This article is part of a larger series on Accounting Software.
Sage 100 Contractor combines accounting and project management in one platform and also allows you access to enterprise resource planning (ERP) features like data analysis, job orders, and inventory management. It’s a great alternative for construction contractors that need more management features and construction-specific accounting than is offered by QuickBooks Online. While QuickBooks Online does have useful tools like time tracking and job costing, Sage 100 Contractor offers a much more extensive array of features that are specific to the construction industry.
When To Use Sage 100 Contractor
Sage 100 Contractor is an integrated suite of software applications that was developed specifically for the construction industry. It allows small and mid-sized contractors to control every aspect of their business like printing job cost reports on demand and performing construction-specific tasks like scheduling, estimates, project management, and equipment management. Sage 100 Contractor is a far more sophisticated software than QuickBooks Online, but also more expensive. General contractors and home builders will benefit from its time and material billing, and contractors performing excavation work can produce unitary bills, which allows them to bill for the number of units of earth moved.
By eliminating the time-consuming and error-prone re-keying of data, Sage 100 Contractor allows you to manage every aspect of your construction company—from the field to the back office. Specialized service providers, such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC); plumbing; drywall; and concrete contractors can use the powerful scheduling tools to allocate production resources and organize schedules.. We ranked it as one of the best QuickBooks alternatives, specifically because of its ERP software and all of the features are integrated into one system.
When To Use QuickBooks
QuickBooks Online is a good option for smaller contractors that only require basic features. In addition to performing tasks like creating invoices for customers, processing payroll, paying bills, and managing expenses, the Plus version has strong project management tools that are useful for contractors. These tools allow you to manage project transactions and reports from one place, keep notes on projects, and view projects by status and by customer.
We selected QuickBooks Online as the best overall accounting software, in part because of its ability to track time and send estimates. Construction businesses that track activity by class and location will also find this feature useful. Project managers can manage project profitability in QuickBooks Online Plus by creating a new budget for every project and producing a budget vs actual report by customer.
When To Consider QuickBooks Premier Contractor Edition
We selected QuickBooks Premier Contractor Edition as one of the best construction accounting software options because it is ideal for general contractors or subcontractors who spend a lot of time tracking the costs of individual jobs. It reduces your workload by combining the tasks of general bookkeeping and also helps you to avoid missed costs since job costs are tied to total company expenses. QuickBooks Premier Contractor Edition is almost always better than QuickBooks Online for construction if you only have one or two users, any more than that and it becomes expensive.
For larger construction firms with multiple crews, QuickBooks Premier Contractor Edition can assist with estimating job profitability. This will help project managers to control costs. Unlike QuickBooks Online, you can create change orders. Although it has more industry features than QuickBooks Online, it isn’t cloud-based, which may be an issue for contractors who often work remotely. Its feature set is also not as advanced as Sage 100 Contractor. The software also allows you to record materials returned from a job site as inventory so that your project managers can use them on the next job rather than ordering unnecessary materials. You can create change orders, purchase orders, and access the job costing center, which shows the top and bottom three jobs ranked on profitability during the last three months. You can learn more by reading our review of QuickBooks Premier Contractor Edition.
Are you seeking other options for your construction business? Read our guide to the best construction accounting software to discover our top picks.
Compare Sage 100 Contractor vs QuickBooks at a Glance
Sage 100 Contractor
What It’s Best For
Contractors and construction businesses seeking ERP features
Tracking job costs for a low price
Monthly Pricing Plans
$15 for one user to $150 for 25 users
1 to 25
Accounts Payable (A/P)
Accounts Receivable (A/R)
Connect Bank & Credit Card Accounts
Advanced Financial Reporting
Track Income and Expense by Project
Create Estimates, Including Budgeting Hours
Create Change Orders
View Punch Lists, Correspondence & Task Lists
Create Multiple Purchase Order Types & Track Variances
Track Equipment Maintenance
Track Multiple Jobs on Balance Sheet & P&L
Consolidate Financial Statements for Multiple Data Files
Track Fixed Assets
Create Loan Draws & Unitary Bills
Create Multistate Payroll in One Paycheck
Auto-Generate Individual Proposal Orders, Change Orders & Subcontracts
Create Reports With Custom Calculations
Track Mileage With Mobile App
Scan Receipts With Mobile App
Sage 100 Contractor vs QuickBooks: Pricing
It’s difficult to compare the pricing between Sage 100 Contractor and QuickBooks because Sage’s price is quote-based. In this case, QuickBooks is a good option because of the variation in plans available and its transparent pricing.
