Disclosure: BestAccountingSoftware is reader-supported. When you buy products through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Best accounting software for construction companies

Susan Honea

Susan Honea – 8 years experience helping businesses with bookkeeping, tax preparation and auditing

Last updated: March 5, 2021

Trying to find the best accounting software for your construction business? We highlight the best available accounting software for construction companies, of any size, and review the features they each have on offer.

Best accounting software for construction companies

Avoiding cost overruns and making every cent count is vital in the construction industry, whether you are an independent contractor or a construction company with offices worldwide. Accurately tracking expenditures with accounting software, from salaries to materials can mean the difference between a project’s financial success or failure. 

Although using accounting software for tracking project costs is key for all construction companies, the features required by a local construction business with five employees are significantly different than the features demanded by a company with hundreds of clients and thousands of employees. A small construction business may need to make daily trips to the local construction wholesale supplier for materials or hire extra staff for a specific project. A corporate construction company may keep a significant inventory supported by weekly deliveries or use independent contractors to fulfill some needs. Differences like this indicate no single accounting software is a good fit for every construction company. 

This list highlights the best available accounting software for construction companies. It indicates the package’s target company size and what functionality applies specifically to each, including job cost projections, project management, and change order tracking. We will look at the best package for a small to midsize contractor, large contractor or company, best cloud-based accounting software for small to medium sized companies and for large enterprises, and even free options. 

Best accounting software for construction companies: the snapshot

The following are the best accounting options we identified for construction businesses and contractors.

  1. Sage 100 Contractor. Best overall accounting software for construction. Sage 100 Contractor established itself as a popular choice among contractors under its former name of Sage Master Builder. Contractors using the less feature-rich accounting package Sage 50 (formerly Peachtree Accounting) migrated to Sage 100 Contractor to take advantage of the enhanced estimate and job costing ability. Additionally, contractors find Sage 100 Contractor reasonably priced.
  2. PENTA Construction Management Software. Best accounting software for large contractors or construction companies. For construction companies performing large projects like industrial or utility construction, the most feature-rich option is PENTA Construction Management and ERP software. With a robust Oracle database backend, PENTA offers a unified alternative to oversee accounting and payroll and equipment and inspection management. However, this software’s price and management overhead mean investing in PENTA should not be entered into lightly by any company despite its size.
  3. Knowify. Best cloud-based accounting software for small to midsize contractors or companies. Knowify is an ideal cloud accounting solution for small to midsize construction businesses, especially those without the staff or infrastructure to run software on-premises. Since it’s a cloud-based option, it allows users to update and manage everything from timecards to invoices in real-time as long as they have access to a Wi-Fi or a cellular network. Knowify also offers a reasonable monthly rate, making it an ideal option for small contractors.
  4. Jonas Premier. Best cloud-based accounting software for large companies. Jonas Premier is an ideal solution for large companies managing multiple large construction projects simultaneously. Jonas Premier offers many features, all available from various devices—from laptops using a web browser (Chrome, Firefox, and Edge) to mobile phones (using the Jonas mobile apps for iPhone and Android). However, these features come with a hefty price tag, relegating this option to large enterprises exclusively.
  5. ZipBooks. Best free or low-cost construction accounting software. Understandably, free options for construction accounting software are significantly limited in both availability and features. Nevertheless, for a small contractor getting a business off the ground, there are a few options, with the best being ZipBooks. ZipBooks is not specifically geared toward construction but can be used as a starter option for any industry and offers features such as invoicing, reports, and balance sheets. ZipBooks also provides additional features for incremental costs, or a paid version of ZipBooks is available.
  6. CoConstruct + QuickBooks Online. CoConstruct is a cloud-based offering used extensively by small to midsize construction firms that are also using QuickBooks Online. Like many up-and-coming cloud solutions, it offers various features ranging from budgeting and timesheets to cost tracking and proposals. As with other cloud-based solutions, construction managers can access the application via a web browser or an iOS or Android device. Additionally, the service has a starting price under $100USD a month, making CoConstruct an attractive solution for many companies, even with the added QuickBooks subscription.
  7. AccuBuild. Offering both an on-premise and a cloud-based option, AccuBuild can manage construction company accounting needs and provide many features like project and document management for day-to-day operations. Companies can calculate the cost for use by the number of users per month, suggesting AccuBuild can be used by companies both large and small.
  8. CMiC. CMiC is a cloud-hosted, web-based accounting and financial analytics platform. It boasts a variety of features capable of making it an excellent fit for small businesses and contractors to large companies. CMiC has all the functionality needed from bid to project completion.
  9. Construction Partner. On on-premises, Windows-based construction ERP and accounting program, Construction Partner is geared toward construction firms of all sizes, although large firms and contractors will get the most use out of the General Ledger, Payroll, and Equipment Management modules.
  10. ComputerEase. Deltek’s ComputerEase provides a full-featured toolset that delivers construction accounting, job costing, and project management. Construction companies that decide to use the cloud-based option also benefit from the field tools onsite for the enhanced account and job management.

