Find the Lost Dollars logo

Online Business Management Training Program for Architects, Engineers and Environmental Firms

Training Course Descriptions

How do you change the mindset and daily activities of your project managers so that all the small amounts of profit that are leaking from your projects are captured?

Our comprehensive approach and methodology, Find the Lost Dollars™ Program for project and business leaders, does just that!

Create a profitable culture by getting your team in the mode of wanting to go beyond providing solid project work but also having your bottom line at the heart of all they do.  But, your staff can’t change their behavior by going to a 2-day bootcamp or crash course. They need a process that sets expectations, helps them understand the importance of profitability and where money gets lost in your firm, and teaches how to Find the Lost Dollars™ in your firm.

AEC Business Solutions’ proven system utilizes videos, exercises, workbooks, assessments, goal setting and coaching to realize a significant improvement in performance.

This system combines engaging and fun online courses with regular coaching calls, expected behavior changes, positive reinforcement from firm leadership, and measurement of results (what gets measured gets done).

Learn more about what is covered in each of the 10 one-hour courses


The first step in the process to increase profits in your firm is to gain awareness of problems and issues that are causing your firm to lose money on projects. This course will help Project Managers (PMs) and firm leaders better appreciate the importance of making a profit and the impact those belief systems can have on their firm’s bottom line. This course will help you recognize the mindset that exists in your firm and how it has formed the daily behavior of your employees, and even your clients. You will learn the top 10 culture traps faced by most firms in the A&E industry, identify where your firm might have similar obstacles, and discover ways to address the problem areas.


This course will uncover the nine areas where most firms lose money due to the culture traps learned in the first course, as well as from ineective people, processes, and technology. We will calculate the impact of just 1% of lost revenues or excessive costs to the profitability of the firm, and start to develop an understanding of where money is lost on projects. This course will provide an overall framework for the rest of the Find the Lost Dollars training to get firm leaders and PMs focused on the issues surrounding business management success, and how to impact the profitability of the projects they manage.


Business and financial management subjects are not taught in A&E college curriculum, and most architects and engineers are not skilled at reading financial reports and evaluating firm performance. In order to develop project managers into business leaders they need to have a strong foundation in overall company financial management. In this course, you will learn basic financial management concepts and how they apply to the health of your firm. You will understand the purpose of standard accounting reports and financial statements, as well as the key performance indicators that are used to measure past performance and forecast future pipeline, backlog, revenue, and labor requirements. This course will provide A&E professionals with the ability to understand what goes into the financial planning for your firm and better analyze and forecast firm performance.


This course is designed to help seller-doers to be more effective in their business development and sales roles. You will be able to distinguish between marketing, business development, and sales, and learn the factors that affect your win rates. Understand the importance of the Go / No-go process and how company resources are wasted in poor proposal decisions. Find more money in your sales process by evaluating your opportunity management and proposal processes, and identifying bottlenecks in these areas. Learn how a Client Relationship Management (CRM) system, and organizing project and employee qualifications data, can improve your proposal process and win rate. Learn ways to differentiate your firm through branding and inbound marketing, including blogs, social media, and content marketing.


Project estimates are the foundation for a successful project, and the contract type and scope can have a huge impact on project profitability. In this course you will learn about the two main types of contracts – fixed amounts and cost-based – and the impact they have on profitability and challenges in managing projects. We will review the calculation of billing rates, and provide best practices for analyzing labor, direct expenses, consultant costs, and overhead when you are calculating profitability for each contract type. We will then review the risks associated with project estimating, including common process issues and best practices for developing and automating project estimates.


Project budgets are the foundation for a successful project because they provide the guidelines for what employees should be working on each day and how long it should take. In this course you will learn the components of an eective budget, budget process recommendations, and budget monitoring best practices. You will learn to identify areas where projects lose money, and understand how your project profit margin is impacted by scope creep, time management issues, contingencies, and meetings. Managing your resources in order to maximize the value of each employee’s eorts is critical to profitable business management. You will gain an understanding of the relationship between utilization and project profitability, and how to put practices in place to ensure they are balanced. You will appreciate the importance of ensuring that your resources are being utilized as eectively as possible and learn best practices for managing employee schedules, and forecasting labor requirements in order to achieve target utilization rates.


Many AEC firms lose money because of scope creep. The project team sometimes fails to stick to the original project scope or performs services outside of the scope without getting agreement from the client to bill them as extra services. Adequate processes must be put in place to educate the project team about the scope and create an understanding of the impact that scope creep has on project profitability. In this course, you will learn to recognize scope creep in your projects and understand the negative impact it has on project profits. You will also identify communication and contract issues that can lead to scope creep, and learn some best practices for putting systems and processes in place to minimize scope creep, and enable you to charge for extra services.  Preview the Scope Creep course NOW!


In a professional services business, the expression “time is money” is truly accurate. In this course you will learn best practices for implementing timesheet policies, enforcing these policies, and controlling and improving employee behavior. You will also gain an understanding of the role that leadership and approval processes play in eective time management, and the financial impact that timesheet processes have on billing accuracy, job cost reporting, cash flow, and employee performance analysis.


Without careful monitoring of cash balances, a company may not remain solvent for long. In this course, you will learn business management, billing, and accounts receivable (AR) collections best practices that will successfully improve cash flow. The benefits of these processes go beyond having cash for operations, including increased accuracy, more ecient billing, a shorter invoice cycle, more successful collections efforts, and better client relationships.


It is universally important to AEC firm owners and executives to protect and improve their relationships with clients. In this course, you will learn best practices for keeping clients engaged and loyal as well as suggestions for how to categorize your clients to help you focus on the ones that really need and deserve your attention. You will identify criteria to use to categorize your clients and put client feedback and retention programs in place to ensure your best and most profitable clients are getting the most attention. You will also learn the importance of using technology to help automate and manage these relationships.


Start finding lost dollars in your firm - NOW!


We help Architectural, Engineering and Environmental companies Find the Lost Dollars in their firms.

We specialize in helping good firms become wildly successful!