The Best Construction Accounting Software: Top 10 Compared for 2024

Construction businesses require specialized accounting software to manage finances and projects. The best construction accounting software should include invoice templates, complete invoice flow, and project profitability capabilities to help businesses keep track of expenses.

Read on to learn how the most trusted accounting tools in the market can benefit your business.

The Best Accounting Software for Construction Companies Ranked

Below we’ve listed the top 10 accounting tools for the construction industry and highlighted their top features.

  1. FreshBooks: Best for Invoicing
  2. Zoho Accounting: Best for Account Management
  3. Xero: Best for International Construction Businesses
  4. QuickBooks: Best for Features
  5. Bonsai: Best for Making Contracts
  6. Sage: Best for New Businesses
  7. Oracle NetSuite: Best for Tax Management
  8. TurboTax: Best for Tax Filing
  9. Melio: Best for Payments
  10. Wave: Best Free Accounting Tool

The Top Construction Accounting Software Solutions Reviewed 

Excited to find the best accounting software for construction operations? Read on as we’ll now discuss in detail each of our top recommendations, including their best features, pros, cons, and pricing.

1. FreshBooks — Best for Invoicing

FreshBooks

Best For Starting Price Free Version Top 3 Features Compatibility Payroll Included
Invoicing  $5.70/month – billed yearly 30-day money-back guarantee
  1. Unlimited invoices to unlimited clients
  2. Profitability tracking
  3. Mileage tracker
Android, iOS, web browsers Available with integration

Invoicing is the strongest suit of FreshBooks. There are several templates on the website to choose from in different formats — including Word, PDF, and Excel. You can very easily customize your invoices to include discounts, business logos, and due dates. What’s more, you will receive updates whenever your invoice is viewed or paid.

FreshBooks also takes the cake as one of the best construction accounting software solutions. Its impressive collaborative features let you share files and updates with team members and clients from one place. Its project management tools make staying up-to-date with the project a breeze.

Construction contracts usually take a lot of time to get done, and in the meantime, it can get a little tedious to keep track of the expenses and where you stand. FreshBooks takes this recurring calculation out of the picture and, with its project profitability features, breaks down all the income, costs, and unbilled hours at your disposal.

You can create rich proposals with detailed timelines, get these proposals e-signed, and even convert them into invoices. FreshBooks also comes with a handy Chrome extension for tracking time inside some of the best project management apps, like Asana and Trello, at the click of a button.

prosPros

  • Automatic, customizable payment reminders
  • Allows multi-currency billing
  • Comes with a handy Chrome web browser extension
  • Provides customized onboarding service

consCons 

  • Additional charge for adding extra users

2. Zoho Accounting — Best for Account Management

Zoho Accounting

Best For Starting Price Free Version Top 3 Features Compatibility Payroll Included
Simple accounting management tasks $15/organization/month A free forever plan
  1. Expenses & Mileage Tracking
  2. Automate Payment Reminders
  3. Contract payment tracking
Windows, iPhone, Android, Mac Available with integration

Zoho is a comprehensive construction accounting software tool for users who don’t want to waste time handling daily accounting tasks. It handles everything right from the negotiation stage to the final invoicing, website,  and everything in between.

With its quote templates, you can create quotes immediately as soon as a deal is signed and add the saved contact and item details into them effortlessly. Your clients will also be able to collaborate with the quotes and approve them through the customer portal.

The vendor portal is also especially great for construction contractors as it eliminates unnecessary emails and calls by onboarding the vendors to self-manage the transactions in their own time. To make sure you don’t miss anything, Zoho sends you a notification when a supplier views your transactions or adds a comment to a document.

To keep better track of what you put into a project, you can also log the amount of time you spend on each task. With this timer widget, you can record the time with ease to ensure accurate billing and to make sure you never miss the deadline.