Best accounting software for construction companies

1. Sage 100 Contractor

Website www.sage.com

Best overall accounting software for construction companies.

Sage 100 Contractor is an ideal package for small contractors. This feature-rich, on-premises application provides the tools any construction firm requires to ensure a company completes projects profitably. The cost of Sage 100 Contractor is very reasonable, making profitability significantly more likely.

Key functionality:
For a small construction company, successfully estimating project cost is vital to the bottom line. Sage 100 Contractor is ideal as it can rapidly generate accurate bids for any size project. The estimating function provides various templates, formulas, and variables to expedite the estimate process needed to bid on projects rapidly. Furthermore, as a Microsoft Windows-based application, Windows functionality—such as cut and paste and Excel compatibility—greatly expand Sage 100 Contractor’s ease of use.

A valuable function for contractors to ensure a profit is the application’s import feature, which allows the construction company to import information from local suppliers, including updated lists of available materials and costs. If local suppliers do not provide import information, Sage 100 Contractor provides an updated list of prices from the Trade Service Corporation.

Sage 100 Contractor includes a robust general ledger feature ensuring additional accounting software is not needed to track project costs. The general ledger function provides the accounting insight a small company requires to track payroll, accounts receivable, and accounts payable. The application comes with a variety of standard reports and allows the creation of custom financial reports and a check reconciliation option to compare bank statements to current balances.

One of the most challenging aspects of running a small construction business is juggling an always shifting schedule. However, scheduling supplies, locations, and subcontractors is significantly less stressful using Sage 100 Contractor’s scheduling function. The schedule function is easily managed through a graphic user interface (GUI), which means moving tasks, dates, and inventory is simple. Additionally, Sage maintains the original schedule as well for reference.

Access & users:
Although Sage provides a cloud-based Field Operations component at an extra cost, the current offering is an on-premises Windows application. The Admin user can manage security in the Sage 100 Contractor application. The administrator can create Security User Groups based on user or employee position. Each group can have specific permissions based on a user’s job function, such as saving, deleting voided, or even printing checks. The admin console allows for granular permissions to be applied, but Sage documentation suggests caution when setting permission to avoid locking users out of the application.

Ease of use:
Ease of use is a primary goal of Sage 100 Contractor as small business owners do not have an abundance of free time to master a complicated software package. The application is a menu-driven application allowing a user to easily navigate, especially if the user has had only rudimentary computer experience. For users who need a little extra help getting started, Sage offers comprehensive and detailed documentation and a variety of webinars and videos on how to perform many of the Sage 100 Contractor functions. Sage also provides in-person training at a cost for larger companies and online support to assist if needed.

Cost:
Although Sage 100 Contractor does not offer a free trial period, a guided demo is available on the Sage website. If the demo meets a company’s needs, Sage 100 Contractor’s pricing is extremely reasonable, making the investment significantly less stressful than for other software. Sage 100 Contractor uses a subscription service. An initial subscription fee is required, and then there is a low monthly fee per user. The per-user fee means access to all the functionality at a minimal cost for small companies with few users. Thus, Sage is a financially feasible application to maintain as a company grows.

Things we liked:

  • Low monthly cost ideal for contractors and small businesses
  • Easy to use GUI and menu-driven functionality
  • Ability to import local supplier price-lists
  • Job estimating and general ledger functions
  • Powerful project scheduling capabilities

Things we didn’t like:

  • Rapidly growing companies may outgrow the software quickly
  • Report templates may not cover all needs
  • Costs increase as users added

2. Penta Construction Management Software

Website www.penta.com

Best accounting software for large contractors or construction companies.

