The interior design industry is competitive, and it doesn’t allow much room for error. With multiple projects going on at once and several moving parts, keeping your interior design firm organized can be challenging. Therefore, having the right business tools in place is imperative to maintaining a high level of professionalism and encouraging growth.
A robust business management software is a must for your firm's arsenal and a wise investment that will ensure the longevity of your business. However, investing in the wrong software will likely create more work for your team instead of decreasing their load.
What you need is intelligent software–one that simplifies your back-office by automating tasks and combining project management and accounting. That way, both sides of the business can seamlessly talk to one another without you having to worry!
Need more convincing? Let us layout six benefits of using an integrated accounting and project management system in your interior design firm.
1. REDUCE THE CHANCE FOR ERRORS
A design firm with a crowded schedule and busy staff leaves more room for error to sneak into project flows, especially if you’re using two different systems or a fragmented approach to tackle accounting and project management. Keeping up with project budgets, vendor payments, order tracking, invoicing, and staff time allocation is overcomplicated when these systems don’t communicate.
Even the simplest tasks, such as updating an address, are far more laborious when carried out repeatedly across different systems - and fingers crossed you updated all information accurately and consistently. However, using integrated, intelligent project management and accounting system like DesignDocs reduces the chance of errors by reducing the amount of human input needed. This, in turn, saves you time and gives you peace of mind.
2. EASILY COLLECT AND TRACK PAYMENTS
If your firm uses one system to manage projects and another to manage finances, it's likely much more strenuous to keep a handle on things. What invoices have been issued for what project, and what outstanding items need to be paid? You'll be asking these questions incessantly, which will quickly wear on you and your team.
However, DesignDocs' fully integrated software makes tracking and collecting payments easy by consolidating client invoices and receipts into one cloud-based system. Generate and send your client an invoice, and it will seamlessly flow into the accounting system. Additionally, when your client pays using the system's ePayment function, their payment automatically registers within DesignDocs, generating a receipt.
Likewise, your design team can easily track and view vendor payments on a detailed report. Designers will know immediately if a vendor has been paid without sifting through multiple systems.
3. GENERATE ACCURATE PROFITABILITY REPORTS
Do you know which projects have been most profitable for your firm or which items have had the highest margin? What areas has your budget variance been the greatest, or maybe not so good?
If you want to run a successful interior design business with present and future financial viability, you'll need to put on your business hat and delve into the financials. Ensuring the project management side of the firm aligns seamlessly with the accounting side is the only foolproof way to guarantee you're getting accurate answers to the questions above.
The financial reporting that DesignDocs offers is one of its most powerful features. Not only can DesignDocs deliver general financial reports, but it can also generate profitability reports at any level, such as sales & profit reports. The information provided in these reports is vital for designers when running their firms and making cost-effective, business-smart decisions.
4. RECOVER MORE REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES
Everyone knows those seemingly little project expenses sure do add up quickly. And if you're not recording them, then you won't be able to track them or invoice for them, which can have dire consequences on your firm's bottom line.
Through amalgamating the project management process and the accounting side of your design firm, DesignDocs makes it so easy to stay organized and recover various costs and miscellaneous project disbursements. No extra work – just assign the cost to a project and the system ensures you see it for the client's next invoice. View these expenses quickly and accurately from project to project from the expense management screen while easily seeing how they are reflected in your accounting statements.
5. EASILY CAPTURE BUSINESS EXPENSES
Recoverable project-related expenses are one thing, but what about capturing business expenses? Without accurately recording these, you can't manage them, which puts you in the dark when managing your design firm as a whole.
DesignDocs simplifies the process of tracking and entering business expenses, no matter what they are. With business expenses portrayed alongside project-level expenses, you can see the bigger picture of their impact on the firm. This insight wouldn't be possible without an integrated system.
6. KEEP A HANDLE ON CASH FLOW
Cash flow is king - or queen. Therefore, to operate any design firm effectively, you must ensure more money is coming in than going out. DesignDocs offers a cash flow report that keeps you up to date on the inflow and outflow of cash regarding all items in a project. It's one of many project-level reports that provides insight into your financial standing on both the client and vendor side across all projects and even fixed fees. This knowledge puts the power solely in the hands of design firms to effectively manage cash availability and the overall success of their firm.
Quickly see cash in, cash out, revenue invoiced and still owing, future net cash flow, etc. Accessing this critical information is more difficult without an integrated project management and accounting system. Not to mention, without proper intel, you risk missing crucial warning signs that could otherwise be addressed.
For further information, download your free copy of our case study on The Benefits of Having an Integrated Accounting and Project Management System today, or browse the Resources page of our website.