Every construction company, small or large, needs good accounting software to keep track of all the incoming and outgoing expenses. Having a good accounting system allows construction business owners to stay on top of important things such as material costs, cost of labor, and work orders.
Accounts can get out of hand fast if nobody is keeping track of expenses, especially in the construction industry. Many software companies offer packages for construction accounting with claims of being faster and easier to use. If the software doesn't live up to its expectations, it can cause the owners of construction companies more headaches than relief.
As a contractor, it can also be pretty challenging to try and calculate all of the expenses associated with a project by yourself. That's why it's always a good idea to use accounting software to make this process easier.
What Is Construction Accounting Software?
Simply put, construction accounting software is software designed for contractors to help them manage expenses and other financial management features. The applications allow contractors to keep track of costs, including progress billing, project accounting, and job costing.
The best construction accounting software should also make it simple to keep track of labor and material expenses in real-time and payroll management for employees. Some programs come as a part of a larger construction management software bundle, which may also include solutions to help manage project's resources and help schedule project milestones.
What to Look For in Construction Accounting Software
Aside from simply calculating the various expenses associated with projects accurately, there are other things that differentiate them from each other. Here are four important factors to consider.
Cloud-Based Software - Ideally, any software you decide to use should be cloud-based. If you're not familiar with what exactly "cloud-based" software means, it’s basically software that runs primarily on the internet and not on a local device.
The advantage of this is that cloud-based software can operate wherever you are as long as you have an internet connection. So you’re not required to use the same device every time to access the software. This is particularly crucial when you need different people to look at the same thing.
Mobile Accessibility - Odds are you're going to be using software on the job site pretty frequently. That's why it's crucial that it’s optimized for mobile users or otherwise available as a mobile application.
If you're using software that is poorly optimized for mobile platforms, it'll vastly hinder the functionality of it. You should also make sure it works on devices you plan on using. Some types of programs only work on iOS devices, and others primarily on Android.
While most companies do a good job at keeping working solutions for both platforms, you’ll want to ensure that’s the case. The UI on a mobile device should be simple enough to use since chances are the contractors will routinely need to input numbers in from wherever they might be.
Industry-specific functionality - There are specific accounting software solutions that are specifically dedicated to the construction industry. The benefit of using them is the processes and numbers are all developed to match the industry, which facilitates project management. Sometimes these programs will also provide estimates on certain job costs for bid management, be able to do service management or equipment management, which means you will definitely want an application built by people familiar with the construction industry.
Multiple Users - It can be helpful if your software allows more than one user to have access to it, and it's also a bonus if you can control what certain users have access to. You might want to give your accountant or project managers full access to the app while only letting employees use the software to log their work hours and issue invoices. Chances are you probably don't want your employees to see the account receivable and vice versa.
Some programs let you add additional users for free, while others only allow this if you pay extra or are subscribed to a specific pricing plan. If the function you’re looking to get out of it will require multiple people to have access to it, bring this up before you subscribe to anything.
With the above things in mind, here are the top 9 construction accounting software programs to help you run a successful construction company.
Top 9 Construction Accounting Software Programs
Sage is one of the leading companies for construction software. Over 50,000 construction companies worldwide rely on their services to keep track of expenses. Sage software makes it easy to stay on top of all of your business's costs, orders, inventory/equipment management, accounts receivable, accounts payable and managing payroll. With Sage, you have complete control and visibility over everything happening with the company's finances. You can also set customizable alerts to let you know if any compliance or insurance issues come up.
Construction companies, especially small operations, will love how easy Sage makes the process of handling expenses. Sage construction accounting software offers notable accounting features, like job costing, service management operations, and field operations usage, which shows why it's one of the leaders.
Sage also offers online classes to help you learn how to make the most out of it's construction accounting software program, as well as a substantial discount if you move your construction company over to them. Not to mention, their reporting system gives you reports on job costs, accounts payable, accounts receivable and other vital things to keep track off.
Jonas Construction Software is an easy to use software that was released in 1990. The software is designed to help prevent errors by not allowing double entries. This way, you can trust that your finances will be up to date and accurate every time. This easy to use software helps your business enhance productivity and keep your financial documents up to date and organized.
Jonas Construction software comes with construction management applications for various accounting needs like job costing and 40 different modules to help construction businesses like roofing companies manage the operational and accounting aspects of their company.
It's great if you need help with job costing or other essential accounting-related features. It's a great tool for any construction pro, including remodelers looking for estimating functions.
ProjectPro is an all-in-one construction accounting software technology based on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. With extensive cloud functionalities and essential construction management features, ProjectPro allows contractors and subcontractors from various trades to work on accounting, CRM, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and project management related activities.