PENTA Construction Management Software’s scope and cost suggest it is a package best used by construction firms performing multiple large-scale projects. Using the on-premises version of PENTA also requires an Oracle database, a factor any company needs to consider when considering budget allocation for PENTA implementation.

Key functionality:
PENTA’s financials package includes all of the features any construction company would need, including general ledger, accounts payable and receivable, inventory, and payroll. Plus, PENTA allows multi-entity accounting with a hierarchical consolidation feature, which is essential for managing large projects across several organizational units.

Large firms managing massive projects will find the Financial Management, Project Management, and Time and Billing features of the PENTA package invaluable. The PENTA Financial Management module provides elaborate financial reports based on a distinctive Organizational Unit Structure. The Organizational Unit Structure integrated into PENTA is key to the financial management of multiple large-scale jobs.

PENTA modules integrate seamlessly, allowing financial information to be easily imported or exported into the Project Management module. Using this integration, a Project Manager can track job cost accounting on multiple projects, deftly handle materials management, materials purchasing, and accounts payable for each discrete project with the Project Management module.

Accurately tracking time and billing can be a monumental task for any large organization. Still, the PENTA Time and Billing module is a powerful tool to ensure each project is making proper use of all staff hours. The module can provide payroll reports allowing rapid and detailed information categorized by job. The Time and Billing module is one of the most powerful modules in the application; it helps ensure all projects are meeting financial goals for profitability—despite the size or complexity.

Access & users:
Users with administrative rights can securely manage user access and permissions in the administrator portal for PENTA. An administrator can assign individual user access rights globally in the application based on a specific project or job function. Construction companies deciding to implement PENTA on-premises must maintain significant data and application security in the data center. Companies wishing to be relieved of onsite data security can opt to implement a hosted, cloud-based PENTA solution. 

Ease of use:
Whether a company deploys PENTA on-premises in the company data center or opts for the cloud-based solution, users will find the application robust, and it may seem daunting to use initially. However, customers familiar with the construction industry’s processes and challenges will soon find PENTA intuitive to use. PENTA offers detailed documentation, paid in-person training, live online training, and a variety of webinars meant to assist the PENTA customer with the information required to make full use of the many modules included in the application.

Cost:
PENTA is a full-featured application with modules created to manage multiple large projects. A company considering PENTA implementation can expect the costs to be substantial. PENTA implementation on-premises will require robust hardware to run the application and for data storage. Customers opting for the cloud-based solution can expect a cost for a variety of things such as data storage and transfer and a monthly fee.

Things we liked:

  • Modules allow for full project management from bid to completion
  • Data integration between modules means less repetitive data entry
  • Financial modules provide complete insight on project profitability
  • Built-in reports for almost any facet of a project
  • Support is consistently rated high for customer satisfaction

Things we didn’t like:

  • Expensive to implement and maintain
  • Proper management of the platform requires trained staff
  • May be too feature-rich for some companies

3. Knowify

Website www.knowify.com

Best cloud-based accounting software for small to midsize contractors or companies. 

Knowify is also a cloud-based option, making it an excellent choice for a small to midsize contractor or company needing access to the project or financial data on the go or the job site. While not a perfect fit for every company, it’s an excellent option for finance or project management staff to access data on any platform—from laptop to Android device.

Key functionality:
Because Knowify is cloud-based, it is an excellent fit for always on-the-go contractors in the construction, electrical, plumbing, and landscape trades. Knowify provides web-based estimation and bid generation tools as well as contract management, accounting, and invoicing. Using a laptop or tablet, contractors can easily track time, work orders, staff scheduling, or subcontractors without the overhead of a server-based application.

One of the key drawbacks of Knowify is that it isn’t a full-fledged double-entry accounting system; however, it is fully integrated with QuickBooks Online, making it a good choice for many smaller construction companies that have the flexibility to work with an accounting or bookkeeping partner. 

Access & users:
Knowify offers a browser-based Administrator console for easy application management. The administrator can create users or groups and apply permissions as necessary. Knowify is also a secure solution, which means construction companies that choose it can trust that their personnel and financial data will be protected.

