Thursday, February 01, 2024
At Remote CPA, we're big advocates of BuilderTrend (BT), but we've seen builders rush into it and face challenges. Here's what you should know:
Data Entry Time: BT's project management is impressive, but data entry can be time-consuming. Plan for extra effort initially, and consider the communication gap if delegating to an office manager. The reporting features of BT make it worth it to enter data accurately and promptly.
Budgets and Estimates: BT doesn't have a cut-off date for budgets and estimates, which can lead to confusion when reconciling with QuickBooks Online (QBO). We reconcile QBO as of the bank statement date, but BT includes all real time data, even after the statement ending date.
Overwhelming Columns: BT's Budgets and Estimates feature may feel overwhelming due to excessive columns. Simplify by focusing on crucial data. All we really need is a Budget vs. Actuals report and sometimes BT rolls out new columns without notice.
Understanding Selections: Misuse of the Selections feature can derail your budget. Ensure proper setup at the job's start. Depending on how you set up Selections, you could accidentally override your original numbers. Or worse, you could end up adding to them and increasing the budget when that was not intended.
Finalizing Budget in Spreadsheets: Utilize Google Sheets for finalizing budgets, allowing you to document vital details and provide a stable budget snapshot. Funny things can happen to a budget in BT and having the spreadsheet to refer back to can really help. There will be situations where you ask yourself, "Did I really only budget $X for Foundation?!" and you can refer back to your original spreadsheet to verify your rationale. It's also a good
BT-QBO Sync Challenges: The sync process requires careful alignment. Ensure the person handling data in one system has access and understanding of the other. You have to have your Customers, Vendors, and Cost Codes perfectly mapped between the two systems. If you use an unmapped attribute, the entire transaction will fail to sync. We have wasted tons of hours trying to troubleshoot exactly why a transaction has not synced.
Inflexibility in Bill Editing: Once a bill is entered in BT, altering the cost code becomes impossible. Enter bills in QBO and sync to BT for flexibility. We often need to change cost codes later on when we find out something was part of an allowance or budgeted elsewhere. By entering in QBO first, we can make that simple change. If we had entered in BT, we would have to deleted the whole transaction (and all of it's attachments) to start over entering a new transaction. There's a huge risk of mistakes when that happens.
While BT stands out for its scheduling, customer portal, and budget reports, proper usage is key. Be aware of its accounting limitations and prepare accordingly.
CEO Of Remote CPA
With over a decade of experience, Jon was the founding member of Remote CPA back in 2017 and has been working with BuilderTrend since 2018. Prior to that, he was employed in Corporate Financial Reporting after spending time in Big Four public accounting. His Accounting degree is from Krannert School of Management at Purdue West Lafayette.