Management System Assistance
There are many software packages available in the industry that assist with managing projects and construction businesses, but they all offer different setups and integrate with other systems in different ways or not at all. We are able to meet with you and your team to understand what systems and processes you currently use, understand what is not working well for you and also what is, and, probably most importantly, understand what you would like your systems to do for you.
We are familiar with a number of project management and document management systems and can provide you with our recommendation on options that we believe will best suit you, your team and your business. It is important not to dismiss systems because you feel that your business is not big enough or that it offers more than what you think you need. There are often ways to adapt a system to better suit your requirements and the way that you operate.
Our director, Jason, is very proficient at computer coding and is often able to design a way in which your existing systems can talk to other systems – sometimes automatically and other times through syncing the systems. Jason is also able to create many tools or links between packages specifically for your business if that is more suitable to your business. We also work with a coding partner who can further develop Jason's designs if necessary.
There are also some systems that can be implemented on site to streamline site and WHS management. We can assist you to set up these systems allowing you more time to focus on your business.
Minimum Financial Requirements Compliance
The legislation surrounding the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Minimum Financial Requirements for all builder contractor and trade contractor licensees changed on 1 January 2019 when the QBCC's Minimum Financial Requirements Policy was replaced by the new Queensland Building and Construction Commission (Minimum Financial Requirements) Regulation 2018 (MFRs Regulation). Whilst there are some parts of the MFR Policy that have been duplicated in the MFR Regulation, there are a number of significant differences with the MFR Regulation compared to the MFR Policy and many new offences that carry fines and/or imprisonment.
The rules apply to all QBCC licensees of all categories and licence types. However, the rules differ for each category and it is important that all licensees understand what is required for their particular licence and, in particular, what timeframes apply to their obligations.
We regularly work with accountants who understand the MFR Regulation and are experienced at preparing the necessary reports required by the legislation. These accountants are also well experienced at working with the QBCC if necessary to address concerns that the QBCC may have with regards to a particular licensee. Such discussions and negotiation often require both a legal response and an accounting response so good working relationships between the construction lawyer and the accountant is very important and key to have the best chance to achieve a successful outcome for the licensee.
Work in Progress Reviews for MFRs
Work in Progress (WIP) is often misunderstood in the building and construction industry. It is NOT the value of work that will be done in the future under a contract but IS the value of work completed at a point in time that has not yet been invoiced i.e. the work has been done but the invoice has not yet been submitted to the client and/or the payment of that invoice has not yet been received. The reason for the gap may be because the contractor is not yet entitled to submit a claim for payment for that work or because it has claimed payment, but the invoice is not yet due to be paid. It is not necessarily an amount that is the subject of a dispute between the parties.
Our director, Tracey, has spent a lot of her career creating various spreadsheet tools to assist engineers, project managers and contractors to manage their projects from pre-contract through to completion and a critical element that must be regularly monitored is 'Work in Progress'. However, many in the industry calculate this incorrectly by considering the amount left to be invoiced for the contract. That is NOT Work in Progress. It is simply the balance of the contract price yet to be invoiced. It has nothing whatsoever to do with how the project is progressing and, more importantly, whether the project is expected to go over budget and/or be delivered late.
It is well understood in the project management space that the later a business owner considers its WIP position, the less chance it has to influence the outcome of that project. If a business owner is not reviewing how much the work completed to date has cost to complete compared with the amount that it expected to spend to carry out that work when it tendered or quoted for the project, then it will continue to make the same mistakes or continue that trend which is likely to end in a loss situation or at least a less profitable position.
Whilst there are a number of software packages on the market to track the finances of a project, we have often found that those packages often either do it in too much detail (which is not sustainable for businesses that do not have endless resources to use the software to its full extent and can place more focus on data entry and reporting than on managing what the numbers are showing) or in too little detail (and is more an accounting package that tracks spend but does not allow the user to understand what trends are forming and does not help the user identify opportunities to influence a better outcome for the project).
Our directors have extensive experience in managing projects on site through to the office, and their experience in developing bespoke software tools to assist business owners and project/construction managers with what they need to understand, means we are well placed to help you understand and manage your projects better and, in turn, achieve a better outcome for your business.