Craftsman is a computer program designed specifically for the building and construction industry. It is an easy to use bookkeeping system for analysing the profitability of jobs from start to completion and for effortlessly paying suppliers and issuing claims to clients.
All this is achieved using terminology and procedures that are easily understood by builders with no formal training in bookkeeping.
Craftsman began in 1984 as a specialised computer program for estimating the cost of building houses, using a database of prices taken from the widely-used “Berry’s Builder’s Buying Guide” publication.
Craftsman will help you run your business more efficiently by:
- Recording the details of people you deal with - suppliers, contractors, subcontractors, councils, banks, solicitors, clients etc
- Estimating the cost of jobs and preparing quotes for clients using prices stored in your computer
- Creating purchase orders directly from a job then converting them into supplier invoices automatically
- Recording, reporting and paying invoices from suppliers
- Creating employee wage and superannuation entries and allocating these espenses to specific jobs
- Raising claims for clients, recording and reporting income received
- Monitoring profitability and cashflow not only on each job, but in every section (stage) of each job
- Reconciling your bank statements
- Preparing the figures needed to complete your Business Activity Statement
- Producing financial records to pass onto your accountant
Each transaction processed in Craftsman is recorded against the job it belongs to. Jobs are subdivided into sections for the purpose of recording costs. Each section represents a stage of the job that is normally considered to represent a specific activity and to involve materials or services from a particular supplier or trade - e.g. Excavation, Frame Carpenter, Bricks, Windows, Drainage. Preliminaries is a special case because it includes many commodities and services from various suppliers, trades and authorities.
Just as each job is a separate cost centre for a builder (meaning that its financial activity and profit or loss are monitored separately from other jobs), so each section is a mini cost centre within a job. To consistently build at a profit, a builder needs to work out in advance an accurate cost budget for each section of the job, the total of these is the overall job budget.
As the job progresses and invoices are received from suppliers, Craftsman will compare the actual costs to the original cost budget of each section and calculate how much of the budget is left (or how much overrun has occurred). This gives you an early opportunity to take action if necessary to minimise further losses on the job and highlights the areas where you need to improve your budget calculations on future jobs.
Craftsman’s flexibility has enabled it to be used for a wide variety of building applications, including -
- New homes
- Tilt-slab factories
- Shopping centre complexes
- Insurance repair jobs
- Specialised shop fit-outs
Some builders have even found it suitable for keeping books on their other businesses, from a hardware store, caravan park to a restaurant and many use it to keep track of investments.