Construction business accounting software must have the ability to track, manage and report income and expenses for all of your jobs. Having the ability to keep track of subcontractors and meet the reporting requirements for both unions and certified payroll are also important factors.
We looked at eight products and narrowed it down to our top six.
Top 6 Construction Accounting Software 2018
|JobPower||(Best Overall) Construction businesses that need income/expense tracking and also want full CRM functionality|
|QuickBooks for Contractors||A construction company that needs to track income and expenses for multiple companies|
|Jonas Premier Cloud||Large construction companies that want one system that integrates accounting, CRM, project tracking and purchasing|
|Sage 100 Contractor||Companies that want detailed job costing reports that can display data as a line bar, graph or chart|
|Foundation||Contractor businesses that need to give system access to an outside CPA|
|ComputerEase Construction Software||Those looking for an alternative to JobPower|
When to Use QuickBooks Online for Contractors
If you just can’t afford the steep price of construction accounting software and you prefer a cloud-based product over QuickBooks Desktop, QuickBooks Online for Contractors is much more affordable at a starting cost of $20 per month. It’s best for those that don’t need a robust accounting software specific to only construction businesses.
QuickBooks Online allows you to keep track of income and expenses, create and track estimates and allow crew members to clock in and out from their mobile device. On its own, it did not make our top six list, but it integrates seamlessly with CoConstruct, a construction management system.
You can create a QuickBooks Online account in just a few minutes and start entering your information. All subscriptions include unlimited tech support if you need help getting started.
How We Evaluated the Best Construction Accounting Software
When it comes to managing the books for a construction business, there are some unique features required in contractor accounting software that are not typically included in most accounting software products. Job costing, estimating and subcontractor compliance tracking and management are just a few of the key components required to make our top pick list.
We assessed our top contractor accounting software picks on price, ease of use, customer reviews and the following key features:
- General accounting: Track income and expenses by customer, job and account code like labor, materials or supplies
- Job costing: Track expenses by customer, job and account so that you can compare to budget and address any issues early on
- Estimating: Create and track estimates, compare committed vs. actual costs and all change orders
- Subcontractor compliance tracking/management: Track subcontractors for each job and ensure critical documents like contracts and lien waivers are up-to-date
- Remote time tracking: Upon arrival at a job site, the crew members can clock in and out directly from their mobile phone to ensure accurate and timely payroll
- Unions/certified payroll: Adherence to union rules and regulations for all union employees hired and compliance with certified payroll reporting requirements for jobs funded by the government
- Reporting: Able to generate detailed job costing reports by job, customer, vendor and account code
Based on the above criteria, we believe JobPower is the best construction accounting software for construction and contractor businesses. In addition to including the key features listed above, it also includes full customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities and advanced payroll reporting features.
JobPower: Best Construction Accounting Software for Small Businesses
JobPower is a contract accounting software for construction companies of any size. In addition to general accounting, it includes a full CRM, document management and scheduling features. It also includes reports that meet all union and certified payroll requirements. It’s ideal for general contractors, subcontractors and home builders in the industrial, commercial and residential industries.
Like most of its competitors, the price of JobPower is going to vary based on the specific needs of your business, the number of users that need to access the data and whether you opt for the installed software or the cloud version. With that said, JobPower does charge a one-time installation fee of $3,000, and the cloud version starts at $200 per month. You will have to contact JobPower so that they can provide you with a custom quote based on your business needs.
On top of meeting our minimum criteria, JobPower also has full CRM capabilities to manage all customer, vendor and employee relationships. This includes but is not limited to contact information, communications via email and telephone payments to date and invoice and billing history. It also includes a Quote Center with Prospects and customizable dashboards.
JobPower allows you to keep track of all vendor bills as well as invoice customers once a job is completed. You can also complete reconciliations for all bank and credit card accounts to ensure all income and expenses have been accounted for.
Similar to its competitors, JobPower has an integrated job costing system so that you can track job costs by customer, job and account easily. This will give you access to detailed job costing reports like job profitability, work in progress and budget vs. actual reporting.
Similar to Sage 100 and ComputerEase, JobPower does not include the ability to do estimates. However, they do partner with a number of other products that will integrate with JobPower seamlessly so that you can track original estimates, change orders and committed vs. actual costs.
