2009 Review of CYMA -- CYMA Accounting For Windows Job Costing

From the July 2009 Review of Construction/Contractor Accounting Systems

The Job/Project Costing program offered by CYMA is an optional module that works with CYMA’s Financial Management System, a business management and accounting suite that includes core GL, AP and AR functions, along with bank reconciliation, inventory, payroll, and sales and purchase order management. As an optional module, the Job/Project Costing system integrates thoroughly with the other areas of the CYMA system, providing small and mid-sized construction firms with greater control over labor, materials, equipment and indirect costs, progress and status overviews, scheduling and budgeting. The CYMA system is offered on a per-module basis, with core modules starting at $645 each. CYMA also offers a nonprofit accounting program and a professional write-up system.

The CYMA program makes use of a consistent interface throughout its modules, with a home screen that offers pull-down menus for key task areas and for searching client and vendor lists, employee data, departments, locations and banking features. The primary interface within the Job Cost module is the Maintain Jobs screen, which offers data-entry and overview screens with multi-tabbed views of jobs and associated information, allowing users to quickly bring up or edit data relating to tasks, contacts, invoicing, labor, activity, products and GL accounts. A financial overview section provides at-a-glance reference to contract amount, budget, actual and invoiced figures. Additional budget tools enable tracking of detailed cost per item and period, and summary tracking by cost type and user-defined cost codes.

The Maintain Jobs screen also provides a notes section for entering miscellaneous information, and offers the ability to attach any file to a job record, such as blueprints, photos, contracts, invoices and other documents. Users also have the option of creating a customized tab for tracking other data. When entering a new job, the system guides the user through many tasks, and since the forms offer multiple lookups and selection lists, most processes are easy to use.

Along with all of the core modules available in the main CYMA accounting package (GL, AP, AR, payroll, inventory, etc.), the system’s Job Cost module provides several key features for construction firms, including the ability to manage government projects and track various project benchmarks, including percent of days or cost complete. Users can also sort and generate subtotals of all cost activities on jobs by multiple factors, and can quickly drilldown on invoices to get to specific information. The Job Cost module is also available for CYMA’s nonprofit edition, which offers grant tracking, various compliance tools and FASB reporting.

The Job Cost system offers several costing options, including cost type, direct material, direct labor, subcontractor and cost categories, along with multiple billing methods, such as fixed price, cost plus, cost plus with fixed fees, time and material, and completion estimates. Labor costing functions allow applying labor cost distribution directly to a job without having to process payroll. The system can also track skill levels with customizable billing rates and gives management the option to apply different labor overheads and burdened costs to jobs based on skill performed. Other notable features of the costing module include the ability to assign specific labor and material rates for different jobs, the option to apply fringe overhead in addition to labor, and material costing options that enable building of items from inventory.

CYMA’s payroll module, which can support any number of employees and employers, offers multiple data-entry methods and also provides options for direct deposit, accruals and benefits tracking, and support for 401Ks, HSAs and flexible spending plans. The system generates wage worksheets and reports.

The CYMA system provides a good selection of customizable reports, including general financials, departmental reports, summaries and detailed output for payroll, AR and AP, and job costing options that include job listings, summaries, budget to actual, job and skill types, and cash flow reports. Reports can be edited in third-party report writers such as Crystal Reports and F9, or saved into Word, PDF, HTML, XML, CSV and Excel.

All of CYMA’s modules integrate with each other as necessary, with transactions automatically posting to appropriate accounts and payroll items updated based on job labor data. The program, including the Job Costing module, enables import of data from QuickBooks and other file types, and allows export into the various formats noted in this review’s Reporting section above.

Good assistive features are available within the program, such as smart data-entry functions and selection lists, along with a traditional Help utility. The vendor’s support website offers a knowledgebase, program updates and links to additional resources. Technical support is available on a per-incident basis or through subscription packages. In addition to digital versions of the program’s user guides and manuals, full printed versions of these are also shipped with the software.

The CYMA Accounting for Windows system with the Job Cost module offers good management tools and tracking for mid-sized construction businesses looking to better control their client projects. The system includes features often found in more expensive packages in a system that allows users to select and pay for only the modules they need.