Forgive me for using the silo cliché. It is, however, a great word to describe the barrier that exists between the estimating and the accounting departments in many construction companies. These silos exist not only between the different professional groups but also between the different software systems used.

In order to ensure better communication between the two departments it is important to integrate the data. However, this can be problematic as direct integration is not always practical. The solution is to develop a separate financial software application that can link data from both software systems. This new application will then have the ability to compare the budgeted or priced values on the estimating system directly with the actual values on the accounting system.

Once this has been achieved, the two departments must be encouraged to work closely together in order to reduce costs, increase profits and improve pricing. Having a system that compares the figures from the two different software systems will also reduce errors and make it more difficult for personnel to manipulate the figures to their own advantage. In addition, with more efficient systems in place it is easier to provide the site management team with useful and accurate financial information. This is important because profits are made or lost on site.

In conclusion, financial data integration is crucial if construction companies are to remain competitive.

Article by Duncan Stainer