From the April/May 2006 Review of
Construction Accounting Software
Builder Information System – Version 1135.18 is the latest version of
this excellent construction-related software from MICS. Designed for construction
companies of all sizes, Builder Information Systems is offered in three distinct
versions: Standard for small businesses; Professional for midsize companies;
and Enterprise for large construction and construction-related companies.
LEARNING CURVE — 5 Stars
Installation was quick and easy: The program was on one CD, and the Report Server
module engine was on a second. A variety of FAQs are available from MICS. License
files are installed from a diskette, and a demo company is included for practice
sessions. The main screen contains a drop-down menu with various options, including
File, Edit, Job, Transactions, Reports, Administrator and List. To open a company,
you simply click on File |Open Company. User preferences can be assigned for
a variety of menu options, including settings, forms, hyperlinks, backgrounds,
mail accounts and reports. Data-entry screens are easily navigated with lookup
windows for all necessary fields. A decent Help feature will guide you through
setting up the system.
MODULES & FUNCTIONALITY — 5 Stars
The base system includes GL, AR, AP, Job Cost, Job Billing and Payroll, and
is available for up to three users. Optional modules available for the Standard
Edition include Bank Reconciliation, Password, Subcontract Control and the Union
module (which was added this year). The Professional (up to 100 users) and Enterprise
level (up to 1,000 users) editions offer even more optional modules, including
the Report Server, Job Scheduling, Document Image and Link, Document Manager,
Equipment Control, Inventory, Purchase Order and Report Writer. This latest
version contains numerous enhancements, including the ability to enter Workers
Compensation rates and modifiers to the Job Cost adjustment screen, additional
job cost type accounts, additional drill-down levels, additional exporting formats,
and a variety of updates and report additions.
Clicking on Job will allow you to enter new job information, including default
posting account numbers, the building owner and architect, markup and change
order information, billing method you wish to use, and your labor billing rate.
Payroll information can also be entered, along with historical data and a section
to enter user-defined fields for each particular job. An area for notes is also
Job budgets will track cost by category, and you can easily copy budget information
from one job to another. You can also enter an unlimited number of change orders.
The program also tracks budgeting information for each cost code entered in
the system. The Job Billing feature allows you to easily track scheduled value,
previous payments on that particular job, work in place, percent completed and
total completed. Equipment history is easily maintained with areas provided
to enter serial numbers, make and model, fuel usage, and average maintenance
cost. The user-defined field option can be used to track the information deemed
IMPORT/EXPORT/INTEGRATION — 5 Stars
Smaller companies can start with the Standard edition and easily move up to
the next edition without cumbersome data importing or retraining. All modules
integrate seamlessly to provide real-time data processing. Builder Information
System is ODBC compliant, which means you can easily export your data into third-party
applications such as Crystal Reports, Microsoft Excel, Word and Access. And
in the latest version, you can now export reports in *.XLS and *.PDF formats,
even in the Standard edition. As well, you can now export reports in *RTF and
*.TIF in the Professional edition and in HTML in the Enterprise edition.
SUPPORT & TRAINING — 5 Stars
All new users are given four hours of setup training conducted by a qualified
trainer over the phone. Onsite training is also offered for those who prefer
learning in their own environment. New users are provided with a block of three support hours that they can use
in a year’s time from the date of purchase. Other support and training
options are available at an additional cost.
REPORTING — 5 Stars
The Standard edition comes with over 330 reports. The Professional and Enterprise
editions come with over 430. The Report Server is a convenient tool for those
who regularly send a multitude of reports to various entities. Simply enter
e-mail addresses of the recipients, the reports you wish to send and the format
you wish to use, and the Report Server will generate and e-mail the reports
automatically. The optional Report Writer module will customize existing forms
or create and modify new reports.
RELATIVE VALUE — 5 Stars
Builder Information System is an excellent program that even new users would
feel comfortable with immediately. True scalability, a great selection of add-on
modules, and easy import and export capability make this program an excellent
value. BIS Standard Edition is available starting at $3,200; the Professional
Edition starts at $9,250, and the Enterprise Edition starts at $12,025.
2006 Overall Rating — 5 Stars