Topic Thread

1.  Project Managers Responsibilities

Posted 06-16-2017 09:25
​There is a heated discussion between Operations and Accounting on who's responsibility it is to enter Change Requests and turn them into OCO and then create the corresponding Subcontract change orders.  We currently hold our PM's or their PE's responsible for entering this information into the project management module in Sage.  They complain it takes too much of their time and now upper management is considering hiring someone to solely do this data input for the PM's.  We are a GC and do not have a plethora of OCO's or Sub CO's that go through on a weekly let alone daily basis.  My question is how many other companies handle this workflow.

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Melinda Keele
CFO
EWI Construction LLC
Tampa FL
(813) 964-3885
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2.  RE: Project Managers Responsibilities

Posted 06-17-2017 09:59

Melinda,

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

 

  

 






3.  RE: Project Managers Responsibilities

Posted 06-18-2017 11:24

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

 

 






4.  RE: Project Managers Responsibilities

Posted 06-19-2017 09:47
Hi Melinda,
We have implemented a hybrid approach where the PMs create the Change Order Requests because they are best suited to put this info together, input into our software with the appropriate codes including markups, and negotiate with the client as needed, etc.  Once the CORs are approved by the client, they are handed off to Accounting and they automatically generate the CO (a simple process in our software).  Once the CO is approved by the client, Accounting then automatically generates any subcontractor COs which is also a simple process in our software as everything is linked.  Accounting forwards all sub COs to PMs for their final approval, then sends it to the subs for their approval, and files the completely executed doc in our filing software and approves the CO in our software.  We use Vista by Viewpoint.  I will say it can be very time consuming to issue all these change orders to subs, follow up, get them back, have our PMs sign, then send back to sub and file, and then interface into our software but we also do not have project admins any more.  I do believe that PEs should be handling what our accountants are currently doing, so that they learn the process and eventually, when they become PMs, they understand the whole process, but I keep losing that argument.......

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Anni Maresca
Controller
ANF Group, Inc.
Davie FL
(954) 449-1609
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5.  RE: Project Managers Responsibilities

Posted 06-19-2017 08:19
We ask the site superintendents to submit their field orders via a phone app that will capture all the info necessary for the Project Manager's review and determination of whether the change order should be submitted to the owner or not.  Once it is submitted, the text doesn't change much from field to final approver and is processed electronically.  When the PM approves the sub's change order, accounting then produces the change order out of our accounting system and emails it the subcontractors and vendors to submit a billing.  In our case, superintendents, PMs and Accounting all play an important role which also helps with checks and balances.

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Emily Dolson
CFO
ATCS, Inc.
Englewood, OH
edolson@atcs-inc.com
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6.  RE: Project Managers Responsibilities

Posted 06-19-2017 09:45
We require the Project Managers to create the change requests and the subcontractor change orders.   When we changed to this procedure we also quit allowing billings from subcontractors to be entered into the accounting software until there was an approved change order for them.   This requires the Project Managers to keep somewhat up to date on the changes.
Some do complain, but they are the only people with the information to do the changes so it just doesn't make sense for someone else to do it.

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Dianne Jackson
CMSWillowbrook
Chickasha OK
(405) 224-1554
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7.  RE: Project Managers Responsibilities

Posted 06-19-2017 09:54

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.

 

Cristy Schimmoller

Accounting Manager

 

O'BRIEN ROBINSON - SM

 

(614) 734-1470 x 19

cschimmoller@obrienrobinson.com

 






8.  RE: Project Managers Responsibilities

Posted 06-19-2017 10:50
​We are a subcontractor utilizing the software Structure.   We have a Project Management dashboard where the PM's can generate the Change Order and email it from there to the customer.

I have found, over the years, that the PM has to the point person for change orders and adding accounting into the mix is truly un-necessary.  We generate a report each week listing the unapproved change orders and the PM's have to follow up and update the status.

If we are going to hire someone, it wouldn't be for change orders, it would be for submittals and insurance requirements since those two items, for a subcontractor, have gotten significantly more time consuming over the past couple of years.

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Richard Johnson B.S. Accounting
Treasurer/Shareholder
Covington Flooring Co./NAH Sports Flooring, LLC
Birmingham AL/Houston, TX
(205) 490-2207
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9.  RE: Project Managers Responsibilities

Posted 06-19-2017 18:01
​Thank you for the time each of you took to respond to my question it was all very helpful.  I agree on all points that each of you have made.  While I understand the PM role has a lot of moving parts to deal with at any given time; the fact remains, the PM or the PE is the best person to continue doing this process.  Right now they are pushing to enter all of this in ProCore and then hand it off to a support person to enter them into Sage because they like working in the ProCore environment.  This to me becomes unnecessary double work that should not require the company to hire another body because they do not like using Sage.  Our PA does not want to be responsible for this side of the data as she does not know what is happening on the jobs or know the coding the PM's would like to use, she is the support to the PM's in most other aspects for the jobs.

Your responses will certainly help me support my position in that our current workflow should remain as is for now.

Thank you all again!

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Melinda Keele
CFO
EWI Construction LLC
Tampa FL
(813) 964-3885
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