From the July 2010 Review of Construction/Contractor Accounting Programs.
eTEK for Microsoft Office is a financial/job costing software product ideal for construction companies looking to step up from off-the-shelf products. Designed to be highly functional as well as scalable, eTEK offers solid features and an easy-to-use interface that has been designed for functionality and efficiency.
BASIC SYSTEM FUNCTIONS:
When eTEK first updated its user interface to utilize Microsoft Office 2007 design, I was frustrated, as I was only beginning to familiarize myself with Office 2007. A few years later, I can truly appreciate the eTEK user interface, which like Microsoft Office 2007, uses the ribbon-style method of navigation. Built on Microsoft Office 2007, eTEK’s user interface contains a set of function icons at the top, with system modules listed directly below. Clicking on a module will display the corresponding functions within that module, with most functions expanding into features within each particular section.
Data-entry screens are easily navigated, with clean, uncluttered entry screens and the appropriate lookup options throughout. Setup checklists are available for setting up new companies, making it easy to enter information and ensuring that nothing is overlooked.
When entering a new job, users can choose an existing job template or just create a new job from scratch. eTEK also offers five data-entry screen views. Users can also choose which items to display on the toolbar, including minimizing the ribbon feature if desired. The Inquiry screens located throughout can quickly and easily display selected financial and job-related reports. Because eTEK is available as a desktop system or as a SaaS model, multi-location access is easily utilized. eTEK works with Windows XP, as well as Windows Vista and Windows 7. Special instructions for Vista and Windows 7 are included in the Help file.
CORE ACCOUNTING CAPABILITIES:
The GL module is data driven so users can enter transactions at any time without worrying about closed months or future transactions being posted correctly. Recurring journal entries can be set up, and reversing journal entries can be completed by reversing the entire batch or by entering a reverse transaction for a single item in the Enter Journal Entry option.
The AP module allows users to easily add or edit invoices or create or utilize an invoice template. Vendors can be added on the fly, and recurring invoices processed automatically. The AR module allows for the creation of a series of billings, including Time and Materials, AIA Invoicing and Contract Billing, along with the standard billing function. The choice to place all of these billing options in the AR module was a good one; it streamlines transaction processing and eliminates the extra steps often found in other programs. The Payroll module allows users to enter employee hours using the QuickTime entry function or the standard entry function where earnings and deductions can be entered along with labor cost codes and equipment hours. The Payroll module also supports direct deposit and multi-state payroll.
Other financial modules available include Cash Management, Inventory and Purchasing. eTEK automatically creates a system Audit List, with batch numbers assigned for easy transaction processing. Solid system security options are also provided, with menu-level and step-level security available.
eTEK offers an estimating function that can be used when entering new job information. Users can assign a job estimate or estimator to each project or enter a new one on the fly. Estimates can be entered in a variety of default categories including Labor and overtime hours, Equipment, and Material Cost. The Job Cost Master Editor tracks detailed statistics on each job, including job status (which provides percentage complete), burden percentage and job permit information. The Inquiry feature provides additional detail on job-related transactions and vendor analysis. The Analysis feature provides quick views of information such as Estimates vs. Actual Costs and Work in Progress.
Customer data management in eTEK is excellent with options to track all customer activity, payment history, including original invoice amount, payment and discount applied and average days to pay. AIA billing can be tracked by job information, certificate for payment, change order summary or continuation sheets. AP allows users to track vendor payment history along with supplier payment information, as well as process 1099s. Employee information is easily managed in the Payroll module, where extensive employee information such as historical wages, taxes and deductions can be viewed. Subcontractor costs can be tracked either by job or subcontractor, which provides detailed information on contract costs, change order amounts and balances.
The Inventory module allows users to enter both items and kits. Items can be assigned to specified locations, groups or suppliers, and can handle multi-location warehouses. The Purchasing module allows users to add PO types, process POs and move information to the Inventory module. The Equipment Management function allows users to track both equipment and labor costs and rates attached to each piece of equipment, along with machine serial numbers and a detailed description.
REPORTING & MANAGEMENT TOOLS:
eTEK offers an excellent selection of reports in each of the modules, including the Job Recap report, the Billing Receipts Analysis and the Job Cost report. The Reports Wizard offers quick report customization, and all reports can be exported to PDF, XPS, Excel, Word, or text file formats, as well as emailed directly from the print screen. As previously noted, eTEK offers AIA-compliant invoicing with certificates tracked by job name or number. Creating communication templates is easy when utilizing the product’s exceptional integration with Microsoft Office products. Remote access is easily available using eTEK’s SaaS option.
eTEK offers solid integration of its entire selection of modules, along with strong integration with Microsoft Office products. eTEK also offers import capability from Access, as well as the ability to import estimating data from several third-party applications.
eTEK offers an excellent Help function within the product, along with a self-guided tour that is perfect for new users. Multi-media videos are available to assist new users in learning system navigation through all of the modules. eTEK also maintains a private blog for system users and offers various support agreements with first-year costs running 20 percent of the total license fee.
SUMMARY & PRICING
eTEK offers a solid construction software product that is ideally suited for small to mid-sized construction trades that require flexibility, ease of use and affordability along with a software product they won’t outgrow. Priced at $3,856 for a single-user system that includes Accounting, Payroll, Job Cost and Supply Chain Management modules, along with first-year product support and training, eTEK is a solid investment for construction companies.
2010 OVERALL RATING: