The best accounting software for the construction business is QuickBooks Enterprise, a complete financial and accounting application with all the essential features that you need to run your construction business at the optimum. It has a Job Costing Center to give you an overview of your most and least profitable jobs and industry-specific reporting tools, on top of the software’s core and non-core accounting features.
Not all accounting software solutions are created equal when it comes to the construction industry. While your typical accounting software has all your accounts receivable, accounts payable, profits and loss, balance sheet—your assets, liabilities and equity—pretty much covered, your construction business could add hundreds of additional layers of processes that a standard accounting software has never even heard of.
In this article, we will look at the features that make QuickBooks Enterprise the top choice of experts and users for their construction business. To give you more options, we will also dig deeper into other best accounting software applications—twenty of them in fact—that offer strong competition to QuickBooks. With that, you can run your checklist of features that you might have already prepared as you look for the solution that is just right for you.
Construction accounting could involve strict legal requirements that, once you ignore, could cost your business dearly if not entirely. Risk and compliance are fundamental to the construction industry. If you are just starting to shop for an accounting software platform for your construction business, you have to understand that a standard accounting package should be the last of your options. What you want is a software package that is built specifically for your line of industry.
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There is another immediate reason you should look closely into whether your candidate accounting software could address the legal compliance capability of your business: currently, both the US and the UK are implementing massive changes in their taxation landscape.
In the US, the IRS is putting into effect the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJLA). It will impact individuals, businesses, tax exempt and government entities. Directly affected will be the of Form 1040 the size of a postcard, limited itemized deductions and overhauled tax withholding for wages.
As for the UK, Making Tax Digital (MTD) is bound to take effect in April 2019. MTD is enforced by the HMRC to adjust how filing tax returns are done currently, to move from once-a-year tax occurrences to quarterly digital VAT returns.
Of the 20 best accounting software for construction business listed here, QuickBooks and Xero have already taken the initiative to meet this new way of doing taxes in both countries.
Quickbooks Enterprise is the vendor’s desktop, on-premise implementation of its well-regarded accounting application. It is purposely designed to meet the needs of multiple industries, from employee payroll, complex inventory handling, vendor and purchasing management, customer relationship and sales, field service and location management, including work scheduling and billing with mobile payment capability.
For the construction industry, accounting software QuickBooks Enterprise lets you handle any expanding number of customers, item lists and vendors, as the software is designed to address data size capacity for up to a million of list items. QuickBooks Enterprise empowers you to generate job cost estimates that are as accurate as you would want your clients calm and happy, leading to optimized revenues and profits.
The power of QuickBooks Enterprise comes to the fore by allowing up to 30 collaborators to access and work on critical tasks at hand, ensuring client expectations and deadlines are met well on time. Crucial information is easily generated by the tool’s advanced reporting capabilities, which should let you identify essential areas in your projects that need attention.
While QuickBooks Enterprise is extremely powerful, it does not require code wizardry to run or master it, with even the most difficult tasks easy to understand for the non-expert users. It’s a great value for your construction business all around, offering massive technical proficiency and ease of use as required by today’s businesses.
Why use Quickbooks Enterprise for your construction business?
Powerful, versatile yet easy to use, FreshBooks is a leading finance and accounting software that has gained traction and application across multiple industries all over the world. For the construction industry, it provides a strong suite of core functionalities that include accounting, time tracking, invoicing and reporting. It provides a robust mobile implementation so you can communicate with clients even when you are up somewhere on current project sites.
The time tracking and expense tracking tools, built-in among FreshBooks features, let you create accurate invoices, billing and collect payments via multiple channels conveniently. FreshBooks accounting and tax handling ensure compliance with state requirements. It automates many processes, including expense organization, time tracking and customer follow-up, so you will have more productive time on your hands.
FreshBooks lets you create professional-looking estimates and invoices showcasing your brand. Collection and payment online through methods preferred by your clients eliminate the chance of you chasing that elusive check from your clients.
You can easily sign up for a FreshBooks free trial here and get to know the features firsthand at no cost and without commitment.
Why use FreshBooks for your construction business?
Sage 50cloud gives you Sage’s well-regarded accounting software coupled with features that are designed to match your specific industry, including construction. The accounting platform is one of the most robust in the market, with a well-established user base. It organizes your construction company’s financials with an advanced process to ensure accuracy, with provision for tax fulfillment compliant with legal requirements.
