These Commercial Painters Use Construction Partner Software to Manage Multi-Company Accounting Processes for 11-State Expansion Plan
David T, President and CEO, has an ambitious goal for his growing Livermore, California-based company: to establish high quality private and public painting and related services businesses in all 11 Western states. In 2000, Dave took the first step toward that goal by acquiring another commercial painting company (WCP), based in the Seattle area. And in 2007, a Portland area branch office, (OCP), was added.
The acquisition gave Dave's company a great Pacific coast presence, but adding multi-state operations presented an accounting challenge. Although Dave had been using Construction Partner software for several years, WCP and OCP were using QuickBooks®. Consolidating financials from all operations was vital to Dave, who is a very hands-on business owner.
“We tried to continue running WCP and OCP using QuickBooks,” Theobald explains, “but it was pretty apparent that we needed a centralized accounting system to eliminate the entry of information multiple times.”
After six months of operating three different companies on two different software systems, Dave decided to convert WCP and OCP to Construction Partner and manage all companies from the Livermore location using a central server with remote user access. “The conversion went great,” he says, “because everybody in California already knew Construction Partner. The system’s multi-company processing capabilities made separate data entry for each company fast and easy.”
Today, about 30 of Dave’s 175 employees across all locations use Construction Partner’s various modules, including Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Job Costing, Payroll, Service Billing, Equipment Management and the General Ledger. And WPC now handles accounting functions like Payroll in-house for the Northwest companies.
Having a centralized accounting system gives Dave a complete picture of his business. “I can run financial reports for each individual company or consolidate the financials for an overall look,” he says. “I probably spend a couple of hours each day in Construction Partner reviewing things like cash balances, aging reports and job status information. Construction Partner is a great tool for the financial management of multiple companies.”
Terminal Server: Construction Partner is deployed at all three companies using Microsoft Terminal Server. The software is installed on a server at the California location and functionality is accessible to authorized users from any Internet connection. This has significantly streamlined management of Construction Partner updates because maintenance occurs on the server only, rather than on multiple computers in multiple locations.
This type of Construction Partner deployment has allowed Dave to increase its user counts without affecting performance. “I can have 20 or 30 people logged into Construction Partner at one time,” explains Dave. “My group in Washington can print reports, post payroll – do anything. I was recently in Miami and I logged in from my laptop to move money around and make a few entries. Construction Partner is very fast in a Terminal Server environment. It’s an awesome way to use the program – I wouldn’t set it up any other way.”
Data Security: Data security is an obvious concern when software is accessed via the Internet. Dave has security measures in place at the server level as well as user-based security within Construction Partner. “Our Construction Partner data is very well protected,” says Dave. “Throughout the years, we’ve never had a security glitch.”
Simple yet Sophisticated: Powerful functionality that is easy to use and access is one reason why Theobald enjoys his accounting system. “Construction Partner is incredibly simple to use, yet it’s sophisticated enough to provide detailed audit trails and accurate, timely data,” he says. Menu-driven functionality that is consistent across all modules makes it easy for new employees to learn Construction Partner. “I can teach people very quickly how to do what they need to do. And the less time it takes people to ramp-up, the quicker they can start making money.”
Detailed Reporting: Month-end reporting, including work-in-progress (WIP) reporting, helps Theobald keep his finger on the pulse of company profitability and catch trouble spots early. “Construction Partner gives me the opportunity to proactively manage my business,” he states. “That’s the beauty of the system.”
Greater Efficiencies: Construction Partner features, such as pre-built government forms, have translated into greater efficiencies for the company. Dave was even able to shave hours off a formerly time-intensive 401(k) reporting task. “Completing our 401(k) compliance reporting used to take about 40 hours,” he explains. “But standard functionality in Construction Partner allowed us to complete this same task in about two hours. Construction Partner saves us an enormous amount of time.”
Low Cost of Ownership: Construction Partner also delivers low cost of ownership and a fixed pricing structure. Dave's company's system includes multi-company processing and any number of networked users, with no per-user license fees. This means that the Construction Partner system can grow as new companies and users are brought on board – without adding cost. Scalability ensures that Construction Partner will be there as Dave continues his company's expansion into the Western states. “It will handle everything,” says Dave. “I’m not going to run into a wall if I double my growth next year.”
With this commercial painting company's revenues expected to reach $20M in 2008 (up from $16M in 2007), Construction Partner will continue to be a valuable financial management tool as the business grows. “I’ve used a lot of different accounting systems over the years,” concludes Dave, “but nothing compares to Construction Partner. The system is very user friendly, extremely accurate and has great security measures. I wouldn’t want to use anything besides Construction Partner to manage my business.”