When it comes to estimating construction costs, there are a lot of unknown factors that can affect project timelines and construction expense management. Unforeseen weather delays, supplier shortfalls and breaks in the supply chain are just a few of the possible culprits, and the effects of these elements are often only an estimate until the job is done. In addition to these unknowns, there are soft construction costs like designer fees and accounting charges that can amount to as much as the 30% of the overall cost of a building project.
With so many considerations up in the air, it is easy to see why firm expense management controls and disciplined oversight can mean the difference between profitable and not in the construction industry. Taking advantage of the latest technology to manage inventory and expenses is one way to stay ahead when it comes to controlling costs for building and renovation projects.
State of the Construction Industry
There is a good reason to be optimistic about the future of the construction industry. According to research published this fall after a joint study by the USG Corporation and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index, 95% of contractors surveyed are feeling confident that revenues will grow or at least remain stable for at least the next year. There is also an expectation that profit margins will be steady over the same period.
Positive industry indicators are a cause for celebration and can provide a good reason to start planning for new business. In some cases, this will mean adding members to the team, whether it is more laborers for a project or additional administrative team members to free up existing staff to focus on project work.
As ongoing shortages of skilled labor are also anticipated in the coming year, it is more important than ever to ensure team members are putting their time to the best use. Business owners and project managers can help by focusing on efforts to reduce time spent on administrative practices like filing expense reports and collecting reimbursement checks.
Practical Expense Management Solutions
In addition to saving the time currently spent on filing expense reports, turning to modern expense management solutions, like mobile apps, can help to reduce the overall construction costs with tighter expense management controls. For example, if an employee requires pre-approval of expenses at the time of purchase, and can quickly and easily obtain that approval through any mobile device, business owners can ask questions about the purpose and necessity of materials before the transaction is done.
The convenience of expense categorizations to sync with budget line items and the ability to export to some of the most commonly used accounting systems makes life easier for bookkeepers and accountants. Employees, unburdened with the hassle of completing expense reports or waiting to get paid back for out-of-pocket expenses, can focus on a job well done. In other words, by using the latest tools in expense management technology, backed by rigorous security standards, business owners in the construction industry can save considerable time and money on every project.
The dash™ Prepaid Mastercard® provides construction business owners with a practical expense management solution that makes sense for contractors and their partners in trade. Simplify your expense processes – Request a demo today to learn how dash can work for your business.