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A-Systems Corporation — JobView

A-Systems JobView version 4.2 introduces a number of new features to an already powerful and mature construction accounting system. The program is available at three levels: Small Builder Advantage, Standard Edition and Preferred Edition. The company actually provides Small Builder Advantage for $39.95, which is a ‘basics only’ version of JobView for startup companies. The Preferred Edition was reviewed here and costs $4,995, so keep in mind that various features mentioned may not be available at all software levels.

Learning Curve – 5 Stars
A simple, well-organized installation from a single CD will get you up and running quickly with JobView. One very nice feature that simplifies program maintenance is the JobView LiveUpdate, which allows you to instantly download any new components so you’re always up to date. The program provides an unintimidating interface. JobView’s main screen has a standard Windows drop-down menu system and toolbar. The toolbar provides access to general functions such as printer setup, lookup menu, calculator, backup, help, new company startup wizard, favorite reports, DataView, FormMaker and program updates. Docked on the left side of the work area is a vertical module selection
toolbar with icons for Job Viewer, GL, AP, Sales Orders, AR, Payroll, Job Costing, Equipment Costing, Purchase Orders, and Inventory. Clicking on one of these icons produces a pop-up menu with applicable choices for that module.

Data-entry screens are practically self-explanatory. Each function (such as sales
orders, invoices and job setup) opens with a list of applicable items that can be sorted by a number of predefined choices. Buttons on this list screen allow for inserting, changing or
deleting records. Double-clicking on an item in the list opens the appropriate record edit window. Edit windows use a well-designed multi-tab layout with lookup buttons for key fields.

Modules & Functionality – 5 Stars
The Job Viewer module is a powerful management tool that uses a dashboard-style approach to present summarized information in a series of ‘overview’ windows: Company,
AR, AP, Financial, Accounting, Project Manager Job, and Superintendent Job. Each window displays real-time totals from the system with ‘hot fields’ that can be clicked for a multi-level drill-down that can be used to display details of each number, all the way down to the transaction level.

Of course, the Job Costing module is really at the heart of all this information with many features and reports. The Job Setup screen is a multi-tab data-entry window with tabs for General Information, Budget, Change Orders, Job Site, Certification, Architect, Financing, Billing Phases, and Notes. Job Numbers and Job Phases may be up to 10 characters long. Job Phases can be represented by standard CSI or NAHB cost codes, or customized to your own schedule. Once a job is set up, the ordinary processes of doing payrolls and payables accumulates actual costs.

A HomeBuilder Option lets you create a dictionary of Purchase Options and allows you to draw from that dictionary when creating job budgets. This can be useful for standardized features, such as a bay window or doors. The Purchase Options window displays a list of previously entered options that are available for the customer to add to their base project. New Purchase Options can be defined by adding the proper component cost codes and quantities, including labor and materials.

Import/Export/Integration – 5 Stars
The DataView function allows you to create highly customized data sets that can either be viewed on-screen or printed. By selecting various database fields and options, you can create nearly any report imaginable without the complexities of most third-party report writers. You can add calculated fields by using DataView’s built-in formulas. The data view grid can be exported directly to an ASCII file or to an Excel spreadsheet by using the clipboard export function.

A variety of data imports is also supported. The AR and AP modules provide imports for third-party invoices. Files can be imported from comma-delimited, tab-delimited or fixed position ASCII files. The GL module can import third-party transactions. As well, purchase orders, job estimates, electronic timesheets and a wide variety of setup information can be imported into JobView.

Support & Training – 5 Stars
Realizing the complexities of construction and job cost accounting, A-Systems caters to non-accountants with an ample supply of multimedia tutorials and other basic documentation that can save a lot of time and money for new users. Over 50 training sessions are available that address topics ranging from ‘Crash Course in Construction Accounting’ to ‘Reconciling Purchase Orders with AP Invoices.’ The company also takes pride in its old-fashioned technical support, with a toll-free number, and live support representatives that are trained in both technical and usage aspects of the JobView software.

Reporting – 5 Stars
Each module includes numerous predefined reports that can be previewed, printed or e-mailed directly from the report preview screen. Another sophisticated tool that enhances
the program’s reporting and printing capabilities is FormMaker. This allows the creation
of custom form layouts, such as checks, invoices and purchase orders. The design screen lets you place text and fields using a WYSIWYG layout editor. A-Systems has included quite a number of form layouts for popular uses that can be used as-is or modified to meet individual needs.

Relative Value – 5 Stars
JobView combines a powerful job cost accounting system with ease of use, which is not an easy assignment. The high quality multimedia tutorials are an added benefit for new users and non-accountants who wish to take full advantage of the array of information
that can be derived from this program.

2005 Overall Rating: 5