From the July 2010 Review of Construction/Contractor Accounting Programs.
MICS has been producing construction-related software for more than 25 years. BIS for Windows was first introduced in 1997 and has continuously added system enhancements and features that the construction community has requested. Available in three editions, BIS offers construction and contracting companies a scalable product designed for businesses large and small.
BASIC SYSTEM FUNCTIONS:
The main user interface is highly customizable. The top of the screen offers drop-down menu functionality with access to all system modules and features. My Desktop features a vertical menu with access to each system module. Links are also provided to the immediate right. Clicking on a link will display the screen with all of the features relevant to that module. BIS provides real-time accounting, where all transactions entered in the system post immediately to the GL, eliminating batch use.
Other navigational aids include My Favorites and My Dashboards, where you can access frequently used features, functions and reports. BIS offers a fully customizable user interface where user preferences can be set up for each system user. Data-entry screens are easily navigated and contain the necessary lookup fields. The My Jobs Dashboard feature allows users to choose specific jobs or all jobs to display an overview of each selected job, with summary of billings and costs, labor comparisons, subcontract information, and document management included. In the Professional and Enterprise editions, users can create up to 13 user-definable fields in all master records.
BIS can be remotely accessed by field personnel so all employees can have access to the same data set at any time with an Internet browser. The company noted that with the Enterprise edition, a user is assured of a more secure form of access. BIS works with Windows 2000+, including Windows XP and Windows Vista, and the current edition is now compatible with Windows 7, as well.
CORE ACCOUNTING CAPABILITIES:
The Standard version of BIS includes GL, AP, AR, JB, JC and Payroll modules, with four optional modules available. In the Professional and Enterprise editions, all modules except for GL are optional. The GL offers real-time processing and a standard chart of accounts that can be easily customized for any construction type business. Alternatively, users may choose to create a user-defined chart of accounts. The product also has automatic reversing entries to ensure a sound audit trail.
The AP module allows users to distribute invoice costs to multiple GL accounts and contains retention tracking for all subcontractor invoices. The AR module offers up to nine discount levels for customers and numerous sales tax codes. In the Professional and Enterprise level editions, users can also set up recurring billing, recurring payables and recurring purchase orders.
The Payroll module is construction friendly, with the ability to handle multi-state payroll, distribute payroll hours to multiple jobs and change orders. For those with union requirements, a union payroll module is available. Depending on the edition, optional accounting modules available in BIS include Job Billing and Bank Reconciliation.
Multi-level security is available, including both module and menu level. Each edition of BIS offers additional security levels, with the Professional and Enterprise levels both offering function-level security. Finally, the Enterprise edition also offers field-level security.
The budget feature allows users to import estimate detail from a variety of third-party software products or from a spreadsheet file. With the JC module, users can easily track costs related to all jobs and, in turn, can compare budgeted costs with actual costs. BIS requires users to associate all job transactions with a corresponding job cost code or change order. All change orders are processed through the subcontracts option or through the budget and change order form with all change orders broken down by cost code to simplify tracking.