Spectrum Reviews

Spectrum

Construction Management Software

Spectrum

Review Summary

Pros

I like that it show cost in real time as long as it is entered in a timely manner. The support that is offered is amazing someone is always able to help out.

Carrie L.

Spectrum is a very good construction accounting software if your small or medium business that wants a solid accounting package which is easy to use and not looking to customize your software.

Matt U.

Provides great information and is usable in multiple ways. Great trainers and support for any use/problem.

Herman K.

Cons

Reports that come with the software are terrible. They expect you to pay for corrections to there reports and reports that come standard with other software.

Sheila M.

The amount of lock outs we get daily seems excessive. When this gets really bad it stops everyone from working.

Frederick P.

Also many of the reports do not have totals on them so when running reports we also have to add them up manually. There is no way to do a cash pay with out entering an invoice.

Lea R.

Overall rating

5

4

3

2

1

63

91

28

8

4

79%
positive reviews
90%
would recommend this app

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194 reviews

recommended

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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I am the administrator for Spectrum in our company and overall the Experience has been very good!

Reviewed 2 years ago

Ease of administration and our accounting team rarely has any issues with the software

Pros

The support team is amazing. They are extremely helpful and are good at fixing the annoying bugs and getting to the root causes of our problems. The accounting and hr side of the software works extremely well and I have very few if any complaints or issues that I have to fix or call support for.

Cons

The project manangement side of the software was never really completed so its less than impressive. But I think on the positive side since Viewpoint has purchased Spectrum I think that integrating it with their Team software will make a huge difference in this section!

Vendor response

We think our customer support team is amazing, too. Thank you! You¿re absolutely right about our project management focus moving to the Viewpoint Team platform, which is now integrated with Spectrum and has a product development roadmap that will open up a lot of new PM functionality to Spectrum/Team users.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend7/10

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Excellent construction accounting software

Reviewed 3 months ago

Our experience with Spectrum has been good over the 6 years we are using the software.

Pros

This software does a good job of integrating our construction operations. We do not use the project management part of it though. We do a lot of job costing for our projects.

Cons

I think the inventory module should be modernized and brought up to current standards. It is not very easy to use.

Overall Rating
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  • Features
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This reviewer only left a rating

Reviewed 7 years ago

I am employed by a large, heavy civil construction contractor in Oregon. I was hired five years ago in the payroll department, and Spectrum was the software that this company was already using. In the past, I had used a construction software called Foundation which was exceptional at job costing materials by piece versus hourly wage. Spectrum's latest upgrade to the new version 14 has had some major...

Pros

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Cons

No cons were added to this review

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend7/10

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Spectrum

Reviewed 9 months ago

Difficult at first to navigate. Set and implementation was horrible. Training not good

Pros

I like the different detailed functions. attachments, tracking, invoice approval routing, T&M billing when it works forrect

Cons

reports. the standard reports are not what i need. T&M billing does not always work correctly. Invoice corrections are messy. not clean. Can not reverse invoice when it is assigned a PO without approving even though invoice is not approved. The have to reverse. and reeer.

Overall Rating
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Construction Software

Reviewed 2 years ago

I am a project accountant and have been a Spectrum user since 1996 when it was called ForeFront and this is the only construction software I've used. Overall I find the software easy to use. I've participated in training led by Spectrum trainers and their help and advise is invaluable. The ability to export data in different file types for analysis - exporting to excel file, data only is one I use regularly. We're also lucky to have an IT software support specialist with extensive Spectrum background who is able to provide SQL reports for those times when the standard reports and exports don't give us enough flexibility with the data for analysis.

Pros

Most processes in Spectrum are intuitive for the user.

Cons

As a long time user of Spectrum, we have a heavily customized Job Cost Report. It's becoming more difficult to accommodate our custom needs as new versions are released.

Overall Rating
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend6/10

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Spectrum - Great features but could be better

Reviewed 7 years ago
Pros

Document imaging is truly built inside the software. The image storage was built inside every module for anything you want to scan. All of our AP (invoices, vendor contracts, Insurance Certs), AR (invoice supporting documents, MSA's), equipment files (titles, registrations), etc. were stored electronically and very easy to review. When approving AP, right inside the pre-check register I could review...

