrating with best-in-class solutions like On Center will go a long way toward furthering that mission.

The new integration will be available for ComputerEase and On Center users by the end of the Summer.

Share this
Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someone

ComputerEase Software Approved as CPE Sponsor by NASBA

CPE CertificateComputerEase announced today that it has been approved as an official sponsor on the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy’s (NASBA) National Registry of CPE Sponsors.

This new sponsorship approval means that ComputerEase will be able to offer Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Credits to attendees at their regular Educational Webinars, particularly those aimed at Construction CPAs.

“We’ve always focused very heavily on education in the construction accounting field,” says ComputerEase President John Meibers. “It’s such a unique niche in the accounting industry, and this is the latest step toward making it easier for those involved.”

The NASBA has stringent standards on the companies that can be listed on their Registry. The process lasted for several weeks and included an audit of one of the classes to be offered. Meeting these standards means that ComputerEase is prepared to offer construction-focused CPAs the highest quality of continuing education credits, ensuring that their trade knowledge remains relevant.

“Our CPA Partners have often requested CPE credits as a benefit to the program,” Meibers continued, referring to ComputerEase’s free partnership program that provides CPAs with a free copy of ComputerEase Software to help them coordinate with clients and ensure that they’re on the same page. “With this additional value, we feel confident that even more CPAs will join our growing network.”

Meibers noted that CPA Partners will have access to the ComputerEase customer portal, where video recordings of each webinar will be archived and available for re-watching.

Click here to learn more about the ComputerEase CPA Partner Program.

Share this
Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someone