How do you know which construction accounting software is best for your business? This article will acquaint you with the best construction accounting software available – both desktop and cloud.
But before weighing your options, it’s important to understand how accounting software for construction companies is different from most typical businesses. accounting software.
QuickBooks Desktop: Best desktop-based option
The desktop versions of QuickBooks – QuickBooks Pro Plus, QuickBooks Premier Plus, and QuickBooks Enterprise – all have features you’ll find useful in your construction accounting software.
For smaller businesses, QuickBooks Pro will likely meet all of your construction accounting software needs. QuickBooks Pro handles all the basic accounting functions a small construction business needs, including invoicing, expense management, and financial reporting, and is easily customizable to meet your business needs. You can customize reports to show job profitability, and the payroll add-on is robust enough to meet the needs of most small construction companies. This construction accounting software costs $349.99 for an annual subscription, which is probably manageable even for start-up construction companies.
If you want more features in your construction accounting software, check out QuickBooks Premier. In addition to QuickBooks Pro features, QuickBooks Premier produces industry-specific reports, lets you track your inventory costs, and gives you the ability to set prices by customer type. QuickBooks Premier is sold as an annual subscription, which costs $549.99.
Another construction accounting software option is QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions, the powerhouse of QuickBooks Desktop products. Like QuickBooks Premier, QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions offers industry-specific tools, reports, and features. It also lets you set custom user permissions for up to 30 users, meaning you have complete control over who sees what information in your growing construction business. QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions is also sold as an annual subscription, which normally costs $1,275 per year. As of this writing, QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions is offering a 30% discount for the first year, so it currently costs $892 for the first year.
All desktop versions of QuickBooks are accessible through the cloud using a hosting company like Right Networks. Hosting solutions require additional fees per user.
QuickBooks Online with build-specific add-ons: best cloud-based option
One such cloud-based accounting software for builders is QuickBooks Online, which has made tremendous strides in costing, project management, and progress billing over the past few years, but on its own is probably still not powerful enough to meet the accounting needs of your construction company. It’s important to note, however, that if you’re using QuickBooks Online as your construction accounting software, you’ll need at least one companion app to help manage all of your construction accounting needs.
Let’s take a closer look at some of these add-ons that you might find most useful with your construction accounting software:
QuickBooks Time provides time tracking for your construction business. Employees can assign their time to a project, which makes billing easier. But TSheets GPS tracking is even more important for businesses with remote workplaces. You can always know where employees are when they clock in at work. TSheets costs $20 per month plus $10 per user per month for their small business plan, which allows for 2 to 99 users. If you choose to be billed annually instead of monthly, you’ll save 20%.
Hubdoc removes the hassle of collecting receipts and streamlines data entry. With the Hubdoc app, everyone in your construction company can take photos of their receipts and tag them for the appropriate project. With just a few clicks, this data is transferred to your QuickBooks Online file.
To know provides all the extra stuff general construction companies need: project management, contract and change order management, and job costing. For $186 per month or $1,788 per year, paid as a lump sum (which breaks down to $149 per month), you can manage up to 150 active jobs. Additional users can be added for $15 per month.
CoConstruc is the highest rated software for custom home builders and remodelers. If this is your construction niche, CoConstruct will give you all the tools you need to manage all aspects of your construction business. Like Knowify, CoConstruct integrates with QuickBooks Online. Its standard plan starts at $99 per month for the first two months, after which you’ll pay $349 per month. Although it is a little more expensive than Knowify, this price gives you unlimited user access and unlimited prospecting and estimating projects.
For large construction companies – especially home builders and remodelers – Buildertrend integrated with QuickBooks Online is preferred by Ruth Kohler of Due Diligence Bookkeeping and Kaydee Peterson of Measure Initiative, Inc.
With Buildertrend, you get all the reports you need for your construction business, plus helpful streamlining tools like direct vendor billing against a purchase order and direct construction order submission and approval. change. Buildertrend also does more than construction accounting – it also serves as a CRM and email marketing campaign manager.
Buildertrend’s pricing is simple: its basic plan starts at $99 per month for the first two months, after which you’ll pay $349 per month.
Core by BQE: best all-inclusive option
If QuickBooks isn’t a good option for you, another accounting software solution for the construction industry is Core by BQE. Core is an all-inclusive project accounting software that handles project management, invoicing, and accounting. Marketed primarily to professional services firms like architects and engineers, Core is still capable of helping you manage the accounting for your small to medium-sized construction business. And if you need to manage government contracts, Core is DCAA compliant.
Core can be a little tricky to set up and use, but there’s an active Facebook group full of users ready to help. And Core has the most flexible pricing of any software on this list, with custom pricing for every type of user you need.
Sage 100 Contractor: Best Features
Another construction accounting software is Sage 100 Contractor. Designed for small to medium-sized construction businesses, Sage 100 Contractor offers most of the features provided by the other construction accounting software mentioned in this article, all in one place.
Add-on apps make QuickBooks Online more robust, but the cost of these apps can add up. Pricing for Sage 100 Contractor is quote-based, but reviews quote a price of around $100 per month for one user.
Construction Accounting Software: What to Look For
Construction companies have unique accounting needs. Although your profit and loss (P&L) statement and balance sheet look a lot like those of any other business, there is a lot of important information you need that lies “below the surface” of these standard financial statements.
Some of the reports your construction company needs in addition to the standard income statement and balance sheet are:
Labor cost : Calculating job costs allows you to assign expenses to each individual job. Without a job cost calculation, you have no way of knowing which jobs – or what types of jobs – are the most profitable for your construction business.
Project management: There is more to project management than just knowing what phase each job is in, although that in itself is extremely important. Good project management helps you appropriately allocate resources to the various works of your construction company going on at any given time. It also allows you to project your needs for tendered projects.
Budget and performance analysis: Budget and completion analysis lets you see how your construction projects are doing from a budget perspective. In order to maximize your profitability on a job, you want to deliver it within budget and on time. Without this analysis in your construction accounting software, you may wonder if this will happen or not.
Modification of order tracking: A construction project without a change order is rare. If you can’t keep up with your change orders, you could easily leave money on the table or have to make costly changes to poorly done work.
These are the most “basic” additional accounting needs of construction companies. Your business may have different needs. It is therefore even more important to use construction accounting software that fully supports your business.
A version of this article first appeared on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.