Melissa stumbled upon the construction bookkeeping field in 2008 after being laid off from a civilian government job. With little to no experience in the industry, she first found herself working for a life safety company that provided fire sprinkler service. It wasn't until 2017 when she started working with a concrete company that she discovered the nuances of construction project-based bookkeeping.
Like many others in the industry, Melissa did not take any construction-focused courses at a college or university. Instead, she was mostly self-taught and relied on trial and error to build her knowledge base. While she occasionally used online resources and phone support from QuickBooks, her success in the field came from her eagerness to learn from others and find more efficient ways to complete tasks.
Why Melissa Loves Bookkeeping
One of the things that Melissa loves about the construction bookkeeping field is that it is ever-changing. There is always something new to learn, whether it be building new systems, updating current ones, or finding new best practices. With the constant evolution of tools and software, Melissa always uses her brain to stay ahead of the curve.
However, with change comes challenges. Melissa has to constantly learn new processes because of the diversity of projects and new systems asked for. Outside of QuickBooks, there are not many resources for bookkeeping in the industry, which can make it difficult to find new software solutions. Nonetheless, Melissa remains undeterred and continues to embrace change as it comes.
Melissa finds joy in working with the fire sprinkler business and learning more about the field. Having worked in construction for 15 years, she has built a wealth of knowledge in this area, and while concrete is still a bit foreign to her after five years, she feels confident in her ability to handle any challenge.
Challenges of Being A Construction Bookkeeper
While working with one large client or builder can be rewarding, it can also lead to tension when someone asks too much about billing and costs. Melissa has found that it's important to have an open mind and understand that there are two sides to every story. Conflict can arise between work and bosses or clients, and it's important to have a personality that is open to feedback and change, particularly when it comes to financial processes and procedures.
What Makes For A Successful Construction Bookkeeper
For Melissa, being a construction bookkeeper requires a love for math, a talent for managing numbers, and a willingness to learn. The job can be fast-paced with plenty of deadlines, so organization and management skills are also critical. She believes that there are so many options in every industry and that everyone needs their books taken care of.
Looking Towards The Future
Recently, Melissa’s company hired a new construction accountant, and she has noticed an increased desire for simplicity over granular data. While accountants want less information to make tax time easier, Melissa would rather have more information than less. She believes that it's important to find creative ways to categorize things to simplify the invoicing protocols, which have changed a lot and vary depending on the work versus service. Finding ways to work together is key and Melissa is optimistic that construction bookkeepers and accountants can work together closely!
Melissa's journey as a construction bookkeeper is one of perseverance and dedication. She found her passion in an industry that was initially unfamiliar to her and has become a respected professional in the field. With a willingness to learn and adapt, Melissa continues to excel in her career and inspire others to do the same.