Automated accounting software helps builder handle increase in turnover while keeping staff small
Pellicano Builders, an industrial commercial developer based in Notting Hill, Victoria, Australia, was going through a large growth spurt when company officials realised they needed more than their manual cashbook system could provide.
Accountant John De Fazio evaluated a lot of accounting software over a one-year period before settling on Timberline because it could handle all his concerns, including Australia’s GST.
“There were lots of other products on the market, but none of them had the full interface integration as Timberline did,” De Fazio said. “For example, some products would have had a good job cost system, but they had no interface with payroll. With others, you had to turn to third-party software to handle things like estimating. Timberline had the complete package.”
Pellicano Builders’ accounting department has just three people, De Fazio and two accounts payable people, even though the company has more than doubled its turnover in the past five years.
“Even though turnover may go up, which means additional invoicing and additional processing, we’re still able to maintain the low number of resources to fulfill that function,” De Fazio says. “If we didn’t have Timberline, we’d be struggling, no question.”
And De Fazio is confident that Timberline will continue to be able to handle the job as Pellicano Builders continues to grow. “There’s still a lot of capacity there for us to use,” he says.
Integration speeds up processes
De Fazio says the integration between the Timberline modules is one of its best features. “If you’re doing something in payroll, it creates new files for other modules and the posting is automatic. That’s absolutely fantastic,” he says.
Pellicano Builders recently began taking advantage of the integration between Timberline’s modules for estimating and job cost.
“We estimate the job, we win the job, then we import the estimates across and don’t have to re-key it into construction to continue with the project,” De Fazio says. “In the past, the construction manager would receive a manual report. He’d have to reconfigure some of the numbers and then plug it into job cost. Now the construction manager and the estimating team are working a lot more closely together, synchronising their numbers and their codes. It saves the construction managers a fair bit of time.”
Pellicano Builders has a large network of subcontractors, using up to 400 suppliers and subcontractors at any one time. And the company depends on Timberline to help manage them.
“With that many suppliers and subcontractors, there’s obviously a lot to process through the accounts payable and job cost systems,” De Fazio says. “Timberline helps us manage subcontractors through analysing payments and the sorts of expenditures.”
One of the most valued things about Timberline, De Fazio says, is that the software is stable. He doesn’t have to worry about system crashes and being unable to process accounts because the software is locked up.
“In the five years we’ve had it, it’s never had any major glitch,” De Fazio says.
Pellicano Builders also manages about 150 mostly commercial and industrial properties, and Timberline has made the job a lot easier, says Nando Pellicano, property development manager.
The company previously used Microsoft Excel to help it track and manage its properties, but it was a manual system that was time consuming.
“With Timberline, it’s a lot more automated and we have more up-to-date information,” Pellicano says. “Timberline makes it a lot easier to track and pull out information.”
Pellicano Builders is now able to track a lot more information than previously – everything from the status of properties to types of tenants to forecasts, Pellicano says. “All these types of things are in drop-down lists, and we never had anything like this before,” he says. “We can quickly sort by investment properties or sort by trading properties, and we can quickly get reports on whatever we want.”
The software is flexible enough to allow the company to customise the way it works. “Obviously, there’s a structure there, but you can modify it and fine-tune it to exactly how you operate your business,” Pellicano says. “It’s not like it’s set up one way and that’s the only way you can do it. It takes a lot of time to set it up and customise it, but once you have done it, it’s worth the time spent.”