When your firm adopts project accounting, you’ll get information that’ll change the way you do business. By practicing accounting on a project-by-project basis, you’ll get data that will make you understand your projects, employees, clients, and firm on a deeper level. Consequently, you’ll be able to dramatically increase efficiency and profits.
Before this happens, though, you need to lay the groundwork, and it involves a whole lot of numbers. You need to track and analyze metrics related to each one of your projects. Yet with the right tools, doing this is surprisingly simple. You just have to be consistent.
Develop the Habit of Tracking Your Time and Expenses
Time and expense tracking is foundational for analyzing any type of business that works on a project basis, especially AEC firms.
Even if you charge fixed fees for your projects, you could be missing out on hard-earned cash by not tracking your time. You need to make sure you charge enough to cover all the effort that goes into your projects.
After all, it’s difficult to know if your projects are even profitable without examining the resources that went into them.
Find the Tools to Make It Simple
Despite the importance of managing time and expenses, it’s never easy to get your employees (and, let’s face it, yourself) to fill out their time cards.
Find software that gives you flexible tracking options, like timers and intuitive time cards. A mobile app will make things even easier. Ideally, you should also be able to centralize all of your information that’s related to those time and expense entries by attaching notes and documents to them.
Assign Staff to Projects, Phases, and Tasks
It’s worthwhile to see how many total hours an employee worked, but it’s even better to specifically know what they were doing. You should start with assigning your staff to the appropriate projects, phases, and tasks within your software.
This is one of the ultimate solutions to the questions, “What is everyone working on?” and “What am I supposed to be working on!?!” With a list of the right assignments in front of you (and pre-populated on your time card), organization is easy.
Combine Time, Expenses, and Projects With Billing and Accounting
Depending on how you work, the above types of data might be considered optional when it comes to keeping your business healthy (even though we disagree). However, everyone has to do billing and accounting.
Putting your billing and accounting data on the same platform as your time, expenses, and projects will make many kinds of analysis infinitely easier. You’ll make billing decisions in real time, prevent budget overruns, understand your staff’s workload, and properly manage your cash flow. Forecasting, budgeting, and even hiring will be more straightforward when you can properly predict—and optimize—the amount of cash flowing into your firm. Moreover, your clients will appreciate your accurate estimates, realistic timelines, and improved efficiency.
All of these benefits come from an essential foundation. And with the right project accounting software, it’s easier than ever to lay it.
About BQE Core:
BQE Core sets the standard for billing, time & expenses, project management, and accounting software for professional services.
Made by award-winning BQE Software, it gives professionals the speed, flexibility, and visibility they need to accelerate productivity, boost profits, and spend more time doing what they love. Core boasts comprehensive dashboards, native mobile apps, in-depth reports, a bevy of customizable features, and a revolutionary pricing structure.
To learn more about BQE Core or schedule a walk-through demonstration today, visit www.bqe.com/core.
More from Author
Steven Burns | Jun 15, 2018
4 project management mistakes to avoid at all costs
Helpful tips for managing projects more effectively
Steven Burns | May 8, 2018
5 tips to improve employee utilization (and morale)
Ways to increase productivity and revenue, while providing a supportive workplace environment
Steven Burns | Apr 3, 2018
4 reasons to take a closer look at your project metrics
We've all heard that data is important, but what role does it really play in your business?
Steven Burns | Mar 28, 2018
6 strategies to keep your project on budget
Here are six strategies to keep your projects on or even under budget.
Steven Burns | Jan 3, 2018
4 networking strategies to grow your business
Follow these networking strategies to grow your architectural business with the work that you want.
Steven Burns | Dec 28, 2017
Why every AEC firm needs project accounting
While standard financial accounting is essential for the health of your business, project accounting helps drive the success of individual projects.
Steven Burns | Dec 12, 2017
3 tips to address the top causes of budget overruns
The most cited issues are communication breakdowns, inadequate fees for the work provided, and unrealistic deadlines or schedules.
Steven Burns | Nov 30, 2017
4 invoicing tips that'll actually make your clients smile
There are techniques you can use with your invoices that both highlight your firm’s value and make the process more convenient for clients.
Steven Burns | Nov 16, 2017
Growing your AEC firm through an exceptional client experience
Many small AEC firms don’t feel they have the time to focus and create clear marketing messages.