The 8 Best Accounting Software for Contractors of 2020

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Accounting software is used by businesses to track income and expenses, and accounting software for contractors is no different. However, it also performs industry-specific functions like itemizing receipts, tracking project-specific finances, performing payroll functions, managing subcontractor budgets, and staying in compliance with tax laws and union guidelines. Accounting software for contractors is also available on the go and on-site.

We reviewed 20 accounting software platforms for contractors and chose the best eight based on criteria including the contractor-specific features offered, how easy to use the software is, and pricing. Keep reading to see which contractor accounting software is right for your business. 

The 8 Best Accounting Software for Contractors of 2020

Best Overall: Sage 100 Contractor

Sage 100 Contractor

Sage 100 Contractor

Sage was started in the 1990s and was used primarily by CPAs until it was rebranded in 2012 as Sage 100, which is specifically geared toward contractors in the construction industry. It’s used by small and medium-sized businesses and their accountants. It offers accounting software as well as human resources (HR) software, project management, estimating solutions, financial management, and real estate software. 

Sage 100 is the best overall accounting software for contractors because of its wide range of features and in-depth accounting solutions tailored to contractors. It also has a proven reputation in the construction field and continuously updates and improves its products.

Sage 100 can be used by contractors with little to no accounting experience and it offers free training and webinars to help users learn its products as well as how to integrate it with other software like QuickBooks. It offers customizable human capital management, full payroll services, and you can easily allocate revenue and expenses to different projects and company divisions. 

Other Sage 100 features include:

  • Export budgets
  • Track overtime hours
  • Accounts receivable and payable and general ledger
  • Project work center
  • Integrated estimating
  • Access to real-time data
  • Tool watch to reduce tool loss
  • Dashboard view with forecasted cash flow

Pricing for one user starts at $115 per month, but that price can increase based on what features you need and the number of users. It’s best to contact the company to discuss your needs and get an accurate pricing quote.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: CMiC

CMiC

CMiC

CMiC was founded in Ontario, Canada, in 1974 as a computer software company providing construction companies and contractors with enterprise software. It is used by businesses of all sizes from small independent contractors to global construction firms. It’s easy to use and doesn’t require any bookkeeping experience. 

We chose CMiC as our runner-up for best overall accounting software for contractors because of its robust features specifically for contractors and its more than 40 years of experience in the industry. It can help scale your business and automates tasks such as payroll and receipt entries. 

You can allocate resources and expenses to different projects and even different divisions, and it can be easily integrated with other applications and financial institutions. It even includes pre-built integrations and integration adapters that make the process easier. 

Some of CMiC's features include:

  • Accounts receivable and payable
  • General ledger
  • Optimize spending tools
  • Manage cash flow
  • Budgeting
  • Automated financial controls 
  • Bid and drawing management 

Pricing isn’t available upfront. Instead, you need to contact CMiC so they can custom build a plan for you that is based on volume, features needed, and the type of company you have.

Best for Solopreneurs: Contractor Foreman

Contractor Foreman

Contractor Foreman

Contractor Foreman is an all-in-one software solution designed for contractors to use on their phones, tablets, and computers. It’s integrated, cloud-based software that also offers estimate tools and a custom dashboard. It offers a free trial period with a 100-day money-back guarantee and is used in over 50 countries. It also offers free training and separate software for subcontractors and requires no accounting knowledge to use. It includes incident reports and OSHA guidelines and has features that are focused on job safety.

We chose Contractor Foreman as the best construction accounting software for solopreneurs because it’s designed specifically for small and medium-sized companies, offers a free option and affordable tiered versions, and houses project management and accounting software on one platform so a solopreneur can easily access and update financials on-the-go. It’s integrated with QuickBooks and includes time cards with GPS but not full payroll services. However, since it does not offer a payroll feature, you will need to use it in conjunction with other software if you need that service.  

Contractor Foreman's features also include:

  • Progress billing
  • Estimates and invoicing
  • Overtime tracking
  • Wage and billing rates
  • Restrict who can see and edit each item
  • Accounts payable and receivable
  • Scheduling and planning features 

Pricing is as follows:

  • Standard: $49/month with three allowed users
  • Plus: $87/month with eight allowed users
  • Pro: $123/month with 15 allowed users
  • Unlimited: $148/month with unlimited users

Contact the company for specific features included in each tier and to find out more about the free trial period.