Our Sage 50cloud review indicates a well-designed application for your construction organization that will handle your inventory management so you don’t get a surprise while commissioning contracts that require a complex number of construction materials, for instance, from cabinets to boards. Payroll management gives you tax forms, direct deposit and other employee services right inside the application. There’s also a tool to let you manage your projects proactively, with comprehensive reporting tools and mobile implementation so you can meet client demands from just anywhere you happen to be.
The vendor has an appealing free trial where you can tinker with the features at no cost. You can sign up for the Sage 50cloud free trial here.
Why choose Sage 50cloud for your construction business?
Cloud-based NetSuite ERP leverages a full suite of comprehensive business capabilities including advanced accounting processes and tax management, billing and invoicing management, fixed asset and payment management for your construction organization. NetSuite ERP lets you handle multiple construction projects at once with clear estimates and accurate billing, dispensing of cumbersome timesheets to manage time tracking for any number of employees on the field.
Backed by impeccable accounting system with tax compliance features, the application also helps you meet licensing requirements, permissions and passes needed for construction projects. Other NetSuite ERP benefits include providing the processes and tools for site inspections, lessening internal paperwork and letting you move your construction projects forward.
You can use all the features for free for a period of time to see if the software matches your needs. Simply sign up for a NetSuite ERP free demo here.
Why choose NetSuite ERP for your construction business?
Zoho Invoice bundles together project estimating, billing and invoicing tools to streamline and speed up your ongoing construction contracts. The estimating tool allows you to quickly generate accurate estimates for fast-tracked approval. You may include essential details including key terms and conditions along with details for subcontractors. The invoices that are fully customizable to include your own brand let you submit project expenses and costs to clients easily.
Most likely you are going to engage in bidding wars for construction projects and here the Zoho Invoice pricing tool gives you a distinct advantage over your competitions by allowing you to present pricing carefully customized according to your materials. The application gives you the option to request advance payments for pre-construction procurement costs. You may ask that a certain percentage be paid ahead through retainer invoices, making payment collection headaches a thing of the past.
If you want to investigate the features closely you can easily do so when you sign up for a Zoho Invoice free trial here.
Why choose Zoho Invoice for your business?
With invoicing capabilities at the core, Online Invoices offers a wide range of business capabilities including taxes and finance management, multiple payment methods, tracking and reports, time tracking and reports, deposit payments, inventory management and control, along with expenses and income tracking. It also manages suppliers and your purchase orders. For the construction industry, it provides construction quote template, contractor invoice template, along with a powerful online invoice generator.
The cloud service is fully accessible with any modern mobile devices, ensuring that you maintain a crucial connection with your clients at any given time, anywhere. With secure admin privileges, you may designate multi-user access to previously screened staff so they can log in and create their own invoices, upload their respective timesheets along with any expenses. The whole system is built to empower even the casual users to operate their tasks or businesses competitively.
Why choose Online Invoices for your construction business?
QuickBooks Online offers its full suite of accounting modules coupled with a comprehensive set of construction industry-specific tools that should cover all the essential processes of your organization, from the basic to the most advanced functionalities. Not only that, the vendor offers a rich source of information and help on its website to guarantee that you make the most of this versatile application.
From the outset, you get the option to choose either the stand-alone QuickBooks Online or the version with built-in construction software. The stand-alone flavor covers basic job costing with real-time tracking for expenses and income. On the other hand, the QuickBooks Online construction features help you to manage all the financials of your projects. Both commercial and residential construction projects are covered, whether for general contractors, subcontractors or remodelers and other home building categories.
Why choose QuickBooks Online for your construction business?
Infor ERP Distribution is a virtual collection of powerhouse solutions meant to drive you on top of the digital age competition. The solutions range from the Cloud Suite Financials with its revolutionary implementation of general ledger, to CRM, Human Capital Management, Asset Management, Business Intelligence and Analytics, to the industry-specific M3 platform that has seen industries from fashion, manufacturing and construction companies record explosive, verifiable growth.
Of particular interest to your construction business, the M3 module showcases the application’s capability to handle just about any construction work category, from residential to industrial, utilities like water distribution systems, roads or bridges, to heavy machinery equipment and specialty construction. What’s more, you can opt to deploy the application on your premises, via the cloud, or a hybrid of the two. With the comprehensive Infor ERP Distribution features, you get a platform with extensive global footprint and professionals who are eager to see you to your success.
Why choose Infor ERP Distribution for your construction business?
