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Construction Software Buyer Guide

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Learning and Education Corner ( Construction Software):

General Overview of Construction Software
         What is Construction Software?
         Why should you invest in a construction software system?
         How is construction accounting software different from other general accounting software packages?
         What's the difference between the less expensive construction systems and the more expensive ones?

Related Business Types That Typically Use Construction Software
Construction Software Features and Modules
Additional Information and Purchasing Considerations
Links to Construction Software Resources and Information

General Overview

What is Construction Software?
Construction software is software designed specifically for businesses that perform work on a project by project basis and have a need to track and manage the individual costs (time, material and labor) associated with the project. Companies that are involved with construction such as specialty sub contractors, home builders, developers, engineers typically use some type of construction software. The core purpose of most construction software systems is to facilitate the function of job costing which is the process of managing, estimating and tracking costs associated with a job.  Some construction software packages are all inclusive meaning that they can track and produce all the necessary information a contractor wants or needs to have. Other packages may include only specific tasks and thus must be coupled with other types of business or construction software to be complete. The use of any one type of construction software depends on the contractor’s individual business needs.

Why should you invest in a construction software system?
While many small construction companies may get by with just a simple off-the-shelf accounting system such as Quicken and a side Excel spreadsheet to manage one or two small projects at a time, this type of system can quickly become difficult and inefficient for a growing company with multiple employees and multiple ongoing projects.  Buying a construction accounting system can help streamline the tracking of costs into a single uniform environment whereby all project costs and project details can be easily accessed and reviewed from a common interface by many different people in an organization.  Also, construction specific software has features built in that are unique to the construction industry.  For instance, the ability to pay invoices directly against subcontracts or the ability to input payroll time and have the labor related costs burdened directly against a job.  These industry specific features can make a big difference in a growing business and may be the difference between going over budget on a job and making a profit.  Here are some more common features of construction software...

- Analysis of actual costs compared to budgeted costs
- Tracking and managing the collection of revenue on jobs
- Tracking and withholding of Retention
- Insurance tracking and compliance
- Printing and tracking of lien releases
- Automatic burdening of job costs when entering invoices and timesheets
- Project management
- Tracking and purchasing inventory and material for jobs
- Estimating of project costs

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