Subcontractor Compliance Tracking and Management
JobPower allows you to keep track of all subcontractors contact information, retainage amounts and paid to date amounts by job. You can also scan key documents like lien waivers and contracts and save them to the subcontractor’s profile.
Remote Time Tracking
Employees can use JobPower Mobile app to enter their hours worked from any location. The hours can be categorized by job, cost category or work class. The app has GPS capability so that you can verify if the employee was at the actual job site when they clocked in.
JobPower meets the reporting requirements for both unions and certified payroll; including multiple hourly rates, union withholding, multiple unions per employee and multiple states per employee. You can also complete and print the quarterly payroll tax form 941 directly from JobPower.
JobPower has an extensive reporting library that includes percentage of jobs completed, completed jobs and over/under billing reports. In addition, it also includes common financial statements like Income Statement and Balance Sheet reports.
What JobPower Is Missing
With JobPower, unlike with QuickBooks for Contractors, you can’t keep track of income and expenses for multiple entities. In addition, it does not appear that JobPower allows you to connect your bank and credit card accounts to the software.
JobPower User Reviews
User reviews for JobPower are overwhelmingly positive. Customers like how easy the software is to use and the access to unlimited tech support when you need it. Customers also like how customized it is to the needs of a construction business as well. There were a few cons that we found, and they revolve around price.
QuickBooks for Contractors: Best Contractor Accounting Software for Parent and Subsidiary Reporting:
Depending on the size of your company, QuickBooks for Contractors offers two pricing tiers. Premier works great for small to medium-sized businesses and Enterprise works well for larger companies that need a system with greater capacity to manage job, vendor and customer data. While you can track income and expenses for multiple companies, only Enterprise includes reporting for parent and subsidiaries.
QuickBooks for Contractors Pricing & Features
There are two pricing plans for QuickBooks for Contractors; QuickBooks Premier which starts at $499.95 for one user license and QuickBooks Enterprise that will run you $1,100 per year for a single user license. The primary differences between these two plans are the number of licenses that you can purchase, the amount of data that the system can handle and the ability to create financial statements by a subsidiary or parent company.
QuickBooks for Contractors Tiered Pricing & Features
|Custom Chart of Accounts|
|Remote Time Tracking|
|Unions/Certified Payroll Compliance|
QuickBooks Premier for Contractors comes with a customized chart of accounts list for contractors and custom job reports like Job Status, Job Costs by Vendor and Costs to Complete. You can also manage accounts payable (A/P) and accounts receivables (A/R), create & track estimates and allow employees to enter time from each job site using the TSheets by QuickBooks app.
QuickBooks Premier for Contractors is ideal for small to medium-sized constructions businesses that don’t need to give more than five users access to their data. However, if you need to give more than five users access or you reach the maximum number of customers, jobs and employees that you can manage in Premier (14,500), then you need to upgrade to the Enterprise for Contractors edition.
QuickBooks Enterprise for Contractors
QuickBooks Enterprise for Contractors includes all of the features that Premier has. However, it has a much larger capacity than Premier that allows you to track customer, employee and vendor information and transactions for up to 1 million contacts. In addition, you can purchase up to 30 licenses (vs. five for Premier). Unlike Premier, Enterprise allows you to manage income and expenses for multiple entities and generate consolidated financial statements.
QuickBooks Enterprise for Contractors is ideal for any sized construction business that needs the ability to track income and expenses for multiple companies and produce consolidated financial statements at both the subsidiary and the parent company level.
What QuickBooks for Contractors Is Missing
A couple of features that QuickBooks for Contractors does not have but competitors like Jonas and ComputerEase do offer is an automatic approval process for bills entered into the system. In addition, while you can store documents, there is no way to track the expiration dates for lien waivers and contracts to ensure subcontractor compliance.
QuickBooks for Contractors User Reviews
QuickBooks for Contractors customers like how easy it is to use and how customizable it is to any industry. Another user said that while QuickBooks Premier is a one-time fee, it’s pretty pricey if you have to add additional users or if you want to upgrade each year to the new version. Be sure to check out all of our QuickBooks customer reviews.
Jonas Premier: Best Construction Accounting Software for Large Construction Companies
Jonas Premier is ideal for large general contractors, design builders, home builders and specialty contractors that want a system that goes beyond accounting to include a full CRM and project management features. While the one-time implementation fee of $15,000 is the highest compared to its competitors, Jonas Premier reviews indicate that users are quite pleased with their decision to purchase Jonas Premier.