Sage 100 Contractor Pricing
Sage doesn’t list pricing on its website, but users report that the starting price ranges from $99 to $115 per month.
QuickBooks offers a choice of five subscription plans for different needs. Below are the prices for each:
- Self-Employed: $15 per month for one user
- Simple-Start: $25 per month for one user
- Essentials: $50 per month for up to three users
- Plus (recommended for contractors): $80 per month for up to five users
- Advanced: $180 per month or up to 25 users
Contractors must choose the Plus plan if they want to track income and loss by project. The Self-Employed plan isn’t a double-entry bookkeeping system and cannot be upgraded to any of the other plans. If you’re considering that plan, make sure that it’ll satisfy all of your current and future bookkeeping needs.
Takeaway: Unless you elect for the QuickBooks Advanced plan, the QuickBooks Online subscription options are likely less expensive than the quote you’ll receive from Sage 100 Contractor.
Sage 100 Contractor vs QuickBooks: Features
Sage 100 Contractor has more extensive contractor-specific features than QuickBooks Online. However, QuickBooks Online can track costs by project, class, and location, which is likely sufficient for the needs of small contractors.
Sage 100 Contractor Features
Sage 100 Contractor has a large number of features that enable you to manage the needs of your business. Its features are all fully integrated, eliminating the need to reenter data and use multiple programs. For example, you can generate a proposal utilizing the data that you have created in an estimate. If awarded the contract, Sage 100 Contractor will identify the lowest-priced vendor, and create the job budget, purchase orders (POs), subcontract agreement, and a task list. The tasks listed include the required resources and, as conditions change on the job, you can move or remove them and send notices to your subcontractors and material suppliers.
Here are a few other key features of Sage 100 Contractor:
- Reporting: Sage 100 Contractor generates nearly 1,200 reports and 100 form designs. The report writer wizard provides the tools to design customized reports on any fields that are tracked in the system.
- Estimating: You can create and export estimates, budgets, purchase orders, and subcontracts, ultimately saving you time. You can also include budgeted hours in your estimates.
- Job Costing: All information related to job costing is available, including job cost journals, labor totals, billing summaries, and detailed cost reports.
- Scheduling: Sage 100 Contractor creates call sheets with schedules, phone numbers, and work descriptions, ensuring that all necessary information is in one location. It also generates subcontractor and supplier notices automatically that will alert them when work should be done.
- Project management: The project management module allows for access to daily field reports, documents and task lists, and operation status. You can also approve your employees’ time and enable access to your team so that they can share documents and photos online.
- Equipment management: This add-on provides in-depth analytics on equipment, such as maintenance, cost, and revenue records. You can allocate equipment costs directly to jobs and service your equipment at the right cycles.
QuickBooks Online Features
QuickBooks Online’s time tracking features and ability to send estimates and invoices to customers are very useful to contractors. It’s also customizable easily, which allows you to add your logo to forms and customize categories. However, unlike Sage 100 Contractor, QuickBooks isn’t able to handle order management or processing, nor scheduling, change orders, or equipment tracking.
Here are a few key features of QuickBooks Online:
- Project tracking: Available to Plus and Advanced subscribers, users can create multiple projects for a single customer, and QuickBooks Online allows you to assign income and expenses to projects as they’re incurred. This is helpful for determining the profitability of particular jobs. However, while estimates can be created, they aren’t tied to projects.
- Class and location tracking: Plus and Advanced users also have access to class and location tracking. Classes can be created to track income and expenses separately, and you can create a separate class for each service area or anything else that you would like to track. Using a separate location indicator lets you print reports that are separated by location and class.
