Closing at the end of the month can be a difficult, hectic time. Is your team struggling to complete monthly billing on time? Are you frequently approving overtime to get it done? Worse still, is the crunch causing delays and problems down the road due to errors and miscommunication? It really doesn’t have to be this way.
Stop end of the month accounting crunch.
Improve communication, decrease errors and update your back office tech. Flashtract automatically generates many construction documents in just a few clicks, saving everyone time and aggravation. Want to know how we can help? We’re happy to schedule a demo or call for some Q&A!
Construction billing already has a lot of moving parts. Needing to get everything in order, searching through emails, and checking for errors only complicates this process even more. Stop scrambling at the end of the month. You can avoid a ton of stress and wasted time by utilizing these time saving tips.
Standardize your process throughout the whole month
It can be tempting to be reactionary when dealing with a mountain of work on short notice. But the more you standardize portions of the billing process, the less you have to think about at the end of each month. Make closing easier on everyone by outlining processes ahead of time.
Start Submitting pay apps on the same day each month. It’s best to pick a day before or on the date they are due. This way everyone knows far ahead of time when they need to begin their closing tasks.
Give you and your team enough time to complete pay apps. Related to our first point, but important to consider nonetheless. Start tracking how many hours it takes for you and your team to close at the end of the month. You can avoid crunch by starting to submit payapps the last week of the month, rather than the last day. By spreading out the work over several days, you will avoid stressful and costly overtime.
Create a billing checklist and distribute to your team. Things are easier if everyone knows 100% what they are doing while closing at the end of the month. It also makes communicating what still needs to be done much easier.
Collect all necessary information in one place. Scrambling to find simple answers at the end of the month is frustrating and wastes everyone’s time. Rather than trying to gather information from several sources, all documents and data should be easily accessible in one spot.
Remove Barriers to Collaboration
Like we covered in our last bullet, getting the information you need from coworkers can be challenging. Communication is a major source of stress in many workplaces, so you’re not alone. Communication occurs in many different channels, and in many different ways. As a result, workplace issues commonly revolve around communication.
These issues are exacerbated by the many moving parts of the construction industry. Sometimes forms are not filled correctly, or emails are lost in overflowing inboxes. Sometimes, documents and important information can be spread out across desks, physical inboxes and emails. Trying to wrangle all this data in the final few days of the month is extremely stressful. To avoid unnecessary back and forth during closing at the end of the month, consider doing the following:
Set up a shared drive that everyone has access to. A singular shared drive, whether you’re using Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, or something else, can make finding documentation much easier. Files can be sorted into folders, favorited, and updated in just a few clicks, rather than searching endlessly through your inbox or filing cabinets.
Ensure that teams know who they need to report to. One common issue in construction projects is when end of the month documents are in many different places. Even worse, vital information may not have been reported to the people who needed to see it. Creating clear organizational structures can help make sure all information is in the right hands.
Use tools that notify collaborators when changes are made. A lot of miscommunication errors occur when busy people simply don’t see new changes, or when those changes are not communicated at all. Then, when closing at the end of the month, everyone realizes they are missing vital information. Using automations in your work chats or software that update as documents are uploaded and updated can take the strain out of remembering to let everyone know.
Use Technology to Make Closing at the End of the Month Easier
Obviously, tech in general is a great way to marry the two concepts above together. Technology makes communication and organization much easier than it has been in the past. Good construction billing software can make sure back office staff, and field staff both are communicating seamlessly and nearly instantly without needing tons of phone calls or emails to clear up confusion. What tools can help spare you frustration at the end of the month?
Avoid using pen & paper when handling important documents. Once upon a time, physical documents were the norm for handling documents. But there is a reason many businesses are moving towards digital storage. It can be difficult to find everything you need in a filing system, and it takes up a lot of space in the office. Finding the right documents in physical files takes far more time than typing into a search bar, also. Cloud storage for your construction billing documents makes more sense for your team, and your business.
Consider construction billing software for General Contractors. General contractors are frequently struggling with delayed pay apps, errors in spreadsheets and constant need for communication between their workers, subcontractors and the back office staff. It’s a lot to juggle in phone calls, emails and excel- too much. Using software like Flash Prime allows General Contractors to quickly communicate about project status with everyone working on the project. Additionally it automatically generates important construction documents like lien waivers and pay apps.
Give subcontractors tools to communicate & organize. Subcontractors are necessary to the successful and smooth completion of any project. However, they have to manage many expectations across different GCs, as well as communicate clearly to different parties about their work. Using subcontractor software like Flash Specialty can resolve a lot of common issues. It automatically generates AIA-style pay apps, as well as custom documents in just a few clicks. It even helps with communication as it doesn’t have a user limit and will notify GCs of new documents whether they use Flashtract or not.
Get all the tools you need for a smooth close at the end of the month.
The end of the month is not an easy time for any business. It’s the time when breakdowns in communication, outdated tech and time constraints really work against any accounting team. But luckily there are many tools and methods to help alleviate these issues. Making improvements in your accounting tools, inter-team communication and the ways you collaborate can begin to make closing at the end of the month a much less anxious time.
Are you looking for more tips on how to streamline and standardize your processes? At Flashtract, we regularly research and publish ways to help your construction business thrive. You can get more business tips to your email (and don’t worry, we don’t do spam!).