Accounting Software for Construction | Foundation in Action
16 March 2018

Agile Project Accounting Accelerates a Contractor’s Growth

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If it’s a highly complex, detail-oriented job, Adams Masonry wants it — whether that’s heavy industrial, heavy commercial, a hospital, a school or a historic restoration. “Those are the projects that need to see numbers really come out,” VP Neal Adams explains. “That’s where FOUNDATION comes in.”

“We’re developing a niche,” he explains proudly, “where if you have to build something technical in the tri-state area, you’re going to call us.” Started in 1986 with Neal’s father, Chattanooga-based Adams Masonry has laid quality, efficiency and safety as their cornerstone values. Neal joined the family company in 2010 and is making it his mission to bridge these first-generation values to the company’s future. To do that, they look increasingly to precision, new efficiencies and fast, actionable data.

“We Knew We Had to Change”

Until last year, Adams Masonry ran their projects on a legacy accounting system and separate project management program. Both were tethered to their office computers. From the field, they depended on paper timesheets to come in. That kept the office out of the loop on job progress for a week at a time.

“It had always been in the back of our minds that we needed to change,” Neal says. “We looked at a number of different options. Then we came upon FOUNDATION.”

Foundation sales manager Garett Fuller walked them through demonstrations and how FOUNDATION could fit what they hoped to accomplish. “It was much lower-pressure. We came in and said, ‘This is who we are, and this is what we want to do,’ and they were very helpful in saying who they were, what they could do and how it works. It was refreshing how much more laid-back the sales approach was.”

“I Love Being Able to See Everything”

Today, they manage their jobs with FOUNDATION SaaS® on the cloud. “We’re able to track everything from RFIs to submittals to change orders and have that easily transition from pending to approved and automatically update AIAs. I love being able to see everything when I come in. We use the executive reports daily, and our accountant loves being able to drill down into the actual invoice. It’s been really nice to go in anytime and find the answers we’re looking for.”

Mobile has been a part of that change too. “All our foremen update time on tablets, so we’re able to sync time and quantities and see costs in the office sooner. We can make those decisions quicker and easier on more timely information.”

“We had a job start recently,” he remembers, “where I was able to crack open my laptop on the site, see we weren’t hitting our time quotas and say, ‘What’s going on?’ We were able to see they needed another person and make that adjustment immediately.”

Neal continues, “It’s really simple for us to jump on and find out what we need. It’s really nice to go in and not have to bug our accounting people and get the answer for ourselves.” That’s true for their CPA too, who can access their database remotely. “Our accountant logs in to FOUNDATION and instantly pulls up an invoice. It makes the whole audit procedure so much easier. He goes, ‘You are the only guys we work with that has something like this.’ Now they can do a lot from their office.”

“Having That Support Made It a Whole Lot Easier”

Moving from one accounting system to another is no small task, and Adams Masonry had help the whole way. Foundation Software offers data conversion, training, and continuing education support. Getting started, Neal says, “There was a time when several times a day we would see ‘Foundation’ on the caller ID. Honestly,” he laughs, “I think our office manager and CFO are on a first-name basis with your support people by now.”

Those challenging early days are behind them. But Neal and his company know that the support is still there when they need it. “It’s been tremendous being able to pick up the phone or click ‘log-a-call’ in the software and be able to get answers really quickly. Every system has its quirks, but having that support staff walk us through it has made that transition a whole lot easier.”

“It’s How We See Ourselves Moving Forward”

“My goal,” Neal concludes, “has been to really utilize technology and develop it for us to help us handle those really complex, detail-oriented projects. That’s where technology like BIM [building information modeling], iPads in the field, document management and FOUNDATION come in — getting everyone on the same page.”

“Moving to a system that’s more robust and more agile has been a real help as we’ve grown,” he adds, “to see these efficiencies and be able to take on more work. That transition has been the driving force in how we see ourselves moving forward.”

 

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