Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Fred?
Fred Ode is the founder and CEO/Chairman of Foundation Software, Inc. Fred started the company in 1985 after his experience working with other construction software programs had shown him that the industry lacked a software package powerful enough to meet its unique accounting demands while being flexible enough to meet a client’s specific needs.
Today Fred is an active leader, putting the people and processes in place to ensure that Foundation Software continues to grow and evolve far into the future. You can often see him at construction association meetings and other construction-related events, but you’ll just as likely find him relaxing at his favorite place—the golf course! You can always e-mail Fred directly if you have any questions.
What makes FOUNDATION’s construction software different than its competitors?
There are many reasons why FOUNDATION stands above its competition. Among them are:
- Better technology. FOUNDATION is built on Microsoft® SQL Server®, one of the most powerful and secure databases available. That means technology built from the ground up with a commitment to continuous improvement, something our clients understand well.
- Complete date sensitivity, meaning that any report can be run for any date. This allows you to run financial statements, aging reports, etc., for any time period in the history of your database.
- Doesn’t force a hard-close. FOUNDATION construction accounting software offers features to “lock down” the dates of transactions but also has the flexibility to allow adjustments into prior periods, further maintaining date sensitivity on reports.
- Fully integrated general ledger and job costing. This allows you to run financial statements by job—an excellent tool for really seeing with precise data the impact of each job on your business.
- Powerful defaulting. Data entry in FOUNDATION is much easier to use than in its competitors because so much information can input automatically based on your customized setup. For example, to enter an invoice, you may have to complete as little as four fields. The rest of the information can be set just once to default every time, with easy overrides.
- Superior training and support. Training to go live on the system is included in your purchase price, as is six months of toll-free phone support, Web support, online help and regular updates. Many systems have hidden training and support costs and are much more difficult to set up on your own.
Do you have references from contractors who use your construction software?
Absolutely! Many of our clients are more than happy to talk with you about FOUNDATION. You can view several testimonials, or if you would like to talk to someone personally, please contact our sales department for a list of these clients and their contact information. (To respect our clients’ privacy, we do not publish this information online.)
How can I see a demo of FOUNDATION?
We offer demonstrations several ways. You can watch an online demonstration to see brief highlights of the software, schedule a live online demonstration with a sales representative who can take you inside the system and discuss any specific features you need, or schedule an in-person visit by a sales representative. Why not watch the online demo now?
How do I know your company will be around to support me in a few years?
FOUNDATION Software has a long history of success and has carefully planned for longevity. We have been in business since 1985, and we have turned a profit every one of those years. This cash has been carefully reinvested in our research and development efforts, as well as in liquid reserves to ensure the company’s stability even in an economic downturn. We have no outside investors or venture capitalists, allowing us to maintain complete, internal control over the company’s direction and balance sheet. As a result, we can confidently say that we will be around for a long time to grow and support FOUNDATION construction accounting software.
Why don’t you use local dealers to resell your construction software?
FOUNDATION is programmed, sold and supported out of our headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio, and several satellite offices. Because we carefully interview, hire and train all of the staff involved with FOUNDATION, we can ensure that all of our employees are well-educated in our software and that they follow the Foundation Software philosophy. While our home office might not be in your backyard, we promise that when you work with our sales and support departments, it will feel just like we’re just down the road!
What are the minimum hardware requirements for your construction software?
FOUNDATION does not require you to buy any specialized computers or servers and will work on most businesses’ existing equipment. However, as with any software, there are recommended minimums.
How much does FOUNDATION cost?
We recognize that cost is an important factor in your decision to purchase FOUNDATION. However, pricing depends on many factors, such as the number of modules purchased, the number of user licenses required, etc. We would be happy to offer a ballpark price with some information from you regarding your needs. Please contact our sales department for pricing.
Will you meet the requirements of my union?
FOUNDATION is specifically designed for contractors, many of whom are union or work prevailing wage jobs. We work hard to ensure that all aspects of the system will work under the various complex requirements of local unions and government authorities. We easily accommodate union payroll and reporting (including multiple unions and home/away logic) as well as certified payroll, or, Davis-Bacon functions.
What language is FOUNDATION programmed in?
The front end of FOUNDATION is programmed in both PowerBuilder and Delphi, both of which are designed to handle systems with a tremendous number of transactions and allow FOUNDATION to design complex reports with relative ease. The database is Microsoft® SQL Server®, which is renowned for its stability and security and can accommodate large amounts of data.
How secure is FOUNDATION?
All FOUNDATION data is stored in a Microsoft® SQL Server® database, which boasts extensive security, including password encryption and built-in measures to protect data in the event of hardware failure. In addition, FOUNDATION has integrated security features that let you control each user’s access to individual windows. It offers separate payroll security to protect sensitive salary information as well as optional project manager security to protect job cost information by the manager on each job. A thorough audit trail is maintained so that all voids, reversals and adjustments are saved and can be reported.
How long does it take to make the switch to FOUNDATION?
The answer depends on many variables, such as the amount of data to transfer, the number of people involved with data transfer and training, etc. Some clients have gone live quickly. Others take a bit longer. On average implementation takes a few weeks through a couple months to complete. Planning the implementation and creating an individualized timeline for your company will be an important step in the process. Rest assured that we have developed a systematic approach and will work with you every step of the way to ensure a painless and successful conversion.
Can you transfer the data from my old accounting software?
Yes. Our ConversionQuick™ process can automatically import “maintenance” data (such as employees, vendors, customers, jobs, equipment items, etc.) from many systems, including QuickBooks™, Peachtree, Master Builder and more. Some historical data can also be imported. For more detailed information on what’s possible, contact our sales department.
Do you offer support in my local area?
Foundation Software offers support out of our headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio. We do not use dealers or outside sales or support representatives because we believe we can ensure higher-quality service from one centralized location. All of our support representatives and trainers go through an extensive training process to ensure that the best possible help will be available for you. In addition, we offer a toll-free telephone number with extended support hours so that a live staff is available through business hours even on the West Coast. Our phone is always answered by a real person—no automated systems or long on-hold times to deal with! And you can easily convey the urgency of your call. If you’re in the middle of payroll or have a CPA or computer specialist on-site, your call will take priority.
Can you recommend a CPA firm that specializes in construction?
We maintain a directory of CPA firms who work with construction clients, some of which work with FOUNDATION clients. We do not specifically endorse any of these firms; however, we are known for accommodating CPAs and are preferred by many. If your current CPA is not familiar with FOUNDATION, we offer documentation and other services specifically for CPAs to help them understand how the system works and its advantages for both you and them. For more information on these services, please visit our CPA Overview page.