Business Development

The future of construction accounting

Paper and pen just isn’t cutting it anymore. For construction companies to thrive they need to start using technology that affords them more access to their business data.

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In construction, operations and accounting should be working side-by-side to ensure the business runs as efficiently and effectively as possible. But more often than not, the two sides are slow to communicate — mostly due to siloed departments, disconnected technology, and slow reporting. 

Often you have the two teams working parallel but never intersecting. The finance team working in the numbers and the operations team working on the projects, but they’re not aligned to understand how working together will produce better results. There is difficulty in making accounting meaningful for the field, which can manifest in miscommunication and missed opportunities.

“In the construction industry, we live and die by our accounting. Accounting is mission critical in our industry, but it’s not always appreciated as such.” – Bryce Wisan, Partner, Eide Bailly LLP‍

Paper is holding construction back

In the not-so-distant past (and the present), contractors had to rely on mountains of paperwork to extract data from the field. Now there is a huge amount of field technology that can help them collect data in real-time — but there are still massive bottlenecks.

Projects lose money. Contractors are delayed and can't figure out why. Leveraging this data collected from the field is the key to solving those issues. But when there is so much information spread across systems, reports, spreadsheets, and people, it’s difficult to work with. Finding a way to make data a strategic asset is what will set contractors apart in the near future.

What is the future of data analytics in the construction industry and how will can contractors use their data to improve the way they work? 

The way it works currently is that it doesn’t really. Data is sorted across disparate systems and the finance team needs to wait on project managers to fill out reports and update information in systems and then email numbers back to them that at this stage may be weeks old… the data they need to make payments or business decisions is getting to them too late. The operations side of the business needs to understand how valuable the data is for them to give to finance and also for them to receive. The current siloed nature of construction data does nothing to solve this problem.

The best way to rectify this problem is to get off paper and get all business data in the cloud. A huge undertaking but a worthwhile one to make everything more accessible.

Connecting people, processes, and systems in construction

The way to get the most from your data is to make sure every department is working from the same information. When operations are working from one set of numbers and your finance team another, your business is at risk. By connecting your people to the right information everyone can make better decisions that are aligned with the wider business goals. 

With access to the right data, you can measure your operations and gain a greater understanding of where your business is going and how to get it where you want it to be. Imagine being able to track the performance of your superindendent and trace performance over multiple jobs, you’ll be able to see patterns that would have been inaccessible to you before. Add that to the performance of other collaborators and you can start building out ideal business plans, forecast better, and bid on jobs with more confidence.

“The conversations that I was having with my clients weren't necessarily about accounting per se, they were about information, they were about decision making, and data analytics is a natural extension of that.” – Bryce Wisan

Better access to analytics directly helps contractors understand the impact team members could make by modeling performance of the past and then projecting it into the future. Using this information, decision-makers can assess and mitigate risk. PMs can easily gain a summary of QA, safety, workforce, and equipment data, streamlining the task of recognizing risk and assessing performance. This leads to time saved and fees eroded.

Briq is the technology to modernize the way construction is run. Our financial automation technology unifies your data, connects your people, and gives you greater insights with a personalized interface. If you want to learn more about what Briq does — and what it could do for you — book a call with our team here.