Case Study: For Tight Line Construction, One Good Decision Leads to Another

by Alex Gray
May 12, 2017
Read Time: Less than 5 Mins
Last Modified: April 27, 2024

With any new company, the work at the very beginning is easily the most challenging, as early decisions shape the future of the business. In 2014, the Boston-based wall and ceilings specialty contractor Tight Line Construction* had been operating for less than a year. They’d been running their construction accounting on a popular small-business software and were in the final negotiations with a major payroll service provider when they wondered if they were making the right decision.

Around the same time, founder Joe McPherson received valuable advice from a colleague. He highly recommended that Joe look into and its sister company, a job cost accounting developer, Foundation Software. Since Tight Line hadn’t yet signed with the big-name payroll service provider, Joe agreed that they should explore their options. While viewing an online demo and talking with’s sales staff, Joe and his team learned how they could outsource their payroll processing and tax filing, plus integrate it with top accounting applications like FOUNDATION® construction software or QuickBooks®.

UG Certified Payroll

After speaking with and Foundation about how they work separately and together, Joe and his team were convinced that signing with both was the right decision. President Tyler McPherson says, “It seemed like a great fit from the start, and we’ve never looked back.”

Growing Forward with a Construction Payroll Service

Fast forward three years and Tight Line is now a multi-million dollar per year operation making its impact in the New England marketplace. And their payroll is a lot more complex than when they started! The construction firm has grown from a payroll of six employees to 50, providing carpentry and general trades services to general contractors, construction managers, and owners — even in multiple states and prevailing wage jobs.

All of that work also includes numerous trades to manage on their payroll. Tyler explains that the firm’s work ranges from metal framing, drywall, and acoustical ceilings to toilet accessories, interior carpeting, and trim and roof work such as trusses and asphalt shingles.

Even under these expanding requirements, Tyler says using FOUNDATION and has only had a positive impact for his bookkeeping staff. For one, these services “minimize errors and simplify the process,” he says.

Better Together2017-05_Payroll4Construction_TightLine-3

After being in the construction industry for 15 years, Michelle McLaughlin came to Tight Line Construction as an accounting assistant in 2016. Since she wasn’t involved in the preliminary start-up and implementation, she learned the software and payroll service through daily system use, online resources, and conversations with the support department. Through all of this, Michelle says, “I have found FOUNDATION to be one of the best accounting software programs available within the construction industry, primarily for its efficiency and ease of use.” She also notes that the ease of access to project information for tracking purposes is a major benefit of the system.

Tyler echoes that sentiment for the payroll service: “It sort of runs itself once it’s set up.” automatically generates required construction reporting, even if they didn’t have FOUNDATION. These reports include certified payroll, EEO minority compliance, workers’ comp, new hire, job costing, union tracking, proofing, and others. “The reports always tie out, leaving a zero margin of error,” adds Michelle.

Pulling from her prior experience, she notes that a major headache at a previous job was payroll and union reporting. Using, she now calls that process “a breeze.”

“In the same fashion, certified payroll takes one or two minutes to complete, rather than being a three-hour affair,” says Michelle. “I used to track all payroll hours, compute the average daily payroll, split the deductions, etc., on an Excel spreadsheet and then transfer the same information onto the appropriate certified payroll form. Now, in a matter of a few short minutes, the system does it all.”

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To see more of the real-world difference makes for contractors, check out more construction payroll testimonials!

*Tight Line Construction is a specialty contractor providing expertise in interior, exterior carpentry systems, doors, frames and hardware and general trades services in New England.


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