Jonas Premier Pricing
To purchase Jonas Premier, you will be required to pay a one-time implementation fee of $15,000. While steep, this fee includes unlimited customer support and unlimited training for all employees. You will need to contact Jonas Premier to receive a custom quote, but the monthly fee is approximately $179 per user, per month or $169 per user, per month if you make an annual commitment. Finally, to use the mobile app it will cost an additional $25 per user, per month.
Jonas Premier Features
Jonas Premier includes a plethora of features that many of its competitors do not. For example, it includes a full CRM that allows you to keep track of customer and supplier contact information, photos and all communications via email and phone. In addition, it has project tracking capabilities and invoice and purchase order templates that you can customize for your brand.
Jonas Premier includes general accounting functionality like creating and sending invoices to customers and paying vendor bills. You can also connect all of your bank and credit card accounts so that transactions automatically download into the system, which will make it easy to reconcile. Basic financial statements like profit and loss, balance sheet and cash flow are also available across multiple companies and divisions within the business.
Jonas Premier is able to track detailed job costs in a number of ways, including but not limited to job, customer, vendor and account code. According to its website, there are five levels of detailed job cost breakdown. The system can be configured to allow only authorized users to access and post transactions to certain jobs.
Jonas Premier allows you to track original and current estimates, committed and actual costs and change orders easily. Many contractors prefer to use excel for estimating, with Jonas Premier you can integrate your excel spreadsheet with the software.
Subcontractor Compliance Tracking and Management
Keep all of your important documents and information on subcontractors in Jonas Premier. You can also configure the system to send you an alert when a certificate or other documentation has expired. You can generate reports on amount billed, paid to date and current accounts payable balances for individuals or all subcontractors easily.
Remote Time Tracking
Crew and other team members can use the mobile app to enter time directly to a job while they are at the site. Hours worked can be tracked using customized pay codes and integrated with other third-party payroll systems like ADP, Payworks, Certipay and QuickBooks.
Unions/Certified Payroll Compliance
Jonas Premier is capable of handling various payroll systems. You can set up multiple unions and rate codes and attach employees to the appropriate union rate code. Tracking and reporting to multiple unions and process weekly, biweekly, bimonthly or monthly payroll can also be done. If you have a third-party payroll service, you can export the payroll data or process direct deposit payments easily within Jonas Premier.
When it comes to reporting, Jonas Premier is no slouch. In addition to the standard financial reports, Jonas Premier has customized dashboards that you can drill down to get both summary and detailed information. If you are tracking income and expenses for multiple companies or divisions, you can run both consolidated and company-specific financials. Finally, if they don’t have a report that you need, they have a structured query language (SQL) query database that you can use to create it.
What Jonas Premier Cloud Is Missing
Jonas Premier Cloud goes well beyond our expectations of what the best accounting software for construction should include. However, because of the steep cost, it is not as affordable as many of its competitors.
Jonas Premier Cloud User Reviews
Overall, customers have nothing but good things to say about Jonas Premier. Features that customers seem to enjoy the most are how user-friendly it is, all of the new upgrades and features that are made regularly to the software and the top-notch customer service. A few customers did mention that the overall system interface is great but that the reporting is a bit archaic.
Sage 100 Contractor: Best Construction Accounting Software with a Reports Dashboard for Small Businesses
Sage 100 Contractor is ideal for a business that needs to give stakeholders access to detailed reports. The detailed reports dashboard consists of the standard financial statements like profit and loss and balance sheet reports as well as line, pie and graph charts for detailed analysis of profitability and costs by department and location.
Sage 100 Contractor Pricing
To obtain your actual cost, you will have to contact Sage for a quote. Pricing starts at $115 per user, per month and can vary based on the number of users, add-on products like estimating as well as the amount of training, consulting and support required.
Sage 100 Contractor Features
In addition to meeting our criteria for the best construction accounting software, Sage 100 also includes a number of additional features. For example, alerts can be set to notify you for things like a low bank balance, costs exceeding a budgeted amount for a job or unbilled service work orders. These alerts can be sent via email or just appear on your dashboard when you log into the system.