Best for Subcontractors: FreeAgent

FreeAgent

FreeAgent

FreeAgent is an accounting software made specifically for small businesses, freelancers, and their accountants. It’s cloud-based, offers an app, and is used by multiple industries including retail, e-commerce, and construction. 

Unlike some of the other software on our list, it’s not made specifically for the construction industry. However, we chose it as our best accounting software for subcontractors because it’s easy to use, is customizable for contractors, and it offers a free trial and affordable plans. This makes it ideal for subcontractors to stay on top of their financials without investing too much time or money. Although it may not offer as many accounting features as other software, it offers enough for subcontractors and provides great value.

It’s designed for small business owners to be able to manage their business finances on-the-go while also being organized and efficient. It doesn’t require any bookkeeping experience and it offers a user dashboard where you can see key data on one screen. Accountants can set up automatic recurring invoices to send to clients, and it includes payroll functions and integrations with multiple apps and programs, including ReceiptBank, Stripe, and PayPal. 

Some of FreeAgent’s additional functions include:

  • Accounts payable and receivable
  • Estimates and invoicing
  • Professionally designed templates
  • Automatic bank transactions with no data entry
  • Understanding cash-flow tools
  • Administrative to-do list
  • Business insight with radar
  • Sales tax reporting

Pricing for FreeAgent is $12 per month for six months, and then it increases to $24 per month. There is a 30-day free trial available to determine if you like the product.

Best for Extra Features: COINS

COINS

COINS

COINS has been in business for more than three decades and offers accounting software for the construction industry. It’s used by contractors, home builders, specialty and general contractors, engineers, and more. It offers accounting, project management, operations, and supply chain management solutions. 

COINS is our top choice for the best accounting software for contractors with extra features because of all the extra features contractors use including an HR division, tools to manage subcontractors’ time and wages, project management, and managing and storing drawing sets. 

It is designed to be simple for anyone to use, regardless of accounting experience. It has a separate division dedicated to payroll services and it can allocate revenue and expenses on a per-project basis. 

COINS' features include:

  • Accounts payable and accounts receivable
  • General ledger
  • 1099 forms generated for tax time
  • Maintain compliance levels
  • Accrue finance charges
  • Manage the particular requirements of specialty contractors
  • Automated job cost updates with billings and cash receipts
  • Reporting and business intelligence
  • Sales order processing
  • Job profitability tools
  • Job management reports

COINS doesn’t publicize its pricing information but instead offers custom pricing based on your company’s needs and volume. You can contact the company directly to come up with software that fits your budget.

Best for Established Contractors: Jonas Enterprise

Jonas Enterprise

Jonas Enterprise 

Jonas Enterprise is part of the Jonas Construction Software Company which was founded in 1990 in Canada with the goal of building a better-integrated construction software solution. It’s now a division of Constellation Software, Inc., and is used throughout North America by electrical contractors, plumbing, HVAC, general contractors, excavator, heavy highway, and specialty contractors. 

We chose Jonas Enterprise as our best accounting software for established contractors because of its robust feature offerings, integrations and tools, and industry reputation. It includes payroll features and full integration with other popular apps and software including PlanGrid. However, it is costly, so subcontractors or contractors with new or small businesses might want to pick a different option. 

Jonas Enterprise software is cloud-based and can be used by multiple companies and divisions to allocate revenue and expenses between jobs. It also includes a customizable management dashboard that can be tailored to your business’s needs and requires no prior accounting experience to use. 

Other Jonas Enterprise features include:

  • Job costing
  • Multiple deployment methods
  • Payroll and union reporting
  • Accounts payable and receivable
  • Scheduling tools
  • Subcontractor control
  • Project management
  • General ledger
  • Automatic check printing

Pricing for Jonas Enterprise starts at $30,000 as a one-time implementation fee. For more details and custom plans, contact the company directly.

Best on the Go: Acumatica

Acumatica

Acumatica

Acumatica was founded in Bellevue, Washington, in 2008 as an enterprise resource planning software company. It’s designed for small and medium-sized businesses including general and specialty contractors and construction companies as well as distribution, manufacturing, e-commerce, and retail industries.

Acumatica is our top choice for on-the-go accounting software for contractors because it offers a software version specifically for the construction industry that can be used at any time from any device. It also offers a complete view of your business from an accounting and project management viewpoint in real-time.

It is cloud-based and offers users an app with an all-inclusive user licensing model. No accounting experience is needed to use the software, and it’s easily integrated with the software you may already use including DocuSign, Microsoft Office, and Procore. It offers payroll services, and you can allocate revenue and expenses across job sites. A unique feature is that there are no per-user fees, so you can use it collaboratively between teams and employees. 