- Invoicing: Invoices can be customized and either printed or emailed to your customers. You can add time and expenses that you want to bill back to the customer.
- Inventory tracking: QuickBooks Online has everything you need to manage your inventory. You can track what’s on hand, get alerts when it’s time to restock, and view insights on what you buy and sell.
Sage 100 Contractor vs QuickBooks: Ease of Use
Sage 100 Contractor has an interface that is somewhat intuitive but the vast number of features can feel a bit overwhelming at first. You may need some time to learn basic functions like creating and customizing reports. Meanwhile, QuickBooks is much more user-friendly.
Sage 100 Contractor Ease of Use
When first setting up the system, you can determine which modules and menu items that each individual user will need to do their job. By setting up customized workflows and menu items on the Sage 100 Contractor desktop and hiding the menu, the user logging into the system is only presented with the options they need to perform their day-to-day activities.
Sage 100 Contractor also provides a variety of security features that enable you to restrict access to data in each company. You can create groups of users, assign access rights to a group of users and restrict access to specific data. By creating security groups to organize users by function, such as project managers or payroll clerks, you can limit the information a security group can enter. For example, you might not want to allow the payroll clerks security group access to salaries and wage rates in the employee files.
Sage 100 Contractor users will see only the features that their security privileges allow them to access and the security level of the user determines the content that’s displayed on the dashboard. Below is an example of the type of dashboard that an owner or chief financial officer (CFO) would see. It includes the key performance indicators (KPIs) that are determined to be important, such as your cash accounts, cash flow, and income from operations, and it’s updated in real-time:
- Navigation bars: Across the top of the screen are tabs that represent the various modules—from Home & Resources to Reports. By selecting these tabs, users can navigate to the different sections, or they can use the left navigation bar.
- My Alerts: Alerts can easily be set up and will remind you of information that’s time-sensitive and critical for you to know in a timely manner like unbilled service work orders that need to be billed. This allows you to make an informed decision about events that may have a negative impact on your company’s financial well-being. Alerts can also be configured to send email reminders to those individuals responsible for managing and responding to those events.
- Cash Accounts: This section shows a summary of the balances for each of your bank accounts.
- Cash Position: Your cash position is shown here, which factors in your total cash and receivables minus your current liabilities.
- Outstanding Change Orders: You can view a summary of your outstanding change orders that are broken down by less than or more than 30 days.
- Job Costs by Cost Type: Shown in graph format, this section shows your job costs broken down by category.
- Payables Aging: Your accounts payable (A/P) summary can be viewed here, which is broken down by different time frames, such as due in seven days.
- Receivables Aging: Similar to Payables Aging, this report shows your accounts receivable (A/R), broken down by different time frames.
- Department Income and Expenses: You can view a summary of your income and expense by month in graph format, and the time period is customizable.
- Expiring Vendor Discounts: View your vendor discounts that are due to expire so that you can make sure to use them if necessary.
- Income from Operations: Summarized by month, quarter, and year, the Income from Operations section shows your operating income minus your overhead and administrative costs.
QuickBooks Ease of Use
QuickBooks Online is extremely user-friendly, and the dashboard allows access to many key features like your income and expense totals, account balances, and sales totals. The navigation bar on the left allows you to navigate to each section:
- Left Navigation Bar: Use these tabs to navigate to different functions, such as generating reports, tracking projects, or invoicing customers.
- Cash Flow: Shown in graph form, this report reflects your income, expenses, and cost of goods sold (COGS), and can be customized for any time period.
- Income: This section shows all items related to your income, such as past due invoices, and you can view your A/R report here.
- Expenses: Your expenses, broken down by category, are shown here.
- Profit and Loss: You can generate a customizable profit and loss (P&L) statement in this section.
- Sales: Your sales over a specific time period, such as the fiscal year-to-date, are shown here in graph form.
- Bank Accounts: A summary of all of your bank balances is shown in this section. Once you connect your online bank and credit card accounts, you can access both your bank and QuickBooks balances.
