From RubinBrown, Certified Public Accountants

According to the “Construction Technology Trends 2018 Report,” approximately 81 percent of construction companies indicated that they planned to spend more on technology in the current year compared to the previous year. Some of that investment involves replacing outdated software or upgrading to more integrated, user-friendly software. 

But where to start? Here is a three-step guide for those in the construction industry:

Step 1: Evaluate cost. Cost is a huge factor in new software and you must balance what you need versus what you want to spend. Items that can impact cost include:
Company size and number of users. For example, cloud-based solutions are usually priced based on the number of users and the modules or features you want to access.
Development of specialized reports. Are they included or extra?
Upgrades. Is there a monthly maintenance cost or do you pay for updates as you go?
Storage and backup. Are there costs associated with additional storage or backup procedures?

Step 2: Evaluate ease of use and mobile capabilities. The software you select should:
Be user-friendly for both field staff and management.
Be easily accessible for both field staff and management. Can you access the software anytime, anywhere from a desktop or laptop computer as well as a mobile device (tablet, smartphone, etc.)?
Does it allow for VPN access, screen sharing, and more?

Step 3: Evaluate your company’s unique needs. Some questions to ask include:
Will this software grow with your business?
Do you want an integrated system? (i.e., if you enter data in one module, it automatically updates another).
Modules specific to your business outside of an accounting system such as:
Project management
Estimating and job costing
Building Information Modelling (BIM)
Service management
Document management

To build a list of potential software vendors, try reaching out to the industry associations affiliated with your company for recommendations. Some may even offer member discounts.