Barwis Construction was founded on the premise of “safely delivering only the highest of quality projects, completed on time, and within budget.” But while they delivered consistently for their customers, they found their books starting to get unorganized, and they knew that something had to change. They needed accounting software for construction.
One Step at a Time
The Berks County, Pennsylvania contractor started out doing primarily highway work. An off-the-shelf accounting program served their needs for a little while, according to administrator Charlene Barwis. But as the company’s business grew to include site development, transportation, utility installation and design build, they needed several different systems to report accounts receivable, accounts payable and job costing. The biggest problem, however, was payroll.
State work was becoming increasingly confusing, says Charlene. “We had to manually adjust prevailing wage rates per employee, because each employee had a different fringe benefit. It became increasingly difficult and time consuming.” In addition, they were needing to fill out certified payrolls by hand and compute the complex calculations on their own.
If they had to address anything first, it was this, and their small business accounting system at the time wasn’t helping. Charlene began looking into services to alleviate these issues and soon discovered Payroll4Construction.com, a payroll service designed specifically for contractors.
Barwis went live with Payroll4Construction.com in March 2016 and breathed easier as their payroll was entered and taken care of by an outside source that knew the industry requirements and could begin to help with job costing.
The Next Big Step: Construction Accounting Software
Although they found their books on the right path to organization and accuracy with payroll taken care of, office manager Dawn Barzd says there was still some tightening to take place elsewhere. “There were tons of headaches,” she explains. They needed a better method of carrying through job costing beyond just their payroll. “We were doing it,” says Dawn, “but we were taking information from invoices and putting it into Excel. Things weren’t going to the right jobs, things were missing . . . it was all very messy.” Then there was all the specialized billing and reporting they were having to do outside of their accounting system as well. They were ready for the next step: construction accounting software.
That’s when they decided Payroll4Construction.com’s sister company, Foundation Software, could really tend to their other needs. Barwis went live with FOUNDATION® construction accounting software in January 2017. Like the transition to Payroll4Construction.com, Dawn says, it was very smooth moving to FOUNDATION.
Since the implementation, the company has been running efficiently and more organized. “We’re happy to have FOUNDATION because they know costing and construction,” says Dawn. “And, Payroll4Construction.com is great because we can track employees on a certain job, on a certain day, and for how long. That’s extremely helpful for unemployment compensation.” Sure, construction payroll is now easier to manage with FOUNDATION than it ever was on their old accounting system. But having experienced how well the two companies work together for them, Barwis isn’t looking back.
Taking the Path Forward
Barwis Construction knows that committing to success is a long road. And they’re happy with how the journey has gone so far. There was no shortage of calls made in those early months as they learned the software, Charlene remembers with a laugh, but “the support team is tremendous — very patient.” As Dawn recalls the implementation process, she adds their trainer was “amazing” and always responded to emails within an hour.
Dawn and Charlene learned immediately to take advantage of the continuous support and training that Foundation offers its clients. Even after the many beginning support calls, they can always learn more, plus get a refresher course. “In fact,” Dawn explains, “I’m signed up for a webinar this month on Unit Price Billing. It’s very helpful to revisit training and be able to ask any questions we might have.”
Having come a long way in their bookkeeping processes, the Barwis Construction team can now rest assured that the promise they deliver on day after day in the field is one they experience for themselves: “the highest quality projects, completed on time.”