As part of the strategic partnership, Atlanta-based ProNovos will make its construction-specific analytics solutions available to Somerset’s large and diverse roster of construction clients. Somerset, a BDO Alliance firm, will invest in ProNovos and advise contractors on the benefits of using data to achieve goals such as growing margin, better managing cash and reducing risks.
Indianapolis-based Somerset is one of the largest accounting and consulting firms in the Midwest—a 2022 Inside Public Accounting Top 100 firm and 18th-ranked in Construction Executive’s 2022 Top 50 Construction Accounting Firms™.
“Working with more than 100 contractors, we have created a suite of analytical tools based on the kinds of well-established best practices that Somerset’s veteran construction advisors live and breathe,” noted Bruce Orr, founder and Chief Data Scientist of ProNovos, a fast-growing startup incubated at Atlanta Tech Village. “These automated, cloud-based solutions include not only executive and WIP dashboards but also a wide array of user-friendly reports in areas such as labor hours, sales, billings, change orders, projected final cost and AP/AR, to name a few.”
This approach fits with Somerset’s focus on providing performance-management advisory services for contractors, said Somerset Principal Ken Hedlund (CPA, CGMA), who leads Somerset’s dedicated Construction practice and boasts 30 years of experience in consulting with contractors on tax, financial and management/operational strategies. “Our team routinely analyzes contractors’ businesses to help them set and achieve goals for continuous improvement,” Hedlund said. “Our view is that no matter how good you are right now, you can always get better.”
The leading, qualitative metrics provided by construction data analytics can help contractors achieve those lagging, longer-term goals, Hedlund noted. Even seemingly small process improvements such as reducing under-billings, cutting back on overtime, flagging scope creep, or eliminating duplicate data entries can add up to major impacts over time, he said.
“We want our contractors to think in terms of growing their margin by two percentage points or more every year,” Hedlund explained. “Analytical tools such as those created by ProNovos can give them a clearer view of where and how they can act today to influence that outcome tomorrow.”
ProNovos tools can also support Somerset’s advisors as they educate contractors’ project managers and other non-financial personnel on financial-management best practices, noted Hedlund, who frequently speaks to construction and A/E organizations about management and operational strategies.
“When PMs effectively manage their projects, it impacts the overall cash flow of the company and helps put that contractor in a strong, working-capital position,” he said. “However, you don’t want to overwhelm field personnel with too much information. When they have dashboards and reports showing them just what they need to see, it’s easier for them to grasp the impact they have on the business.”