Additional Acumatica features include:

  • Manage labor and budgets
  • Scheduling tools
  • Inventory control
  • Job cost accounting
  • Project management
  • Manage costs
  • Reports and forecasts
  • Accurate tax calculations

Pricing isn’t offered upfront and is instead customized and based on the resources and applications you want to use, the type of license you need, business volume, and data storage, along with the number of users.

Best for Mid-Sized Contractors: RedTeam

RedTeam

RedTeam

RedTeam is a software company based in Orlando, Florida, founded in 2006 by the owner of a commercial construction company that wanted to create software that contractors would find useful. It’s designed for the construction industry and offers accounting and project management for specialty and general contractors and construction companies on one collaborative platform. It has over 100,000 users and also offers pre-construction and field management tools.

RedTeam is our choice for the best accounting software for mid-sized contractors because it offers plenty of accounting features and can be easily integrated with other software if it’s missing something you need. Its pricing is mid-range compared with some of the other choices and will be suitable for most mid-sized companies, but might be too expensive for the solopreneur. 

RedTeam can be integrated with other programs including QuickBooks Online, Sage, DocuSign, and more. Other RedTeam features include:

  • Accounts receivable and payable
  • Paperless invoice approvals
  • Cost-plus billing
  • Preloaded contracts for customer compliance
  • Estimating
  • Change orders
  • A subcontractor platform
  • Daily reports and incident reporting
  • Tools to help you stay up to date on best practices
  • ROI calculator

Pricing for RedTeam starts at $3,500 per year based on a $2 million ACV or lower. You’ll need to contact the company for specific details and features. Make sure you also ask about their price-lock guarantee.

What Is Accounting Software for Contractors?

Accounting software for contractors is a type of specialty, industry-specific accounting software that performs the often complex functions that are necessary for the industry. It helps a contractor comply with tax law, keep track of revenue and expenses on each job site, itemize receipts automatically, perform payroll duties, and much more. 

It’s essential to keep your business organized so you can spend more time on money-making activities. It helps with tracking your business finances to ensure you’re profitable and meeting tax deadlines. 

Why Do Contractors Need Accounting Software?

“A contractor should use accounting software in order to stay organized. If they are acting as a subcontractor then the general contractor will want a report on all their costs for the project for invoicing/tracking purposes, and accounting software can help with that,” says Andrew Wilson, Contractor, Contractor Advisorly.

Accounting software will help contractors keep reports and financial records in one place, including receipts. It will help calculate accounts receivable and accounts payable as well as per-job expenses and revenue. It can also automate payroll, maintain compliance with tax laws and union requirements, and improve overall efficiency. 

Solopreneur contractors, general contractors, specialty contractors, subcontractors, and contractors who own small businesses can all benefit from accounting software. 

How Much Does Accounting Software Cost?

Accounting software for contractors varies in pricing based on your needs, volume, company size, or how many users will access the software. Some companies don’t offer flat-rate or upfront pricing; rather, you’ll need to contact the company to get custom pricing. 

For the companies that do offer upfront pricing, expect to pay around $12 to $49 per month, with some software costing several hundred dollars per month. Most companies charge per user and bill monthly, while others require an annual commitment. Also keep in mind that some companies might charge a one-time implementation fee, which can be as high as $30,000. 

How Is Accounting Software Different for Contractors?

Accounting software is used by many small business owners in multiple industries. It’s different for contractors because it needs to meet their industry-specific needs and fit in their budget. It may offer many of the same features of accounting software for construction companies but needs to be easy to use and affordable for a solopreneur or a small business, not a large company. It should also be accessible on-the-go and on-site. 

Some accounting software programs offer accounting and project management software on one platform and may include things like accounts receivable and payable, automated receipt categorization, 1099 forms, and job-cost accounting. It should also include help with payroll, integration with other apps, invoice tracking, and revenue allocation between projects, and be accessible by multiple users.

How We Chose the Best Accounting Software for Contractors

With so many different choices on the market, it’s hard to know which accounting software for contractors to choose. We researched them for you, reviewed 20 software programs, and chose the top eight based on pricing, ease of use, functions offered, mobile features, and ability to integrate with other software.

All of the candidates on our list are affordable for small businesses as well as large-scale companies and are cloud-based, making it easy to save data and access it on-site. These accounting software platforms help contractors manage project-specific budgets, payroll, and other costs.