Sage 100 Contractor allows you to perform general accounting tasks like manage accounts receivable and accounts payable. There is a customized chart of accounts that includes custom accounts specific to construction, or you can import your existing chart of accounts into Sage 100. It also allows you to track income and expenses for multiple companies and divisions as well as generate consolidated financial statements.
Sage 100 allows you to track all income and expenses by job, customer and account. This will help you to stay on top of how well job costs are coming in compared to the original budget. In addition, you can run detailed job profitability reports, costs to date by subcontractor and many other reports to do detailed analysis by job.
Unfortunately, Sage 100 does not include the estimating functionality. However, you can purchase the Sage Estimating module for an additional fee. Similar to its competitors, this module allows you to keep track of the original and current estimates, committed and actual costs and change orders.
Remote Time Tracking
Sage 100 allows team members to use the Sage Construction Anywhere app to clock in and out throughout the day and log their time as they go from one job site to the next. This ensures that hours are logged in a timely manner so that owners or managers can review, approve and submit time ahead of the payroll deadline.
Unions/Certified Payroll Compliance
Sage 100 makes paying union and non-union works a piece of cake. You can set up different work codes and wage rates to meet the guidelines of multiple unions. In addition, you can supply reports that meet the required certified payroll guidelines for government-funded contracts.
Out of all of the contractor accounting software products that we looked at, Sage 100 had the most extensive library of reports with 1,000. In addition to the standard financial reports like profit and loss, balance sheet and cash flow, you can generate work in progress reports for all jobs or individual jobs, percentage of completion or profitability by job reports are also available. In a nutshell, if there’s a report that you want, chances are you will find it in Sage 100.
What Sage 100 Contractor Is Missing
While Sage 100 Contractor beats its competitors when it comes to reporting capabilities. Unfortunately, there is no way to track subcontractor compliance when it comes to expiration dates on insurance and other key documents whereas Jonas Premier and JobPower do have this capability.
Sage 100 Contractor User Reviews
Overall, the Sage 100 user reviews we found online were mostly positive. Customers like how robust the product is and how customizable the reports are. Customers like how easily you can store information pertaining to all aspects of construction and how helpful the customer service team is when you’ve got a question. A few customers mentioned that they don’t like that you can’t delete an invoice, purchase order or any transaction that you have created. You can only void these items.
Foundation: Best Construction Accounting Software with a CPA Audit Review Dashboard
Foundation is one of the most comprehensive software products that we looked at because it included a certified public accountant (CPA) audit/review console. This console will allow your CPA or tax professional to access the reports they typically need to review during tax time easily like the profit and loss and jobs reports. Best of all, you don’t have to invest time to teach them how to use your system. They have to click on a report to review the data.
Like most of its competitors, you will have to contact Foundation directly to request a quote. The custom quote will be based on the needs of your particular business and the number of users that need access to your data.
Like most of the other products we have covered, Foundation includes many features that go well beyond our expectations. There is an equipment/fixed asset feature that allows you to track the usage of equipment like bulldozers to jobs so that you can be even more accurate on what your total job costs are. Inventory received at a job site can be logged easily from your mobile phone using the app.
Foundation has general accounting capabilities like accounts payable and accounts receivable. Similar to some of its competitors, you can scan bills into the system and attach them to jobs. Using the approvals feature, you can route bills to the appropriate person for approval. Payments can be made via check or electronic funds transfer (EFT). You can run A/R aging reports by job or customer and A/P aging reports by vendor and job.
Foundation allows you to track costs by job, customer and account code. Whether it’s labor or materials, you can keep track of all types of costs with this product. This will allow you to run detailed reports to see what your costs to date are, the job profitability and what remains in work in process.
Foundation does not include the ability to track and manage estimates. However, you can import estimates from a Microsoft Excel or comma-separated values (CSV) file into Foundation.
Remote Time Tracking
Crew members, subcontractors and employees can enter their hours directly in the system from their mobile phone. Supervisors can review, correct and approve hours for their staff directly from their mobile phone or device. This ensures that the labor costs by job are always updated, and payroll has the information that they need to process paychecks.
Unions/Certified Payroll Compliance
Foundation can handle the most complex timecard calculations for employees who are members of one or more unions; non-union-employees who work in different states or jurisdictions. You can track and report certified payroll for employees and subcontractors who work on projects funded by the government.
