I am a subcontractor and I'm looking for a better solution to tracking our lien waiver requests and catching issues. We currently use a spreadsheet to track the requests and run into two common problems:
Does anybody have any solutions for tracking waiver requests and running reports based off? An aftermarket software application or great spreadsheet you use possibly?
Hello Aaron. Have you looked into Greenlight Compliance Manager? The Lien Wavier Module allows you to import Jobs, Vendors and Contacts from your Accounting system to prepare for the Lien Generation. Based on the Vendors (and Tiers such as Suppliers) assigned to a Job, you can then start the Lien Generation process where the Lien Amounts are then pulled from your accounting system and applied to the Lien Wavier Template (you can also create custom templates based on a Job or GC Requirement). The Liens are then Auto emailed to the contacts (or printed if needed) and can be tracked based on Job or Vendor with Compliance Warning Triggers when the Liens become passed due if not received by a certain date. Other Tracking modules include Advanced Insurance, Contractors License, Subcontracts and Certified payroll.
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The only solution to tracking is this:
When you receive the Sub's invoice there should be a Conditional Waiver attached. If it is not attached, we won't process the invoice.
When payment is sent to the Sub we send the Unconditional Waiver with the check. However..... if they Unconditional Waiver does not come back and we receive another invoice. We notify the sub that until the unconditional waiver is received from the previous payment, no other invoices will be processed or payments made.
It usually only takes one (maybe two) times to do this and they get the point. This is the only way to get those waivers back so payments to us are not help up.
Kind of a hard approach but has to be done. The question you have to ask yourself is this..... Who is running your company??? You or the Sub?
Hope this helps.
Debbie, the asker IS the subcontractor. They are referring to obtaining waivers from their material suppliers, etc. who they may receive dozens or more invoices from every DAY. Each invoice is not going to have a waiver attached.
We have the same problem. Every GC has their own lien waiver form and their own special snowflake requirements. They want lower tier waivers from every supplier on the job. Tracking multiple concurrent projects with multiple (some same and some different) vendors is a serious pain.
Once I receive a monthly payment from a GC, I make the appropriate vendor payments; then I have to give them time to process the payments; then I email the lien waivers with the specific special instructions for that particular GC and project; wait for waivers to come back (send reminders as needed); forward waivers to GC; request revised waivers from all vendors who haven't filled them out perfectly or to meet the GC's whimsically changing requirements; wait for revised waivers (sending reminders, etc.); forward to GC; wait for GC to process payment (or decide they need something more/different); email GC asking why payment hasn't been processed, etc., etc. ad nauseum for EVERY project.
And yes, I'm keeping track of all this on the electronic equivalent of sticky notes. I would love to find a product to manage lower tier lien waivers!
As a GC, we do the same thing that Debbie does: a conditional waiver submitted with their invoice then a final issued with the check. Then when their next invoice comes in we check to make sure that the unconditional was received for the last invoice before we process. We notify them once, then it's on them to get it to us.
Our accounting software, ComputerEase, has lien tracking as part of the AP process, so we don't have to keep a separate or aftermarket product updated.
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Debbie, how do you adjust your policy for subcontractors who are not responsive? We must submit all the UNconditional waivers from the prior draw with our next draw request to the owner. Any one sub can delay the whole process. Yes, that sub's next payment will be delayed but so will ours and all other subs by way of delaying the entire draw from the owner. Of course they all understand the process but it only takes one busy sub who has it slip through the cracks to wreak havoc.
David - when we are required to submit unconditional waivers with our billings, we do the following:
1. let all subcontractors know that they MUST include an unconditional waiver with their draw application
2. If the subcontractor does not include the unconditional waiver, we will remind them it is a requirement and if it is not submitted, then their draw will not be processed
3. if we still do not receive the unconditional waiver we do not include the subcontractors draw with our billing to the owner
This usually happens only one time before they remember to include the waiver.
We started using the Greenlight system and have been very pleased with it. It's been about a year that we started it up.
Greenlight is a smaller company, but the tech support I need or questions I have are always answered between 1 -4 hours.
Other companies provided many more "options" to what they could provide, but we wanted something simple and easy to use--- Greenlight has been a good fit for our company.
It's an easy system that has provided us much relief from the manual tracking we were doing.
We are a railroad design and contracting business who need waivers for our customers/ vendors and subs.... Greenlight provided us what we were looking for.
Some construction accounting software packages have lien waiver tracking as a function. You can also generate your lien waivers from the acoounting system when you cut the checks.
I would be glad to discuss further if you would like.
All my best
As we all know in our industry, positive cash flow is critical. You may want to consider assigning someone in your office the responsibility of monitoring the collection, submittal and follow up with GCs, vendors, and suppliers of waivers & releases. You could then have that person produce a report each Friday with the activity, so that you can get involved as needed. In some cases, the accountant might be the one to create the report.
I am sure others will have suggestions for software that could help with this process.
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