When running a small construction business, every dollar counts. In honor of National Small Business Week, consider doing something advantageous for your business by checking out some of the latest tech features for accounting—including software updates and the ability to make payments without a credit card using simply your mobile phone. These features are specifically designed to maximum dollars and cents for your construction business.
This week, Sage, www.sagecre.com, Beaverton, Ore., announced the general availability of Sage Peachtree 2012. Specifically for contractors, Sage Peachtree for Construction has more features to help firms control profits and make smarter business decisions.
Two years ago, Sage added a Management Center to the construction-specific software, in order to help contractors find reports, and last year the technology provider added an Inventory and Service Management Center. This year, the company brings a Vendor Management Center to Sage Peachtree Premium Accounting for Construction, which is a quick and easy way to look at vendors to make more educated decisions and negotiate better rates with suppliers.
A top priority for many construction companies today is the ability to use business-intelligence capabilities in order to generate reports and analysis. With Sage Peachtree Business Intelligence, contractors can use built-in templates for sales, purchasing, and financial reporting or create custom reports, allowing contractors to manage cash flow better.
One of the key new features in this release is Sage Advisor, which will allow construction companies to seek out advice on how to use the software. With “show me how” demos and tips and tricks, construction companies can learn how to use more functionality in the system, ultimately improving overall efficiency of accounting processes. The tips can be saved for later, or dismissed altogether, putting the decision to seek advice in the hands of the user.
Another new feature is a System Check, which allows users to monitor the health of the system, indicating the last backup, system memory, and database size. The feature gives IT and accounting professionals an easy way to manage the technology.
In other news for small-business accounting, Intuit, www.intuit.com, Mountain View, Calif., has announced an Online Payroll Mobile app. This app will allow users to access Intuit’s Online Payroll service via an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.
Taking it even further, the company has also announced its GoPayment mobile credit card processing application will use NFC (near-field communications), which means credit card data can be transferred using radio waves, eliminating the need for the actual card or add-on card reader hardware.
The significance of this news is small business will now be able to add inventory or pay for a product via mobile devices.
To add an item to inventory, contractors tap the phone against a product with a smart tag, and the information appears in the mobile payment application. To pay for a product, users simply touch their phones together, eliminating the need to swipe a credit card altogether.
While the NFC integration is still in the concept phase, Intuit plans to release the technology in the near future. The company envisions a world where, one day, small businesses will be able to make payments and get paid using mobile devices and nothing else.
For small construction businesses, there are quite a few options in today’s competitive market place to improve profit margins of projects. As the software and technology continue to advance to both streamline efficiencies and make transactions more convenient for business owners, you might consider how you can take advantage of some of these technological advances.