Four factors to consider when choosing the right job accounting solution
Progressive job-based businesses can achieve success by strengthening their ability to quantify every cost attributable to the delivery of an outcome for a customer. Managing project costing is time-consuming, particularly when you have no real-time view of budget vs. actuals or when you can't see job progression by invoices. It impacts project progress and financial performance. For many organisations, switching to one of the biggest critical success factors to better job and project accounting came down to the software they were using.
Many job-based businesses today are moving to a cloud-based ERP, helping them control project costs and gain accuracy of data and improved insights.
Wiise, award-winning ERP for Australian businesses, asked their customers what they found were the critical factors when deciding on the right finance solution to manage their job accounting and how these factors attributed to a lot of their success.
1. One trusted system
For many businesses, there are separate systems to manage billing and purchase orders as well as payroll and inventory management. These platforms are disconnected, and data is not consolidated across the systems. This may rely on multiple people inputting data into different systems and delay reporting. Many businesses find this process time-consuming, unreliable, and unproductive.
A key factor when considering the right platform came down to finding a solution that can manage the business in one place. With cloud ERP, your sales purchasing, accounts payable, and receivables are all working out of the one system. You don't need to have a separate accounting system and spreadsheets – it's all in one place. Managing all these business functions in a modern ERP solution means that there is increased accuracy in the data, creating insights that lead to better decision making.
2. Project accounting control
Traditional accounting software does not provide a detailed financial breakdown across projects. This is why many businesses today are looking for a solution that allows them to drill down into the data and to see how their projects are tracking based on how much they've invoiced or job completion by percentage.
But with a modern cloud ERP software like Wiise, you get up-to-date reporting, including line-by-line details of every project and job cost right down to the last detail, providing a precise view of budgets against actuals as well as automated WIP calculations. This also allows you to see all your projects by budgets and actuals and drill down on the remaining tasks required to progress the financial aspect of your job.
You can instantly see if there is overspending or underspending, enabling much more timely and better decision making, as well as avoiding nasty surprises.
Another issue with legacy systems is that WIPs often take a long time to update, which impacts visibility on project progress. For example, finance managers might have to wait until various Excel spreadsheets have been updated before they can see how things are tracking based on budgets vs. actuals.
By using a cloud-based solution, you get an immediate view of progress at any time. This extra clarity and confidence around numbers helps with vendor and supplier communication.
3. Seamlessly integrated systems
Trying to connect a legacy ERP system with a modern project management platform is frequently a nightmare. It either simply won't work at all, or at best, it's limited and clunky and likely requires a lot of manual work to get things from one system to the other. You may even have had to pay someone to develop middleware for you. Maintaining these integrations can be expensive and need to be custom-built.
Another factor to consider when thinking about a new solution comes down to flexibility. How flexible is the platform? Does it allow you to connect into other tools and systems easily? Our customers flagged this as critical. A modern cloud solution comes with integrations from the get-go. This enables you to connect other software and systems, including payroll, so data is seamlessly transferred and shared.
Payroll is one of the most critical things when it comes to project accounting, as it's frequently the biggest share of cost. Being able to map hours on a project accurately is vital. By managing job costs within your ERP system, you can fully integrate employee timesheets with payroll. Instead of multiple people inputting in multiple systems, with the higher human error that results in, there's less manual admin and higher accuracy. Wiise Payroll is ATO compliant and is allowing businesses across Australia to keep up with changes to government regulations, including the most recent updates to superannuation and the SG rate.
Security is another important factor for customers looking to find the right job accounting software. Many businesses are looking for a system that has the right data protection and security protocols – especially important in the age of cyber security risks.
Cloud vendors manage security and data privacy compliance. This is particularly important for projects with global suppliers, where complex international data regulations apply. Security and other upgrades are made automatically as part of the solution, so it's future-proof — always with the very latest protection. With cloud, there's also no issue of having to maintain legacy hardware and server upkeep or pay for annual licenses you no longer need: you can simply pay for what you're actually using, giving much more flexibility to scale up a growing business or scale down after a major project is completed.
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