Job Costing Software - What To Look For

Today’s successful home builder knows that job costing (and controlling costs) is the key to making money in the construction business. Yes, estimating is also important, but an accurate estimate is only the first step towards bigger profits. You need to know how your actual costs compare to the estimate all the way through construction.

Whether you are researching your first accounting software solution or looking to upgrade the system you have, here are some things to consider before you buy your next system.

Take An Integrated Approach In order for the job costing module to track the labor, materials and overhead costs associated with a project, it must receive data about your accounts payable, payroll, inventory, and equipment. For this reason, it is important to have a job costing module that is fully integrated with your accounting software. Without an integrated job cost module, your staff will have duplicate data entry work, the system will be prone to errors, and you will have a difficult time getting the information you need in a timely manner.

And if change orders and purchase orders are not integrated into the accounting software, you will lose control and lose money.

Getting The Information You Need To Make Business Decisions When evaluating accounting software for job costing capabilities, pay attention to the type and variety of reports that are available. The ability to create reports and queries that will give you the answers to your business  questions in a timely fashion is key to increasing your profitability. At a minimum, you should be able to quickly access reports that show you:

  • initial and revised budgets by cost code
  • actual costs to date
  • committed costs
  • expected costs to complete the project
  • billings and cash collected to date

Don’t Forget The People Like any system, the information you get out of your accounting software is only as good as what you put into it. In order to capture the necessary details it is important your people in field as well as your people in the office can easily capture costs and get access to the reports they need to do their jobs.