Chapter Corner

Fred Ode

Fred Ode is the CEO/chairman of Foundation Software. Ode founded the company in 1985 as FOUNDATION construction accounting software's chief developer and has since continued to manage the company's growth and vision. He is also the CEO of Foundation Software's sister company,, a payroll and reporting service just for contractors.

In Uncertain Times Make Your Business Sure

If we want to be insulated from the ebbs and flows of the market, we’re probably in the wrong business – even though there isn’t another industry we’d choose to commit to. Construction is continually exciting; it drives the economy. At the same time, it’s also heavily affected by capital spending, government budgeting and regulation, labor availability, and consumer confidence – in short, just about everything at play in the economy’s ups and downs. That means that far beyond our control there are simply fat times, lean times, and we-just-don’t-know-yet times. So as the industry holds stable in its slow recovery, and while owners and economists can’t guarantee what 2017 will bring, electrical contractors have the opportunity to make themselves sure about the future of their business by investing in the future now.

The Opportunities and the Opportunity Costs of the ACA

Contractors who have been around the block won’t be surprised at this stage to hear that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is entering full swing and that the first round of mandatory reporting is approaching in early 2016. Companies that haven’t already counted the costs that the new requirements may create may be counting those costs later if they get a bill from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Additionally, the variable hours and seasonal workforces that often characterize the construction industry may have contractors regularly doing math to assess their obligations and control their expenses under the healthcare law. Yet with so much focus on the costs of mandated coverage, it’s easy to lose sight of some of the opportunity costs that can be saved, as well as opportunities gained, for employers that take a positive and creative approach to their ACA compliance.