Construction professionals are breaking free from their reputation of being technology “stalwarts.” Since builders’ and contractors’ skills generally lie in the field rather than behind a computer, technology solutions in the cloud can dramatically streamline processes between the jobsite and the office.

In the past, in order to adopt a construction-technology solution, time and money was required to install software and maintain it as needed. Today, cloud solutions open up the technology to more businesses that don’t have the budget for a large upfront cost and installation.

One aspect of a construction business that can benefit from a cloud-based technology solution is accounting. While these processes mostly take place behind the scenes, construction businesses may find it difficult to reach their efficiency potential without streamlining the accounting department.

One new construction accounting solution offered in the cloud is JOBPOWER from Applied Computer Systems Inc., www.jobpow.com, Knoxville, Tenn. JOBPOWER, which is built on the iRent, www.irent.cc, Boston, Mass., cloud-deployment platform, handles complete accounting, construction payroll, various construction-specific billing methods, subcontracts, change orders, job budgets, and detailed job costing, among other functions. The software also includes a complete audit trail.

According to Rick DeLand, vice president of Applied Computer Systems, this offering is a direct response to what its construction customers requested. “‘Cloud’ computing is designed to provide a significant reduction of the expenses our customers incur that relate to software, servers, and IT support,” says DeLand. “The savings will help our customers achieve a higher profitability.”

In addition to JOBPOWER, the company also offers a document-management application, DocumentVision, which is also available as a cloud offering.

Another company that offers an accounting solution in the cloud is Deneb Inc., www.denebsoftware.com, Fountain Hills, Ariz., which offers eDeneb. eDeneb accounting and management software is a job cost, project accounting, and estimating application for the construction industry. Because it is in the cloud, the solution ensures data such as materials orders and project reviews can be shared between the office and the field in realtime.

By minimizing the upfront costs typically associated with software deployments and enabling anytime, anywhere access, cloud computing is lowering the barrier to entry for many builders and contractors looking to adopt cost-saving technologies.