Cons

We had problems keeping the TB in balance. At least every three months, we had a transaction that only posted 1/2 of the entry, so when we ran a trial balance, it was out of balance (and the rebuild utilities wouldn't fix it), we then had to spend hours researching witch entry didn't post correctly, figure out the other side of the entry and then pay someone with backdoor access to recreate the missing...

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This reviewer only left a rating

Reviewed 7 years ago

Our business has two divisions - Commercial Construction and Service Maintenance. We’re based in Pennsylvania and have been operating for about 28 years. The computer system we had been using prior to switching to Dexter + Chaney was outdated for our uses. After carefully reviewing all the options, Dexter + Chaney was high on our list. One of the main functions we were looking for was something...

Pros

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Cons

No cons were added to this review

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend7/10

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I am always learning something new with Spectrum!

Reviewed 2 years ago

I benefit daily from spectrum from payroll and certified payroll reports it really is helpful to get those reports from spectrum and every Contractor I have sent them to has excepted them. We also benefit from job costs and equipment costs management .

Pros

What I like most about spectrum is it really is an all in one program and is always improving, also being able to pull reports on jobs and costs is very convenient and easy.

Cons

Customer support be a bit time consuming. There is so much to spectrum that it can be a bit overwhelming if you are a smaller company.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support

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Great Experience!

Reviewed 2 years ago
Pros

I am a big fan of Spectrum. My company has been on it for over two years now and we love it so far! The implementation process was as expected, a lot of work but totally worth it. The customer service they offer is great and very quick responses. It is rather expensive, but we have had a wonderful experience so far!

Cons

a little limited on the estimating software side of things, but they do partner with some other companies that you can use but the price you pay is definitely up there.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend5/10

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Feels like service is going backwards

Reviewed 2 years ago

It qives our accounting team the tools they need to provide a quick and accurate overview for our company. They are able to perform all accounting functions in one platform.

Pros

Familiar feel, rather easy to train new users. Features are simple and quick to learn. It has served our company well for numerous years.

Cons

Customer service and new features feel like that are going backwards. Takes forever to get issues solved when a few years ago it was quick

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Full featured software package

Reviewed 3 years ago

As with any large, complex and flexible software package like Spectrum, it can be rather complicated to set up and train users in operating it. We have been overall pleased in using it since we switched back in 2009. During this time our business has just about tripled in size and we do not feel as if we have out grown it.

Pros

Lots of modules available with a fairly robust implementation, continuing active additions of new features and improvements, document imaging allows easy access to attached documents, security rights for employees can be adjusted down to individual menu selections if necessary, customer support is very good and transparent (we are notified if something doesn't work as expected with suggested workarounds - even if we didn't report the issue), and the ability to create custom reports in Crystal.

Cons

While subscriptions for updated US and state income tax tables are available, local income tax tables are not. When a sales/use tax code is entered into the screen, it cannot be marked inactive if it is no longer used (there are some other setups with the same issue). If a report has been previewed or exported in one form (pdf, for example), it cannot be immediately exported in another (such as Excel) without re-running the report. While most reports run quickly, there are some that can take a while and having to wait the additional time for the same information can be frustrating.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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From an AR Perspective

Reviewed 2 years ago

Overall Spectrum is a time saver. It has helped bring project management into the loop of being able to resolve customer issues. The best part is it has allowed me to be able to work from home two days a week for a year now!

Pros

The navigation make it so you can figure out what you need to do next with a minimum amount of training on how to use the system. The customizable reports are a great asset. Billing reports are easy to pull together.

Cons

Draw Request is my least favorite in this system. When you open draw request it shows you in the upper right in financials you have previous work. The total schedule of values is NOT showing. If you have amounts in both this period and materials stored the system will not give you a total of combined for the draw. Also when you are in the draw the entire line needs to highlight while scrolling down for the line you need. It gets very frustrating at times. When something is entered into job cost under the wrong phase, there needs to be a way to change the phase and not have to do multiple entries for negative to to incorrect phase and a positive to the correct phase. That would be ha huge time saver.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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10 years and still going strong

Reviewed 3 years ago

Our go live date with Spectrum was 4/2008. Yes, we've been using the core accounting program for 10 years. We've also added other modules that help us do our business efficiently. Over the past 10 years our company has more than doubled in the number of employees, gross sales and net income. 2017 was the best year in the 70 year history of the company. I can honestly say that Spectrum has played a large role in helping us attain this level of success. With this software, the amount of information that is right at our fingertips is amazing!

