the construction job costing series

Job Costing Software Benefits: How it can help grow your business

Chapter 6

Exploring the features and benefits of construction job costing software

Now that you know all about the advantages of job costing and its three key components, let’s talk about the capabilities and benefits software can offer to manage your costs and grow your business.

Once a new technology rolls over you, if you’re not part of the steamroller, you’re part of the road.

– Stewart Brand

The advantages of using software to manage cost codes

Using job costing software to manage cost codes in construction projects has plenty of advantages. Here are a few of the biggest benefits:

Streamlines the job costing process

From creating and assigning cost codes to tracking expenses and reporting on project costs, software streamlines every step. This saves you a ton of time and ensures that all project costs are accurately accounted for with no errors.

Improved accuracy and consistency

Another key advantage of using software to manage cost codes is improved accuracy and consistency. Manual cost coding is often prone to human error, which can result in incorrect data entry or coding errors. Automating the process with software can greatly reduce or even eliminate these errors altogether. Job costing software can help enforce standardized coding practices across all projects, ensuring that everyone follows the same guidelines and protocols.

Increases transparency

Software can also help improve visibility and transparency into project costs. Project managers and other stakeholders can access real-time data on project expenses, allowing them to proactively manage project costs and make adjustments as needed. This can ultimately help prevent cost overruns and delays, keeping projects on track and on budget.

Improved collaboration

Software can help enhance collaboration and communication among project teams. With everyone on the same page regarding cost codes, project costs, and other critical information, teams can work more efficiently and effectively together. This can help foster a more collaborative and productive work environment, leading to improved project outcomes and increased client satisfaction.

With the right software solutions in place, construction companies can more effectively manage costs and deliver projects on time and within budget.

Using construction management software for job costing

While there is always the option to use accounting software or platforms built specifically for job costing, using construction management software that offers the ability to create and manage your cost codes will save you both time and money. 

Using BuildBook for job costing   

BuildBook is a modern construction management software solution that offers a wide range of features for managing your sales pipeline and estimates, streamlining your projects, and collaborating with your team and clients. 

Among those features, BuildBook offers robust, yet simple-to-learn tools for creating, maintaining, and implementing all of your cost codes across your estimates, budgets, and projects. 

Beyond the reputation of being the simplest and most affordable construction management software in the industry, BuildBook offers an approach to job costing that aligns with all of the steps and best practices outlined in the previous chapters. 

A look at job costing with BuildBook

With BuildBook, you can easily manage, track, and organize all of your costs, quantities, and profits across your estimates and projects. Ultimately, this helps you maximize profitability on each job and provides greater financial control in our business.

The job costing features with BuildBook include:

Cost codes and cost code categories

BuildBook supports the standard divisions defined in the MasterFormat

To help you get started, BuildBook provides you with an existing library of cost categories based on the 16 standard divisions defined by the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI)'s MasterFormat, as referenced in previous chapters.

Additionally, each category includes one existing 000 General cost code that can be modified or deleted as you build out additional cost codes. 

From here, you can create additional categories and add cost codes with just a couple of clicks.

Cost library / Price Book

The Price Book in BuildBook is your cost library - a list of the individual costs you include in your estimates and project budgets. Price Book allows you to create, manage, and share this list of items so that everyone in your company who is building estimates and project financials is using the same defined costs.

Typically, your estimates and financials will be made up of line items from your Price Book that are used frequently across all of your projects, but BuildBook offers you the ability to also create one-off items at an estimate or budget level as needed. 

Creating all of your standard costs

Creating costs with BuildBook is a breeze

BuildBook makes it extremely easy to set your standard costs, with simple drop-down menus to select the cost code, cost type, cost unit, and fill-in-the-blank areas for labor rates, taxes, markups, etc. 

Additionally, BuildBook gives you the ability to create and assign tags to any item to streamline the creation of estimates and project budgets by adding a full group of costs that are part of a single tag.

Creating estimates and budgets

With BuildBook you can create an entire estimate with one click

With your Price Book in place, you can create an entire estimate or budget from a drop-down list, saving you an incredible amount of time and effort.  

BuildBook gives you the option to add an entire category or selected items in bulk from a list of your costs. Alternatively, you can also choose from the tags you've created to add an entire collection of items at once, like "Kitchen Remodel" or "Bathroom Remodel."

Managing your Price Book

BuildBook makes it easy to organize and find costs from your Price Book

As your library of costs gets increasingly larger, finding individual items can become more difficult, which is why BuildBook offers a search and filtering system within your Price Book. 

You can search for items by name, filter by tags to see a group of specific items, or identify which items still need to be tagged.

Importing cost codes

If you’ve already created a cost code library in a spreadsheet or another application, BuildBook allows you to import your entire collection of costs so you don’t have to create a new system from scratch. 

Converting an estimate into a budget

Another time-saving feature that BuildBook provides is the ability to turn any estimate you’ve won into an active project budget with just a click of a button.

Now is the time to get started

Utilizing construction management software has quickly become the most popular method for residential construction companies to create and manage their job costing system. The advantages far outweigh the cost when it comes to the increased impact software has on improving efficiency and increasing profits.

And, with modern, simple, and affordable construction software like BuildBook, the learning curve has been eliminated, allowing contractors to improve their business without spending thousands of dollars or endless hours of training. 

Based on its robust and simple-to-learn features, BuildBook has become a favorite among residential contractors for managing every aspect of their projects, business, and financials — and it’s 100% free to try for 10 days

Whether you choose to use software, spreadsheets, or your trusty notepad, following the practices in this series will undoubtedly help you to gain the clarity you need to control the profitability of your projects and the financial health of your business!

Get started on your job costing journey