A local IT expert, Holden Watne from GenIX, caught our eye with his recent blog post, "Embracing Technology for Greater Productivity in the Architecture Industry."
We see obvious parallels here. Since 2004, Supporting Strategies has embraced the power of technology for greater productivity in bookkeeping and back-office support. Just as modern architects have moved beyond drafting tables and cumbersome physical blueprints and into the digital realm, leading outsourced bookkeeping service providers leverage cloud-based software tools to reduce paperwork and increase efficiencies.
Let's look at the many ways in which outsourced bookkeeping services are a perfect fit for forward-thinking architecture firms.
By Promoting a More Efficient Use of the Architect's Time
Modern architects juggle multiple projects and responsibilities. They'll embrace solutions that enhance their mobility and let them collaborate seamlessly with clients and key team members from the office, job sites and home.
Being tethered to the office — whether to meet with an in-house bookkeeper or handle routine responsibilities like signing checks — hinders that mobility. Outsourced bookkeeping services enable architects to quickly manage tedious tasks such as reviewing invoices or approving vendor bill payments while on the go via a smartphone or a secure online platform.
Leveraging cloud-based tools, outsourced bookkeeping providers seamlessly capture and process information behind the scenes, without the architect stuck in the middle of the process. And rather than having to wait for paper reports, architects have direct online access to information whenever they need it, so they always know where they stand in terms of cash flow and other key performance indicators.
By Reducing the Interval Between Expenditures and Reimbursements
One of the challenges for architecture firms, particularly newer ones, is to manage the significant upfront costs associated with each project. Permits, license fees, plans, materials — those expenditures can quickly add up. Paper-based recordkeeping increases the time lag between when you incur those expenses and when you recoup them from your clients, restricting cash flow and limiting growth.
A cloud-based system that allows you to operate in real time using receipt-capture tools on your smartphone integrated with online billing software makes it possible to quickly, accurately and efficiently pass those expenses through as client reimbursables.
By Enabling More Transparent Job Costing
That built-in time lag with traditional bookkeeping can also create a challenge when it comes to accurate job costing. Payments that are delayed or miscategorized make it difficult to keep up with each project's profitability, or lack thereof — sometimes until it's too late to recover.
With real-time, cloud-based bookkeeping, all job costs can be immediately charged to the appropriate projects as they're incurred. That gives architects greater financial insight to determine which types of projects are most (and least) likely to turn a substantial profit.
By Allowing Architects to Focus on the Things They Do Best
Let's face it: You didn't become an architect because you dreamed of wading through paper receipts at your office or cross-referencing client invoices to client payments at the end of an already long day. You became an architect because you dreamed of turning a client's vision into something tangible, beautiful and functional. Outsourced bookkeeping services help you pursue that dream with a minimum of distraction.