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How to Quickly Take the Headache Out of Payroll

Payroll is the biggest expense for most contractors, yet so many contractors struggle to manage it correctly and efficiently. Instead it’s the biggest headaches they deal with on a regular basis. However, the right construction accounting software can quickly take the pain away. Let’s look at 5 important features that will help streamline this process.

1. Certified Payroll

Certified payroll reports, like prevailing wage and statement of compliance, are crucial for contractors who have federal funded projects. It’s important that these reports be done correctly and in a timely fashion. If you work on government funded projects, you need an accounting program that will do these reports for you. Most high-end programs have this feature, though some of the lower end or more basic programs may not. Keep this in mind when considering a new system. It’s well worth the investment.

2. Direct Deposit

The direct deposit feature is so common now days that sometimes we forget not all programs can do it. Being able to offer direct deposit to your employees is such a convenience. You can save time and money by not printing checks and your employees will get paid faster. You also reduce the time in the office, not only of printing the checks, but putting them in envelopes and passing them out as well. If you get paid every week, this time can really add up!

Some software packages will also come with the option of emailing paycheck stubs to your employees, further reducing your office work and costs. Employees appreciate having their paycheck stubs electronically as well.

3. Options for multiple states, cities and counties

In some parts of the country and for some contractors who have multiple locations, it’s common for contractors to have employees working in multiple states and/or working on jobs in multiple cities or counties that all have different tax rates. Some states even have special taxes, like Massachusetts PFMLA, that can be a nightmare to implement.

You could also have employees who work in multiple trade classifications with different pay rates on a single paycheck.

With all of these different scenarios, you need a payroll system that has multiple options and can grow with your company and the ever changing federal and state tax laws. Having the option to assign different pay rates and different tax rates to one employee will take care of all of this for you.

4. Standard and custom reports

Your software should come with standard reports that everyone needs. Things like year-end W-2s and all of the necessary federal and state payroll tax reports. It’s also a good idea to have the ability to create any custom reports that you need. You never know what might come up and how helpful certain reports can be in keeping track of your business and where your money is going.

5. Time collection

The most important part of payroll is collecting your employees time. You need a fast and efficient way of collecting it accurately. That old paper and pen system just won’t do. But how do you collect time from 25, 50, 100 or even 300 people in the field? The best way is through an app that integrates with your construction accounting software.

It’s the foreman’s job to make sure everyone is at work and allocated to the right project. It’s also his job to collect their time and send it back to the office. Now he can do that right from his smart phone. He can enter time for multiple employees all at once and send it back to the office will just a tap of a button. No more tracking down time sheets and lost pieces of paper! You’ll save time in the field and in the office with this app.


There are many options out there when it comes to construction accountant software. It’s important that you take a good look at what your business really needs before you decide which one is right for you. It’s a big investment that can make a huge difference in your business, especially when it comes to payroll.

The STRUCTURE Blue Payroll module will do everything we have talked about and so much more. With STRUCTURE Blue you can automatically post labor to job costs, track vacation, holiday and sick time, calculate taxes and deductions for layoff checks, Davis-Bacon and Section 125 deductions and automatically print state tax and garnishment checks as part of the payroll run.

With TimeLinc, our mobile time collection app, field personnel can enter hours worked right on their iOS or Android device. TIme is captured in STRUCTURE Blue for review and processing.

  • Create a complete employee database

  • Automatically post labor to job costs

  • Track vacation, holiday and sick time

  • Calculate taxes and deductions for layoff checks, Davis-Bacon and Section 125 deductions

  • Automatically print state tax and garnishment checks

  • Create custom union reports

About C/F Data Systems

For over 40 years C/F Data Systems has been serving the construction industry with solutions that address contractor’s unique financial needs. STRUCTURE Blue provides solutions to manage all areas of construction operations including billing, inventory, payroll and project management.


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