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Intuit Master Builder — Master Builder


From the April/May 2006 Review of
Construction Accounting Software

Master Builder – Version 11 is the latest release of the product from
Intuit. This construction industry software is a good fit for midsize construction
related companies that desire the ease of an Intuit product combined with top-notch
accounting, job costing and project management capability.

Even new users will feel comfortable navigating through Master Builder. Installation
was simple, and the installation CD also contained various training information
in *.PDF format. Sample data is installed with the regular installation so you
can easily get comfortable with the system. The main screen, called the Project
Work Center, contains a list of modules in a vertical pane to the left of the
screen. This menu tree is customizable, so you can see the modules you need
and hide the rest. Calendar, calculator, Help and scheduled report icons are
on the Master Builder desktop at all times. You can add reports or menu items
directly to your Master Builder desktop. Master Builder gives users at least
two user-defined fields in most of the data-entry screens, as well as templates.

Navigation is easy: Simply click on the module you wish to open, and then
click on the function you wish to access. Data-entry screens are uncluttered
and contain a series of function icons within each screen. In most screens,
you’ll find function icons for the following: saving, printing, recalling
the last record accessed, a lookup feature, an option to count records in the
query table, copying and pasting records to a buffer, an option to change the
posting date, and a place to enter notes for that record.

Modules included with Master Builder include GL, AP, AR, Payroll and Project
Management, which includes Job Costing, Subcontract Management, Change Order
Management and Document Control. The Equipment Management module includes equipment
tracking, allocation and depreciation. The Scheduling module lets you create
integrated CMP schedules for jobs, and Review and Reporting includes both financial
and project review graphs.

This latest version of Master Builder includes the Master Builder Administrator,
which is a command center of sorts that allows you to manage program installation
and monitor who is logged into the system at any given time. The Document Control
module (mentioned earlier) lets you manage proposal and information requests,
create and manage punch lists, access and maintain plan records, and keep an
accurate record of all documents submitted to clients, contractors or architects.

Add-on modules available include Estimating, Service Receivables and Inventory.
The Client Tracking feature lets you keep a handle on all sales leads from first
contact through signed contract. The Budget feature lets you create simple or
complex budgets, depending on the job. Job cost codes can be up to 10 digits
and integrate with your AR module to create detailed time and materials billings
and progress billings. The AP function allows you to keep track of insurance,
workers compensation and licensing requirements for your vendors. The Equipment
Management module lets you track and record expenses against each piece of equipment
and charge the jobs for equipment you own. Equipment can be categorized by type,
and you can enter various rates for each piece of equipment.

Master Builder API is a tool you can install when you install the original software.
API allows Master Builder to communicate with other third-party software programs.
Estimating data from third-party applications can also be imported into Master
Builder. Data can be exported from Master Builder directly into Excel for spreadsheet
analysis. ODBC compliance with FoxPro Version 2.6 lets you share database information
with other programs. You can also import or export proposal files and export
budget files. A host of third party add-ons can also integrate seamlessly with
Master Builder.

Nearly 200 short tutorials are included with Master Builder, covering everything
from how to set up time and materials jobs to how to enter pay groups. The Help
files are extensive, and there is also a ‘help for this item’ option
as well. One-on-one training is available, as is online training, both live
and recorded. Master Builder also offers a product support program in either
silver or gold levels. The Gold level is included with all new purchases, and
at the end of the year, customers can choose to renew at either silver or gold
level. The Gold level includes technical support and the discovery-training
package. Both plans offer access to the knowledgebase, product upgrades and tax updates.

Master Builder contains over 1,000 reports. When selecting reports, preferences
can be saved for quick printing. The Report Writer included with Master Builder
lets you create customized reports or simply modify existing system reports.
Reports can be exported to Excel or faxed or e-mailed to specific recipients.
Most forms and reports included in Master Builder can be edited or designed
to reflect the needs of that particular business. With the Report Scheduler,
any report can be scheduled to automatically fax, e-mail or print out at a specific
day or time.

Master Builder is an excellent choice for those in a variety of construction
and service-related businesses. Excellent customization capability, extensive
reporting options, and strong job costing and equipment management modules make
Master Builder an excellent investment at $2,295 per concurrent user. The Receivables/Inventory
module is priced at $1,495, and Estimating runs $1,195.

2006 Overall Rating — 5 Stars