Like most accounting software solutions, taxation services are included in the package. However, Zoho goes one step ahead in making things easier for construction companies and construction contractors by tracking the payments made to contractors required to file the annual 1099s using the Tax 1099 account.

prosPros

  • Ideal project accounting software with time tracking
  • Customizable quote templates
  • Auto-charge card facility for simplifying recurring transactions
  • A dedicated vendor portal

consCons 

  • Limited integration options

3. Xero — Best for International Construction Businesses

Xero

Best For Starting Price Free Version Top 3 Features Compatibility Payroll Included
International construction companies $6/month – billed yearly 30-day free trial
  1. 1000+ integrations
  2. Cashflow and business snapshot
  3. 160+ currency options
Mac, PC, iOS, Android Available with integration

Xero offers budget-friendly cloud-based accounting software and is a great choice if you’re looking to scale a construction company or take it internationally. It offers over 160 currency options for instant conversions, and you’ll be updated about how the currency market influences your cashflows.

It surpasses competitors with its extensive integration options. For example, you can integrate Gusto’s construction payroll software to automate payroll filings, W-2s, 1099s, and direct deposit payments. In addition, there are hundreds of other app integration options.

Xero Projects is yet another Xero feature contractors will love. It allows you to track each job with either a start-stop timer or location-based tracking. This accounting system helps you avoid paying for unproductive labor hours and keep track of every dollar spent.

Like Oracle NetSuite, Xero also allows you to connect your bank account to stay on top of transactions — providing the convenience of having the bank feeds automatically updated and reconciled.

What’s more, all the data collected is transformed into actionable reports and financial summaries that depict the financial health of your business, including outstanding invoices and overdue bills. There’s also a dedicated page that tells you how future bills will affect your bank balance over time.

prosPros

  • Unlimited users on a single account
  • Handy expense management tools
  • Extensive learning material and tutorials
  • Customizable dashboard

consCons 

  • Limited bills and invoices on the entry-level plan

      4. QuickBooks — Best for Features

      QuickBooks

      Best For Starting Price Free Version Top 3 Features Compatibility Payroll Included
      New businesses $15/month 30-day free trial
      1. Submit VAT directly to HRMC
      2. Smart budgets on Plus plan
      3. Income tax estimates
      Android, iOS, browsers, Mac, Windows Available as add-on

      QuickBooks is among the most popular small business construction accounting software solutions. It lets you sync your accounting data with apps like Corecon, Buildertrend, and AutoEntry to easily track leads, schedule projects, and manage field services.

      As we went over in our in-depth QuickBooks review, it also allows you to create batch invoices with the Advanced package and forward them to all the workers on the same level to save time. Moreover, all your information is stored on a secure cloud, which makes accessing and updating financial info on the go a breeze.

      When you make payments through QuickBooks, they’re automatically recorded and matched for you. Testifying its quick services, all eligible payments are deposited by the next business day. However, there is a minimal fee of 1% deducted.

      Making estimates and determining job costing is a hard nut to crack, and messing that up means you’re setting yourself up for failure. Just like FreshBooks, there’s a profitability tracking feature that gives you valuable insights to help you make better decisions while selecting projects and doing bid management.

      With the QuickBooks Mileage tracker, you can categorize personal and business trips and get a shareable report that breaks down the miles driven according to your smartphone’s GPS tracker.

      The platform is pretty easy to understand, and the learning curve is negligible — you can set up the software and get it running yourself. However, if you still need assistance, you can reach out to professional bookkeepers to configure the software for you.

      prosPros

      • Customizable reports and dashboards
      • Estimation and forecasting assistance
      • Profitability and mileage tracker
      • Allows scheduling recurring payments

      consCons 

      • Only 3 users allowed on the Essentials plan

      5. Bonsai — Best for Making Contracts

      Bonsai

      Best For Starting Price Free Version Top 3 Features Compatibility Payroll Included
      Making contracts $21/month — 1-year plan + 2 months free 7-day free trial
      1. Subcontractor management and onboarding
      2. Unlimited event scheduling
      3. Hiring agreement templates
      Android, iOS, web browsers Not available

      Bonsai is the best wingman for managing your business, with a huge library of contract and proposal templates to choose from, and your clients will be able to approve them directly via Bonsai.

      Within the proposal, you can lay out pricing packages with a proper breakdown for clients to get a clear idea of your service prices from the outset. Also, all the contracts on Bonsai are vetted by actual lawyers — simply pick a default template that fits your needs, and you’re good to go.

