What I learned from talking to 1200 construction accountants in 5 months.
In the last five months, I have talked to over 1,200 accountants in construction. Reflecting on those conversations, it’s clear that there isn’t a perfect one-size fits-all software solution—nor will there ever be.
In absence of a perfect solution, those in construction need what marketing and sales professionals call the ‘growth stack.’
The growth stack is their personal combination of all of the different pieces of software they use to improve their job performance and make their jobs run smoother. Growth stacks are the tools or pieces of software that combine together to make a perfect software mix for their needs.
1) How can construction companies use this growth stack principal to improve their processes?
In July, I was talking to a builder who uses QuickBooks. The company was happy with their current accounting software, but they wanted it to do more. They had a ‘good’ process for tracking subcontractor documents, but it was becoming overwhelming for their staff. The amount of work to be done no longer fit within the work week.
Even with their rapid growth and this inconvenience, they didn’t want to commit themselves to an expensive software solution which offers many features and tools which they may never use.
Yet there had to be a better way.
The goal was clear: “How do you electronically manage your lien waivers from your existing construction accounting software?”
They needed a lien waiver software tool that could pull information from the construction accounting software and generate all the waivers at once. They needed a way to generate all the lien waivers in bulk using their exact lien waiver template approved by their legal counsel.
But QuickBooks doesn’t do lien waivers.
They started to look for an affordable software solution that solved that exact problem. They wanted a specific piece of software that they could add to their existing accounting software that would automate this simple, but time-consuming process. In doing so, they would keep what already worked wonderfully, but eliminate the hassle.
The company started by exploring multiple construction accounting software and construction project management solutions.
They had some hurdles to overcome.
Obviously, it would be nice if they could send all the waivers out for electronic signature they all came back signed the same day. But not all of their subcontractors operate the same way. Some subcontractors still wanted the ability to receive lien waivers via email and place a wet signature on the document. They also wanted the ability to print some for builders that pick up their checks. So the software should allow multiple ways to deliver the lien waivers it generates.
Also, subcontractors also often hate adopting a new process. But most software required subcontractors to login to a piece of software each time. They knew this was something that not all their builders were willing to do. So they wanted a tool that allowed their subcontractors to sign electronically without having to login to anything.
In addition to all of this, the ability to track lien waivers was also very important to them too.
2) How is the company going to save time, meet all of their requirements, and be flexible to their subcontractors?
With their clear goals in mind, they found us, their specific solution, at lienwaivers.io
Building off advancements in machine learning, lienwaivers.io’s software learnt how the company sent and received the documents so it was possible to deliver the documents in multiple ways.
For example, say they sent a lien waiver out via email and the subcontractor printed it off, signed it, notarized it, scanned it and emailed it back, what would happen? The software would read the PDF, recognize what was on that document, and automatically place that document in the appropriate folder. It also tracked them too.
Since they added our tool to their tool belt, they have let the technology do the work so the staff could focus on what’s even more important—both personally and professionally.
So all of this is to say: You don’t need one piece of expensive software to try to solve all your work pain points. It’s tough for one piece of construction management software or construction accounting software to be great at everything. It might be better to have multiple best-of-class solutions stacked together to address your needs.
These types of solutions, like lienwaivers.io, can help.