How do you keep track of construction expenses?
There are different ways to implement cost tracking procedures within a construction project or company. In general, budgeting follows three main phases: preconstruction, construction, and post-construction.
In the preconstruction phase, stakeholders meet to define the project and design. This meeting might also establish the project timeline to create a blueprint for the entire team to follow, delineating key deliverables. Additionally, potential delays may be identified which can prevent the project from moving forward.
During the construction phase, construction managers might keep track of important expenses such as labor costs, materials costs, insurance costs, and delay expenditures. For each major category, subcategories provide even more customization and tracking efficiency such as specialty contractors, property insurance, or failure to secure funding, relatively.
Most construction cost tracking software allows you to examine projected costs and actual costs, giving you a detailed report of whether or not you are over or under budget, and by how much. Deviation from the original budget can result in positive results such as a bonus, or in negative consequences such as negotiations, disputes, or even lawsuits, depending on the gravity of the delay/cost.
This accounting tool at the tip of your fingertips is advantageous for construction professionals who want to save time and implement streamlined collaboration across the project team.
After construction, a punch list may be created and completed. Stakeholders will meet and discuss any outstanding issues or concerns, and the owner will take over relevant documents and processes if all goes smoothly, including the cost tracking documents.
Which software is best for construction management?
There are different types of construction management software that may serve your objectives. Analytics software allows construction managers to supervise current projects and create new project estimates based on previous ones in the software.
Drawing software is one of the most different types from construction cost tracking software. It is utilized for visual documents such as plans and designs. Documents in this type of software are shared across stakeholders during the beginning stages of a construction project. This type of software is often referred to as building information modeling in the construction industry.
On the other hand, a job costing software is similar to construction cost tracking software. It is useful in estimating project costs and supporting the proposal process. This tool is beneficial for companies that provide a comprehensive services catalog. Job costing software may also provide support during construction such as keeping track of overtime, taxable payments, and employee information.
Risk and safety management software may be used to support construction cost tracking software. It allows stakeholders, particularly the construction manager, to record any risks prior to jumpstarting construction projects. This information helps the team remain safe and compliant, and it supports seamless communication between field workers and the central office to speed up field service safely.
Construction enterprise resource planning is the nerve center of a construction project where multiple teams work across different sites. They allow these separate groups to communicate smoothly, and they hold vast amounts of data such as purchase orders and invoices that can be accessed by anyone in the team regardless of location. Departments across the company such as HR and sales marketing may have access to this type of construction software.
Lastly, project management software is intended for the minutiae of daily construction management for the project manager. It contains detailed information such as which contractor is doing what, where, and when to help the team and project manager meet cost estimates and projected timetables.
What software do construction project managers use?
Construction project managers may use a centralized software such as a construction enterprise resourcing planning software in addition to a project management software and cost management software. Either one or both must have access to cost tracking documentation and functions to allow the main contractor to meet the project objectives within a reasonable period and budget.
What software do most construction companies use?
Construction companies may use a construction management platform such as Quickbase, CoConstruct, Fieldwire, and Premier, depending on their specialty and projects.
Most construction companies use project management software that allows customization to accommodate different projects and industries. Other features besides cost tracking might include a customer relationship management (CRM) feature, work field-to-office communication, and a PDF management tool.
There is no one-size-fits-all for all construction companies and project planning, as the scope of work determines the best software for the job. Perhaps the best project management software is one that combines cost tracking with other key metric management tools like order management and employee management.
Ideally, it may be used for multiple projects and used by general contractors, field workers, and other stakeholders.
Additionally, the software may have added advantages like being user friendly and cloud based, having a simple setup, allowing for unlimited users, and being available on a mobile device. When general contractors gain access to a centralized repository where they can track purchase orders and have a real time overview of the budget, cost management may be more feasible for the specific project.
Another hallmark of a great project management software or business software in general is one that doesn’t require coding. Main contractors and construction companies need to be able to perform what they do best without learning how to code, too. In this case, low-code or no-code cost management software may be the best choice.