The Best Tools For More Effective Job Costing In Construction

By Jennifer Dawson

Construction is incredibly vital to all aspects of our society, but it’s also a big contributor to worldwide emissions. According to the World Green Building Council, about 39% of the world’s carbon emissions come from construction projects, with a whopping 8% of global CO2 production coming from concrete alone. In addition to research into fuels, concrete, and other new materials, construction firms around the world are turning to advanced software to help stay environmentally friendly and reduce waste.

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While it doesn’t change the impact of burning a unit of fuel, using modern digital tools in your construction projects can help you stay on top of things and achieve every aspect of your job more efficiently, from design to project management to job costing. With more accurate estimates, better planning, less waste, and optimized designs, today’s construction projects can be completed less expensively while also reducing emissions.

The Best Digital Job Costing Tools

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Job costing isn’t fun or glamorous, but it’s an important step if you want your projects to remain accountable and on budget. These days, job costing software comes in all sorts of packages, ranging from old-school desktop apps like Cleopatra Enterprise to new cloud-based tools like Bauwise. Modern offerings allow you to interface with the software on a mobile device from anywhere, letting you or a trusted worker update things from job sites without needing to find a computer or an ethernet cord. These tools also interface with your accounting software and your company’s other software tools, including SharePoint, GDrive, and more.

Perhaps most importantly, another thing that should be in your arsenal is a time value of money calculator, which is a vital tool for any big project. If you have to buy a bunch of materials now and you won’t get paid for them for weeks or months, it’s important to know exactly how much interest you could have earned on that money in an interest-bearing account. This calculator will allow you to charge a fair amount and recoup the opportunity cost of spending money from your clients, helping you maintain a profitable business. 

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Why Software is so Important

Job costing, like most other forms of bookkeeping, has been totally revolutionized by the advent of personal computers. Maintaining a chart of costs, dates, values, and projects by hand is difficult and time-consuming, but your computer (or phone) can maintain and edit this information with ease. The key to accurate job costing is to have access to a rich library of previous projects and accurate data, allowing you to make accurate estimates about both the cost of materials, how much of each material will be needed, and how much labor a project will take. Good job costing software can help. Modern software helps maintain and update your database of past projects while also giving you the tools you need to make accurate estimates based on data from other companies and sources. You’ll be able to update your job costing as jobs move forward, allowing you to recognize when projects are over or under budget and make the appropriate corrections before it’s too late.

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Efficient, Painless Projects with Digital Tools

Proper job costing helps projects stay on budget and on time. Finding out that you need to switch materials, suppliers, or plans partway through a project can be a big contributor towards waste and increase costs unnecessarily. By starting off with proper job costing and updating things as you go, you can help make sure that you can stick with your plans for the duration of a job and make important decisions before it’s too late. Using modern digital job costing platforms will help you keep your construction projects efficient. Not only will you save money, you’ll also help do your part to reduce emissions worldwide by running a tighter project. It’s a win-win.

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The article was contributed by Jennifer Dawson.