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Which QuickBooks is best for construction?

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Which QuickBooks is best for construction businesses – specifically your construction business? Find out in this article. 

Is QuickBooks good for a construction company’s needs? Simply put, you can’t go wrong with one of the most popular accounting software choices in the world. The hard part is determining which QuickBooks is best for construction businesses. 

When it comes to QuickBooks for construction, three options should be at the top of your list:

  • QuickBooks Contractor Edition.
  • QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise.
  • QuickBooks Online Advanced.

This article will determine which QuickBooks is best for construction companies to help you choose the best accounting platform for your business.

You’ll also learn how to use QuickBooks for construction tasks to ensure you get the most out of it. 

Finally, you’ll discover the best way to enhance QuickBooks’ capabilities to allow the platform to grow with your success.

Is QuickBooks good for a construction company?

There’s one question to ask before figuring out which QuickBooks is best for construction businesses: Is QuickBooks good for a construction company’s overall needs?

QuickBooks is a great choice for construction companies to keep track of revenue and manage their accounting. Specific tasks you can use QuickBooks for include:

  • Assigning direct costs to jobs. 
  • Comparing estimates with actual costs. 
  • Tracking budgets for jobs. 
  • Progress billing, to invoice in stages. 

Let’s discuss how to use QuickBooks for construction business workflows in more detail.

How to use QuickBooks for construction

Knowing how to set up QuickBooks for a construction company determines how well QuickBooks works for your business. 

There are a variety of workflows that QuickBooks automates, simplifies, and overall improves. Here are the top three. 

Automate accounting tasks

QuickBooks’ main job is to handle your accounting tasks. The software does so by eliminating the need for paperwork and leveraging the power of automation.

With QuickBooks Online in particular, your data securely syncs across all of your devices, minimizing your manual work.

QuickBooks automates your accounting tasks by letting you:

  • Set up recurring invoices.
  • Automatically process credit card payments. 
  • Send overdue payment reminders when invoices are past due.

Manage contractors and subcontractors

Managing contractors and subcontractors is a job on its own. Luckily, when you get a hang of how to use QuickBooks for construction, managing subcontractors becomes much simpler. 

QuickBooks Online allows you to send subcontractors a request to add their W-9 forms and tax ID information, saving you time from having to do it yourself.  

Better yet, use a QuickBooks subcontractor CRM to keep track of all your subcontractor data from one place. 

Set yourself up for success during tax season

QuickBooks lets you set up your construction workflows with tax season in mind. 

For example, with your subcontractors’ information already in QuickBooks, it’s easy to stay on top of your 1099 forms when tax season rolls around. The same goes for payroll taxes if you keep them up-to-date in QuickBooks throughout the year. 

You can also organize income and expenses into tax categories. As tax season approaches, you can either share your books with your accountant, or export those essential documents. 

Now that you know how to use QuickBooks for construction, it’s time to figure out which QuickBooks is best for construction and contractor businesses. 

Comparing plans: Which QuickBooks is best for construction?

Figuring out how to set up QuickBooks for a construction company requires you to determine which QuickBooks is best for construction in general.

To help you out, we looked at the top three QuickBooks choices for construction purposes. 

QuickBooks Contractor Edition

To compare which QuickBooks is best for construction, we’ll start with QuickBooks Contractor. 

There’s little need to figure out how to use QuickBooks for construction with this version. QuickBooks Contractor is QuickBooks’ way of recognizing a need for a construction accounting software product by providing a construction-specific edition of QuickBooks Enterprise.

QuickBooks Contractor has all the features of QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise, but also has additional features specific to the construction industry.

Firstly, this version of QuickBooks allows you to automate and organize your work orders more efficiently, with features that allow you to:

  • View all of your open purchase orders by vendors at a glance. 
  • Track changes to existing job estimates.
  • Create custom fields for sales forms.

QuickBooks Contractor also lets you control job costs and monitor your job profitability more accurately thanks to these key features:

  • The ability to move your estimates into quotes.
  • Complete visibility into expenses not currently assigned to a job.
  • Access to percent-complete and cost-to-complete information for each job. 

A good fit for…

Construction and contracting businesses with large construction projects that use QuickBooks for the majority of their workflows. 

Not suited for…

Construction managers looking for cloud-based software, as QuickBooks Contractor must be used on the computer it’s installed on. 

QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise

Our next stop to determine which QuickBooks is best for construction is QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise. 

QuickBooks Desktop (QBD) is the most feature-rich version of QuickBooks. QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise is a more advanced version of QBD.

What makes QBD a great option for construction businesses is that it has detailed features that contractors need, such as:

  • Job costing.
  • Expense tracking.
  • Budgeting and forecasting.
  • Inventory management.

QBD Enterprise takes these features one step further with advanced inventory, pricing, and invoicing. This makes it easier than ever to keep track of materials and equipment, and using automated invoices means you get paid faster.

Another one of QBD Enterprise’s strengths is reporting. QBD Enterprise’s advanced reporting provides deep insights into your business. You can modify one of the 200+ built-in report templates available, and save customizable reports as templates to run them anytime. 