Ease of use:
Knowify provides an intuitive, easy to use browser-based interface. Customers familiar with Chrome, Firefox, or Microsoft Edge will have little trouble moving between functions. All the benefits of Knowify are available to any customer with access to a Wi-Fi or cellular network, allowing for easy onsite estimate generation. Phone and email support are available during business hours. Knowify also offers detailed documentation, video training, and webinars.

Cost:
Knowify offers a low-cost monthly subscription making it an attractive cloud-based option for individual contractors and small businesses. A slightly more expensive monthly subscription offering is available for “Enterprise” customers needing enhanced functions for approximately $100USD per month.

Things we liked:

  • Multiple financial functions from job estimating to invoicing
  • Inexpensive
  • Intuitive interface
  • Portal access available on any device with an Internet connection
  • On-site estimating capabilities

Things we didn’t like:

  • Easy to outgrow as a company expands
  • Requires Internet connection for functionality
  • Not a full-fledged accounting software

4. Jonas Premier

Price from $189/year

Best cloud-based accounting software for large companies.

Jonas Premier is a cloud-based offering geared toward large firms managing multiple, large projects. Premier software has integrated everything a major construction company needs in a fully cloud-based, one-stop-shop for project management, job cost, estimating, and accounting.

Key functionality:
Key accounting features include all the double-entry functionality a large company would expect, plus multi-currency, multi-entity, and multi-division support. Plus, Jonas Premier’s integrated platform allows for consolidated financials, and there’s even a handy accounts payable approvals process built in. Standard reports can be exported for manipulation, but reports aren’t really customizable from within the software itself.

Jonas Premier management offers a dashboard that can be customized for each project, configurable to provide detailed data and insight to ensure a job site runs smoothly for peak financial success. In addition to Premier’s financial modules, the solution offers document tracking, submittals, and daily job logs by worksite.

Jonas Premier’s robust, cloud-based modules can handle quotes and estimates, project management, budget and forecasting, job costing, billing, and invoicing for multiple large-scale projects. Project managers and site supervisors create account and project information at any site with an Internet connection.

Access & users:
Because of the width and breadth of the projects and data Jonas Premier manages, developers have baked in application security. The administrative module allows the creation and management of users and groups, and permissions to data, modules, and functions can be configured and applied by the application administrator. Because Jonas Premier is a cloud-based application, data center and server security is handled entirely by the vendor.

Ease of use:
Jonas Premier can be a daunting application for those without extensive knowledge of the construction industry. Project and site managers with a background in large construction projects will find Jonas Premier to be generally intuitive. However, employees new to the field will want to avail themselves of the detailed documentation, video training, and webinars to acclimate properly.

Cost:
Midsize to large construction companies needing to manage multiple major projects are the target for Jonas Premier, and the pricing structure reflects that fact. Jonas Premier is available through a subscription service with a considerable monthly fee per user. This pricing structure can add up quickly, even for large companies. Jonas Premier does offer a free trial version of the application, as well as a guided online demo.

Things we liked:

  • Strong double-entry accounting features
  • Robust cloud option capable of managing data for multiple large scale projects
  • Variety of accounting modules provides detailed insight to project finances
  • Considered an industry leader application
  • Entire project can be managed from bid to completion

Things we didn’t like:

  • Per-user monthly subscription cost can add up quickly
  • Functionality can be overwhelming for those new to the industry
  • Limited custom report functionality

5. ZipBooks

Website Zipbooks.com
Price from $15/mo
Free Trial 30 Days

Best free or low-cost construction accounting software.

For individual contractors in any construction trade or small businesses looking to get off the ground with minimal initial expenditures, ZipBooks is an excellent accounting software offering a free option called “The Starter Plan.” Better still, ZipBooks is cloud-based, allowing a business to get started without having to pay for hardware or infrastructure. Contractors or construction businesses who expand quickly will outgrow the free ZipBooks plan; however, ZipBooks is a subscription service, and contractors can add functionality and modules easily as business and projects grow.

Key functionality:
The Starter Plan and reasonable monthly subscription fees are appealing. But, the hallmark of a good accounting platform is its accounting capability, and ZipBooks meets that requirement. With income and expense tracking, multi-currency support, a nice assortment of reports, and partial payment options (a must in the construction space), ZipBooks is a contender for those who can’t afford to spend a lot but need lots of features. 

