Integrated Construction Software vs. Accounting Packages

In the era of modernization and information technology, numerous changes have been brought about in our daily lives, which have also had an impact on the construction industry as well. Today, modern construction companies utilize either construction management software or accounting software packages to manage their operations. While both types of software provide their own set of benefits, it is important to understand that there are certain differences and advantages between fully integrated construction software solutions such and standalone accounting software packages. As companies continue to grow and evolve, so do their technology needs. Typically, construction companies start with a combination of an accounting software and either pen and paper or Excel, and eventually upgrade to a more complete construction software solution. There is often the misconception that construction software and accounting software are synonymous, and while there are some similarities, the two solutions are quite distinct. Generally, accounting software offers the basic financial tools businesses need to operate, while construction software includes accounting software, as well as many other functionalities, which will be discussed within this blog post. This article will examine the features and benefits of each type of software, along with guidance on which solution would be best for your business.

Accounting Software
The main purpose of accounting software in a company is to manage the day-to-day financial transactions. With the help of accounting software, it is possible to retrieve financial reports, such as a profit and loss statement or any other relevant financial statement. A company’s financial health is also visible at any time with an accounting software package. Accounting software also offers basic financial and cost accounting, which can provide high-level detail into a business’ finances. Many companies will opt to use Excel spreadsheets in conjunction with their accounting software, and while this is a viable option, it is generally time consuming and is susceptible to human error when entering data. Overall, accounting software is relatively easy to use and quick to setup for smaller construction companies. However, as these companies continue to increase in size, they generally require greater functionalities that are available within a fully integrated construction software solution.

Construction Software
A complete construction software solution is generally more beneficial to a construction company, as it provides a wider-range of features and functionalities, including accounting software that is capable of detailed, industry-specific financials, as well as reporting. The features of a complete construction software solution include, but are not limited to, accounting, job costing, project management, service management, document management, reporting, purchase order tracking, inventory/equipment management, and mobile functionalities. A construction software solution can also function as a CRM (customer relationship management) tool, whereby you can store information about your customers, and access customer history as needed. With the ability to store all information within a single software solution, managers and owners are also able to make faster and more effective decisions through leveraging real-time reports and drill-down capabilities.

Accounting Packages vs. Integrated Construction Software
When comparing accounting packages to an integrated construction software solution, many companies are unsure which option is best for their business. For smaller companies, accounting software might be sufficient to start, but as the company starts to grow and gain momentum, upgrading to construction software is generally the best decision, as a fully integrated solution takes care of all the necessary processes, which are vital for the functionality and growth of a business. While some companies choose to simply keep their accounting package and acquire various third-party software to fill in the gaps, they often run into a variety of issues such as data incompatibility, disjointed systems, and reduced employee satisfaction from operating complex software. In addition, operating with an accounting software package can be slow and tedious as the business continually grows. While operating with an accounting software system only, construction companies tend to rely heavily on Excel or pen and paper, which creates more problems as the amount of work increases. This can be both time consuming and costly for businesses, and can easily be resolved by upgrading to a more robust and complete construction-specific software solution.

In short, a fully integrated construction software solution includes all of the benefits and functionalities of an accounting software, plus much more. Construction software is a perfect fit for a company either expecting to grow, or is currently undergoing growth in their business. With all of the value-added benefits of investing in construction software solution, the decision to make the upgrade should be easy one.

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