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A Discussion with MBG’s Director of Finance


From Ineffective Reporting to Streamlined Operations with Data Integrity 

Experienced Director of Finance Jason Petty sat down with the team at Jonas Construction to share his personal experience of how disjointed construction software solutions can hinder a company’s visibility into their costs and operations. Hence, why he also recognizes the need for a construction and service business to adopt integrated construction software with accounting for better visibility into business operations and costs. 

In this blog, we’ll discuss Petty’s journey as a construction accounting professional from struggling with inaccurate data and stagnant processes to now thriving with streamlined processes and data integrity in his current role, using Jonas Construction Software. 

Company Background

Jason currently works for The Metal Building Group (MBG), a Canadian-based company recognized for its state-of-the-art steel buildings and fair-priced metal building solutions. Started in the early 2000s, the MBG was created by a team of experienced and innovative specialists in the metal industry to provide technologically advanced products and services for steel projects. Today, the company has grown to three offices and provides one-stop-shop service in design, supply, install and build of steel construction projects.

In this Case Study:

Before Jonas Construction Software: Ineffective and Time-Consuming Reporting 

Prior to joining the Metal Building Group as their Director of Finance, Jason Petty worked for numerous construction and service firms in senior accounting roles.

In one of his previous roles, Petty had to use multiple, disjointed software systems to manage different facets of their operations. This fragmented approach led to inefficiencies and challenges, particularly in generating timely reports and ensuring data accuracy on their costs. 

Reporting time would require six to eight hours after their regular office hours to complete, in addition to the time needed to verify the accuracy of the data in the reporting.

“To run any reports or have any foresight into what was going on, we would have to shut everybody out of the systems, run back-end processes to ensure the systems could communicate, and then verify all the data for accuracy,” Petty said. “Running a quick report could take a day and a half. It wasn’t just a headache; it was futile.”

The use of multiple systems introduced significant risks for the company he worked for. Data errors were common and the process of consolidating and verifying information from different platforms was labor-intensive. “The risk was immense because if a comma was in the wrong place or a dot was out of place, it could mean a labor cost of $10 being recorded as $100,000.”

This environment created operational bottlenecks, stalled reporting, and hindered Petty and the company’s visibility into their costs and operations, as well their ability to make timely, informed business decisions,

After Jonas Construction Software: Integrated Software with Dynamic Reporting and Cloud Access

Enhanced Operational Efficiency 

After joining the Metal Building Group (MBG) in 2013, Petty noticed that Jonas eliminated the need for multiple software solutions – a scenario that Petty recognized could limit visibility and operational efficiency if the solutions were disjointed. 

More importantly, he recognized that Jonas integrated the field and back office operations to effectively produce accurate data and reporting, which was lacking in one of his previous roles due to the disjointed systems.

Through Jonas’ integrated system, MBG reduced stacks of payroll paperwork to three concise pages, saving the company paper costs, as well as the time needed to review and process the paperwork. 

Additionally, they’ve also reduced the time required to complete month-end check runs. Previously, this process took about two and a half weeks and now with Jonas, it now takes approximately four days, representing a significant improvement of approximately 77%.

At the Metal Building Group, Jonas facilitated strong communication across the entire company’s three locations and enabled the flow of real-time data between the field and back office, to streamline their processes and enhance operational efficiency. 

Accurate Reporting and Enterprise Business Intelligence 

The reliable, timely data provided by Jonas has strengthened MBG’s reporting and decision-making processes for the company’s leadership. Compared to his previous experience of laboriously verifying and consolidating data, Petty stated, “The data coming in is more reliable and has more integrity, improving the quality of my reporting to ownership and external accountants.”

The detailed reporting capabilities of Jonas have supported MBG during their weekly project closeout meetings, where they discuss wins, losses, and lessons learned. These meetings are essential for continuous improvement and optimizing their business operations, as they help identify areas for cost savings and efficiency gains.

Jonas Enterprise Business Intelligence (EBI) reporting has enabled MBG to create dynamic reports that provide valuable insights into their project performance and the financial health of their business operations.

These reports are tailored to meet the specific needs of MBG’s leadership, providing high-level data and detailed cost analyses to support strategic decision-making. The ability to sort and analyze data in various ways, such as by project type or geographical location, has helped Petty and MBG to identify trends, opportunities and potential issues.

