Fetching Coffee For Architects VS Accounting For Architects
I was part of a two-man firm early in my career. Our office was across the street from a convenience store, which was where we obtained our caffeine (long story). I hated going over there. My senior partner didn't mind. He started the firm, and when I came on board, bookkeeping got more complicated - his checkbook no longer sufficed. He hated the idea of the more complicated bookkeeping. We made a pact: he would get coffee and I would figure out the bookkeeping.
I found a book published by the AIA, Standardized Accounting For Architects. My copy was still around up until recently. I couldn't find it when I was researching this article. I did find that you can get a used copy of it from Amazon for $240. I will have to look harder for my copy.
Standardized Accounting For Architects was and is the bible. Every accounting software system I have ever seen works basically the same way as the paper journals worked back in the day. Except easier and faster. But you can see what I mean because the AIA has a PDF available of later version that covers all the same territory, plus a discussion of computerization. Follow this link to get your own copy of Standardized Accounting For Architects.
This book eventually grew into Deltek Vision, which is the gold standard of Software Accounting For Architects (in my opinion). And has a similar price tag. There are three other systems out there that have similar capabilities to Deltek Vision - Axium by Ajera, BillQuick and InFocus by Clearview. This site will give you some user reviews of each of them.
One of the things I dislike about these systems is the pricing. Your number of employees impacts the price - as though 10 people generate mountains more data to be handled and stored compared to 5 people. It's bullshit. You end up spending as much per person for accounting as for CAD! That's why I would rather give up a system that makes an accountant redundant in favor of a service like B2Bee that is a flat $14/month. As a user of B2Bee, I am also an affiliate, so if you follow this link to give it a trial, I will make a few bucks if you become a paying subscriber.
There are several systems like B2Bee that I compared in this article.
Luckily accounting is much less tedious nowadays. You definitely want a computerized system rather than journals and spreadsheets. And I think the way to go is a cloud-based system so that you don't add to your IT expenses, program updates, and similar costly distractions.