Higgihaus Developments from Bristol UK, are property problem solvers and investors whose goal is to deliver solid profits and stable cash flows for the group and for our investors. We think that’s good business. It is also a platform that affords us the opportunity to be a business for good.
At the heart of that is the design and delivery of great working spaces to homes and accommodation in cities around the UK.
At Higgihaus they do all the construction, design, development, and principal contracting in-house.
“I was finding it quite tricky to keep a record of our projects in Xero which is our accounting software, but it was constantly lagging where we were in terms of the project’s finances,” says Ian Holford, member of the board.
Ian started a search for a solution as he wanted to escape the spreadsheets, escape the manual data entry, and look for ways to stay on top of the budget numbers.
“It’s challenging within a development company to keep on top of your numbers. We have the projects, we have the budgets, and on top of that, you have VAT, you have the Construction Industry Scheme, you have all sorts of incomings and outgoings in and out of your bank account that doesn’t always tally up with your project budgets which is a particular thing. explains Ian.
Coming across Planyard
“I started trialing Planyard and it has been brilliant ever since then. We are now using them regularly as one of our critical tools for managing project budgets for our day-to-day business,” comments Ian
So you have a live real-time picture of where your project budget is at any given point
Ian explains that Planyard takes your project budget and puts it very clearly on screen for you and allows you to account all your costs, invoices, and receipts into it as you process them before they go to the accounting department. So you have a live real-time picture of where your project budget is at any given point.
Planyard is doing the CVR for you as you go
Planyard has replaced doing the Cost Value Reconciliation on spreadsheets. Ian says that he used spreadsheets for creating the CVR, which he had to update manually. The core of Planyard is a CVR tool so it’s doing that for you as you go while you process your invoices as you send them to accounting.
Planyard team has been responsive
I found that when I got started with it, I had immediate response and support from the team at Planyard and personal interaction and communication with them. They helped me go through the initial steps to get stuff set up and then learn how to use it. And improve it and improve the way we work. So I can honestly say that the Planyard people have been fantastic, rapid to respond, very progressive in the way they listen to you and your problems and solve them and actually when they can not solve them. They go back and tweak their phenomenal software.
So each country operates slightly differently, each project and construction company barely runs their businesses, so building a tool that fits everyone is challenging. I think that the guys at Planyard have done it exceptionally well, which is why I now use it day in and day out. Very happy to recommend it to anybody. It has been a game-changer for us for sure.
Xero integration is perfect
The Xero integration is perfect. It has been a process for us to get used to it, mainly because I used to use Xero as my project budget management tool, so I separated the two and started to trust Planyard for this half of it. Xero does accounting and bookkeeping.
“I don’t need to worry about that piece of paper or invoice again, it’s not only set up correctly against the budget, it has also been flown off to accounts, so I don’t need to send any more emails and don’t need to do any more work for the invoices to be received by the bookkeeper or the accountant,” explains Ian how Xero integration works.
Going to Planyard, make sure that I have accounted for that invoice, looked at it, had a quick check, labeled it against the budget, where it needs to be, press the button. Then the whole of that financial data and invoices are sent automatically to Xero and also emailed off to my bookkeeper, who then has all the information she needs to record it correctly in our accounts. It’s sort of job done, as simple as that.
Short interview video
Still using Excel for budget management?
There’s a better way.
Spreadsheets are not the best way for managing job costs
- It’s too easy to make mistakes;
- You can’t see behind the numbers;
- It’s hard to standardize and ensure compliance;
- There’s no real-time overview of profitability forecasts;
- It means duplicate work for PMs and accountants.
Planyard saves time and nerves
Follow your budget in real time and take immediate action when errors occur. Job costs are organized, and fully searchable and accessible for forecasting, project management and more.