Accounting software Xero ensures sound financial footing of your construction business with invoicing tools to help you collect payments faster, cash flow management modules to evaluate the health of your projects and ensure excessive expenses do not overrun them, and extensive, seamless integration with construction-specific applications for a complete setup to run your operations. The integration engine carefully looks for and eliminates double entries. Major construction applications are covered, from WorkflowMax, ServiceM8 to simPro.
Xero enables strong collaboration with a central repository for all your business documents, built with security and ease of access in mind. The mobile version of the application lets you manage the financials of your business while on remote locations, so you stay on the same page with your client at any moment.
Why choose Xero for your construction business?
Syspro ERP covers all your accounting and financial processes and works with you to automate your entire construction business processes into one integral, smoothly functioning whole. It will help you make sense of your business by just one look and identify those areas that you can improve. Apart from accounting/financial tools and general ledger, Syspro ERP is well equipped to provide its expertise via robust inventory management, distribution management, electronic payments, fraud detection, supply chain planning, work order management, invoice processing, auditing and automated billing using multiple currencies.
You may opt for a Syspro ERP cloud solution or an on-premise setup. To ensure that you get the most of this expansive solution, you may avail yourself of the vendor’s professional services for learning about the software and having it successfully implemented throughout your organization. While that is an option, the software itself is designed to be user-friendly, with features and operations made intuitive enough for non-experts to comprehend and operate.
Why choose Syspro ERP for your construction business?
Odoo ERP provides a comprehensive set of business tools from basic to advanced so you don’t have to look elsewhere for another one. To help achieve this end, Odoo ERP was released through open source channels. The result is a flexible, straightforward software that incorporates more than 10,000 applications natively, making it unnecessary to go through complex procedures to configure the integration. The approach means you can proceed to automate any process within your organization without worrying about any feature that you could be missing later on.
Among Odoo ERP benefits, it offers native scalability, with modules you can think under the sun just waiting for you to harness: from accounting and other financials, CRM, POS if you are in ecommerce, inventory and MRP for a host of industries including construction, help desk, project management, purchasing, sales and marketing, invoicing and payment. For your construction business, Odoo offers a strong value proposition that is difficult to find elsewhere.
Why choose Odoo ERP for your construction business?
Oracle ERP offers a comprehensive suite of modern business solutions to ensure businesses operate at optimal levels and on track with their revenue targets. The solutions encompass accounting and financials, inventory and supply chain management, project planning and execution, procurement management, product lifecycle, compliance and governance as well as risk management.
A globally recognized brand for many years now, the Oracle ERP construction tools help you navigate through the typical jumble of data, budgets, schedules, workflows, supplies and contractors. It tightly manages your cost and delivery schedule, simplifying the complex processes with a unifying goal. The approach is guided by principal tenets to ensure success, including Cost and Contract Management, Schedule Management, Financial Management, Lean Construction and Reporting and Analytics.
Why choose Oracle ERP Cloud for your construction business?
Available either as an on-premise installation or cloud solution, Microsoft Dynamics GP looks after your construction company’s financials and inventory to maintain smooth operations. It provides human resources and payroll functions, project management, sales and service with business intelligence tools to inform your business decisions.
For a brief Microsoft Dynamics GP overview, the solution sets your construction business on the fast track by getting you on the good side of your clients with consistent timely deliveries that do not shoot over your estimates and contracts. Its job costing tools lend accuracy to crucial performance indicators, which should make it easy to sort out and manage risk. Its workflow system enables you to collaborate with customers and suppliers through a unified project, service management and materials tools.
Why choose Microsoft Dynamics GP for your construction business?
FinancialForce ERP by Salesforce gives your construction business a cloud-hosted suite of solutions built around superb financials and accounting systems, along with inventory management, CRM tool, HCM, Professional Services Automation (PSA), billing, business analytics all accessible, too, via mobile devices. Since its based on the Salesforce platform, you get the reliability and unparalleled customer support that the vendor is famous for.
With sales informed of key business metrics, they can limit bids to those that can be realistically met and on the deadline. This eliminates grumpy clients who could read dishonesty in your dealings, which could easily hurt your business. Sound, transparent financials enable you to generate accurate cost estimates and realistic schedules to make sure set deadlines are met. Powerful FinancialForce ERP data analytics gives you deep insight to start corrective processes to adjust projects that are not meeting expectations, either by you or your clients.
Why choose FinancialForce ERP for your construction projects?
