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If you want to improve profits, look to the numbers

Simple changes to your daily habits can help increase efficiency and profits.

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February 01, 2018 |
Steven Burns

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

Steven Burns | The Business Behind Design

Steven Burns, FAIA spent 14 years managing the firm Burns + Beyerl Architects, and during that time the firm’s earnings grew at an average rate of 24% per year. After founding his own software company, Steve took his management expertise to BQE Software, where he is refining their business strategy and product development for the company’s groundbreaking project accounting solution, BQE Core.

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