Homebuilder counts on stability with accounting software
Simonds Homes Melbourne, a residential contractor now building 1,200 homes a year, was struggling with accounting software that crashed daily when the company decided it needed a more dependable solution.
After evaluating six different packages, Simonds chose Timberline as offering the best fit for the company. “The financials are really good. They’re fully integrated rather than interfaced, so data automatically gets posted where it needs to without any further steps involved. We’ve found that was essential – that was No. 1 on our list,” says Peter Anderson, manager of IT services.
Timberline was an immediate success for the company after it was implemented, and the software made it possible for the company to more than double its output from 500 houses a year to its current 1,200.
“There is absolutely no way we’d be where we are today if we hadn’t had Timberline software in place to keep track of our activities. The volumes that we’re now putting through are double or triple what we used to put through the old system, and we’re doing it with the same number of people in accounts payable and accounts receivable. It is really just amazing.”
A key feature of Timberline is the ability to create customised reports. Simonds Homes has several people trained to create basic reports, but for some of the more complex reports, the company depends on a Timberline consultant.
Simonds Homes recently developed a report that calculates work-in-progress, pulling information from an existing in-house system and Timberline. “The formulas that are in it are incredibly complex and I’m surprised it works at all, but it comes up with the right figures and that’s a credit to our Timberline consultant,” Anderson says.
Being able to calculate work-in-progress accurately is important because the company has to declare income each month for taxation purposes on the amount of work that’s being done.
The report also helps Simonds keep a close watch on its profit margin, an important feature for any business.
Simonds also appreciates how flexible Timberline Software is because the company is able to put Timberline Property Management to a unique use.
Simonds has a division that offers home financing to people who lack the funds for a down payment. The customers enter an agreement with Simonds to pay their rent to Simonds, which deposits the money into a bank account in the customers’ name. Simonds then pays their rent directly to the owner. After six to eight months, the customers have accumulated enough money in the bank account for a down payment on the house. And the money Simonds has paid to the owner is added to the price of the house and covered by the bank loan.
“We use the Property Management module to keep track of the deposits these people give us, treating them like tenants,” Anderson says. “Once they get their bank loan, we transfer them to the accounting system and give them a job number, and the rest of the procedure then is just as if they had come to us with their own bank loan.”
Using Property Management, Simonds is able to print out a complete transaction history for a client’s account, as required by law, Anderson says.