“At ProNovos, we’re excited about showing construction contractors the practical benefits of taking data from accounting systems like Foundation or Sage, as well as project-management platforms like Procore, and integrating it into our cloud-based data warehouse and analytical platform,” said Bruce Orr, founder and Chief Data Scientist of ProNovos. “It saves time, money and headaches versus dealing with manually created and recreated spreadsheets and other drawbacks associated with legacy, semi-manual reporting methods.”
As Baalman sees it, many contractors do an excellent job of coding expenses to their projects in the bidding and early budgeting stages but then struggle to update those costs as the work progresses. Meanwhile, the accounting team ends up inputting the information in a slower and more labor-intensive process, in part because it can involve an extensive back-and-forth between the office and the field.
“By using an analytics platform to track how those estimated costs and revenues are changing in real-time, you reduce the kinds of miscommunication that can result in out-of-date costs,” the Baalman explained. “Real-time information is more accurate and brings your PMs and accountants into better alignment on the project.”
Historical information is more accessible and complete in analytics platforms, and these tools make it easy for contractors to slice and dice construction data based on criteria such as jobs, PMs and customers.
That in turn can give these companies valuable insights, Baalman noted.
“You could dial-in to see projects in your higher-risk window of completion—for example, those in the range of 50 or 75 percent complete—and make real-time adjustments that better allow you to hit your cost-completion targets,” the CPA said. “Especially given the challenges of today, contractors really need to have a handle on their costs and revenue streams. Cash is king in this industry. Analytics can help them manage it more effectively.”