Takeaway: QuickBooks Online’s dashboard is much more user-friendly than Sage 100 Contractor, which is a better option for more experienced users. While the Sage 100 Contractor dashboard can be customized with your standard workflows, QuickBooks Online’s dashboard is clean and uncluttered, providing key financial data.
Sage 100 Contractor vs QuickBooks: Assisted Bookkeeping
QuickBooks users have an option to hire a virtual bookkeeper through QuickBooks Live, which provides assistance with the cleanup of your accounting history, onboarding, monthly financial reports, and video calls. There isn’t an official equivalent for Sage 100 Contractor, but you can hire an authorized business partner for help with training, implementation, and software demos.
Sage 100 Contractor Assisted Bookkeeping
Sage 100 Contractor doesn’t have a dedicated bookkeeping service available, but Sage Professional Services provides Sage-certified consultants that can assist with both on-site and online software implementation and training. This team of highly skilled professionals has an average tenure of more than 24 years of experience working in the construction industry and with Sage. It provides services that are more complex and beyond the scope of traditional technical support. All services are fee-based and include data merges, onboarding, and custom reporting implementation.
QuickBooks Assisted Bookkeeping
QuickBooks users that are looking for assistance with bookkeeping have access to QuickBooks Live, which offers virtual bookkeeping support. While you’ll still need to manage your A/R and A/P, and inventory, Quickbooks Live will reconcile your accounts and provide monthly financial reports. Video calls with your QuickBooks Live bookkeeper allow you to ask questions and discuss the report data. The first month of service for cleanup and onboarding is $500, and prices start at $200 per month after that.
Takeaway: QuickBooks Online offers access to online bookkeepers and provides a guarantee that all data will be accurate. Sage 100 Contractor will help you find a Sage-certified consultant that’ll provide more in-depth services than QuickBooks Live, but presumably at a higher price.
Sage 100 Contractor vs QuickBooks: Integrations
QuickBooks Online not only has over 650 available integrations, butit also has two direct integrations important to contractors—QuickBooks Payroll and QuickBooks Time, that you can access through the software. Sage offers 25 integrations that can assist with anything from customer management to time tracking.
Sage 100 Contractor Integrations
Sage partners with many construction developers whose integrations can help to increase the productivity of your business. There are currently over 25 integrations available for Sage 100 Contractor, which include:
- Customer management: TopBuilder CRM and Followup CRM
- Payroll: PayDataLynx, TimeBank, and Arcoro
- Budgeting/forecasting: insightsoftware and Prophix
- Project management: FIELDFLO, Procore, RedTeam Software, and ToolWatch
- Accounts payable: GCPay.com and AvidXchange,
- Time tracking: mJobTime, TimeCardLynx, and ExakTime
QuickBooks Online integrates with more than 650 business apps that range from customer management to budgeting and forecasting. There are also two direct integrations that can be accessed from within the QuickBooks Online application: QuickBooks Payroll and QuickBooks Time, which are described below:
- QuickBooks Payroll: This feature gives you access to payroll, tax filing, worker’s compensation, health benefits, and other functions related to human resources (HR).
- QuickBooks Time: Allow your employees to track time from any location and the data will automatically sync to your QuickBooks account in real-time. You can also create schedules and send them to members of your team, review and approve timesheets, and track projects. QuickBooks Time has 11 standard reports, including team member job costing and payroll hours summary.
Here are a few examples of available integrations for QuickBooks Online:
- Customer management: Method:CRM, Aero Workflow, and Insightly
- Payroll: RUN Powered by ADP, Gusto, Square Payroll
- Budgeting/forecasting: Cash Flow Frog, Fathom, and Budgeto
- Project management: Buildertrend, Jobber, Quotient, and ServiceTrade
- Accounts payable: Bill.com, Checkflo, Beanworks, Plooto, and Veem
- Time tracking: ClockShark Time Tracking, Time Tracker by eBillity, OnTheClock Time Clock
Takeaway: As compared to Sage 100 Contractor, QuickBooks Online offers a much more comprehensive list of available integrations. However, most Sage 100 Contractor’s tools are specific to the construction industry, which allows you to home in on the items necessary for your business.
