Not all Time Tracking Integrations with Construction Accounting Systems or ERPs are Created Equal
Not all Accounting Integrations with Employee Time Tracking Solutions are Created Equal
By: Mike Merrill, COO
Activity-based cost coding is mission-critical for your construction company. Accurate time and cost tracking help you manage costs, identify profit centers within your business, and sets you up for sustained growth for the future. Are you tired of spending all of your time reallocating costs on projects because employees are reporting time on the wrong projects and assigning the wrong tasks or cost codes? Wouldn’t it be nice to have job or project-restricted cost codes based on the actual scope of work instead of just a full list of all the possibilities for employees to select on their time sheets or daily field log reports? Many cost accountants and project managers get frustrated that they have meticulously organized and logical project cost accounts set up based on the specific scope of the work and it seems that they can never get the labor hours or completed work to the right cost centers without a considerable amount of manual intervention.
There is now a way to make sure that all of the correct project labor costs and completed work feed directly into your detailed project cost accounts into your accounting system or ERP. You did all the hard work initially, making sure that the project cost accounts are based on the scope of work with only the relevant cost codes. When you’re partnering with an employee time tracking software vendor, you want to make sure that their product truly integrates with your accounting system or ERP, so that all of your actual costs are perfectly aligned with all of your project cost accounts. Because all integrations are not created the same, you want to make sure that you select a product that honors the structure you have set up in your accounting software to achieve the most accurate daily job costs while you also minimize reallocations or adjustments once the data comes in from the field.
The most important first step in achieving accurate job costs is selecting an employee time tracking solution that has true facial recognition to make sure the right employee is clocking IN/OUT of jobs. You will want true facial recognition that doesn’t just take pictures and force you to manually compare photos to see if it is the same person. True facial recognition compares IN/OUT photos with a source image and then automatically provides you with a match percentage between two photos. It also alerts you when the match percentage falls below your predetermined acceptable match threshold. By using facial recognition, you not only make sure the right employees are clocking IN/OUT of jobs; you can also see the true cost savings that are realized. Archer Mechanical saved over $141,440 in the first year using facial recognition and by tracking employee’s time in real time rather than having supervisors clock in their whole crew.
On the left, the Clock IN photo is over a 98% match to his profile photo on the far right and his Clock OUT photo is over a 96% match. If the match was less than the acceptable 80% threshold, you would be alerted.
Now that you have confirmed that the right employee is clocking into the right job, you’ll also want to select an employee time tracking solution that allows you to capture your employees’ completed work progress easily in the same app as their employee time tracking. Here are the Top 10 Reasons to Track Production in Your Time App. With this solution in place, there are no additional reports to fill out when you’re tracking production units in the same app as your employee time tracking solution. Employees are prompted to enter their completed work as they are switching tasks throughout the day. If you only want completed work calculated at the end of the day, make sure you find a time tracking solution with multiple workflows to allow you to capture their completed work in real time or at the end of the day or week. To make sure your actual completed work matches up to the remaining work that needs to be completed in your accounting system, you also need a solution that allows you to personalize the units of measure to make sure your actual unit of measure fits your business and matches up to the budgeted amount of completed work in your accounting system planned for the project. This way you always know you’re comparing apples to apples for the same tasks and it all rolls up nicely into your accounting solution.
Now that you know the right person is Clocking IN/OUT of a job or project and capturing completed work, the next step is to simplify how the data is presented to your employees so that they can quickly and accurately assign their labor costs and completed work to the right project and the relevant cost codes or tasks as they are completing the work. You’ll want the flexibility to allocate labor hours and tasks or cost codes in real time or after the fact or a combination. Also, your company might have hundreds of project cost accounts or cost codes. When employees have too many options to select from when they Clock IN/OUT, the likelihood for mistakes that you’ll have to reallocate is pretty high.
With WorkMax’s ConnectMax integration with your accounting system, you can easily import your concrete employees into WorkMax to set up permission profiles to automatically show your concrete employees just the concrete jobs and cost codes for accurate job costs in real time.
John S. Intendant is in the concrete department and he only has permission to see concrete-related jobs. Once the permission profile is set up, every time you add a new concrete department employee, concrete job, or concrete cost code, it will automatically be added to all the concrete employees.
In the third section, you will see a list of all concrete tasks and only some of them are selected. Permission Profiles allow you to pre-assign tasks or cost codes based on your scope of work for the job to get more accurate job costs.
Although getting one employee with 100% perfectly accurate job costs is great, but it would be far more beneficial if you could get almost 100% accuracy for all of your employees’ time tracking and job costs along with all of their completed work. In order to accomplish this, you need to make sure that you present the right data to the right employees on the right job. Automated permission profiles mimic your accounting software so that all existing and future employees assigned to a department or specific role can only clock into their assigned jobs or cost codes. By automating these permission profiles coupled with true accounting software integration, the process of getting the right employees entering the right job cost information is streamlined, while all of the data integrity is maintained according to your accounting system’s project cost and organizational structure.
To see a list of the WorkMax integrations with videos to show you how easy it is to integrate WorkMax with your accounting solution or ERP, click here. Check out how easy it is to honor your accounting system’s project cost and organizational structure to get the right data to the right people at the right time by automating permissions, click here.