The large heavy highway contractor might use a very sophisticated accounting/ERP system that allows them to assign specific cost codes, and phases to a job. They almost certainly will have equipment to track and bill for. They likely will want to be able to associate the equipment with an employee’s time since the employee will frequently be operating a single piece of equipment all day.
There is a good chance that the large contractor has a project manager and one or more foremen assigned to each job. The foreman will need to be able to enter, review, and approve time for his crew (s) and the project manager will need to be able to review and approve time records by foreman. Both will probably want to be able to compare the actual time for a job, phase, and /or cost code with the amounts budgeted for each.
Some large contractors utilize union labor. These situations require much more data to track such as union ID, local, craft, class, shift, jurisdictions, etc. Each parameter can have an effect on an employee’s pay. Different unions might have different rules and rates for overtime, per diem, and other expenses.
In the office, the administrator for a large contractor may want to limit the functions and reports their users have access to. The administrator will also probably have final review and approval of the timecards before exporting them to the accounting/payroll system.
In summary, a large contractor wants a simple, intuitive, and very flexible program for his field staff, that delivers detailed information for management and administration.
A small plumbing contractor is also concerned about what the job is costing, but doesn’t need the degree of detail that the large contractor would. His jobs involve far less labor, equipment, and materials. He probably uses a much more simple accounting system oftentimes with a generic set of cost codes.
The small contractor is probably more concerned with billing the customer and collecting his money. Using the same information for payroll and invoicing would represent the maximum in efficiency.
Many times the small contractor's work is generated through purchase orders. As a result, he can track his costs against the purchase order to determine his profit or loss on the job. Frequently, these jobs will be manned by one employee. He won’t need to track a crew’s time, but he might want to use GPS to track the locations his employees are clocking in and out from.
To sum it up for the small contractor, he wants simplicity. He wants to have a simple process for transferring data between his accounting system and the mobile time tracking system, he wants his field people to quickly and easily enter their time, and he wants an intuitive method of reviewing, editing, approving, and exporting his timecards.
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