For Civil Engineers Cossill & Webley, tracking staff time inputs and promptly sending progressive invoices is critical to monitoring business performance and managing cashflow.
The company, which has about 60 staff located in Perth and Melbourne, specialises in the Civil Engineering aspects of infrastructure and land development projects, including residential, industrial and commercial subdivisions.
This means the company works with Land Developers on some very long-term projects, including master-planned residential communities. As such, it is considered important to carefully monitor the amount of time spent on each project and progressively claim fee payments along the way.
The company initially engaged WorkGuru’s founders Tony Harcourt and Michael Davis in their capacity as digital workflow and cloud integration consultants prior to the launch of WorkGuru. It was this type of consulting work that led to Tony and Michael to create WorkGuru as a business management tool.
Finding the right solution
“We had an internal objective to modernise our accounting systems; we previously completed all our invoicing in Excel and our timesheets weren’t integrated with projects, so we needed a much better way to combine these elements as the business expanded and became more sophisticated,” Cossill & Webley Associate Theo Tham explained.
“We migrated to cloud-based Xero for our accounting but needed something to manage our timesheets and invoicing a lot more efficiently.”
“Our business is a bit different in that most of our projects are long-term. Some projects remain active beyond 20yrs, so we need to be able to invoice progressively and on a stage by stage basis.”
“A lot of the other solutions on the market were based purely on hourly rates or short fixed-sum commissions, however many of our fee agreements are based on a percentage rate of the construction costs. It was really hard to find a system that accommodated this cost tracking and invoicing structure.”
After looking at a range of systems, Cossill & Webley decided to implement WorkGuru across their operations in Melbourne and Perth and issued their first invoices on the platform in mid-2020.
“Building a stronger, more successful business”
With such a unique fee structure, the platform needed a range of customisations to suit Cossill & Webley’s needs.
Theo believes this ability to customise many aspects of the platform are what makes WorkGuru’s software so unique.
“Our business is fairly unique so we were never going to get something off the shelf that worked, we needed a framework that could be configured to our needs and the WorkGuru team have delivered precisely that,” he said.
“Having direct access to the WorkGuru development team has been a huge benefit in tweaking the system and getting the setup right to make it easy for our team to implement this new process.”
“We have made adjustments every month to iron out issues and it is getting to the point where we can see the improvements in processes and efficiency. Ultimately this will assist us to make better, more informed decisions to build a stronger, more successful business.”