No matter what kind of construction work you do, labor eats up a huge portion of your budget. The typical construction company sees a net profit of under 5 percent, with as much as 30 to 40 percent of its budget going to labor.
This means that managing payroll is an important part of your business, but it can also be a huge hassle. This is particularly difficult if your construction company has projects in multiple states or hires many classes of workers. You have to figure out taxes, wage rates, overtime and a whole host of other data.
Even a tiny improvement in your efficiency and accuracy with payroll will have a huge impact on your bottom line, and you can’t achieve these results unless you immediately replace manual methods with new payroll software.
Good payroll software is essential for construction managers who are trying to stay on top of costs, keep employees happy and reduce paperwork. To help you find the solution that works for you, we’ll examine some of the top construction payroll software options and how they can help your business.
*For our list, we chose the five construction accounting software options in our directory with the most recommendations that we consider recent (within the last 30 days as of September 2018). As a result, they are more reflective of buyers’ attitude toward the current product as opposed to a previous version. They are organized in order of the number of recommendations each received.
1. CoConstruct (272 recommendations)
CoConstruct is one of the biggest names in construction software, and it enjoys a perfect five-out-of-five-star rating out of hundreds of reviews in our directory.
The software aims to allow users to enter a piece of information once, and then it automatically fills out estimates, change orders, budgets and other information without the need to enter the data over and over again. The software can be accessed from a tablet, desktop computer or a mobile app.
How it handles payroll: CoConstruct has a GPS-enabled time clock accessible from mobile and web, and data from it is automatically entered into payroll. It aims to save construction managers money with this feature by keeping accurate logs of hours worked, rather than relying on the memories of employees.
What types of construction firms would most benefit from this option: Custom home builders and remodelers.
2. Sage 100 Contractor (97 recommendations)
Sage 100 Contractor is principally focused on small to midsize construction companies.
The company says that it is for firms that have “outgrown” generic accounting software and need something that more specifically fits the needs of growing firms, handling all aspects of the construction cycle. It has an interactive dashboard that allows you to see important things like company performance and pending operations at all times.
How it handles payroll: Sage People, which is integrated with Sage 100, allows users to capture all pay-related transactions in the general ledger. The software also offers employee self-service and human resources features.
There’s also Sage Payroll Management and Processing, which was formerly full-service payroll solution PayChoice and was recently added to the Sage portfolio. This is a good option for companies seeking more comprehensive payroll software and service.
What types of construction firms would most benefit from this option: Small to midsize construction companies, including general contractors, specialty contractors and home builders.
3. ComputerEase (85 recommendations)
This is a cloud-based solution for construction managers who are on the go and need a single system to manage and provide multiple services for a construction project. The software includes tools for invoices, payments, material management, wage reports and many other aspects of construction accounting.
How it handles payroll: ComputerEase integrates payroll with job costing, so all variables ranging from taxes to wages are automatically calculated from the get-go. You can use a worker class code to automate the wage rates and avoid mistakes.
The software also has payroll reporting features that the company says will make it easier for construction managers to stay in compliance, lowering the potential liability of your construction project.
What types of construction firms would most benefit from this option: Small contractors who need a cloud-based application because they are on the move a lot.
4. Spectrum (formerly Dexter + Chaney) (60 recommendations)
Spectrum is also a cloud-based construction accounting solution meant for businesses of all sizes. The software features a general ledger to manage payroll, cash and payables and receivables. There are also apps for iOS and Android devices that are aimed at time-tracking and equipment management.
How it handles payroll: Spectrum offers a mobile app called Payroll Time Entry, which works as a stand-alone tool for managing both labor and equipment time on a construction site. It is fully integrated with Spectrum software and helps workers enter and track both their hours worked and their usage of equipment. Supervisors can then take this payroll data and enter it into the software’s payroll and human resources applications.
What types of construction firms would most benefit from this option: Small to midsize contractors who need need to manage many aspects of their options while on the go.
5. FOUNDATION Construction Accounting (47 recommendations)
FOUNDATION offers cloud-based or on-premise software deployments, depending on your needs. The software creates automatic job costing reports and allows users to create custom reports. You can also get additional modules for project management, inventory, billing and other tasks. The company says a wide range of construction companies in terms of size and type use the software.
How it handles payroll: FOUNDATION offers a payroll module, which is built specifically for construction managers. It automates complex payroll operations by factoring in things such as prevailing wage, union fringes or the state in which a business is operating. The software automates pay rates based on these factors to simplify timecards and generate accurate payroll reports quickly.
What types of construction firms would most benefit from this option: Small and midsize commercial and government contractors who want either a cloud-based option or want it to be installed on site, or both.
Want Even More Construction Payroll Software Options?
There are many more options beyond these five in our construction accounting software directory. And even if you can’t find what you’re looking for there (which would be tough, considering we have more than 100 options), you can also check out our payroll software directory, which has 179 options as of September 2018.
Just keep in mind that many of these software options aren’t geared specifically to construction. And if you’re still having trouble, schedule a call with one of our helpful software experts.
Once you’ve chosen a few software options that interest you, don’t stop there. You need to figure out if these really fit your business, so schedule a vendor demo and come prepared with questions.
You’ll want to ask specific questions during those demos, such as:
- Whether they offer a way to enter information through a mobile app, if you and your workers are often on the go.
- How detailed their reports get, if you want something that allows you to conduct in-depth data analysis to spot inefficiencies.
Be sure to conduct demos with at least five companies before settling on an option to ensure you’ll be satisfied with whatever you choose.