Find the best Construction Accounting Software

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Knowify

Knowify helps contractors Budget, manage, and invoice every construction project and service job with precision, and get insights to grow their business along the way. All work happens in one intuitive platform that integrates sea...Read more about Knowify

4.5 (90 reviews)

48 recommendations

ComputerEase

Deltek ComputerEase provides powerful job cost accounting and construction management software to help contractors outpace their competition. This innovative, user-friendly software not only improves the way contractors run their ...Read more about ComputerEase

4.2 (127 reviews)

26 recommendations

JOBPOWER

JOBPOWER is an integrated construction accounting management system. JOBPOWER includes accounting, detailed job costing, construction oriented billing, payroll by job, and many additional features designed for contractors. JO...Read more about JOBPOWER

4.4 (51 reviews)

16 recommendations

RedTeam Flex

RedTeam is a project management, construction financials and document control solution suited for midsize commercial general contractors. It is a cloud-based application developed by contractors to manage pre-construction, constru...Read more about RedTeam Flex

4.2 (196 reviews)

9 recommendations

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Adaptive

Adaptive is the most powerful financial management tool for the construction sector, interfacing seamlessly with your financial systems to automate invoicing, billing, and project financial analysis. Harness artificial intelligenc...Read more about Adaptive

5.0 (27 reviews)

8 recommendations

eCMS

eCMS offers a comprehensive suite of software applications that help commercial contractors manage all aspects of their financials and operations. eCMS is specifically built for the construction industry delivering users business ...Read more about eCMS

4.7 (41 reviews)

7 recommendations

Ventus

Ventus is a service and construction ERP solution that incorporates CRM, takeoff estimating, job costing, project management, service management, service dispatch, product distribution, inventory control, payroll and accounting in...Read more about Ventus

4.3 (42 reviews)

5 recommendations

CMiC

For over 30 years, CMiC has delivered state-of-the-art software solutions, purpose-built for the construction industry. Since its inception, CMiC has maintained a laser focus on automating essential back-office functions – such as...Read more about CMiC

4.2 (170 reviews)

4 recommendations

plexxis

Plexxis offers comprehensive solutions created specifically for the most demanding specialty sub-contractors. With on premise, subscription, cloud-based and mobile options, Plexxis delivers office and field efficiencies for accoun...Read more about plexxis

4.4 (79 reviews)

4 recommendations

Maestro

For over three decades, Maestro Technologies has empowered the Canadian construction industry with innovative information management solutions. Born and bred in Canada and serving over 10,000 users nationwide, maestro ERP stands ...Read more about Maestro

3.3 (7 reviews)

4 recommendations

Premier Construction Software

Premier is the global leader in construction ERP, topping Forbes Advisor's list for Construction Accounting Software in 2023. Tailored for General Contractors, Developers, Homebuilders, and Specialty Contractors, our all-in-one pl...Read more about Premier Construction Software

4.6 (260 reviews)

3 recommendations

Explorer Eclipse

Eclipse by Explorer is a cloud-based construction accounting and project management solution designed for contractor businesses. It caters to medium to large construction companies belonging to different construction businesses, s...Read more about Explorer Eclipse

3.8 (37 reviews)

1 recommendations

IFS Cloud

IFS Cloud is a composable enterprise software application that orchestrates customers, people, and assets to reduce complexity, cost and risk as you plan, manage and optimize critical asset availability, strive for operational exc...Read more about IFS Cloud

3.9 (30 reviews)

1 recommendations

A-Systems JobView

Job Costing software for your construction business. A-Systems has made accounting software for the construction industry longer than anyone--since 1978. Key features of JobView include job costing, payroll, a general ledger, acc...Read more about A-Systems JobView

4.8 (21 reviews)

1 recommendations

Kahua

Kahua helps you manage processes, documents and cost on your construction programs and projects from inception to closeout. Purpose-built solutions for owners, program managers, general contractors and subcontractors help you mini...Read more about Kahua

4.4 (12 reviews)

1 recommendations

Aurigo Masterworks

Aurigo provides modern, cloud-based solutions for capital infrastructure and private owners to help plan with confidence, build with quality, and manage their assets efficiently. It streamlines the complexities of large-scale capi...Read more about Aurigo Masterworks

3.0 (2 reviews)

1 recommendations

Acumatica Real Estate Development Accounting

Acumatica Real Estate Development Accounting is a complete end-to-end accounting solution designed specifically for real estate development. The solution helps real estate developers with their processes and workflows and provides...Read more about Acumatica Real Estate Development Accounting

No reviews yet

1 recommendations

QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise

QuickBooks Enterprise is an accounting solution designed for SMBs across different industry verticals such as construction, nonprofit distribution, manufacturing, and retail. With QB Enterprise solution, any business owner can exp...Read more about QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise

QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online is a small business accounting software and app that allows you to manage your business anywhere, anytime. Used by over 7 million customers globally, QuickBooks provides smart tools for your business, yet is easy...Read more about QuickBooks Online

FreshBooks

FreshBooks takes billing out of your hands and puts it on autopilot. Set up automated invoicing, online payment options (ACH and Credit Card), and late payment reminders to get paid 2x faster. Next, boost team productivity with pr...Read more about FreshBooks

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

Construction accounting is unique. Contractors need to track detailed costs by job and manage complex payrolls, among other things. In response to these requirements, roughly 100 applications vendors exist to serve the market. These range from low-end solutions for small companies to large enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. There are also unique vendors for different trades and divisions—general contractors, heavy/civil, MEP etc. We wrote this guide to help make sense of this complicated marketplace.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Construction Accounting Software?

