by Fred Ode

We are currently in the market for new accounting software to help our company get a better handle on job costs and improve productivity. My boss is sold on one system after seeing its cool reporting features. The office staff wants a different system because of how it handles payroll and billings. Meanwhile, our IT guy doesn't recommend either system based on compatibility/technology issues. I say it's impossible to please everyone, so why bother? What's your opinion?


Yes, pleasing everyone is hard to do. But that doesn't mean you should stop trying. The best-fit accounting software product-or any other technology initiative for that matter-is the one that satisfies the needs of the company as well as the individuals who use it (or rely on it) to do their job.

Believe me, you are headed in the right direction. Getting input and feedback from everyone within your organization will not only help you narrow your must-have list of features and functions, but it will also help users "buy in" to the decision-making process (which almost always leads to greater technology success). And there's more good news: Many of today's construction-specific accounting systems go far beyond basic bookkeeping functions to offer contractors a complete company-wide solution, capable of meeting the needs of everyone-from the owner and the accounting staff to field operations and everyone in between.

In other words, Suzanne, it is possible to find a package that offers powerful reporting and timesaving functionality for day-to-day transactions. It is possible to find a package that will satisfy the reporting needs of the owner, your CPA and your project manager. It is possible to find a system that will seamlessly integrate with your estimating software to import budgets, your time-tracking technology to import labor and equipment costs and many other applications you use to reduce costs and improve efficiency. It is possible to find a product with widespread appeal. And the results will be well worth the time spent looking!


Construction Business Owner, September 2009