If you have control of the system at the start of a project, make sure the project (or even at the program level, project office level, or company level) uses a document and accounting system that can record and output everything.
This would include costs, labour, forecasts, statistics, billing, budget, expenses, changes etc.
It should be able to output things like:
- Weekly reports.
- Monthly cost summary
- Labour costs for a period
- Expense breakdowns
- Cost to date
- Total cost at completion
This should all be available from one package or a number of modules that are automatically linked together. You do not want to have multiple spreadsheets that people record things in that are not linked. The result should be a significant reduction in paperwork.
Certain inputs could only be allowed by certain people (by log in), such as:
- Accounts (accountant)
- Labour (site manager)
- Design hours (design manager)
Individual hours by each person could be input (linked) from time sheets. All staff/employees should have adequate training so that the system is used properly
To start with, I recommend looking at the list of project management software at Wikipedia.