Q&A With Sage 300 CRE Expert Erin Lawlor
Erin Lawlor, Consultant II, is a recent addition to the Bangert services team, but she is no stranger to Sage 300 CRE. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, her knowledge and passion for complex systems make her a great fit for our customers. In our Q&A, Erin told us that she is eager to start and help customers reach success. In short, we are looking forward to working with her! Learn more about Erin by reading below.
You’ve worked in construction accounting for over 30 years, how has construction technology shifted over the years?
Accounting software has become amazingly more user-friendly, there’s much more information available, and it’s allowed people to be more connected. Even going from Sage 300 CRE to looking at a cloud system like Acumatica, I was surprised by how much technology has improved since then.
What are you most looking forward to in your role?
I’m looking forward to learning! Right now, my focus is on learning new software that I haven’t seen before, like Acumatica Construction Edition and Sage Intacct. I’m most excited about learning those, gaining in-depth knowledge on them, and helping people to apply them. In my first few days here, I worked with a couple of clients and I’ve really enjoyed getting back into consulting, where I can just help people solve an immediate problem that they have, give them suggestions right away to help relieve their pain points and improve their systems.
Another thing I’m excited about, and why I’m learning Acumatica first, is that it’s really customizable. I’m looking forward to putting a spin on it that maybe isn’t there yet because I can customize it to the way that I like things to work, too.
What do you enjoy about working in construction accounting software?
I’ve always worked in accounting or IT in the construction industry and I found that I really enjoy the IT side of accounting much more than the actual accounting side of it. I find it so satisfying when everything comes together. When you use an entire system and work with general contractors, you are doing every little piece along the way and you get to see the whole thing come together, which I enjoy.
A few years ago you wrote a beginner’s guide to accounting, Double Entry Accounting Workbook, what prompted you to write it?
While I was getting my bachelor’s in accounting, I didn’t really like the way that it was presented, so I wanted to put a different spin on it – like how to think of the debits and the credits, the different categories of what to keep track of, and how they fit together. It was a lot of fun because it really made me try to simplify how things work and present accounting in a way that I thought would be easier to learn.
At a company you worked for in the past, they were looking into purchasing Timberline (now known as Sage 300 CRE) and you were really impressed with it, however, the company ended up going with another accounting software and you soon became a Timberline consultant after that. What was it about Sage that interested you? How was it helpful to others?
At the time, when I was looking at Timberline, it was a lot more advanced than the other programs that I knew of. I liked all the different ways that it can be customized and made to fit customers’ needs. If a customer asks if a system is capable of doing a certain thing, I always like to try to figure it out – instead of trying to make something fit into a box, I like to make the box fit them, which was something I really liked about Sage.
The construction industry is headed into a new era of cloud-based financial management. What excites you the most about this change?
Accessibility. With a cloud-based system, people can get into their data and don’t have to be sitting at their desk all the time to do so. When someone’s on the road, they can look things up quickly, enter information more easily, and they are always connected to their data.
Which of Bangert’s Core Values do you most align yourself with?
I like all of the Core Values but I would have to say passion for customer success. I really like to help people and help them solve problems. I found that it’s so fulfilling to empower people to be more independent and confident so they don’t feel stuck with their software.
Why did you choose Bangert?
James Coyle. I met him when I was a Timberline consultant and I worked for him at Event 1 for just over 10 years. When James made the change and came to Bangert, I was at a point where I wanted a new challenge and so he suggested looking into Bangert. When I met with Reid and Kurt I really liked them and felt it would be a good fit!
Now that there is a COVID-19 vaccine rolling out, and a COVID-free world seems more possible in the future, what are you most looking forward to post-pandemic?
Being able to travel freely and see my friends and family. I have friends in a few different places that I want to see again, like Pittsburgh and Canada, so I’m looking forward to visiting them there!