Customer success story
Exceling beyond Excel: How one home builder perfected financials switching from spreadsheets to Buildertrend synched to QuickBooks for contractors
Their success story
The power of Buildertrend is unrivaled. This smart system has the ability to streamline workflows, connect teams and even improve marriages.
Yep, you read that last one right. Marital counselors, move over.
For Bill Katsaros, owner of Roma Homes, construction tech didn’t just better his business. It took stress off his personal life, too. Instead of breaking down over bookkeeping, he integrated Buildertrend with QuickBooks for contractors. Now tech does all the hard financial work for him.
“When we did the books manually by ourselves after our first full-time year, the stress wore on us. Our goal implementing Buildertrend was to have a happy marriage,” Bill said. “Everything else was icing on the cake.”
Bill and his wife, Alex, remained in marital bliss while their business achieved defined financial processes they previously only dreamed of.
The intersection of science and art
“We believe building is a science and designing is an art,” Bill said. “Everything we do from a design perspective is like a piece of art. No two homes are the same – so everything is a blank canvas from that perspective.”
Roma Homes makes home masterpieces all across Charlotte, N.C. Founded in 2013, the company renovates older homes and revives neglected properties with new homes that reflect the character of this great area.
It’s a lean team – just four full-timers – run by the Katsaros husband-wife duo. Just like real art, Roma Homes needs the right tools to create something that wows. Instead of paint brushes, it’s Buildertrend construction technology that helps them get the job done.
Custom bathroom by Roma Homes
Taking the stress out of accounting
Roma Homes has been a Buildertrend customer since 2016, and it was a word-of-mouth referral that first turned them onto construction estimating software.
“A friend of mine who lives in Michigan hired a builder to do his personal residence. He said, ‘Check it out. Look what this guy is using,’” Bill said. “I saw Buildertrend and immediately knew. This is the big piece that’s missing if we want to grow to that next level.”
With a smaller team, Bill and Alex needed a way to easily manage their finances so they could focus on what they do best: revitalizing up-and-coming neighborhoods all over Charlotte. Buildertrend’s smart money-tracking features paved the way.
Project management seamlessly synched to QuickBooks for contractors
Many Buildertrend users get started with the platform using features like the Schedule or Daily Logs. Financials come second. Roma Homes took a different route. It was all about better budgeting right from the beginning.
Before using construction estimating software, Excel spreadsheets were the go-to for tracking and maintaining financials. As the company took on more business, the team needed a solution that was more robust, organized and mobile friendly – something that could grow along with Roma Homes.
The Roma Homes team started with the Budget tool so they could first centralize their scattered information. This feature tracks time clock labor, bills, purchase orders and more – right from the palm of a user’s hand. Plus, the Budget has the power to show actual costs versus estimates to keep jobs on track.
“So much of what I do is from a speculative standpoint – I don’t do a lot of custom homes. I buy the land and build the house, so I have to know my numbers really well and know them quickly,” Bill said. “Buildertrend gives me the ability to always look at past data and accurately make decisions faster on what I am going to buy.”
Custom dining room by Roma Homes
To mine even more value from this digital tool, Roma Homes syncs the Budget with QuickBooks for contractors. Seamless integration means they don’t have to worry about interruption of workflow. Even better, this puts an end to time-sucking double entry. All it takes is the click of a button to get their numbers from Buildertrend to QuickBooks for contractors.
“I don’t want to learn QuickBooks, too,” Bill said. “Now I don’t have to because it just transfers from one to the other. It’s a click and you’re ready to do your taxes. It allowed us to organize our finances in a much smarter way than relying on Excel spreadsheets.”
These financial features allow Roma Homes to create cost codes in the platform, too. The biggest benefit of this is it allows the team to quickly find and analyze how much money is being spent on jobs. This provides structure they didn’t once have, empowering them to set more accurate and realistic estimates in real-time.
“Buildertrend speaks my language,” Bill said. “I can tell our bookkeeper the cost code, she enters it, and it helps keep everything clean. I love the fact that it syncs with Buildertrend and makes it very easy for her. I can see it all and access it on the go, too – that’s a huge benefit.”
Custom home exterior by Roma Homes
Going from scrambling to structured
“The level of organization is so much higher today,” Bill said. “You go from feeling like you’re shooting in the dark to much more focused. There’s major time savings in that.”
Roma Homes isn’t just saving time – organization via software saves them money, too. Take sub management for example.
Instead of keeping subcontractor information in files and stashed in desk drawers, it’s stored in Buildertrend. This includes insurance information. That means they know when insurance is expired and requires a sub update it if they want to get paid.
“My first full-time year as a builder, we paid $8,000 in uninsured lack of proof because I did not have an organized process in place,” Bill said. “Now auditors are blown away. I click a button and the proof is right there. Most people come in with a stack of papers flying all over the place.”
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