It’s typically not until the end of the day at the construction site that the field personnel sit down to collect and enter all the time and expenses for their crews, equipment and other charges for that day. It’s late and they are in a rush to get it done so it’s inevitable that mistakes are made. Things get coded to the wrong place, charges are missed, incorrect rates are used, etc. All these errors are compiled, submitted and ultimately routed to the finance team for processing. And this is where the nightmare begins.
Finance is responsible for ensuring data accuracy in cost tracking before billing clients, paying vendors or routing charges through payroll. It’s not that site foreman can’t be detailed – it’s just that they have a very different spectrum of priorities. What this translates to, is that the finance team is tasked with finding and correcting data entry errors from the jobsite.
Shifting the burden of responsibility
But what if you could shift the burden of responsibility and distribute it among various parties involved in the process? By using a cost tracking software, like 4castplus, you can pre-configure all the items that get tracked from the jobsite to provide site personnel with a contained list of codes, tasks, resources, rates, etc. to use in entering their daily labor, equipment and materials. This significantly reduces errors in project cost tracking by taking the guess work out of data entry.
Project managers can also leverage the necessary tools available in the software and make daily adjustments on items that the site personnel are tracking, including available tasks, resource assignments etc.
With 4castplus, you can pre-code, pre-assign and setup:
- Cost and billing rates. There’s no need for the site foreman to know the hourly rate (cost or billable) for each member of his/her crew, or equipment, or subcontractor, or materials. All of this should be administered from the office. All the site foreman has to enter is the quantity, and the rest is automatically filled in by the software.
- Labor rate rules. The software can be set up to know how to allocate overtime hours, for example. We call this Composite Rates.
- Tasks. Project managers should have the ability to limit the tasks available to the site personnel to track against. While there may be 50 tasks on a project, only a handful of those may be relevant on any given day. All the tasks can be pre-coded so that the site personnel are not burdened with accounting codes.
- Expenses like leave of absence and mileage. All labor expenses can be pre-assigned and the rates configured.
- Staffing resources.To avoid the chances of entering the wrong person for the wrong task, the project managers can pre-assign their crew members to tasks.
- Uploaded documents.There are normally a variety of documents that are important to daily activities like drawings, reports, etc. 4castplus offers an easy upload mechanism for the field personnel to drag and drop documents into the right buckets. These ‘buckets’ should classify the documents and tag them with the appropriate metadata for easy retrieval.
- Minimum and maximum hour constraints.You can setup the minimum and maximum number of hours to be entered in for each labor resource.
- Checklists.You can set up an easy way to check what hasn’t yet been entered for the day.
- Mandatory items.You can set up mandatory data fields that you need to fill out before you can submit labor, expenses or materials for approval.
- Multi-level approval workflows.You can set up approval workflows to ensure data accuracy before anything goes to the finance department.