Industry Specific Software – Construction Manager


Industry Specific Software - Construction Manager

From the July 2011 Review Construction and Contractor Accounting Systems

Best Fit:
Well-suited for small to mid-sized construction companies, Construction Manager contains solid financial capability along with an excellent array of job management features.

Since 1985, Industry Specific Software has provided a completely integrated, construction management software to construction and related businesses. Well-suited for small to mid-sized construction companies, Construction Manager contains solid financial capability along with an excellent array of job management features.


Construction Manager offers easy navigation with a toolbar at the top of the screen that provides access to all system features. Module access is found under the function heading. Customization features include a choice of various color options for each interface screen. System defaults can also be set to reflect user preferences. Data-entry screens are easily navigated and contain lookup options throughout.


  • Cost Management module maintains job leads, tracks all types of client contact & maintains detailed history on all clients
  • Historical estimating option pulls detail from previous jobs to create a quick job budget for a new job
  • Wide range of optional industry-specific modules
  • Contact management module pulls information into one comprehensive database
  • Job material lists can be sent directly to suppliers to help ensure more competitive pricing
  • Document Management module available

Potential Limitations:

  • No SaaS option (but remote access is available via third party, i.e. PC Anywhere,, etc.)
  • Product does not offer dashboards
  • Lack of mobile tools for field techs to utilize

The financial calculations feature allows users to view company-related financial information including loan payment amounts, present and future value, and internal rate of return. The optional Cost Management module allows users to easily maintain job leads, track all types of client contact, and maintain a detailed history on all clients, with the option to attach faxes, invoices, proposals, etc.

Construction Manager is built on SQL technology and utilizes a Microsoft operating system, including Windows 7, Vista and XP.


Construction Manager offers three sample charts of accounts, or users can construct their own. Account numbers can utilize up to 50 alphanumeric characters, making it easy to utilize job, department or company-specific job costing. Construction Manager supports multiple companies. Unique job identifiers are assigned to each new job in order to post transactions accordingly. Discount codes can also be assigned to each job. Users will need to set up divisions within in company in order to track data for multiple locations or branch offices. Recurring journal entries can be set up in within the system, and multiple years can be used simultaneously since Construction Manager does not require month-end or year-end closings. The AP module flags duplicate payments, applies discounts, and can easily track warranty information and lien waivers.

Construction Manager can also process electronic vendor payments and can accept electronic payments, as well. New features in AP include the ability to calculate and withhold retainage from invoices, and the ability to establish multiple default account codes. The AR module has multiple billing capability including recurring billings, time & material billings, AIA draw requests, cost plus billing, and contract percent complete. New in Construction Manager is also the ability to view and maintain open and paid invoices. The optional Payroll module tracks employee billing rates, handles multiple deduction types and tracks workers’ compensation rates for each job.

Additional accounting modules include Banking, Inventory Management, Purchasing and Time & Material Billing. All system users can be assigned a password, with the ability to set security options by company, by application, by specific function, and by reports within each application.


Construction Manager can easily interface with a variety of third-party estimating applications. Users can also choose to use the historical estimating option, which pulls detail from previous jobs to create a quick job budget for a new job. The Job Management module allows users to easily track job progression using job identifiers. Cost phases can also be tracked and maintained for each part of a job. Construction Manager tracks both overhead and profit, and the job overview will display any over-budget items in red. Change orders can be easily tracked with the ability to create a new change order from a previous one. Users can track revised units, budgets or subcontractor totals, and overhead/profit can be edited in the change order, as well.

The AP and AR modules do a good job tracking vendor and customer information, but the optional contact management module pulls all this information together into one comprehensive database. Inventory Management tracks inventory in multiple locations, allows users to set up re-order levels and adjusts inventory levels based on job usage. The Purchasing module flows directly into the AP processing function and allows users to establish pricing specific to each vendor. Purchase orders can also be created from estimating. Users can send job material lists directly to suppliers to help ensure more competitive pricing. The Scheduling module provides subcontractors with a detailed list of required tasks and allows project managers to reschedule tasks accordingly. Construction Manager also provides users with the ability to track all related construction load detail and any subsequent draws taken against the loan.


Users can easily create all the necessary reports using the Financial Report Design option. Construction Manager also produces AIA compliant draw requests. Financial Calculations provides information on all company assets. Templates can be created to re-use for different jobs, making it easy to ensure that all required information is included in each invoice or purchase order. The optional Document Management module reduces lost paperwork, allowing users to scan and attach vital documents to the appropriate file for easy access.


All Construction Manager system modules easily integrate. Numerous third-party construction-related applications are also available. Because the system was built on SQL technology, it enforces flexibility between systems, and the Web Link Management feature allows users to link to designated websites. Other optional modules available in Construction Manager include Payroll Direct Deposit, Time & Material Billing, and Warranty Management.


AN excellent user manual is included with the system. New users also receive free software installation, 60 days of free telephone support and system implementation assistance. Construction Manager offers a Platinum Service plan, which includes a Personal Services Analysis Team, as well as product discounts and training, along with unlimited toll-free telephone support. Product updates can be downloaded from the ISS website. The website provides decent information on the product and modules, but some information needs to be updated and some links fixed.


Construction Manager is an excellent product for small to mid-sized contractors, offering solid job cost accounting, subcontractor management and change order capability. Affordably priced at $945 for a single-user system to $5,795 for a network version of the product, ISS also offers Construction Manager on a leasing option with costs ranging from $75 to $225 a month.

2011 Overall Rating