by Fred Ode

I have been talking about replacing our company's outdated accounting software product for years. I started the process last year, but we just didn't have time to move forward.  Now that the economy has slowed down, I'm afraid to make the investment.  It seems like bad timing.  What's your advice?

Timing is everything.  Despite what your gut may be telling you, now is perhaps the perfect time to invest in anything that's going to help you increase productivity and stay competitive in the long term.  In fact, I can give you three reasons why moving forward with sophisticated job cost accounting software is not only a good option today but why it may be your only option:

  1. Finally, time and resources are available-During boom times, inefficiencies are often magnified. Unfortunately, there is usually little time to deal with them, and even less incentive for staff members to take on something new.  But in lean times, employees may finally have the time and motivation to become part of the solution.  With key technology products, such as integrated job cost accounting, a coordinated effort is needed to research, purchase and implement the system to ensure its success.
  2. Public works jobs carry complex reporting requirements-With private sector money drying up and the influx of public money coming into states via the federal stimulus package, are you thinking of bidding government work?  If so, can you do the work and make a profit?  Sophisticated construction accounting software, which automates certified payroll, minority compliance and Equal Employment Opportunities reporting requirements, eliminates the need for spreadsheets and manual data entry.
  3. Long-term competitive advantage-The best reason to upgrade to a construction-specific accounting system right now has to do with your long-term success and survival. From a job-costing standpoint, from a financial reporting standpoint and from a historical data perspective (which affects how you bid and win jobs), your future depends on accurate and accessible job cost and financial data.

No one knows how long the current slowdown will last, but the experts do agree on several things.  The U.S. economy will rebound, and emerging technology is key to that recovery.  The real question for you is:  Can you afford to wait?


Construction Business Owner, May 2009