Cost Management with OOTI, an ally for architects!

From tracking costs to analysing profitability, OOTI offers everything an architect needs. Read Naomi's advice!

Are you looking for a way to control and manage the costs of your architectural practice?

Discover the secrets of OOTI, the tool that is transforming the way architects oversee their finances.

Naomi, our queen of user experience, reveals her top tips and explains how to make OOTI a key ally in managing an agency's budget.

Hi Naomi, can you introduce yourself in a few words?
My name is Naomi, and I've been a Customer Success Specialist at OOTI for nine months. In French, that means that my role is to support and train agencies on our management software. I'm often in contact with them (via chat in particular), where I answer their questions. I also create specific content to help them optimise their use of OOTI, such as webinars and videos. Thanks to these numerous contacts with our customers, I'm able to pass on suggestions for improvements to our product team, so that we can perfect the platform.

Why choose OOTI to manage your costs as an architect?
First of all, the great advantage of OOTI is that it has been designed as a tool dedicated to the architectural profession. We know the field inside out and have adapted our management software accordingly. It makes it really easy to monitor the 4 main categories of costs, in real time:
- external contractors
- expense accounts
- salaries
- overheads.

One of the unique aspects of OOTI is that it allocates overheads to projects on the basis of time spent. This ensures a fair allocation of costs and determines the true profit of each project. It really is indispensable!
But what I like most is OOTI's ability to analyse profitability. You have a clear picture of the profitability of each project, taking into account all the costs, both internal and external. At a glance, you can see whether a project is profitable or not.

What's the first piece of advice you'd give to a new OOTI user?
The best practice I would recommend is to enter all costs accurately and completely. We often notice that our new customers prioritise the use of OOTI for invoicing. That's a very good start. But you mustn't overlook the benefits of integrating costs. It makes analysing the project's profitability all the more accurate!
All this somewhat raw data is then displayed in graphs and diagrams, providing a quick overview of how the business is developing and enabling the agency to react quickly to changes!

What best practices would you recommend to OOTI users for managing their costs?
Create one expense report per month and per employee. Thanks to the mobile application, it's really easy to do this in real time.
The second good habit to get into: integrating salaries. This provides a host of useful indicators for human resources management. For example, a calendar view alerts you to the end of a fixed-term or temporary contract. This allows you to anticipate future recruitment if necessary.
Finally, overheads. You can create a budget, divide your costs into groups and categories (such as rent, software, etc.) and monitor this budget closely. It makes it so much easier to compare what you planned to spend and what you actually spend. You can quickly spot the areas where the budget is slipping. What's more, you can copy and paste the budget from one year to the next with a single click, which makes planning so much easier. Anyone who anticipates the WCR or provisional from one year to the next by hand will appreciate...

What are OOTI's latest developments in cost management?
At OOTI, we are committed to a process of continuous improvement. The cost categories and year-on-year budget duplication I mentioned earlier are just some of the features we've just rolled out!

What advice would you give to an architect considering using OOTI for the first time?
My main advice, at the risk of repeating myself, is to use it as a cost aggregator. It's common for new users to jump straight into invoicing and neglect to enter all the costs. This is to miss the point: an exhaustive view of the structure's profitability.
Not only does it give you a clearer picture, it also saves you time. In just a few clicks you can :
export your expense reports and send them directly to your accountant;
export a schedule for external companies based on their progress and invoicing;
get a monthly view of salaries charged per employee;
monitor your budget by comparing what has been achieved with the variances.
And much more...
The dashboard gives you an instant view of your invoicing and management situation, so you can make quick, informed decisions. In short, OOTI gives you everything you need to manage your agency efficiently, all in one place.

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