You can also take advantage of the Contractor Edition reports feature, which includes 19 additional custom-built reports for contractors. 

A good fit for…

Construction businesses with complex accounting needs and those who want to build detailed reports. 

Not suited for…

Those who want to look at their data in a consolidated way, as QBD allows for limited integrations compared to other versions. As with QuickBooks Contractor Edition, it must be used on the computer it’s installed on.

QuickBooks Online Advanced

Is QuickBooks Online good for contractors on the go? The answer is absolutely.

QuickBooks Online (QBO) is a cloud-based version of the accounting platform. QuickBooks Online Advanced makes the software scalable for larger businesses. 

QBO Advanced simplifies accounting tasks by integrating with over 750 other software solutions. You also gain deeper insights into your business with custom dashboards and charts.

Beyond that, QBO Advanced is more user friendly than the Desktop versions. It even comes with a mobile app, making it ideal for construction managers on the job.

A good fit for…

Those who don’t want to spend a lot of time figuring out how to use QuickBooks for construction and want something simple. QBO Advanced is also for those looking for flexibility and versatility in the way they work in QuickBooks.

Not suited for…

Complex accounting needs. While it’s advanced, some of the software’s features aren’t as developed as in the Desktop versions of QuickBooks.

While these three versions of QuickBooks each have their advantages for your construction business, they also have their shortcomings. 

The good news is that there are other construction accounting software options that improve the way you work in QuickBooks, as well as your overall business workflows. One of those options is Method:CRM.

Go beyond QuickBooks’ limitations with Method:CRM

Method:CRM is the #1 QuickBooks CRM for construction and contractors. Why does it hold this title? Due to the software’s two-way QuickBooks sync.

Here’s how it works: When you make an update in QuickBooks, that update will automatically show up in Method for your team to see. The same process works in reverse – updates in Method automatically show up in QuickBooks. 

So what does that mean for the construction industry? Essentially, you no longer need to learn how to use QuickBooks for construction.

Method provides an opportunity to use QuickBooks as more than an accounting software. This is done by integrating QuickBooks with Method and taking advantage of Method’s long list of features, including:

  • Automated job scheduling. 
  • Unlimited customization for a personalized solution.
  • The ability to convert estimates into invoices. 
  • Online portals to empower your customers and free up your accounting. 
  • Payment gateways for simplified payment processing. 
  • Native integrations with Gmail, Outlook, Zapier, and more. 

The result? An all-in-one central system where you can operate your entire construction business.

The best part is that no matter your decision on which QuickBooks is best for construction, you can enhance your experience with Method’s robust features. 

Method:CRM fills the integration gap with QuickBooks Desktop. Its two-way sync with QBD acts as the bridge between your accounting software and your other business tools, so that you can keep all of your information in one place. 

For QBO users, Method makes your business accounting software even more convenient thanks to additional integrations and a mobile app. Method also strengthens QBOs limited reporting capabilities as it allows you to create custom reports personalized for your business.

Lastly, if you’re still debating between Xero vs QuickBooks for contractor needs, Method works with both software options, making it one less obstacle between you and your perfect solution. 

QuickBooks for construction FAQs

Which QuickBooks is best for independent contractors?

QuickBooks Online is the best version for independent contractors. 

Determining which QuickBooks is best for construction companies and independent contractors differs due to the needs of each business. Independent contractors are self-employed, and need simple software that keeps track of jobs and expenses.

Beyond that, QuickBooks Online’s mobility makes it another top choice for independent contractors who are always on the go. 

Does QuickBooks have construction contracts?

QuickBooks does not have construction contracts. In fact, they recommend that you use a third-party app for this purpose. Is QuickBooks good for a construction company if it doesn’t include construction contracts? Some would argue no.

On the bright side, Method:CRM allows you to make custom templates that suit your business structure. You can use Method to build construction contracts with custom fields for QuickBooks without compromising your workflows.

What is the difference between QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks Contractor Edition?

The difference between QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks Contractor Edition is the additional contractor-specific features that QuickBooks Contractor offers, including:

  • More efficient work order management. 
  • Better job cost tracking.

However, not every contractor may need these features. These features could be better suited for handyman businesses than contractors. 

So if figuring out which QuickBooks is best for construction comes down to QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks Contractor Edition – QuickBooks Contractor is nice to have, but you can probably get everything you need from QuickBooks Pro.

Bottom line: The best QuickBooks for construction

Hopefully this article has taught you how to use QuickBooks for construction, how to set up QuickBooks for a construction company, and more. 

To wrap up, the answer to “Which QuickBooks is best for construction?” comes down to your specific business needs. 

If you’re looking for construction-specific features, QuickBooks Contractor Edition is for you. If robust features are your priority, QuickBooks Desktop should be your top choice. And if you’re always on the go, then QuickBooks One is your best bet.

No matter which one you choose, enhancing QuickBooks with Method:CRM provides a series of benefits for your business, including:

  • Powerful automation to save time on repetitive tasks. 
  • Increased efficiency to get more done.
  • The ability to streamline processes to keep your business on track. 

Want to see Method:CRM in action? Watch the demo now

Image credit: Mikhail Nilov via Pexels

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