Close-up of a craftsman using a level to measure distance on wood plank.
Contractors have unique needs when choosing an accounting software solution. Contractor-specific programs offer tools such as job costing and estimate generation. — Getty images/Jackyenjoyphotography

Running a contracting business requires more than knowing the tools of the trade. A business owner must also track financials — including job costing, estimates, client invoices, and payments to suppliers — to stay both profitable and organized.

Accounting software can help streamline this process for contractors by tracking cash flow and transactions, billing and payments, and more. Contractor-specific accounting software also often includes features to assist in the financial side of project management, such as job costing and estimate generation.

Benefits of accounting software

Some benefits of accounting software for contractors include:

  • Automation. Accounting software eliminates the need to manually input data or generate reports. It not only reduces the chance of clerical errors but also saves time and energy, allowing contractors to focus on delivering quality work to their customers.
  • Improved financial and project management. Contractors can use accounting software to track key metrics and manage project processes. This helps entrepreneurs stay on top of budgets and schedules while also providing the data they need to make better-informed business decisions.
  • 24/7 access. A majority of accounting software solutions are cloud based so contractors can look up invoices or other information anywhere they have internet access. Some accounting software also includes mobile functionality for professionals.

[Read more: Free Accounting Tools for Small Businesses]

Contractors can use accounting software to track key metrics and manage project processes.

Accounting tools for contracting businesses

Looking for an accounting solution for your contracting business? In alphabetical order, here are the five best accounting tools for contractors.

Buildertrend

Buildertrend provides a host of solutions to help entrepreneurs grow and scale their construction businesses. Contractors can easily pay subcontractors and invoice homeowners, track real-time financial data and create budgets, send and manage bids, and automate purchase orders. One unique feature of this software is a customer portal, which allows clients to track the status of jobs and streamline communications between clients and contractors. Buildertrend offers three pricing tiers: The Essential plan costs $99 ($399 after two months), the Advanced plan runs $399 per month ($699 after two months), and the Complete plan is $699 per month ($999 after two months).

CMiC

Created for general and specialty contractors, CMiC includes solutions for accounts payable, accounts receivable, billing, and the consolidated general ledger. The software is designed to integrate with contractors’ general ledger and job costing. Additional financial management tools include payroll/human capital management and equipment/inventory management. CMiC’s pricing is not publicly available, but prospective customers can request a quote by speaking with a customer service representative.

Foundation

Foundation allows contractors to custom build their software through different modules. The Payroll Software Module automates timecard processing and payroll calculations, while the Job Costing Module creates job budgets, tracks job costs, and manages construction change orders. Construction professionals working with outside accountants can also benefit from the CPA Audit and Review Software, which automatically shares data with CPAs to ensure ongoing financial compliance. For contractors who are seeking an on-the-go solution, Foundation’s mobile app operates via smartphone, tablet, or laptop and can sync remotely to the main software. Pricing varies based on the modules selected and the size of the business, so it requires consultation with a customer service representative.

Premier Construction Software

Premier Construction Software is designed specifically for construction companies and general contractors looking for an all-in-one accounting and project management solution. In addition to automating financial reports, billing, and payments to outside vendors, the software includes job costing, time entry, subcontract management, and compliance tracking. Pricing begins at $199 per month for an unlimited number of user logins, a particularly beneficial feature for businesses that are scaling. To assist in implementation, the company also provides a six-week training program and ongoing support from a designated account manager.

QuickBooks

Intuit’s QuickBooks is a popular small business accounting solution widely used across multiple industries. The software has a user-friendly interface, robust features and third-party integrations, and scalability as your contracting business grows. Contracting businesses in particular can benefit from QuickBooks Enterprise, which offers a suite of project and financial management tools. Contractors can use the software to assist with job costing, estimates, work orders, job statuses, and more. Plans for QuickBooks start at $30 per month, while QuickBooks Enterprise starts at $1,830 for an annual subscription ($152.50 per month).

[Read more: Accounting Tools for Nonprofits]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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