      If you usually work with an installment payment system, the recurring invoices feature will be a lifesaver. Bonsai will automatically send an invoice to the selected client on the 1st of every month (or whatever time gap you set). The payment method selected by the client will be automatically billed on the file.

      It’s a little outside the norm that tax management isn’t included. You’ll have to buy an extra top-up on your base subscription fee to get tax services. It is worth it though, as it’ll remind you when taxes are due, and you can even download your tax forms from its portal.

      Overall, Bonsai is a solid construction invoicing software option with easy invoicing and scheduling features, along with great templates for invoices and contracts, options every accounting system needs. It can be a little expensive for some, but the feature-to-price value is superb.

      prosPros

      • Excellent customer support
      • Unlimited project collaborations with contractors
      • Easy scheduling features
      • Lengthy trial period of 2 months

      consCons 

      • Tax management tools need to be purchased separately

      6. Sage — Best for New Businesses

      Sage Accounting

      Best For Starting Price Free Version Top 3 Features Compatibility Payroll Included
      Beginner construction businesses $58.92/month for Sage 50 1-month free trial
      1. Inventory management
      2. Advanced budgeting tools
      3. Sage Security Shield
      Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS Available as add-on

      Sage’s intuitive software is simple at its core. It doesn’t have any over-the-top frills, but you’ll find everything you need to manage and analyze your construction business accounts in one place.

      There’s a dedicated Sage Intacct Construction plan dedicated to construction companies, which provides construction finance management services that use the leading JBKnowledge construction technology to generate reports and streamline processes.

      As a cloud solution, it ensures that your information is backed up at all times, so you don’t lose any important information. In addition to that, Sage Security Shield provides cyber protection and prevents identity theft — so you don’t need to worry about adding one of the best antivirus software solutions to your monthly bills.

      It gets better too. With over 1,400 pre-built report formats and customizability features, you’ll have all the critical business and construction project management information needed to make informed decisions at all times.

      prosPros

      • Access to several customized reporting tools
      • Integrated timecard management
      • Dedicated construction plan
      • AICPA preferred solution

      consCons 

      • Several users have complained about the UI being outdated

      2. Oracle Netsuite — Best for Tax Management

      Oracle NetSuite

      Best For Starting Price Free Version Top 3 Features Compatibility Payroll Included
      Tax management Available on request NA
      1. Automatic reconciliation
      2. ERP and CRM services
      3. Detailed tax audits
      Android, iOS Yes

      Oracle Netsuite is a cloud-based ERP business software solution that doubles up as construction CRM software with its flexibility and customization options.

      Among its advanced features is its automated reconciliation feature that uses an intelligent rules engine to match bank information to existing transactions so that you don’t have to waste time reconciling entries and finding exceptions.

      Recording transactions and staying ahead of taxes and payables is as easy as it gets with Oracle’s simplified real-time financial data handling. You can connect your bank and credit card account to Netsuite to import data directly for increased accuracy and real-time cash insights.

      We love Netsuit’s tax management features available under SuiteTax, which help you calculate taxes under different jurisdictions. It also comes with a built-in tax calculator, which determines the taxability of each transaction.

      Unlike FreshBooks and QuickBooks, Oracle NetSuite allows unlimited users to access the software. This becomes especially important in construction businesses since multiple people work on different aspects of the same projects simultaneously, and providing access helps keep everything in sync.

      prosPros

      • Unlimited users on a single account in all plans
      • Cloud-based system for better flexibility
      • Customizable 1,000+ grid templates
      • Powerful management tools like CRM and ERP

      consCons 

      • A steep learning curve

      8. TurboTax — Best for Tax Filing 

      Turbotax

      Best For Starting Price Free Version Top 3 Features Compatibility Payroll Included
      Tax filing $0 – $129 Yes
      1. W-2 income calculations
      2. Expert assistance
      3. Refund estimator
      Android, iOS, Mac, Windows No

      As the name suggests, TurboTax is primarily tax management software. Like QuickBooks, it’s one of Intuit’s products and goes above and beyond to simplify the process.

      It doesn’t just calculate taxes for you; it ensures you get the maximum refund through deductions and credits through its Refund Estimator feature, which gives you an idea of how much tax can be saved every time you update the figures.

      We also found several tax calculators that’ll help you streamline and plan your taxes, such as a self-employed tax calculator, tax bracket calculator, and bonus tax calculator.

