The best construction budget software should help you keep track of ongoing costs and materials as the project continues, helping you to anticipate any variations and keep on target with the original estimate, proving its usability long after the client has accepted your proposal and the project has begun. Software options now even include report generation allowing you to submit a complete record to the client of final costs should they exceed original estimates.
How Can Construction Budget Software Help Your Company?
Software can help your business calculate the costs of equipment, labour and materials for potential client projects. The program will compile all the estimated costs and then create documents which serve as formal bid offers or proposals for projects.
After the input of required project resources, the software will calculate the project costs for you, saving valuable time and allowing you to submit your bid to the client swiftly.
Simplicity of Use and Generating Estimates
Sleek and clean interfaces which are simple to learn and use are particularly helpful when generating estimates. Choose an interface which is simple to navigate and is frequently updated.
The best software will allow you to create cost sheets, price books and import blueprint images easily, as well as create scales and take-offs. Official bids must be composed efficiently using the software, so they can be submitted to your potential client quickly.
Some budget software comes with supplier databases, which helps to ensure you have current prices which are in line with your submitted estimates.
When forming construction estimates using software, it can be a complicated process to efficiently operate the program. Therefore, readily available tutorials to learn how to use the software, along with 24/7 live chat or phone support, prove particularly popular with users.
Some companies offer extensive training materials and host in-person or remote seminars and training classes; however, this often comes at a cost.
Integrations with QuickBooks, Excel and Construction Management Software
When implementing new estimating software to the process your business uses, a large aspect of your selection should be how the program integrates with your other installed business software.
Budgeting software should be compatible with common programs that are used by construction businesses such as Microsoft Excel for spreadsheets and QuickBooks for accounting. If you previously used Excel for estimating your projects, choose a program which can effortlessly import these files.
Depending on your requirements, another feature to consider is whether the software has a mobile version of the cost estimating program. This feature is particularly helpful during construction phases of projects as you will be on-site frequently. Accessing estimate information directly from a tablet or mobile device will enable you to make decisions on-site during building.
A few construction budget programs are part of larger suites, which integrate with one another, and include other programs such as accounting, scheduling and construction management software. Depending on the requirements of your business, it may be beneficial to purchase an all-in-one suite of tools.