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Project accounting

Project accounting for architects and engineers

Project accounting for AEC — or job costing — is about understanding that behind every project is a series of transactions. Using Synergy to manage your AEC project accounting results in reports that help you analyze the health and progress of projects. This is critical information for architecture and engineering project managers. This is essential in order to understand where projects are in terms of budget — over, under, on track — and where projects are in terms of profitability.

Synergy lets you run your AEC business like a design professional, not an accountant — it isn’t built on an accounting ledger base like some overweight AEC enterprise systems. At the same time, Synergy gives you the choice to easily connect to, and share data with, leading accounting systems, keeping you and your accountant happy.

Project accounting with Synergy - infographic
[Some functions only available in Enterprise.]

Project budgets

AEC projects have life cycles of anything from a few hours to a number of years. AEC project budgets can be altered several times across a life cycle, which needs to be factored in to project management. Synergy also allows you to manage the projects within projects — called stages in Synergy, but also known as phases or sub projects — that need to be accounted for with their own budgets. Stages then have to be accounted for within the overall project budget.

Mixed fee types

AEC projects have costs and revenues that need to be allocated to them, whether direct or overhead, which are managed through a work breakdown structure. Synergy’s work breakdown structure has more layers than simple workflow management. Users can easily manage a mixture of fee types on any invoice, including time and materials, fixed fee, percentage of project value and capped rates. Synergy offers progress billing so progress can be billed as time elapsed and/or percentage complete. Synergy also allows mixed fee types to be put on the same invoice — if the job is being billed as a fixed fee, variations are often based on time and materials, both of which can be billed on the same invoice.

Timesheets and timers

Working with AEC clients since 2000 has shown us that projects are more often based on fixed fee than hourly billing. Synergy’s AEC timesheets and timers let project staff allocate labor costs accurately to the projects and measure profitability (or not) within the fixed fee. Synergy also caters for non-staff costs in projects, like printing or using equipment.

Project reports

Synergy’s integrated AEC project accounting allows project managers and financial controllers to create reports showing what’s actually happening on projects and in the business more broadly. Reports include percentage of project complete, work in progress (WIP) value, residual fees to cover work to complete, and more.

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