Advanced Construction Accounting Solutions

Jonas Construction Software has provided the Metal Building Group with advanced construction accounting solutions that support their financial health and business operations. The integrated accounting features of Jonas have streamlined MBG’s financial processes, from payroll to job costing.

In his previous role, Petty would have to run three different reports for a job and combine them into one Excel document. In addition to this, he would have to also verify the data on each of the reports, and even then he couldn’t guarantee the timeliness and accuracy of the data being viewed. 

“It was really hard to verify the data. And of course, the more times you go in to touch the data, the bigger the chance for human error and miscalculations. It was very frustrating,” said Petty.

Compared to his previous experience, Petty noticed immense improvement when using Jonas to produce comprehensive and timely job cost reports. 

“With Jonas, we can click and get a job cost report that includes all labor, including unposted labor, and burden percentages in a matter of seconds.” This feature has helped MBG capture a complete and accurate picture of their project costs in real-time, facilitating informed decisions on budget management and cost control.

Additionally, the system’s capability to track and manage overheads has helped MBG reduce their profit fade. By monitoring overhead budgets through Jonas, MBG can minimize cost overruns, as well as identify and address potential issues promptly to optimize profitability on their projects

The reliable, real-time cost and financial data provided by Jonas has made it easier for Petty to provide effective and accurate reporting to MBG’s leadership and external accountants, while also supporting better cost-related decisions in all areas of the job and service business. 

Secure Cloud Hosting on The Jonas Cloud

Jonas’ secure cloud solution, The Jonas Cloud has facilitated remote access and better collaboration for MBG’s teams and multiple locations. Team members can access up-to-date project information from any location, allowing for more flexible and responsive project management. This capability has been particularly valuable for MBG’s leadership, who can review financials and approve payroll from remote locations seamlessly.

The transition from an on-premise solution to the Jonas Cloud has provided MBG with reliable and convenient access to their critical data. This move has eliminated the need for on-premise servers and complex remote access setups, minimizing the burden on IT to maintain the servers and reducing IT costs. 

The cloud hosting solution ensures that MBG’s data is always up-to-date and accessible from anywhere, supporting better collaboration and remote work capabilities.

The Impact

The overall impact of using Jonas Construction Software at the Metal Building Group has been transformative for Jason Petty, the Director of Finance. 

In his previous experience of working with multiple disjointed software systems, Petty found himself struggling with data sources that were inaccurate and ineffective. With Jonas, Petty has noticed numerous improvements in the speed and accuracy when accessing timely, effective data and reporting. 

The integrated nature of Jonas has allowed MBG to unify the various functions of their business including accounting, service and project management into one cohesive system.

The software has significantly reduced the time required for month-end check runs by about 77%. This improvement in operational efficiency has freed up valuable time for Petty and other MBG staff to focus on other critical tasks.

Accurate and timely data from Jonas’ integrated software has strengthened Petty’s ability to provide effective and informative financial and cost reporting to MBG’s leadership – a task, which was difficult to achieve in his previous experience. This has also led to producing more accurate job costs and estimates.

Petty emphasized the enhanced accuracy they receive from Jonas, “The data coming in is more reliable. It has more integrity.” 

Jonas’ cloud hosting capabilities have provided MBG with seamless remote access to their data, facilitating better collaboration, timely responses and more efficient project management. Team members can access critical information from any location with internet access, which has been particularly valuable for MBG’s leadership team during business travels and remote work situations.

As an experienced construction accounting professional, MBG’s Director of Finance Jason Petty has experienced the frustration that comes from ineffective cost and financial reporting due to unintegrated construction accounting software.

The implementation of Jonas Construction Software has allowed Petty and MBG to streamline their workflows, improve data reliability, enhance remote access, and make more informed decisions. These improvements have been instrumental in supporting MBG’s growth and operational efficiency, ensuring they can meet the demands of their growing business in the future. 

About Jonas Construction Software

Jonas Construction Software offers integrated construction software solutions tailored to the needs of the construction industry, particularly  mechanical and specialty contractors. 

With a commitment to building software focused on accounting automation, enterprise efficiency, and superior cost reporting, Jonas’ comprehensive suite of solutions includes automated accounting and payroll, project management, service management, and supporting integrated operations. To learn more about how Jonas can help your service and construction business enhance cash flow predictability and maximize profits, request a demo today.

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