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Jason R. Kasch, CIO, Structural Group
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Verticals that Demand New Technology in Construction Finance Professionals
Construction industry lags behind other industries in adopting new technologies. However, software entrepreneurs are focusing on creating a deskless workforce. The omnipresence of mobile devices, 5G, cheap and powerful cloud computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are fortified the creation of deskless workforce including construction workers. CFOs should collaborate with IT teams to revamp their back office and prepare themselves to handle floods of data. They should also determine relevant field data, appropriate tools to get the data, and integration of that data into their financial software.
The construction industry is commonly a family-owned business. Regardless of the size, many companies are still owned by founding families. Family business needs a continuity plan whether it is for transfer of company ownership to the next of kin, selling or merging the company, or establishing an (Employee Stock Option Plan) ESOP. This needs an evaluation of the business which requires loads of work. Industry-specific ERPs can help financial professionals in crunching numbers, standardize the purchasing process across acquired or merged companies, and help with planning scenarios.
Revenue recognition is the core of the construction industry. The Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) wishes to ensure that the new Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) rules regarding revenue recognition are not penalizing towards the construction industry. After the implementation of these rules, CFOs are processing their strategies toward tying the revenue to either a percentage of work done or work-in-progress schedules. Smooth communication between the office and the field via mobile technologies can enhance the flow of information.
It is tough to hire and keep good employees in the company because of increased employment. Lots of companies are growing at tremendous rates but are lacking employees. CFOs are working with HR professionals to refine their hiring strategies. Mobile training technologies can help train unskilled workers faster and virtual reality can also a significant role in it. Handheld devices will allow field staff to capture data and transfer it to the offices. GPS-enabled time cards can locate employees on a mobile phone and even record their work hours. IoT devices can record the equipment run time. With the expansion of purpose-built technology, digitizing the construction industry would leap. Finance teams need to prepare themselves with technologies like cloud systems for accounting, spend management and payments.