Available as an on-premise installation or as a cloud-hosted platform, SAP Business One helps businesses automate and integrate their processes with financial and accounting tools at its core. Other functionalities could be added later on based on your needs. Aside from accounting, other essential SAP Business One features include business intelligence, purchase and inventory control.
For your construction business, the application provides regulatory compliance to go with accurate scheduling and budget costing. It allows for efficient resource allocation to support your projects from planning, purchasing to bidding, sales and contract works. It lets you control documents and compare contracts, project details and permits to ensure nothing is amiss going forward with your construction projects.
Why choose SAP Business One for your construction projects?
Kronos ERP leverages its years of accumulated human capital management insight to inform businesses including those in the construction industry of best practices to minimize fraud and prevent costly legal cases. It’s a fail-safe approach in today’s business world where multiple territories have their own set of regulations and you are most likely walking on thin sheets of ice if you are not properly advised or informed of such labor issues.
An important Kronos ERP feature is how it’s built on solid financial and accounting fundamentals, which makes it easy to dispense of payroll processes, compensation and other benefits management, tax filing and other government-required processes. It ensures your productivity is never demolished in one instant of neglect over key regulations that you could be ignoring. Kronos delivers its solutions via powerful automation, which includes monitoring and facilitating the creation and administration of government-imposed benefits.
Why choose Kronos ERP for your construction business?
Deltek Vision is a leading ERP platform founded on project lifecycle fundamentals including accounting and finances, business development, resource planning, performance management and information management among others. Comprehensive automation and integration of processes are handled, from creation and submission of bids, contract provision, to closing out of projects. It helps you gain more clients and deliver projects on time and always within budget.
Among the key Deltek Vision benefits are: it provides you with robust compliance governance, and it helps you hire and retain the best talent and provides a good picture of your business performance against costs and budgets. For your construction business, it offers a powerful information management tool to handle the daily load of massive information accumulating from support documents, compliance papers, building designs and construction details and lengthy email exchanges.
Why choose Deltek Vision for your construction business?
AssetWorks is an application that manages all business assets including facilities, fleet and fuel materials and surpluses. It provides field service solutions, property risk management as well as comprehensive inventory management.
The construction-specific AssetWorks module lets you handle the complexities of budgeting, contract transactions indicating workflows, drawings, communications and RFIs connected to the project. Managing projects is viewed from the owner’s perspective, which means strong financial control and accountability. There’s also the matter of meeting all regulatory compliance and minimal risk. The program tracks sustainability targets with the long view of bringing down cost and optimizing efficiency.
Why choose AssetWorks for your construction projects?
The only fully open source platform in our list of the 20 best accounting software for construction business, ERPNext offers a comprehensive list of capabilities you would expect from a dedicated and expensive ERP program, including core accounting, payroll and employee leave management, operations management, inventory and purchase management, ecommerce, selling and billing, to-do lists, with its own built-in CRM capability.
The construction module offers billing, project estimating and costing, purchasing and payments. The Frappe Framework under the ERPNext Foundation facilitates the platform from which to customize and add functionalities as you see fit for your needs. The presence of active developer community makes it easy to find help generating your own modules concerning the unique needs of your projects. The readily available modules, however, are already robust and should require minimal customization.
Why choose ERPNext for your construction business?
WorkWise ERP combines a wide array of capabilities spanning accounting and finance, payroll and HR, plant production management, planning and engineering, materials and document control, sales, marketing and help desk systems, along with deep analytics to measure performance. All these tools work to simplify any business operations, each one contributing to healthy investment returns.
For your construction business, the strong suite of WorkWise ERP features empowers your bidding system with key access to relevant customer data including history and financial records, which is achieved through the application’s CRM module. Financial processes work in tandem with payroll tools to remove inefficiencies while automating many compliance measures and minimizing risk. Your construction business gets its hands on lead management provided by the CRM tool, which should gain more prospects for you for project bidding.
Why choose WorkWise ERP for your construction business?
Our review of the best 20 accounting software for construction business clearly reveals a distinct pattern: ERP platforms offer the most complete bundle of features that will help your construction move forward easily. QuickBooks Enterprise makes a strong exemption and, in fact, you can sign up for a QuickBooks Enterprise free trial to check the features for yourself. In the end, nothing beats a good test run.
Meanwhile, you might want to check out other accounting software for other industries. If you’re also into manufacturing or wholesale business, our house experts have prepared this list of leading accounting solutions for manufacturing or wholesale business. If small business is more what you have, then we have that covered with our review of the best accounting applications for small business.
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