Looking for a Spark
Edison Electric Co., Inc. of Glen Burnie, Maryland, is a full-service electrical contractor with a half century of history around Baltimore. With times changing to a faster pace and stiffer competition, their current accounting software was not providing all the elements of job costing in a timely manner.
“Most tasks were performed manually,” their controller, Beverly remembers. In 2007, Edison was still running on an off-the-shelf small-business accounting program. Not only was job costing out of the question for their current software, but certified payroll and AIA billing were more than the general-purpose accounting system could handle. All of that meant a lot of extra work on their end, managing spreadsheets and doing their own calculations. Over/under billing was rarely considered until the job and billing was completed.
But 2007 was precisely when it became more important than ever to know where all of their cash flow went. As the market was beginning to turn for the construction industry, Edison needed stronger reporting, greater inventory control and more efficiency.
When Beverly was brought on board, she and Edison’s owner, Michael, were in agreement. They needed a true construction accounting application. Beverly was no stranger to construction accounting software, however. And her experience with it? “It was pretty painful researching the options.” Fortunately, Michael’s research and conversations with other contractors led him to FOUNDATION®, and Edison Electric Co. entered a new era in their accounting system.
Running on Full Power
There can be a number of reasons why construction businesses might hang on to outgrown or outdated software. Sometimes they’re unsure about committing to a difficult implementation process or concerned about a steep learning curve for their staff. Sometimes they’ve heard from other contractors how complicated and cumbersome these systems can be. Really, they just need the right one.
“FOUNDATION is one of the easiest systems,” Beverly declares. With robust job costing and payroll, plus A/R, A/P, subcontract and additional modules, it’s no lightweight — but seamless integration between modules saves on redundant data entry, and its custom construction report designers make it easier for Edison to pull the information it wants. “The screens are very friendly, and it seems like you can know anything right away.”
Plus Foundation Software’s three-phase implementation process equips users for success through a sequence of custom planning, individualized training and a thorough wrap-up. “I find it very user-friendly,” she adds. “I’ve never found it difficult to find anything I was looking for.” She finds it helps too that Foundation stays in touch with regular tips and tricks to make sure she’s getting the most out of the program.
But it’s not enough that software is easy enough to figure on your own. When questions come up, “The other thing is that the support is top-notch,” Beverly adds. “With FOUNDATION, as soon as we put in a request, it’s handled right away. The technicians know the software thoroughly and assist with any IT problems that arise in a friendly and professional manner.”
Beyond being easy to use and well-supported, switching to FOUNDATION has become a part of a major step forward for Edison Electric Co.’s back office. The benefits have been numerous, from simpler certified payroll to regularly updated job cost reports to tighter inventory controls, but there’s an even bigger picture. A robust, multi-user system, it’s also helped to organize and streamline the accounting operations they’ve implemented. “Everyone knows what piece they have,” Beverly reflects. “It’s been a really good program for us.”