EffectAble is a specialist construction company providing adaptations both commercially and domestically for the elderly and less able.
EffectAble previously used Exchequer as this was owned by its sister company and was available to them as a subsidiary. However, having decided a standalone system would be preferable, but knowing the limitations of Exchequer if it was used as a standalone system, EffectAble reviewed other software solutions on the market. EasyBuild and Opera were considered but Construction for Sage 200 Accounts won over core system functionality, and also its ability to integrate with the bespoke job
management system already used.
A tailor-made system
Construction for Sage 200 Accounts was a good fit for the businesses as it allowed a lot of bespoke work and changes to the system to be made; the system could be configured to work the way the business does rather than having to alter business processes to suit the system. During implementation of Construction for Sage 200 Accounts some bespoke development work was done to integrate it with the job management system used. This now sends across 15 key fields of information from each job and automatically updates Construction for Sage 200 Accounts.
When discussing the implementationprocess with John Walters, Financial
Director for EffectAble, he comments, “The two professional services consultants who implemented Construction for Sage 200 Accounts and provided training during this process were both fantastic, they understood all of our issues and what we wanted to achieve during the implementation. The whole project came in on time and to budget.” The business felt the consultants provided
excellent training for their end users and managed to get them all engaged and onboard with the new system very quickly. John says, “This was a huge benefit as new systems are always very daunting to staff members who use the systems every day. But everyone was onboard and excited about the move to Construction for Sage 200 Accounts.”
Smooth data migration
As part of the data migration process provided by our professional services team, the consultants supported EffectAble with the export of relevant data from Exchequer into CSV, re-formatting and importing into Construction for Sage 200 Accounts. This meant they were able to carry across all relevant accounting information such as opening balances, outstanding debtors and creditors. John adds, “We also transferred across around a year and half’s worth of job information, brought forward costs, revenues etc. This meant we could close off the use of Exchequer much earlier than we thought which supported the staff in starting to use Construction for Sage 200 Accounts right from the go-live date, with noreferencing back to the old system for historical information.”
Since implementing Construction for Sage 200 Accounts, EffectAble has found the CIS functionality to be a big time saver. John says “We can now do live verification of all of our subcontractors, checking their rates and details, which saves a huge amount of time on manual checks and multiple phone calls to HMRC every month. This gives us peace of mind that the details we have are correct and rates are up to date.” John also comments that their VAT returns are now a much simpler automated task. “With the VAT return automatically produced by Construction for Sage 200 Accounts, the amount of time we previously spent
on this, manually pulling all of this information together, is hugely reduced.”
Clearer visibility of projects
Overall, EffectAble has found managing projects much easier since implementing Construction for Sage 200 Accounts, with
the use of the warning flags for overspend and deviance from budget. John says, “As Financial Director, I now have much clearer visibility of when projects are going off track. I’m made aware of it much earlier than previously and we are able to take corrective action with better informed business decisions based on real time data.”
“The Intelligent Construction Analysis (ICA) module has shown some big business benefits in the delivery of regular
reports with automatic real-time updates across the network, providing large cost and time savings. The accounts teams are able to focus on their day to day roles and accounting functions, rather than generating regular reports for senior staff members. Staff members who need them now have regular reports on their own PCs. These are auto-updated as the database information changes, so they can see exactly how each project is progressing and are aware of any issues much faster.”
John also comments “ICA will also help to build much wider visibility of project information across the business, making sure everyone knows exactly where they stand on each current project and encouraging the sharing of information
across the business. Overall if we can provide a slicker, more efficient service to our clients, we will see an improvement in our margins. Our clients will come back time and time again with repeat business as they know they can trust us to deliver on time and to budget. This will lead to an increase in our turnover, supporting our growth plans for the next 5 years.”