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Architectural accounting software tracks costs by individual job and records client information. Since billing for services is usually measured in units of time, the software is usually equipped with time-logging abilities and the ability to allocate time to different projects and clients. In-depth analysis should also be available from breaking down each project into organized steps within a set schedule. Time can be designated as either billable or non-billable.
In this guide, we'll cover the accounting software functionality most important to architects, as well as best practices when evaluating architecture accounting software
In addition to core accounting modules such as the general ledger, accounts receivable and accounts payable, architecture accounting software typically includes the following:
|Project & Department Management||Architecture firms need to manage lengthy design projects. By automating scheduling, allocating resources, and budgeting and forecasting, firms can better ensure accurate proposals and effective use of employees.|
|Time Billing||Time and billing modules use timesheets and expense reports to funnel back into the project plan the actual costs, billable time, and non-billable time spent. This ensures accuracy in billing and in estimating for future projects and helps maximize cost recovery.|
|Customer Relationship Management||Customer relationship management (CRM) software supports lead development, marketing campaigns, and customer service by using a comprehensive database to track prospects and current/past clients. Architecture firms get most of their business from the referrals and developed relationships, CRM is critical for long-term success.|
|Document Sharing & Development||Secure document collaboration allows sharing information of projects, clients, and other records between the relevant employees. Document management could also include proposal automation, which will help the user develop high quality proposals and increase closing rates.|
|Audit Trail||Architecture accounting software should track and organize expenses and individual project steps in case of a mistake in billing or an expense that qualifies for client reimbursement.|
Like some other industry packages, architectural accounting software benefits from specific report-writing mechanisms which can deliver descriptive progress and billing documents to a client. The size of the firm will have a big impact on the software needs. For example, a larger firm, dealing with multiple projects and employees, will need more robust project and time tracking capabilities than an individual freelancer.
When evaluating architectural accounting software, buyers should consider the following:
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