On most projects, there are several groups with whom you need to maintain regular contact; clients, general contractors or builders, subcontractors, employees, bonding agents, architects, engineers and inspectors. When you make communication with the various groups involved with your projects your top priority, you greatly increase the likelihood of having successful and profitable projects.
Here are some quick tips for improved communication:
- Communication with your employees through regular staff meetings and recognizing and rewarding good work will help keep the lines of communication open.
- To improve communications with various parties outside of your company, develop a system for producing and documenting professional-looking reports and notices.
- Providing documented reports, including approved change orders, bonding reports, job cost summaries, subcontractor notices, and lien releases to provide clear communication and prevent against any misunderstandings long after the job is completed.
Good communication during a project with all parties involved may lead to strong relationships even after the project has ended and may frequently result in new referral business.
Written procedures within a company are key to business profitability. Typically, companies create written procedures only after they lose money because something wasn’t done right. The better way is to create written procedures ahead of time and avoid the failures altogether.
Written procedures will provide a roadmap to new employees on how and when to do their work. Defined procedures will save you time and money and will increase your profitability—not to mention save you training dollars.
Here are a few accounting best practices regarding written procedures:
- Collecting time cards daily is essential to measuring your employees’ productivity. Remember that a weekly time card due on Monday morning will typically be filled out all at once on Monday morning—and will probably not be accurate.
- Create a system that tracks the expiration of your subcontractors’ workers’ compensation. Why? Because if you pay a sub without it, you will be held liable for those dollars.
- Since so much money is at risk on change orders, have a good change order management procedure to ensure change orders are as profitable as they should be.
Procedures can and should change and improve. They should be evaluated and reworked at regular intervals, at least every six months—and then be documented in a written form that will bring clarity to every business activity. Written procedures will help your business reduce risk, save money and be more profitable.