Sage 100 Contractor vs QuickBooks: Mobile App
Unlike QuickBooks, Sage 100 Contractor lacks a mobile app that handles most accounting functions. But it does have an app that allows your employees to track their time. The QuickBooks mobile app is much more robust, providing many of the same features that are in the online interface.
Sage 100 Contractor Mobile App
Sage 100 Contractor doesn’t have an iOS or Android mobile app for accounting functions. However, there’s a mobile app available that allows employees in the field to submit job-related or non-job time entries directly to the Sage 100 Contractor application. When their time entries are approved or rejected by payroll administrators, the time entry is updated in the mobile app.
QuickBooks Mobile App
QuickBooks Online offers a powerful mobile app for both iOS and Android users and it provides many of the same features that are available in the online interface. You can invoice customers, receive payments, pay bills, deposit checks, and review reports. Android users can also send invoices to customers via WhatsApp. The app tracks mileage via GPS, which you can classify as business or personal. It also allows for receipt scanning. These are two features not available in the online interface.
Takeaway: If you’re looking for a mobile app that provides several features, such as tracking mileage via GPS and receipt scanning, QuickBooks Online is the clear winner.
Sage 100 Contractor vs QuickBooks: Customer Support
Both Sage 100 Contractor and QuickBooks Online offer a variety of ways to obtain support. Perhaps the biggest distinction between the two is that Sage 100 Contractor allows you to call customer support directly during extended business hours.
Sage 100 Contractor Customer Support
Sage 100 Contractor offers many valuable support resources, which are described below:
- Phone support: Contact customer support by phone between the hours of 9 am and 8 pm EST, excluding standard U.S. holidays and quarterly company meetings.
- Live chat support: If you require immediate assistance, you can chat with Pegg, the Sage digital assistant, for quick answers to common questions.
- Online support form: Submit your request for customer support online 24/7 through the Online Case form. The customer support team will reply to your request during normal support hours.
- Sage 100 Contractor Help: From anywhere within the software, you can access a comprehensive library of topics about specific procedures or topics.
- Sage 100 Contractor InfoCenter: In this section, you’ll find Sage 100 Contractor software notices, industry news, new enhancements, tips, training, and special offers.
- Sage Knowledgebase: This is a searchable database of topics related to Sage 100 Contractor.
- Technical guides: Include in the software, you can access important release information such as system requirements and software enhancements
- Sage 100 Contractor virtual conferences: Interact with and learn from Sage Construction and Real Estate leadership, product experts, and fellow customers online. You can receive information about the latest product updates and share experiences with your peers.
QuickBooks Customer Support
There are a variety of customer support options available for QuickBooks users, which include the following:
- Live chat support: Click on the “Contact Us” button at the bottom of the Help window, and you’ll be connected to the support team. This option isn’t available 24/7, however.
- Telephone support: To receive support over the phone, you must first submit an online request for a support agent to call you.
- Email support: If your issue isn’t time-sensitive, you can opt to email customer support.
- User community: The community of other QuickBooks Online users is often a good resource. You can post your question in the community forum and receive feedback, which may lead to resolving your issue.
- Searchable knowledge base: There are a variety of resources available in this section, including webinars, tutorials, videos, help pages, and paid courses.
Takeaway: Both Sage 100 Contractor and QuickBooks Online have multiple support options that can assist you with your problem, including by telephone and live chat. Users with less-pressing issues can elect to either search the online knowledge base or reach out to users via the online forum.
While QuickBooks Online bills itself as being a broad-based accounting system that’s relevant for any business, Sage 100 Contractor focuses on the construction management industry. Each software provides many of the same features, such as expense tracking and management, invoice creation, and project management. However, the difference is that Sage 100 Contractor is more of a tailor-made solution, allowing you to eliminate the features you don’t need and focus on those you do.