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Benefits and Potential Issues

Market Trends to Understand

What Is Construction Accounting Software?

Construction accounting software offers sophisticated functionality for job costing, complex payroll processing, equipment management, subcontracting and other financial management processes. Systems are typically designed around a job costing module, which allows accounting staff to allocate job costs by job and CSI code. This capability is the core difference between construction accounting systems and the generic accounting systems that are more popular in other industries.

Many contractors may start their business with generic construction bookkeeping software, such as Quickbooks or Peachtree, but they will upgrade to an construction-specific system once they reach a certain level of sophistication—typically when they exceed about $3 million in revenue or more than five concurrent projects of meaningful size. 

The core of any top-rated accounting system includes: job costing, general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, purchase orders, payroll management and financial reporting. Other common add-on modules include:

  • Fixed asset accounting

  • Equipment tracking

  • Inventory management

  • Contract management

  • Time tracking

Accounting software for a construction company will also support the industry's primary billing formats: time & materials, AIA, progress or percent completion, cost plus and retention. When accounting is implemented as part of a broader suite of applications, the system will often be integrated with service management, project management, project scheduling, document management, cost estimating, fixed asset accounting, equipment tracking, inventory management and time tracking. 

What Type of Buyer Are You?

To sort through the 100 or so systems out there and start your comparison, it helps to identify yourself with one of the specific types of buyers we see in the market:

Upgrading from Quickbooks. A majority of the buyers we speak to are small contractors evaluating construction-specific systems for the first time. They are currently using Quickbooks, Peachtree or another entry-level package. However, they are growing and need more sophisticated job costing and payroll management functionality. There are excellent mid-range solutions for this type of buyer. The most important thing for these buyers is that they find an affordable construction accounting software package price.  

Large construction enterprise. Large firms tend to have multiple corporate entities and need to consolidate their financials. They also tend to have different units performing different types of work (e.g. GC, MEP, Civil—all under one parent firm). Finally, they have many users and many different types of users. Generally, these firms are seeking to modernize by replacing aging legacy systems.

Service contractor. Service contractors typically seek systems that combine accounting and field service management. So, in addition to core accounting, they require service dispatch, scheduling, service contract management and spare parts inventory management. These contractors also self-perform work, so they have specific labor-related needs. A well-established set of vendors offer financial software for contractors. 

Heavy/civil contractor. Heavy/civil contractors also have very unique requirements. They perform unit billing, and need a system designed to bill this way. They also have substantial requirements around equipment management, fixed asset accounting, materials management and dispatching and tracking work crews. A specialized set of vendors serve this market well.

Benefits and Potential Issues

Construction accounting systems provide great benefit, if implemented and adopted correctly. These benefits include:

Improved visibility. Modern systems will provide better insight into the profitability of individual jobs, and the company as a whole. This results from more accurate collection of data—fewer errors—as well as better reporting tools to explore the data in the system. Job costing alone will provide a tremendous improvement in reporting relative to generic accounting systems. 

Better estimates. By gaining a better handle on job costs across projects, the firm will be better informed when developing estimates in the future. Job cost reports from historical jobs will help identify material and labor cost trends, unanticipated costs and areas where jobs tend to go over budget. All this leads to greater cost control. Estimators can incorporate these factors into their bids going forward. 

Fewer errors and less double entry of data. When contractors have inadequate systems in place, they typically resort to creating a range of spreadsheets to track job costs and other information not handled by the accounting system. This results in double entry of data, errors in the spreadsheets and lost information. When all of this information is handled in a single accounting and job costing system, there is a substantial reduction in errors.

The primary issues that tend to surface with new construction accounting software result from poor selection and implementation processes. Many buyers see technology as a quick fix to their challenges. In reality, even the best accounting package for construction industry is not a panacea. Only a combination of the right solution, a well-executed implementation and adoption process will fix their problems.

When selecting a new system, contractors need to reconsider their business process first, and then find the application provider that will most closely map to those processes or automate a new, more effective set of processes. They also need to get a wide set of users involved in the selection process so that each user feels invested in the new program and will adopt it when it goes live. Finally, contractors need to invest in proper training so that new users get up to speed on the system quickly and realize early benefits from the new system. 

Market Trends to Understand

These market trends should be considered when evaluating a new accounting and job costing system.   

Technology modernization. When we talk to buyers who are upgrading from an existing system, they typically tell us that legacy technology is at the root of their challenges. Systems built on proprietary databases or outdated programming languages often fail to meet firms’ needs for data export, integration and reporting. This tends to be a bigger challenge for large contractors, but all buyers should consider the platform technology of each product. 

Business intelligence. Construction accounting systems have evolved from simply recording transactions to providing key insight into the performance of the firm, project by project. Business intelligence refers to the more sophisticated analytics available in leading systems. Users should be able to run ad hoc reports and slice and dice data from the system to answer critical questions about the business. 

Increasing suite breadth. The term “construction accounting software” understates the breadth of functionality offered by most systems today. Leading systems offer project management, project scheduling, estimating, bid management and service management. Vendors continue to expand the breadth of their system through development and acquisition. Buyers should weight integrated suites versus best-of-breed applications.

Note that we do not mention software as a service (SaaS) as a trend in this market. While we are proponents of the SaaS model, we have not seen credible SaaS accounting software for construction business applications yet. We believe that the SaaS model will eventually make its way into construction accounting, but for now that is not the case.