Unsung Heroes

Lean Accounting Department adds horsepower to the firm

Do you know what responsibilities an A/E/C accounting team holds these days? If your company runs an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, you probably have a computer savvy bunch equipped to support leadership and staff with fast financial reports to assess business performance. What may not be a familiar experience is the herculean effort behind fielding inquiries from banks, insurance companies, tax agencies, auditors, legal professionals, vendors, and contractors. You also may not realize accounting roles keep evolving and tasks increase in volume over the years. Working with financials has never been easy and can be incorrectly dismissed as run-of-the-mill busy work.

What Chief Financial Officer Carey Goetz and database administrator Richard Borbe will say is that it not only takes professional stamina to support DCI’s nine offices, it also takes talented, adaptable personnel dynamics to run a smooth business too. The real challenge is remembering to step back and see the bigger picture advantage when managing the logistics of the firm and keeping up - or even ahead - with corporate industry standards.

Just exactly how does Carey sharpen the pencil for DCI? He makes sure his 8-person team has the right tools and the improvement processes in place to work efficiently. His team is also expected to shift into a higher gear when the workload increases and the risks are greater. Rarely adding new headcount, he points them toward directives of risk management and quality control.

The nature of doing business today
DCI is experiencing an unprecedented backlog of project work which means there are more clients, more projects, more billing, and more accounting responsibilities to process a higher volume of digital customer data and reports. As project transactions get bigger, it’s even more important for Accounting to check the data integrity entered into Deltek Vision, the project-based ERP system that also handles complex billing and project management status. Richard continues to design new user interface features in Deltek to support routine efforts.

At the same time, our engineering teams are asked to work smarter and faster. Any business owner experiencing project transaction growth and expediting customer service has a higher chance of experiencing risk, such as errors or omissions (E&O) in day-to-day work activities. Banks and business insurance providers monitor a company’s E&O risk with scrutiny and adjust their rates or deductibles favorably to clients demonstrating sound financial management. It’s smart business practice for DCI to minimize the occurrences that lead to expensive liability claims that drive up deductibles. Again, Richard explores Deltek software options to assist with the mission.

Managing a business today also requires leadership, accounting, and human resource departments to understand new formalities and security measures, particularly with digital information, Carey said.

“We need to be more systematic with a lot of new laws and rules with the Affordable Care Act,” he said. “Even convenient online options for digital payroll stubs require you to think about optimizing security.”

Quality Control Committee
Richard’s experience with Deltek puts him in an ideal position to support the newly formed quality control committee at DCI. He has been working with Principal Scott Erickson to enhance user interfaces for tracking processes and making data entry and project alerts more beneficial for DCI project managers.

“If there is an operational workflow for engineering that leads to quality results, it’s worth establishing that workflow into a repeatable process,” Carey said. “Catching discrepancies help with the bottom line and measures our progress when we report to external agencies.”

Award winning Deltek users
More than 7,000 Deltek transactions per month at DCI includes invoicing, account receivables, account payables, payroll entries, tax entries, and general accounting data entry. By second nature, Carey’s team evaluates how to streamline accounting processes to sustain timely and correct transaction input. Carey and Richard’s solutions via Deltek won them recognition by SilverEdge Systems Software, Inc. – a Deltek partner who technically supports DCI and other regional clients customize their ERP systems.

Last year, Carey and Richard worked with SilverEdge to develop a report screen for project managers to view collections for the month and the current status of their accounts receivables with a new call-up function. It gave the engineering staff a means to make better assessments and smarter project decisions. Carey and Richard’s software enhancement was selected for a 2015 Project Excellence Award for user innovation.

Even with an impressive list of accomplishments since joining the firm in 2010, Carey doesn’t claim to be the mastermind behind the department’s success or the firm’s current Deltek superuser state. He credits every person on his team for implementing lean office work practices and being receptive to more job responsibilities.

“Today, a big share of our work is electronic. It just opens the door for us to do more things,” he said. “And there are still things that keep coming and being asked of the department.”

About the author

Rose Bechtold

Rose Bechtold, Communications Specialist | Rose comes from a journalism and technical writing background. She is in her element while in research mode and naturally immerses herself in expert knowledge by interviewing staff members about new subjects. In her spare time, Rose practices plein-air sketching of buildings and random scenes around town.

Share this article
linkedIn facebook twitter

Latest perspectives

See all
Baumberger Studio Final 2022 0321

DCI Project Featured at 2024 Mass Timber Conference & in New Short Film

1510 Webster Street straightened

1510 Webster Street: An All-Around, Mass Timber First

Heartwood Exterior

The ABCs of Tall Mass Timber