Users can connect a single bank account to the Starter Plan, allowing easy tracking of project expenditures and accounts receivable. As the business begins to grow, construction companies may choose to upgrade to the Smarter Plan, which adds 1099 contractor tracking, team members, and automatic payment reminders, among other features. Plus, there are Sophisticated and Accountant versions with even more functionality.

Any successful construction project requires detailed tasks, time, and project tracking. These critical features are available in ZipBooks, along with the ability to use the data to generate reports quickly. Since ZipBooks is browser-based, contractors can access these features easily onsite via Wi-Fi or a cellular hotspot. The Starter Plan also allows unlimited invoicing and the ability to use Square or PayPal to accept digital payments.

Access & users:
Unless a customer adds features through the monthly subscription service, the Starter Plan version of ZipBooks does not provide an extensive litany of security features because it lacks granular user permissions, suggesting it is geared toward access by one or two users per organization. Contractors or businesses needing more specific user permissions will need to expand their subscription past the Starter Plan.

Ease of use:
ZipBooks is browser-based and intuitive with a minimal learning curve, even for users unfamiliar with accounting applications. Users can “drag-and-drop” receipts, reports, or banking data quickly into the appropriate module, and the customizable dashboard makes tracking project progress and data simple.

Cost:
ZipBooks touts the Starter Plan as “Forever Free.” As a business grows, users can receive additional functionality, such as linking multiple bank accounts and an equipment tracking module for a low monthly subscription fee.

Things we liked:

  • A “Forever Free” Starter Plan
  • Browser-based for onsite customer access to data or invoicing
  • Intuitive with a minimal learning curve
  • Users can add modules and functionality quickly and inexpensively
  • Good reports feature

Things we didn’t like:

  • Only one bank account on the Starter Plan
  • Can be easily outgrown
  • Equipment or materials tracking not available on Starter Plan

6. CoConstruct + QuickBooks Online

In combination with QuickBooks Online (or even QuickBooks Desktop, if you prefer), CoConstruct’s cost and feature set make it an ideal solution for a large contractor with subcontractors or a midsize to large company supporting multiple projects that need quick access to data onsite. The monthly fee for core usage is substantial enough to make small companies wary unless significant growth is inevitable, and a separate subscription to QuickBooks is required.

Key functionality:
A large construction company needs a comprehensive accounting platform, and while CoConstruct by itself doesn’t provide that, its direct integration with QuickBooks Online or Desktop allows the construction company to get the best of both products. Information flows seamlessly between CoConstruct and QuickBooks, preventing users from entering information in two places while also ensuring that everything is always up to date. Plus, construction-focused employees get to use a platform that meets their needs, and accounting-focused employees can do the same.

CoConstruct provides all the core functionality needed to generate bids and track project costs to avoid profit-killing waste. Essential features for project accounting include the ability to track expenses and change orders, simplify the bidding process, and forecast project costs as material and labor costs vary, and timesheet management. Every task on a job site is a cost. CoConstruct makes tracking team members assigned tasks, coordinating schedules to avoid cost incurring delays, and creating purchase orders for needed materials easy to manage in a single web browser.

Additional features available in CoConstruct include proposal generation and both email and text communication functions. These features combined remove much of the overhead generated by keeping the customer informed of project costs or schedule changes.

Access & users:
With CoConstruct geared toward multi-user, multi-site, and multi-project use, administrators can create, maintain, activate, and deactivate users and groups for enhanced security. Additionally, integrated payment options are PCI compliant. CoConstruct indicates that personal customer information security is a high priority, and user authentication for a customer’s web portal is encrypted. However, CoConstruct does inform customers to use a modern browser to ensure all the benefits of the portal’s security features. All the security features integrated into the browser web portal are also available in the Android or iOS-based mobile applications. QuickBooks also offers user-level permissions and strong data security, so users can trust their data are safe.

Ease of use:
CoConstruct + QuickBooks Online is a robust accounting and project management tool for midsize to large businesses. Because of the application’s scope and the many features offered, first-time users may find the application a bit overwhelming. However, CoConstruct provides a variety of methods to ensure customers become familiar with all the functionality available. CoConstruct offers some of the best in-person training and live support available. CoConstruct customers often cite these training and support features as essential to their favorable opinion of the application. QuickBooks Online is one of the most popular accounting software options, and it’s well-known for being user friendly and having excellent support available. 

