How a modern ERP solution can simplify construction accounting

March 30, 2023

How a modern ERP solution can simplify construction accounting

March 30, 2023

laptop and hard hat

ERPs offer three unique solutions to simplify construction accounting and enable your business to remain agile in a competitive marketplace. Optical Character Recognition technology, trade portals, and API integrations can streamline the processes of your accounting and administration team and provide data-driven insights to support the success of your construction company.

Tanner MacDonald

A Manager at MNP Digital, Tanner is an experienced and versatile information technology consultant with experience developing IT strategy and deploying systems. His focus is leveraging technology to generate financial improvements for companies with industry expertise and background in construction, supply chain, logistics, field service, and manufacturing.

Many construction companies are investing in technology to meet shifting industry demands, track projects, and manage costs in an era of high inflation. A multitude of industry-specific software solutions available in the marketplace promise to support the delivery of high-quality projects that come in under budget and exceed your customer’s expectations — and you may be wondering which one is the best fit for your business.

There are many different types of solutions, but enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms such as Acumatica Construction Edition can provide a host of benefits to your company. ERPs offer support tailored to the specific needs of your industry to help your business leverage project performance or create a strategy to manage and complete your projects efficiently.

ERPs connect the applications you need to run your business effectively through a single cloud-based interface to help you communicate with clients, monitor costs, and respond to the evolving needs of your industry.

Let’s explore three critical tools ERP solutions use to support accounting and administration teams — and how we help our construction clients leverage these tools to remain agile in a competitive marketplace.

Optical character recognition tools

Optical character recognition (OCR) technology uses automation to extract data from a document or image file such as an invoice attached to an email. It can collect the information you need quickly and accurately, improving efficiency in your administration and accounts payable departments by reducing data entry time and minimizing human error.

Earlier versions of ERP solutions required you to manually enter AP bills after you received an email with an attached invoice from a vendor or trade. This process could be time-consuming and introduced room for errors. Integrating OCR technology empowers your team to easily manage documents and automate data entry tasks.

OCR features and modern software can now be configured in your ERP to recognize attached invoices automatically and create AP invoices with a single click.

When determining which OCR tool is the right fit for your organization, look for solutions that combine approval logic, workflows, and automation designed to fit your business requirements. These features will help eliminate time spent on paper and invoice process steps — giving you more time to focus on running your business.

Trade portals

Billing delays directly impact your construction company’s ability to track and manage your project costs. Many of our clients have identified a need for faster, more accurate, and collaborative billing processes to monitor real-time project expenses and streamline communication across stakeholders such as trades, owners, and general contractors.

An ERP solution can give your trades and vendors access to a secure online portal. This one-stop location enables flexible, interactive, real-time communications between stakeholders and your organization’s employees.

Trade portals also offer capabilities to send individual or group messages between users, including documents and reports. This simplifies communication by keeping it all in one place, instead of sending emails, making phone calls, or performing downloads to wireless devices — minimizing the risk of missing important information.

Just remember to implement best practices for user access such as two-factor authentication, regular software updates, and account monitoring to reduce system security risks and keep your confidential information secure.

API integrations

Application programming interfaces (APIs) define how different applications interact with each other, playing an essential role in modern business strategy as one of the building blocks of current software applications.

APIs can significantly enhance the use of ERP software for your business. Through our partnerships with construction companies, we’ve found many use specialized applications for business functions (e.g., AutoCAD or estimating tools). APIs ensure that your ERP solution is easily accessible to other applications and systems — and vice versa.

Additionally, APIs can help export data from your ERP software to other platforms such as a business intelligence service, where advanced dashboards, graphics, and reports make it easier for analysts or key stakeholders to discover hidden insights and chart the course of your business forward towards success.

Take the next steps towards success

ERP solutions offer a host of industry-specific tools to help your construction company complete projects on time and on budget. OCR technology, trade portal tools, and API integrations are just a few of the ways ERPs can support your business to automate tasks, track costs, and analyze results to remain agile in an ever-changing business environment.  

Take the next steps

Our team can assist with selecting the proper platform for large language models, determining which ones to use, and how to implement, secure, and optimize your data and AI cloud services.

If you’re ready to put generative AI to work for you, contact MNP’s knowledgeable and experienced AI team to learn how to get started.