Finally! It has been a long journey, but I have completed my undergraduate studies in Business Management from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Now, my next objective is to take a few courses to obtain a Bachelor’s in Accounting as well, then on to further education. One of my favorite quotes of Sam Walton is “You can’t just keep doing what works one time, because everything around you is always changing. To succeed, you have to stay out in front of that change.” This is very true and so important and this ties into education because the world IS constantly changing and education is the best way to stay in front of that change. My goal throughout my career is to continuously learn new things so that I can continuously make a difference.
When I was about 14 years old, I started playing around with Microsoft Excel 97. I was amazed with it’s functionality – the next year when I started my first job, I began making spreadsheets to forecast my earnings over the next 12 months based on average hours worked (I still have these spreadsheets to this day). Now, I am utilizing Excel on a much higher level. As explained in my last posting, I am working towards creating a “module” within Microsoft Excel 2010 using ODBC technology. What I have learned is that if there is data, you can import it into Excel and make it sing and dance. In many accounting processes, data from a subsidiary ledger is being used to create reports, to calculate accruals and to be reconciled to a General Ledger. I would urge any accountant out there to stop printing out details of these transactions and find a way to use Excel to link to the data source. This way you can setup recurring Journal Entries, Reconciliations, Allocations, and Accruals – making Excel your own personal assistant.
“You can’t manufacture passion or motivate people to feel passionate. You can only discover what ignites your passion and the passions of those around you” – Jim Collins Good to Great
I have to admit, I love reading business books, especially about leadership and serving others. This was something very new to me in 2009 before I read “Good to Great” and had Jim Collins take me (and the rest of the business world it seems) to school. My passion was ignited when I was finally able to move on from the Payroll Department and move into Construction Operations as a Project Cost Accountant. In this position, I was able to learn much about the financial side of a commercial construction project. I worked one on one with Project Managers and Project Engineers. As the Project Cost Accountant, I processed all costs for the project, making sure they were aligned with the budget and forwarded to the rest of the Project Team for approval. Included in my duties, were putting together subcontract agreements, procedures manuals, tracking equipment that was on site, and verifying that subcontractors had proper insurance in place in the event of a loss. These were the things that I had to do on a daily basis, but once a month, I had the opportunity to visit the construction site. I can remember it like yesterday. I stepped out of my vehicle, put on a hard hat and vest for the first time and looked out towards huge steel beams being erected for a new hospital and I came to a realization, that took me by surprise. A good (on its way to being great) construction company is making a profit yes, but it is still delivering critical elements to communities. I felt proud to be a part of something like that! It’s amazing that I can be a part of bringing churches, hospitals, educational facilities and the like to the community that I live in. How awesome is that?!
Welcome to my blog. You can read more about the reasons for creating this blog on my Purpose page.
So, what is Financial Management in the Construction Industry? Well, from my three years of experience (not many years, but I’ll get there) in the field, I would have to say that it is much more than managing the financial data of a construction project. In the past three years, I have had the opportunity to work in the Accounting department of a large Louisiana General Contractor. I have worked in Payroll & HR, Project Cost Accounting, Risk & Insurance, Contract Administration & Corporate Accounting. In my posts, I will begin with my first day of work and the challenges that I faced and talk about the steps that I took to overcome them. My goal with this blog is to share my accumulated knowledge based on my experiences in the field and that someone who reads this will benefit from the information provided. Lessons learned and accomplishments can not only be applied to this industry, but also to general business.
Please feel free to leave any comments or suggestions! My next post is coming soon!