Cost:
CoConstruct is not the most expensive cloud-based construction accounting application, but the three tiers offered by CoConstruct are costly enough to deter smaller companies from choosing this option, especially given the need to also subscribe to QuickBooks. CoConstruct requires an initial setup fee and a monthly fee based on the number of active projects. The tiers are the Plus 5, Plus 10, and Plus 15, with each tier increasing the number of banking accounts and including additional forms and templates. Each tier includes access by an unlimited number of users. CoConstruct does not offer a free trial, but potential customers can subscribe to a reduced price “Ramp” plan allowing companies to utilize the application for two months to determine if it meets their needs. All versions of QuickBooks Online will integrate with CoConstruct, but the Plus or higher version is required for users who need budgeting and purchase order capabilities.

Things we liked:

  • Allows management of every aspect of a project
  • Cloud-based
  • Industry-leading training and support
  • Good security features
  • Excellent client communication functionality

Things we didn’t like:

  • Cost prohibitive for small contractors or companies
  • Application not always intuitive without CoConstruct provided training
  • Requires QuickBooks integration for double-entry accounting

7. Accubuild

AccuBuild is a full-featured accounting and construction management application. It can be installed on-premises with the associated cost of hardware and application maintenance or accessed via a cloud-based version. However, either option incurs a substantial monthly subscription fee per user. The features included and the monthly subscription fee suggest this application is best for large firms with multiple, complicated projects in heavy construction or specialized sub-contracting.

Key functionality:
Unlike similar accounting and construction management suites, AccuBuild does not include features particularly helpful for creating bids (although an estimating tool is included). AccuBuild focuses on detailed cost accounting of materials, equipment, and labor. Significant emphasis is placed on billing and invoicing, budget forecasting based on changes in labor and material costs, and accounts payable and accounts receivable. 

AccuBuild also provides a “What-if” feature giving project managers the ability to calculate project bottom lines if staff, materials, or scheduling changes. The key features of AccuBuild provide construction managers and back-office accounting staff a clear picture of project profitability from day to day.

Access & users:
Customers using AccuBuild on-premises are responsible for infrastructure and application security, as well as user account creation and maintenance. Companies lacking an IT staff must consider the cost associated with onsite application maintenance. Taking advantage of the cloud-based offering will relieve companies of operating system and application security and care as those duties become the service provider’s responsibility.

Ease of use:
Whether a customer takes advantage of AccuBuild on-premises or via the cloud, the many construction accounting and management functions can be overwhelming to a new user. Nevertheless, users will find AccuBuild becomes increasingly intuitive with minimal use. The AccuBuild dashboard provides a function-based menu, allowing project or construction managers to access accounting or management tools quickly. In-person training at additional cost is available from AccuBuild, as is online support during business hours. AccuBuild also offers monthly webinars on a variety of subjects to assist customers with continuous education.

Cost:
Onsite implementation or cloud-based, AccuBuild requires a substantial monthly subscription fee per user. Companies with multiple users will find the fee will grow quite large. But, the AccuBuild functions help ensure project profitability, suggesting a significant return on investment each month or over a fiscal year.

Things we liked:

  • Full-fledged accounting platform designed for construction companies
  • Detailed project visibility not provided by other application vendors
  • Easy export of data and logs into Microsoft Office products or other accounting products
  • “What-if” functionality helps with forecasting
  • Designed for large construction companies

Things we didn’t like:

  • Monthly subscription fee can be cost-prohibitive
  • Not an ideal tool for bid proposals
  • A bit of a learning curve

8. CMiC

Best for:
Although CMiC has all the functions needed to run small and large projects alike, much of the functionality is geared toward big companies working on large projects. In some cases, startups with several upcoming projects might find they grow into the application nicely.

Key functionality:
CMiC provides critical functions for every step of a project—it’s truly an all-in-one option. Accounting personnel will enjoy CMiC’s comprehensive general ledger, accounts payable and receivable, and budgeting features. The built-in project forecasting functions allow key personnel to monitor cash flow in real time.  

Project managers will find all the tools needed to quickly bid a project, including a series of cost databases for job comparisons, a cost calculator, and a full job costing module. Onsite managers can then seamlessly integrate the data into the Bid Creation module for a speedy proposal turnaround.