      However, TurboTax won’t help you with accounting or construction management. Features like bookkeeping, time tracking, payroll, and the like are missing, making the tool one-dimensional but a real asset for peace of mind during every tax season.

      prosPros

      • Easy-to-use interface
      • Easy importing of tax documents
      • Can switch between devices mid-process
      • Plenty of tax calculators

      consCons 

      • No in-depth accounting tools and functions

      9. Melio — Best for Payments

      Melio

      Best For Starting Price Free Version Top 3 Features Compatibility Payroll Included
      Construction businesses with intensive payment routines Paid add-ons start at $1.50 A free forever plan
      1. Unlimited users
      2. Data and form exports
      3. Custom payment requests
      Browser — no mobile app Not available

      Melio is more of a payable software service for managing business payments with lots of powerful integration options like QuickBooks and Xero. When you collect payments through Melio, the data can be directly connected to these integrations eliminating the need for double entry or reconciliation of bills and payments.

      The best part about Melio is that it doesn’t charge fees for payments via ACH bank transfers made through the platform—something that most platforms, including QuickBooks, do.

      ACH bank transfers are usually used for payroll functions in a construction company., meaning you can send out salaries to your workers and employees without losing anything in transit. We also love the recently introduced Pay Over Time feature, which lets you make vendor payments over a period of time.

      However, the vendors are paid instantly by Melio. Software in the construction business doesn’t always have this. Here, Melio acts as a facilitator and extends you a couple of days’ credit — a feature that’ll be loved by new contractors who often face liquidity issues. One thing to note here is that, unlike others on our list, Melio isn’t a complete accounting software solution.

      You can schedule payments, add team members to the account, send invoices, and get approval from the client using this platform. However, if you expect high-end analytics and tracking features, this one might not be the one for you.

      Overall though, Melio is a highly recommended construction software for companies with a large workforce and ample clientele for its unlimited user accessibility and advanced payment management solutions.

      prosPros

      • Free ACH bank transfers
      • Great accounting software integration options
      • Payment responsibility delegation and control features
      • Supports international payments and invoices

      consCons 

      • Focuses more on payments and less on accounting

      10. Wave — Best Free  Accounting Software

      Wave

      Best For Starting Price Free Version Top 3 Features Compatibility Payroll Included
      Free accounting tools Fixed fees from 2.9% + $0.60 per credit card transaction Free plans
      1. Cloud backup for bills and receipts
      2. Can import 10 receipts at a time
      3. Unlimited bank and credit card connections
      Android, iOS, web browsers Available as a separate plan

      Wave is a super capable free accounting solution that offers all the accounting assistance you need in one place. Starting a free account is super simple: Just enter a few details about your construction operation, and you’re covered.

      Despite being free, Wave provides excellent construction billing software. You can set up recurring invoices and automatic credit card payments for regular transactions. Also, switching between automatic and manual billing is a breeze.

      It takes care of bookkeeping by syncing all the invoices with the matching payments received to your account. Once you connect your bank accounts, the transactions are automatically updated in the system.

      Wave’s smart dashboard segregates incomes, expenses, payments, and invoices for smooth and hassle-free tax filing. Plus, you can identify cash flow trends and understand where you stand by comparing the monthly and yearly accounting reports. Software in the construction industry should definitely make tax filing hassle-free.

      While the basic accounting and invoicing tools are free, you’ll need to purchase the payroll feature separately. The catch is that the live chat features are only available if you purchase one of the paid products.

      If you don’t need that, don’t worry, there’s still chatbot support, and you can always email them your queries. Overall, Wave is the best free accounting software for small construction operations that need pompous tools and have decent account management needs.

      prosPros

      • Unlimited invoicing free of cost
      • Allows unlimited bank and credit card connections
      • Unlimited income and expense tracking
      • Employee portal access to paystubs and tax forms

      consCons 

      • The pay-per-transaction model is expensive in the long run

      Compare the Best Construction Business Accounting Systems

      Here’s a brief snapshot of the critical differences and connections between each of our top recommendations to help you make an informed yet quick decision:

      Construction Accounting Software Best For Starting Price Free Version Top 3 Features Compatibility Payroll Included
      FreshBooks Invoicing $ 19.00/month — 12-month plan 30-day money-back guarantee Unlimited invoices to unlimited clients, Profitability tracking, Mileage tracker Android, iOS, web browsers Available with integration
      Zoho Accounting Simple accounting management tasks $15/organization/month A free forever plan Expenses & Mileage Tracking, Automate Payment Reminders, Contract payment tracking Windows, iPhone, Android, Mac Available with integration
      Xero International construction businesses $6/month 30-day free trial 1000+ integrations, Cashflow and business snapshot, 160+ currency options Mac, PC, iOS, Android Available with integration
      QuickBooks New businesses  $15/month 30-day free trial Submit VAT directly to HRMC, Smart budgets on Plus plan, Income tax estimates Android, iOS, browsers, Mac, Windows Available as add-on
      Bonsai Making contracts $21/month 7-day free trial Subcontractor management and onboarding, Event scheduling, Hiring agreement templates Android, iOS, web browsers Not available
      Sage Beginner construction businesses $58.92/month for Sage 50 3-month free trial Inventory management and tracking, Advanced budgeting tools, Sage Security Shield Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS Available as add-on
      Oracle NetSuite Tax management Available on request Not available Automatic reconciliation, ERP and CRM services, Detailed tax audits Android, iOS, Desktop Yes
      TurboTax Tax filing $0 – $129 – per month Yes W-2 income calculations, Expert assistance, Refund estimator Android, iOS, Mac, Windows No
      Melio Construction businesses with intensive payment routines Variable, with transaction fees A free forever plan Unlimited users, Data and form exports, Custom payment requests Browsers —  no mobile app Not available
      Wave Free accounting tools Fixed fees from 2.9% + $0.60 per credit card transaction Free plans Cloud backup for your bills and receipts, Can import up to 10 receipts at a time, Unlimited bank and credit card connections Android, iOS, web browsers Available as a separate plan

      How to Choose the Best Accounting Software for Your Construction Company

      Choosing the appropriate accounting tool is essential for the growth and success of your construction operation. Here are the essential factors that’ll assist you in selecting the best accounting software and project management software to efficiently manage your construction projects and financial procedures:

      Scalability 

      It’s important for your construction firm to prepare for future growth. To achieve this, consider using software that can easily adapt to the demands of a rapidly expanding business.

      As your projects, clients, and operations expand, the software you choose should be able to handle more transactions, job costing, bid management, and meet the needs of multiple users.

      By selecting a construction industry software solution with various features and strong scalability, you can ensure your financial management processes can grow alongside your business’s success.

      Compatibility 

      Before making a decision, verify that the software seamlessly integrates with your firm’s other tools, such as payroll software, budget management tools, tax software, and financial management systems.

      Ensuring compatibility prevents potential pitfalls, including data entry errors and report mismatches. Investing in software that interacts with your existing systems promotes streamlined workflows, accurate information sharing, and efficient collaboration.

      Security 

      When selecting software for your construction business, it’s crucial to prioritize security features like two-factor authentication, data encryption, and regular data backups.

      Investigating the vendor’s past incidents of data breaches or cyber-attacks can give you an idea of how seriously they take protecting your information. Thankfully this isn’t a concern you’ll have with any of our top 10 picks, as we took these factors into account when compiling and ranking our list.

      The best construction accounting software has great defenses against cyber threats. Strong software safety not only safeguards your business but also demonstrates to your clients that you handle their financial information responsibly.

      Price 

      When it comes to the best construction accounting software, the price can vary greatly, with some project management options being free and others costing a significant amount of money. It’s important to determine your company’s budget and choose software within that range.

      However, simply choosing the cheapest option may not always result in the best quality or features — it all depends on your needs. On the other hand, it’s often wise to invest in a higher-priced solution for advanced features that’ll benefit your construction business in the long run.

      This doesn’t need to be the initial investment, but it’s important to consider your business’s scaling needs to ensure the tool offers what you need at a price you’re willing to pay.

      Usability

      The software’s user-friendliness directly impacts your staff’s efficiency. Complex systems demanding extensive training or intricate navigation can lead to productivity loss, data entry mistakes, and staff dissatisfaction.