Depending on what information you are interested in, Foundation has a large library of reports that you can generate. This includes income statement, balance sheet, aging reports, bank reconciliation reports and over/under billings just to name a few.
What Foundation Is Missing
While Foundation is the most robust software that we looked at, like Sage 100 Contractor, you cannot keep track of lien waivers and expiration dates on key documents to ensure subcontractors remain compliant.
Foundation User Reviews
We found a number of positive and negative Foundation user reviews online. Overall, customers like the number of features included in this product for the price. The integration of all aspects of the construction business is another huge plus. On the negative end, a few customers say that there is a steep learning curve and that you’ve got to invest a lot of time upfront to learn about the product.
ComputerEase: An Alternative Construction Accounting Software Option for Small Businesses
ComputerEase is a cloud-based construction accounting system that caters to just about every type of contractor there is; general, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, excavation, demolition and more. If you need an all-inclusive accounting, CRM and project solution then you may want to consider ComputerEase; it not only meets but exceeded our evaluation criteria.
Like many of its competitors, pricing for ComputerEase will be based on the specific needs of your construction business and the number of users that need access to your data. You can contact ComputerEase directly to receive a custom quote.
ComputerEase includes many features that you would expect to find in a construction accounting software, and more. It has CRM capabilities, so that you can manage client calls, emails and activities. It integrates with Excel and Outlook so you can transfer that data easily into ComputerEase. With the ExpenseEase app, employees and contractors can take a picture of a receipt, categorize it to the right job and submit it for reimbursement, no more lost receipts.
ComputerEase has full accounting features to manage your bills and invoice customers. The A/P process allows you to scan and attach a bill to a job and a purchase order. If applicable, you can route the bill to an approver. The A/R center allows you to create quotes after receiving the customer’s approval, and you can turn it into an invoice with just a few clicks; no need to create an invoice from scratch.
The Job Center in ComputerEase is your one-stop shop for all things related to jobs. It includes contact details about the job, all documents such as contracts and insurance and detailed financial information about each job, such as projected profit, costs to date, work in process and budgeted costs by department.
Similar to Sage 100, ComputerEase does not have the ability to keep track of job estimates. However, if you use Excel, you can import this information into ComputerEase easily. In addition, they have several estimating partners that integrate with ComputerEase.
Remote Time Tracking
Similar to its competitors, employees and contractors can clock in and out directly from their mobile phone using the ComputerEase Time Entry app. Hours logged will automatically sync with ComputerEase so that managers can review and approve time and the payroll department can process payroll.
Unions/Certified Payroll Compliance
ComputerEase has full payroll processing capabilities. Payroll is integrated with job costing to ensure allocation of labor by job, worker class code — union, non-union or certified — and account code. Reports that comply with both union reporting requirements and certified payroll can be generated easily, and employees can be paid by check or direct deposit.
In addition to the traditional financial statements like profit and loss and balance sheet, ComputerEase includes a number of detailed job reports. Some of these reports include information on job profitability, job costs, costs to date and job progress. You also have the ability to customize reports to meet your specific needs.
What ComputerEase Is Missing
Unlike Jonas Premier and JobPower, ComputerEase does not have the ability to keep track of expiration dates and other key documents to ensure subcontractor compliance. In addition, you cannot track income and expenses for multiple companies like you can with QuickBooks for Contractors, Enterprise edition.
ComputerEase User Reviews
The ComputerEase user reviews that we found online were mostly positive. Readers shared that this product provides all of the reports that an owner needs for running a construction business. In addition, they like how user-friendly the software is and how helpful the tech support team is when you need assistance. On the negative side, a few users complained that they would like more ways to manipulate reports.
Still Have Questions?
Have a question about choosing the right construction accounting software for your business? Our analysts are standing by to answer!
The Bottom Line
Now that you know our top six picks for best construction accounting software, it’s time for you to decide which one is right for you. We recommend Jonas Premier as the best construction accounting software for construction and contractor businesses.If you want to check out another option, we’ve also reviewed how Sage 50cloud compares to QuickBooks.
Jonas Premier is your one-stop shop when it comes to doing your accounting, managing all of your contact relationships and providing detailed job costing reports as well as the standard financial statements like profit and loss and balance sheet. Head over to its website and sign up for a live demo so that you can see Jonas Premier in action.