Efficient Solutions to Fragmented Financial Processes – A Breakdown of AEC Industry-focused Accounting & Payment Solutions

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BuiltWorlds’ May 15 analyst call centered around innovations in accounting and payment processes, which are complex and often challenging components in construction project management. The session featured presentations from three companies that are making significant progress in improving the fragmented financial processes that contractors and subcontractors encounter: Billd, ControlQore and MX Build. Below, we highlight their solutions to various problems in the accounting and payment process.

We heard from Chris Doyle, co-founder and CEO of Billd, a payment streamlining solution for commercial subcontractors. Doyle has been in the construction industry for over 25 years, starting in residential construction, which he notes did have fairly innovative payment solutions, and later transitioning to commercial construction. As a subcontractor, he realized quickly that the payment processes in commercial construction were a broken system.

The Problem

The payment cycle is inefficient and not transparent. Subcontractors have the least amount of access to capital, despite being the ones to initially fund projects. On average, it takes about 57 days for subcontractors to get paid for their work. The uncertainty of payment and/or late payments can lead to significant cash flow problems for subcontractors.

Billd's Solution

Billd’s financial solution offers two core benefits to commercial subcontractors. The first is material financing - Billd buys materials from subcontractors’ suppliers upfront, and the subcontractors pay Billd when they get paid. The pay-when-paid terms give subcontractors up to 120 days to pay for materials. The second is ‘pay app advance’, where subcontractors can unlock the money they’ve already earned, enjoying predictable accounts receivable. This gives subcontractors the ability to plan with confidence and bid more jobs knowing their future financial position.

CEO and co-founder Bryant Solomon was joined by co-founder and advisor J.D. Whitaker to introduce ControlQore, a comprehensive solution preparing to target multiple layers of the financial management process in the construction world. Solomon has a background in finance, previously working as the VP of Finance at Whitaker’s family-owned general contracting firm. ControlQore is the product of conversations with many construction veterans as they began to see opportunities to improve the construction finance experience.

The Problem

The industry faces many communication issues and barriers, especially within the payment cycle. Large general contractors could be using a separate solution or combination of solutions for individual aspects of their financial processes, including card management, accounting, payments, budgeting, financial document management and payroll.

ControlQore's Solution

Put simply, ControlQore’s plan is to replace, combine, and improve. Currently, ControlQore is focused on a corporate card and expense management solution, with the eventual goal of integrating construction finance into an all-in-one platform. In the next few weeks, they will be releasing bill management and lien waiver approval workflows, all on the same platform.

Executive Vice President of MX Build, Jammil Handal, has a background in corporate finance and consulting, with a focus on finance process improvement. He started TheoBuild in 2020 as a way to streamline the payment workflows for general contractors and subcontractors. TheoBuild was acquired by Priority in 2022, and now MX Build effectively operates as the construction industry vertical within Priority.

The Problem

The construction payment process is tedious and frustrating. Companies of all sizes can struggle with cash flow management that can delay projects and cut into the bottom line.

MX Build's Solution

MX Build offers construction finance automation that is built on a payment and banking infrastructure to simplify budgeting and expense management. The platform enables users to de-risk payments and reconcile compliance without manual processes. Overall, the platform allows for payments with less hassle, empowering employees to get paid faster and easier while helping companies manage cash and minimize risk.