Sustaining the industry for over two decades, ProjectPro is more of an advanced solution that cuts the hassle of working on point solutions for various field and off-field processes. From transaction management to reporting, budget planning, resource allocation, labor productivity tracking, payroll, and change order management, it even brings various essential productivity features for government contractors such as AIA billings, certified payroll reporting, Davis-Bacon legal compliance, and more.
If you are looking for a pleasing construction management experience with streamlined workflows and better expense control, ProjectPro can be the perfect choice for your business.
Wave Accounting is another free option. They know that the right people are needed to complete a successful construction job and that your company needs the right accounting software to keep track of expenses, prep for tax season, and manage your payroll. Keeping track of data in regards to project expenses can help you avoid costly estimating mistakes. They have created an easy to use accounting system so your business can do just that.
Suppose you recently started a construction business because you have a talent for building things, only to realize that bookkeeping is not something you are even close to familiar with. In that case, the advisors at Wave Accounting can make your life easier. You can also sign up for their Accounting Coaching support that offers a one-hour live presentation and 30 days of email support to help with all of your needs. You can even hire one of their advisors to handle your business's bookkeeping if it becomes too overwhelming for you.
FOUNDATION construction accounting software has been a reliable name for construction companies throughout the US since 1985. They have a unique business style that encourages creativity from employees, which helps those employees come up with new ways to grow when it comes to delivering outstanding customer support and product development. Their live customer support team also has one of the fastest response times in the industry.
FOUNDATION is built on Microsoft SQL Server database technology. This ensures the integrated accounting software will continue to grow along with your construction company's needs. Foundation also offers plenty of conference courses to help you get the best out of their accounting software. The CPA Technology Advisor Magazine gave it a 5-star product rating.
Whether you're looking for job cost accounting, project management, or service management software for your jobs, FOUNDATION is a top-notch solution.
Viewpoint is a software company that has been in businesses since 1976. Their core values and commitment to providing excellent customer service have made them a favorite among American construction companies for over 40 years.
Job costs are one of the most important variables when it comes to project management — and their job cost accounting software can help you manage the costs of your construction projects easily and efficiently.
Their five core values reflect in all of the people, products, and services at Viewpoint. They focus on building long-lasting relationships with their construction clients to provide them with the best service.
All of Viewpoint's Vista software is cloud-based, making accounting on the go even more comfortable than before. They tailor their services to businesses of any size, so you only get the services you need. You'll find all the accounting features you need to run a construction company with Viewpoint Vista.
Quickbooks is one of the most manageable accounting software systems to use. This cloud-based construction system offers easy to track time and expenses for every project your company does. Avoid paperwork altogether as you securely sync your data across all of your devices. You can also schedule Quickbooks to handle accounting tasks for you to make life easier.
It's easy to share your books with your accountant by exporting documents to them when it's tax time—no more dealing with your accountant face to face.
Send off invoices from anywhere and allow your customers to pay any way they want quickly. When we mentioned that Quickbooks is one of the easiest accounting software systems to use, we didn't just mean for you.
For the past 35 years, Deltek has successfully met the unique business needs of construction companies with its software programs. With Deltek's + Computer Ease software, you get steady growth, reporting customized to your business, and accounting software specifically focused on the construction industry.
This software can help you keep track of job costing, budgeting, anything that involves financials (not just expenses, but also markup), and other construction-related functions like project management. As an added benefit, you can also use for field service management to dispatch techs to specific jobs, which is very helpful in the HVAC industry.
Starting a business is pricey, and it's not an unusual circumstance for a new business owner to not have the extra funds to put towards every software their company needs. Zipbooks is the leading free construction accounting program for small businesses that are just starting. Lack of money should never be an excuse not to be keeping track of your company's finances.
The creators at Zipbooks created this hassle-free program to help you focus on other aspects of your business. You can easily keep track of every dollar that comes in and out of your business and don’t have to worry about safely keeping a paper trail.
Zipbooks software is also 100% cloud-based, so you can access your software anywhere you go.
How Much Does Construction Accounting Software Cost?
There is no set universal cost for how much construction accounting software should cost. You can expect to pay anywhere between $100 to up to $400, depending on your intended usage. If you plan on adding a lot of users, using a lot of data, or other demanding features, you can expect to pay a higher price than usual. Companies might charge additional fees consisting of a setup fee, support fee, additional users fee, or more.
The vast majority of software companies out there tend to offer it on a monthly basis. However, if you buy a prepaid amount of months in advance, you will more than likely get a better overall discount than if you were to pay it month by month.
It might even come bundled and priced in with other software like estimating software. Sometimes it’s cheaper to have software that does everything than it is to pay for different programs.