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by Eileen O'Loughlin,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: November 24, 2015

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Architecture Accounting Software?
Common Features of Architecture Accounting Software
Evaluating Architectural Accounting Software

What Is Architecture Accounting Software?

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.

Common Features of Architecture Accounting Software

In addition to core modules such as the general ledger, accounts receivable and accounts payable, these systems typically includes the following features:

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 (CRM) CRM systems 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.

Evaluating Architectural Accounting Software

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 system 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 these systems, buyers should consider the following:

  • Can the system log hours and mark as billable or non-billable?
  • How deep are the project scheduling/progress tracking capabilities?
  • Can the system effectively manage costs and progress for multiple projects at once?
  • Does it come with solid report-writing mechanisms?

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