True-up Functionality Improves Accuracy & Value of Field Tracking Software for Construction

Managers tracking actual performance against plan to keep heavy construction projects under budget and on schedule face a dilemma when it comes to data. A true-up feature within their field tracking application solves that problem.

Waiting weeks for reports from accounting threatens timely operational adjustments. Daily reporting driven by field log data, on the other hand, is not accurate to the penny, and this gap between figures reported in the field and final accounting figures can widen over the duration of a project.

Truing up, or reconciling, values periodically corrects these natural deviations in values between the field tracking and accounting systems. This enhances the ability to get real-time reporting on productivity, labor and equipment hours, material utilization, and other variables.

Differences between “operational” values captured in the field and actual accounting values are usually small. Over time, and especially on larger projects, the gap grows and skews the accuracy of the field software for measuring performance vs. plan. True-ups keep the two systems in sync.

The gap between actual accounting values and field log values can grow over the duration of a project (left). Running true-ups periodically (right) aligns those values and improves the reporting accuracy of field tracking software.

Why Not Just Rely on Accounting?

Accounting or ERP programs are the system of record. They give a detailed picture of exactly what was spent and what was earned, but achieving that level of accuracy inflicts the cost of time. Invoices and data must be processed and validated before final reports can be produced. That typically takes weeks, but sometimes it could take a month or more.

If you are a CFMA member login to continue reading this article. If you aren't a member yet and would like unlimited access to all of the content on, plus a variety of other benefits, join CFMA today!

About the Authors

Herb Brownett, CCIFP

Herb Brownett, CCIFP, is the President of Brownett & Associates, LLV, a construction financial management consulting firm in Philadelphia, PA.

Read full bio
David Flynn, CPA

David Flynn, CPA, is the CFO of B2W Software located in Portsmouth, NH.

Read full bio