We have been using Sage PJ for about 12 years now and, while a slow moving program, it is very effective for organizing the flow from a change request to a change order to a subcontract change order. Years ago we had project secretaries handle the entry of these items, as well as tasks such as setting up the commitment, but ultimately found that the multiple hand-offs between departments, the creation of documentation to hand off the task, etc created a ton of waste and re-work that could be eliminated if the PM or a project engineer with knowledge of the scope of work just handled the work themselves. I have entered and assembled enough change requests and change orders over the years to know that the PJ process is very straight forward and very efficient if you assign the line items to the subcontractor at the change request level and if you have the add-ons, mark-ups, etc properly set up at the PJ job level. We have customized the change order templates, as well as have created subcontract and PO documents that tie to PJ, JC and AB fields that somewhat automate the creation of these various documents. I have not seen an accountant or secretary better capture the intent and handle the horse-trading that goes along with negotiating a change order, and I think that having too many hand-offs in this process just opens the door for something getting dropped and potentially handing too much money either to an owner or subcontractor. Our PM's did not like having to take this on when we made this change but I think we they realized how all this ties together in PJ, as well as the value of being able to better report on pending changes, they quickly dropped their opposition.
R. Patrick Lloyd | Chief Financial Officer Golden Construction, LLC 2212 First Avenue South Birmingham, AL 35233 www.goldenconstruction.com P. 205.327.6617 | C. 205.283.8936 | F. 205.327.6667
I agree with Richard 100%. We have been using PJ for about the same amount of time. Initially, the PM's preferred to look at it as just another accounting program and something bookkeeping handled. When we moved it the PM's responsibility to properly code and enter the CO, everything from getting the CO from the Owner to issuing it to the subcontractor became much more straightforward and streamlined. My mantra is bookkeepers and secretaries do data entry; I do not want them guessing at cost codes or markups or anything other than correctly generating the documents after the PM has entered the correct information properly.
Timothy J. Mickunas, CPA, CCIFP, CRIS
D. Wilson Construction Company
We are also a GC company. We currently say it is the responsibility of the PMs to enter the OCO and sub change orders. However, we do have one person that is the project support that will help enter everything. Then the PM just has to go in and tweak the wording and verify the price, etc. Then the project support person will email the docs to the subcontractor, but the PM takes care of issuing the CO to the owner. The project support person also handles project close outs and making sure subcontractor insurance is up to date and things of that nature.
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