      People in the construction industry may not be super tech-savvy. Choose construction accounting software with a user-friendly interface, easy navigation, and necessary project management features matching your operational requirements. Reliable customer support is also equally important, ensuring your team receives timely assistance.

      Features 

      The best construction accounting software has various features. The right features can significantly impact your ability to manage finances, projects, and operations effectively. Features like job costing, project management integration, invoicing, expense tracking, and compliance management cater specifically to the unique demands of the construction industry.

      Each feature contributes to streamlined processes (great for busy people in the construction industry), accurate reporting, and overall efficiency. Carefully consider the features offered to ensure that the solution meets your business needs and enables you to effectively manage the complexities of this field.

      The Accounting Features Construction Companies Need

      For most construction entities, having the right accounting features to run all business processes is crucial for effective financial management. These specialized features cater to the unique demands of the construction industry, allowing companies to accurately track project costs, manage contracts, track project management, and handle job-specific billing.

      Here we’ll walk you through some important accounting features, integrations, and connections to consider when shopping for construction accounting software platforms.

      • Job Costing: This is an essential tool to pair with construction accounting software platforms that enable construction companies to accurately track and allocate costs to specific projects. Job costing allows you to monitor expenses related to materials, labor, equipment, and subcontractors.
      • Invoicing and Billing: The construction industry is complex due to the different project structures and timelines. The best construction accounting software has robust invoicing and payment features that streamline these processes with accurate invoices, payment milestone tracking, and easy order changes.
      • Payroll Management: Accounting software for construction helps streamline the complexities of payroll calculations, tax deductions, and compliance. It ensures accurate payments to employees and subcontractors, reducing the risk of errors and legal issues.
      • Project Management Integration: This bridges the gap between financial data and project management progress, enabling real-time insights into project costs, timelines, and budgets. Syncing these helps track resources, detect delays, and prevent cost overruns.
      • Compliance and Taxation: Construction accounting software should address industry-specific compliance requirements, such as sales tax on construction materials and payroll taxes.
      • Actionable Data Analytics: Data-driven insights are key to making informed decisions. With in-depth analytics, you can delve beyond numbers and gain insights into project profitability, resource allocation, cost trends, and financial health.
      • Customization: The best construction accounting software lets you tailor the system to your specific workflows, terminology, and business rules. Customization enhances efficiency, accuracy, and user adoption by providing a solution that aligns precisely with your needs.

      Top 5 Reasons You Need Construction Accounting Software in 2024

      Discover the top five reasons why incorporating the best construction accounting software into your operations is more than just an option — it’s a critical move toward achieving outstanding construction management.

      1. Error Reduction: The best construction accounting software is important for reducing errors. For instance, it automates the reconciliation process with bank and credit card statements — minimizing errors from manual data entry and improving data accuracy. Software in this industry can really help your team avoid errors.
      2. Effective Project Management: Integrated construction software simplifies project management by overseeing all aspects, including document management, resource allocation, and project delivery. Cloud storage makes recording and accessing project details effortless.
      3. Task Scheduling: Keeping the entire team well-informed is paramount in an industry where slight deviations can lead to significant delays. Construction management software offers real-time project maps and schedule updates — and even sends reminder alerts for deadlines and updates.
      4. Improved Communication: Construction management software centralizes project data and streamlines communication, eliminating the need for multiple communication channels and ensuring everyone is on the same page. Moreover, they facilitate teamwork with sharing and commenting capabilities. Software in this industry should help all team members stay connected.
      5. Saves Time: Software in the construction industry should save you time. Keeping track of finances, monitoring expenses, and creating reports can be very time-consuming when done manually. However, accounting software automates numerous tasks, such as data entry, invoicing, payroll calculations, and financial reporting to streamline your administrative processes.

      Contractor Accounting Software FAQs

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      Krishi Chowdhary
      Tech Expert

      Krishi Chowdhary has half a decade of experience writing buying guides and product reviews for numerous leading technology websites. He spent two years writing for Business2Community.com before joining Techopedia.com. He has a degree in Commerce and extensive experience in the technology industry. He's also the key driver behind TechReport.com's news content, delivering expertise insight into the latest tech and cybersecurity news daily.