Foundation Software - FOUNDATION FOR WINDOWS
From the July 2011 Review Construction and Contractor Accounting Systems
FOUNDATION contains a laundry list of features well suited for construction businesses of varying sizes and trades, particularly those a step up from small mom and pop contractors with 1-10 employees and less than a million in annual revenues. Anything above that would benefit from this system.
Foundation Software was established in 1985, operating first as a DOS system. The company re-introduced its construction product in the early 2000s as a complete Windows re-write using a Microsoft SQL database. New features are added annually in three major releases. FOUNDATION contains a laundry list of features well suited for construction businesses of various sizes and trades.
BASIC SYSTEM FUNCTIONS:
Foundation for Windows contains a user-friendly interface that contains a drop-down menu at the top of the screen for easy system access. The main menu is a graphical interface that contains three main sections for Base Modules, Additional Modules, and Project Management and Scheduling. User-defined fields are found throughout, making it easy to establish and track the information needed. All data-entry screens are easily navigated and contain necessary lookup options. The user interface can be easily customized, with QuickLinks that allow users to locate and store frequently used program functions, data-entry screens, reports, external programs and website links for quick access. FOUNDATION also contains an excellent selection of dashboards for GL, AP, AR, Change Orders and Job Cost modules. Conveniently, all dashboard reports contain drilldown functionality, making it easy to locate the details stored behind the report.
FOUNDATION for Windows can be accessed remotely, making it easy for technicians, field employees, and project managers to maintain access to the system at all times. The system will run on Windows 7 Professional/Ultimate, Vista Business/Ultimate, and XP Professional. FOUNDATION will also run on both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of these operating systems.
CORE ACCOUNTING CAPABILITIES:
GL accounts and journals can be imported from external programs. FOUNDATION is also flexible, allowing users to post transactions to any current open date range; the software is fully date sensitive with no hard or soft closes forced on users. Consolidation of Financials is also available for those who own and run multiple companies.
FOUNDATION’s AP module allows users to minimize data entry by entering detailed vendor setup information. Users can also view all AP checks on-screen prior to printing in order to maintain accuracy and minimize errors. Recurring invoices can be set up, and invoices can be selected for payment using a variety of options. The AR module allows users to track client billings, enter and maintain cash receipts, design, and utilize custom invoices and statements, and enter recurring invoice information to reduce data entry. In addition, FOUNDATION allows for generic invoicing as well as Time and Material, Service, percent complete and AIA billings. Users can also choose to reverse incorrect invoices or make adjustments to an existing invoice by utilizing a fast, easy–to-use feature called QuickReversal.
The Payroll module contains all of the necessary features in order to process construction payroll, including the ability to handle multiple tax authorities, multi-state payroll, and Workers’ Compensation expenses. Union-specific features are also available, including the ability to define union-specific deductions, pay rates and union regulations. The system also comes with several state and federal specific certified payroll reports built in. FOUNDATION’s base system includes the above mentioned accounting modules (GL, AP, AR, and Payroll) as well as Job Costing, Purchase Order/Subcontract, CPA Audit Review, and The Genie Series. The system provides an excellent audit trail, with all system transactions assigned a unique transaction code and the system administrator has the ability to control each user’s access to modules and features within to provide privacy and security.
Users can track estimated versus actual dollar amounts for each job. All historical data such as units and quantities can also be tracked for more accurate future estimating. Estimates can also be updated as each job progresses. Foundation offers integration with numerous third-party estimating products. FOUNDATION’s optional Project Management module allows users to track project status in real time, and can also track RFPs, RFIs, transmittals, submittals, field logs and change orders. Users can also attach documents to each job, creating easy access and a central location for all related files.
Change order status is easily managed, and change requests can also be recorded and automatically turned into change orders. The Document Imaging and Routing module lets users view any outstanding documents, approve them electronically, then route them to the next person on the approval list. All customer, vendor, employee and subcontractor information is easily handled in their respective modules. Subcontract information is maintained in the Purchase Order/Subcontract module, where users can track vital information such as insurance expiration, certificates of insurance, workers’ compensation and order status. The Purchase Order/Subcontract module allows users to utilize an abbreviated version of the PO for quick data entry, or they can choose to input detailed information such as description, unit of measure, payment terms and default retainage.
As previously noted, FOUNDATION for Windows offers a large number of third-party applications that integrate with the core product. The optional Inventory module supports multiple warehouses, multi-level pricing, and offers the option to use differing units of measure for each item entered.
FOUNDATION for Windows also contains an excellent Service Dispatch module that utilizes a color-coded dispatch board for easy scheduling and follow-up. Dispatchers can send e-mails or text messages directly to field technicians for quicker service response. Users can also track work order status, equipment warranties, equipment maintenance, recurring and scheduled service calls, and manage service contracts for all equipment. The home office can also provide field technicians with preferred routes and mapping technology.
REPORTING & MANAGEMENT TOOLS:
Foundation for Windows offers excellent reporting with hundreds of standard reports as well as detailed reports such as History Detail, Estimated vs. Actual Cost, Projected Cost to Complete, Production and detailed Labor reporting. The Executive Dashboard (optional) provides users with a colorful report containing charts and graphs. Executive Dashboards are available for Job, Cost, AP and AR, GL and change order reporting, and offer excellent drilldown capability. The Genie Series contains an excellent Report Writer option that can easily create user-defined reports and forms using templates with a simple drag-and-drop feature. FOUNDATION’s document imaging and routing cuts down on paperwork and keeps files organized. Conveniently, FOUNDATION is easily accessible from field offices or by service technicians. Employee and subcontractor time and labor can be easily tracked using one of FOUNDATION’s excellent third-party applications.
Foundation for Windows easily imports and exports data using the import/export genies from The Genie Series. Along with integration for a variety of third-party construction-related applications, FOUNDATION easily integrates with Office products such as Word, Excel and Access. Add-on modules include Executive Dashboard, Project Management, Scheduling, Service Dispatch, Equipment, Time & Material, Inventory, Fixed Assets, Unit Price Billing, Executive Management, and Consolidated General Ledger.
FOUNDATION provides a built-in Help wizard. System updates can be downloaded from the vendor’s website via the “client only” area. Training options include online and onsite. Support is handled from Foundation’s corporate office in Ohio, as well as its regional offices in California and Texas. Various support options are also available and include unlimited, toll-free support and web-based support. Six months of free system maintenance is available for all new users, with the option to purchase a support plan thereafter.
SUMMARY & PRICING
Foundation for Windows is an excellent product for construction-related industries that need a solid job cost accounting package along with scheduling and project management. FOUNDATION is currently priced at $7,000 to $15,000 for a one- to five-user system.
2011 Overall Rating