For most construction companies, the bottomline is a key indicator to project success. When making decisions, a big focus these days has been on how the choice will ultimately impact the financial outcome of a project. In order to achieve optimal profitability, a lot of elements come into play.

Are you accurately scheduling labor and equipment? Are you maintaining control of financials by comparing invoices with quoted costs? Are you effectively managing your money through an executive view of the status of cash?

Technology provides the capabilities to keep a close eye on the numbers, allowing construction companies to control costs and manage accounts payable and accounts receivable more effectively. In order to accurately handle the figures on a job, some companies, such as HGC Construction Co., www.hgcconstruction.com, Cincinnati, Ohio, are integrating the estimate with accounting technology to minimize duplicate data entry and work toward a better bottomline.

While this is by no means a new concept, this week, a new partnership was announced to integrate estimating, digital takeoffs, bid day analysis, and accounting. ProEst, www.proest.com, San Diego, Calif., will now integrate its newest product, ProEst 2012, with Viewpoint V6 Software from Viewpoint Construction Software, www.viewpointcs.com, Portland, Ore.

The two technology providers have been partners for more than two years, but now it will now be easier for Viewpoint users to build integration touchpoints with ProEst since the updated estimating solution is built on the SQL database. Now that both products use this structure it means improved interoperability for the end user.

For example, HGC Construction uses detailed estimate data to manage a number of accounting tasks, such as job setup with budget, phases, cost types and labor hours, and the creation of purchase orders and inventory pick lists.

Managing workflows and collecting data associated with accounts payable and accounts receivable can be a big value for contractors. According to Construction Imaging, www.construction-imaging.com, Rocky Mount, N.C., by implementing integrated workflow automation and business productivity tools the entire organization is more efficient.

Executives receive more productivity from the workflow; managers are able to implement controls and standards while gaining realtime visibility; project managers are able to easily send, receive, and search project-related information; IT can support the entire business with a single solution; and subcontractors are able to access information from the Web, according to a 2011 Constructech article,

[May/June ‘11, Content Management: “Extend the Productivity of Backoffice Systems”, p30].

Content Manager from Construction Imaging integrates with accounting solutions such as Viewpoint’s software to provide electronic workflows and streamline data collection. Content Manager allows for storage and management of electronic documentation.

These are just a few examples of how accounting systems can be integrated with ECM (enterprise-content management) and estimating solutions. A number of accounting platforms in the market can provide integrated capabilities to improve project profitability.

For the contractor, the big question remains: How can you improve your bottomline? Ultimately, for many organizations the answer will likely be an integrated solution to control costs.