If there’s one problem with technology, it’s that when it’s working best, it does exactly what we tell it to do. Bob may have worked seven hours, but if his thumb accidentally hits the “8” on his tablet without him noticing, guess how many hours will be logged on his timecard. That payables invoice might be for $1,050, but if Sue hasn’t had enough coffee yet when she keys it into their accounting system, that check might print out for $1,500. The answer of course isn’t to avoid technology; it’s to use some simple controls and checks that may already be available with your software.
Think about the old adage: measure twice, cut once. Two sets of eyes are always better than one. Let’s be realistic: Mistakes happen. And if someone misread a number the first time they saw it, how likely is he to catch it when he checks his work 10 seconds later? Wouldn’t it better to have a fresh set of eyes? This is exactly where technology can help save technology from its users!
Utilize Routing Rules
One way to help reduce inefficiency and loss from human error is to establish routing rules. For example, each invoice for a job may need approval from the project manager before it’s recorded into payables. For a company with tighter controls, the owner may want a chance to review certain incoming invoices as well. Accomplishing this doesn’t mean that papers need fly from desk to desk and risk getting lost in the shuffle, though.
Foundation® construction accounting software routes invoices and documents within the system, including scanned images. Users can set any number of custom routing rules, as basic as sending all invoices to a single approver or as sophisticated as requiring different approval paths for different criteria. With Foundation, it’s easier than it sounds! And with Outlook® integration, email alerts can be sent automatically when action needs to be taken.
Set Mobile Approvals
Mobile applications for the field certainly provide another way to curb the errors that come from illegible handwriting and misplaced papers. But what about mobile entry errors? Remember Bob with his fumbling thumbs and timecard mistake. By the time payroll data needs to be double checked and corrected in the system, time has to be spent on reentry — and that’s if anyone remembers the right hours from last week. Even if it doesn’t delay check printing, that mistake made it one step closer to posting than you ever want it to.
With Foundation mobile®, however, PMs can review and approve timecards right from the field using a smartphone, tablet or laptop, regardless of how they were entered. When the project manager pulls up Bob’s timecard before submitting, he can spot the error and either correct it himself or add a note and send it back for Bob to fix on his own device. Before timecard data ever makes it to payroll, users of top applications can easily ensure accuracy from the field.
Even when mobile data goes into the accounting system, users of fully integrated applications like Foundation are able to search, review and select field data such as equipment usage, timecard entries and quantities complete. This lets system users in the office be an additional check to control data integrity, without additional work and without slowing down the flow of data. With a single click, the system syncs, and nothing from the field has to be reentered in the office.
Construction technology is increasingly letting job data move faster, and sometimes it’s harder to tell which can be the scarier part of the equation: the tech or the human element. But with the best of construction accounting software, document controls and system checks can help companies eliminate the costly mistakes of user error. Let Foundation show you why it’s America’s #1 Construction Accounting Software®, and see how it’s designed to maintain the best data for the best contractors.