The application provides a host of payroll management features. Payroll administrators can easily calculate state and federal taxes and pre-tax deductions such as 401k plans or other benefits and provide any statutorily required forms or paperwork. CMiC also provides the ability to direct deposit payroll into employee bank accounts.

Managing inventory and assets is also vital to ensuring project profitability, and CMiC provides a series of tools to track all physical assets from hammers to back-hoes. Construction managers can also transfer assets from one project to another through the asset management module. For high-ticket items, managers can also track warranty status and maintenance schedules to ensure equipment is in peak operating order and avoid cost overruns due to unplanned maintenance or downtime.

Access & users:
Application administrators can create multiple users and groups. Managers can apply Application-specific permissions to users and groups to ensure employees see only the functions they require to complete their jobs. These features provide an extra layer of security to avoid issues such as data leakage. 

Ease of use:
CMiC is web-based and can make the application somewhat intuitive for many users. However, there may be a learning curve because of all the functionality available in CMiC. Application users will want to avail themselves to the documentation provided by the developer. CMiC Global does provide consulting and training at a cost and phone and email support and video tutorials.

Cost:
Potential customers must contact CMiC Global for pricing information, which suggests that it may be cost-prohibitive for smaller construction companies. In addition, CMiC currently does not provide a trial or free version of the software.

Things we liked:

  • Comprehensive accounting platform
  • All the features needed to manage all aspects of a construction project
  • iOS and Android mobile apps available for use in the field
  • Strong security protocols
  • Built-in payroll features

Things we didn’t like:

  • No pricing information available without contacting CMiC Global
  • There may be a learning curve for some app users
  • Feature set may be too much for smaller companies

9. Construction Partner

Best for:
Construction Partner is feature-rich accounting software for companies of all sizes, but it does have a price point likely to make the application more appealing to larger firms. Construction Partner features modules from Accounts Payable to Equipment Management, allowing full management of all aspects of a construction project.

Key functionality:
It is essential to note Construction Partner is a Windows-based, on-premises application. No cloud-based option is currently available, so construction managers and site financial managers will not easily be able to manage finances onsite. However, companies with the infrastructure for an on-premises application will find much to appreciate in Construction Partner. 

The Accounts Receivable module provides managers the ability to automate many functions to save time. The module supports four billing types, including unit Cost, Progress, Cost Plus, and Lump Sum. Other features include the capability to quickly view open and paid invoices, create different tax districts for each customer, and even set up recurring monthly invoices.

Project managers will be able to track every cent with the robust General Ledger feature, and accounting staff can create budgets for up to 99 different company accounts and spread the funds over several fiscal periods. The General Ledger functionality also provides many standard reports, including a Check Deposit Register, Trial Balance, and even Job Summaries.

The Payroll module is functional for projects and companies of all sizes. Project accountants can avoid double entry by integrating the Payroll modules with other software packages, but it is not required. Some of the features include support of special pre-tax deductions and payments to company 401k plans, populated union tables to determine correct pay for union members, and the ability to use direct deposit and print Forms W-2.

Access & users:
Construction Partner is a secure application. Application administrators can create users and groups as needed and can also apply specific permissions and access to users or groups to ensure employees only access functionality required to complete their tasks. Application administrators can also apply needed Microsoft Windows permissions to enhance security, as required.

Ease of use:
Construction Partner is a Windows-based application, so navigation by menus and tabs will be familiar to any user with minimal Windows experience. Each feature is specific to a job function, and professionals with a background in payroll or estimating will find the application very intuitive. Construction Partner offers detailed documentation as well as phone support during business hours, and onsite training is also available. Plus, Construction Partner actually helps with the installation and initial configuration.

Cost:
Interested potential customers must reach out to the company for a quote, but it touts itself as affordable, and annual upgrades are noted on the Construction Partner website as costing under $1,000USD per year. A free trial version is not available, but interested parties can schedule a guided demo.