Pros

The software is user friendly. There are plenty of help menus if you get stuck. The software is constantly being updated and often the updates are in response to customer requests. The document imaging feature and access to a variety of reports has greatly reduced the amount of paper necessary to run our business.

Cons

The cost is the biggest issue. The annual fee to go to the cloud is several times more than the cost if you provide your own server. Although there are many benefits and additional features that we'd love if we went to the cloud, it's just too much money for a regional independent contractor to spend.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Spectrum 14.24

Reviewed 2 years ago

Like all programs that have a significant number of features, the more your staff learns about the software the better the ROI. The user interface has a lot going on and can be overwhelming at first. However, there is a logic to it and once learned a diverse array of features can be accessed quickly.

Pros

The ability to access many features from one screen. The connectivity of features on screen. For example, if a job is displayed, all of the customer information is available as well. No need to add software to each workstation, software runs within a browser (I've used Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox and my cell phone browser, I understand other browsers are supported as well) All reports can be emailed right from the display screen.

Cons

Many of the reports must be customized to meet user needs. Some features are not located in an intuitive place. Financial statement writer is basic and pretty weak.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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We have been with Spectrum since 1997 (when it was Forefront). This software is a workhorse!

Reviewed 2 years ago

Ease of use and great support!

Pros

I like how easy this program is to use. If I can't find the report I need, I can easily export to Excel or Crystal Reports. The document imaging module saves us time when we need to review invoices or other documentation later. When I have issues, the support team is right there and usually can fix the problem while we are on the phone. It is rare for us to have an open ticket.

Cons

There are some differences between modules. When you exit a previewed report, some take you back to the site map while others take you back to the report page so you can adjust and run again if necessary. Consistency would be nice. It isn't a big deal, it could save a few steps.

Vendor response

You have truly seen the evolution of the software, going all the way back to the Forefront days. Wow! Thank you for your support through the years, Karen. We really value your partnership.

Overall Rating
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend7/10

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Four years and counting

Reviewed 3 years ago
Pros

I have been using Spectrum V14 since it was released. I like the apps on the Site Map and the shortcuts menu. I train our project manager and project engineers on this software regularly and these two areas I think get used the most by our people. I promote these areas on a regular basis and encourage everyone to use the ones we have already created and also create their own.

Cons

My wish list would include a link to Outlook for ease of obtaining and maintaining a list of current contacts. Also, RSS feeds hardly ever get used, but links to actual websites would be a better feature. Also, insurance tracking feature is confusing when working between the vendor and the job-specific side. It would be very helpful if the Help Menu broke down the available features related to insurance and how each one can or should be used.

Overall Rating
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Likelihood to recommend7/10

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Mixed feelings

Reviewed 3 years ago

Create a book, something that can be highlighted, tabbed, notes written into it. Offer training in more cities, and more affordably.

Pros

Easy to check status of payments, see and print POs, look at phase codes, relatively easy to enter pay applications.

Cons

For someone without a strong accounting background, the sequence of required events is not intuitive or readily apparent. Help queries turn up too much or too little, and don't help with that sequence of events. Can't create new reports without learning a whole new program, one that we hired people specifically to do at a previous job because of the complexity. Email reminders before trigger events would be nice (an email a month before a subcontractor's COI is set to expire, for example, instead of just holding up payment when an invoice is being processed). An app for field engineers to be able to create POs on their iPhones would be an awesome feature, but I don't know of any plans to add it.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Don't fix what isn't broken

Reviewed 3 years ago

Spectrum has continued to grow their products. They have a superb support department. The staff is fairly consistent with not a lot of turn-over. You get to know the people behind the scenes and build relationships with them and their network.

Pros

My favorite thing about Spectrum is that it continues to grow with our business. We have been Spectrum users for 25 years. In these 25 years Spectrum has been on the cutting edge of technology. We continue to get value from the updates and software collaborations.

Cons

My least favorite thing is it takes too long to get updates. I would like the easy updates to come out once a month. I realize this is not cost effective, but typically if there is anything I am disgruntled about it will show up in a future quarterly update.