Things we liked:

  • Excellent all-in-one solution for all construction company employees
  • A host of features to assist in ensure project profitability
  • Intuitive interface for users with minimal Windows experience
  • Vendor installs and configures the application onsite
  • Pre-populated union pay rate tables

Things we didn’t like:

  • Limited pricing information
  • No cloud-based offering
  • Interface may seem dated to many users accustomed to cloud-based navigation

9. ComputerEase

ComputerEase is a full-featured construction management application emphasizing project accounting geared toward construction firms of all sizes.

Key functionality:
ComputerEase can be installed on-premises or used as a cloud-based solution and provides a plethora of key features to ensure projects run on time and in the black. ComputerEase includes general ledger features, accounts payable, and payroll administration, as well as equipment management and tracking. Once all the data is entered, detailed or executive level reports can be generated to provide insight on project progress and profitability.

Subcontractor scheduling, deliveries, and changes in the cost of materials can be tracked and analyzed without a site manager having to jump from application to application. In addition, mobile tools, including instantly dispatched orders, previous reports, field logs, and purchase orders, allow field-based employees to access information and remain productive at all times. 

Access & users:

The goal of ComputerEase is to provide all the functionality required to run a large construction project from the bid to planning and accounting, while making the tools easily accessible onsite through mobile apps and browser-based access. To that end, application administrators can create multiple users and groups and apply the necessary permissions based on job function and project. Browser access to the application is secure, meaning important financial or personnel information is protected.

Ease of use:
Intuitive use is a key component of most browser-based applications, and ComputerEase is no exception. Familiarity with the construction industry is required to fully understand all the functionality of ComputerEase. Still, user reviews indicate immediate ease of use is one of the most popular aspects of the application. Daltek also offers in-person training for an additional cost and live online training, webinars, and extensive documentation. However, email and online support are only available during standard business hours.

Cost:
Construction companies with an interest in ComputerEase can take advantage of a free trial but pricing information is not readily available, and quotes can vary based on company size and primary industry.

Things we liked:

  • Construction-focused accounting platform
  • Excellent mobile tools
  • Easy export of data for use in third-party applications
  • Intuitive menu system makes getting started fairly easy
  • User-based permissions improve data security

Things we didn’t like:

  • Not the best customer support
  • Limited pricing information
  • In-person training costs extra

 Conclusion

The construction industry includes a range of entities from the small independent contractor to the large-scale multi-entity corporation. Therefore, the construction accounting software offerings are diverse, as well. Choosing the best accounting software for your needs depends upon your company’s size and range of functions. Hopefully, this article can help you make the best choice for you, leaving you more time to build the future.

See also:

FAQs

I am an independent contractor, so do I really need accounting software?

Short answer: most likely. Do you need to estimate project costs? Generate bids? Keep track of financial information? Invoicing? Would you like an accounting software that makes each task easier? If so, keep in mind that most accounting software options developed specifically for construction companies streamline these tasks, freeing you up to do other things, like bringing in money. It’s a good idea to research the options to find one that meets your needs at a comfortable price point.

How can I decide which accounting software will work best for my construction company?

Some important factors to take into consideration when choosing accounting software are the size of your construction company and your budget. Some construction company accounting software options accommodate larger companies and more users, while others are better suited to smaller companies. The price ranges from a free version (ZipBooks) to fairly expensive offerings. In general, the more robust the software, the higher the cost. The best approach is to make a list of all the features you would like to have in a software and then narrow it to the features you need most. Use our review as a starting point to identify a couple of options, and then continue your research. Your research can also include soliciting opinions from other contractors or companies.

How safe is it to store my information in the cloud?

Accounting software companies have a vested interest in keeping your construction company’s information safe. Their reputations are their bread and butter, so to speak. Therefore, they are dedicated to the security of their products. In reality, keeping information onsite also has potential risks, such as stolen computers or unauthorized access. At some point, information is probably going into the cloud in some form (banking, credit card processing). Working with a company committed to keeping this information safe is a good idea.

Safety aside, why should I use a cloud-based accounting software?

There are many benefits to using cloud-based accounting software for your construction company. One is the updates you can count on with cloud-based software. Companies can easily push updates to fix issues or accommodate changes in tax laws or whatever is needed. Accessibility is another perk. Most software companies provide apps, both Android and iOS, to make working on the go easier. Chances are, people in the construction business will spend a fair amount of time onsite, so it’s convenient to have your accounting software available at all times. Your information is protected. Not only is it secure, but it’s backed up so that it’s never lost.