Overall Rating
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support

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Reviewed 7 years ago

We've been using Dexter & Chaney Spectrum (previously Forefront) for over 12 years; longer than I've actually been employed by the construction company I work for. We originally (and for many years) only used Spectrum for some basic accounting functions. After finally upgrading to the current version (we are currently on V13), we expanded our use of the software, utilizing the system on a much...

Pros

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Cons

No cons were added to this review

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support

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I have been a Spectrum user for 20+ years. I am in accounting and really like the program.

Reviewed 2 years ago
Pros

I like that it is very user friendly. It has easy to read reports. Our payroll is very complicated, yet Spectrum was able to handle our payroll without any special programming. I also love the document imaging. I can now look up everything from my desktop when I need to see a timecard, A/R invoice or A/P invoice.

Cons

When writing reports sometimes it is very hard to find where the information is that you need. I think that BI is going to take care of this but you must be hosted by Spectrum, which we are not.

Vendor response

Thanks for your continued support over the years, Kathy! We appreciate you taking time to share your experiences using Spectrum, and it's great to hear that you're finding the document imaging feature useful.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Customer Service is by far the best. They are always able to help with even the simplest questions.

Reviewed 2 years ago
Pros

The ability to pull out reports with any bit of information needed. I like that it show cost in real time as long as it is entered in a timely manner. The support that is offered is amazing someone is always able to help out.

Cons

I wish there was a way to email out pay stubs. I also wish the quarterly tax reports were printed on to the approved IRS or State forms already(less mistakes and less time taken) The same goes for certified reports - contractor make us transfer the information on the state approved forms.

Vendor response

We really appreciate you mentioning our outstanding customer support team, Carrie. Thank you! The team takes a lot of pride in providing great service, and it¿s nice to be recognized.

Overall Rating
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Look elsewhere if you want a successful implementation with a company that cares.

Reviewed 3 years ago

If you want a successful implementation with a company that responds promptly and effectively when problems arise, look elsewhere! On our "go live week", Spectrum was not configured, AP and AR were not fully imported and the parts that were imported did not match up. Due to overworked Project Managers, it often took 2-3 days out to schedule a call time with them and no one from Spectrum senior leadership...

Pros

-None so far as they failed to take us live. -Competitive pricing -Great user community with a forum.

Cons

Cons: -Custom projects not delivered on time for "Go Live". At least 1.5 months behind schedule -Sales team would send a contract and then when we went to sign said they made a mistake and increased contract price. -Never provided solutions to problems. -Implementation specialist what tell us features about features that we would be using then come back to us and say those features are actually not...

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend9/10

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Connecting the dots from field to upper management

Reviewed 3 years ago

Customer support is impeccable. If you have an issue, they are very quick to respond. Really enjoy the Spectrum Network to reach out to other users and find out what helps them the most. Great community.

Pros

Since going web based, Spectrum is much easier to use. The job info bar gives easy access to all areas of your job and instantly know where you are at with costs, revenue, etc. Being able to customize our reports has been very useful. Documentation and document imaging keep everything in one place and easy to navigate.

Cons

Would like the Project Management module to be a little beefier and give better access to change how the forms and reports look, somewhat limited.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Best I've used in 26 years

Reviewed 2 years ago

I first starting using spectrum when it was called Forefront in 1992. I was working as a controller for a large mechanical and needed software that was easily usable and would perform without having to have a large in house IT staff. Since then, I have worked for four major companies and have brought along Forefront/Spectrum to each one of the companies for whom I have worked. It's a great product with fantastic backup. I've worked and looked at others along the way, but have always come back to Spectrum.

Pros

Does all I like it to do. Provides great information and is usable in multiple ways. Great trainers and support for any use/problem.

Cons

Can't think of one. I've used others but they didn't match up for the construction industry.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
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Good Construction Software

Reviewed 2 years ago
Pros

We were looking for a software with a service side and strong job cost all in one. Spectrum nails it! Ease of use. Endless custom report options. Ability to create custom dashboard apps. Great security features. All in the cloud!

Cons

Purchasing add-ons to accommodate the project managers can get pricey, but there are a ton of options that integrate with Spectrum.

Vendor response

Thank you for being such a terrific advocate! It's great to see that you're getting so much value from the software. Also, we now have a native integration between Spectrum and our Team project management platform. We would be happy to give your project managers a demo if you like.

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