The 7 Best Construction Accounting Software for Construction Companies in 2021

If your construction business has outgrown generic accounting software, one of these seven contractor-specific software solutions can help.
Best overall
Jonas Premier Logo
Jonas Premier
4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2
$199.00/user/mo.
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Built-in accounting
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Job costing
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Subcontractor management
Best HR
CMiC Logo
CMiC
3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7
Contact for quote
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Built-in accounting
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Job costing
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Subcontractor management
Most features
COINS logo
COINS
3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7
Contact for quote
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Built-in accounting
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Job costing
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Subcontractor management
Best customer management
Buildertrend Logo
Buildertrend
3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6
$99.00/mo.
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Third-party accounting integration
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Job costing
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Subcontractor management
Best for contractors
Sage
Sage 100
3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6
Contact for quote
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Built-in accounting
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Job costing
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Subcontractor management

Data as of 3/28/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

The best construction accounting software does more than track your finances. Instead, contractor-based accounting software guides you through every step of a project, from construction job costing to invoicing and tracking subcontractors. Since this software tackles so many tasks (and takes up a good chunk of your monthly budget), signing up for the right product is crucial.

When we considered pricing, ease of use, accounting features, and construction-specific tools, Jonas Premier emerged as the best accounting software for construction companies in 2021. It’s far from the only option, though—read on for our review of Jonas Premier and six other top-notch construction accounting solutions.

2021’s best construction accounting software

Compare the best accounting software for contractors in 2021

Starting price
Built-in accounting
Mobile app
Learn more
Jonas Premier Logo

Jonas Premier

$189.00/user/mo.*YesYes
CMiC Logo

CMiC

Contact for quoteYesYes
COINS logo

COINS

Contact for quoteYesYes
Buildertrend Logo

Buildertrend

$99.00/mo.**Quickbooks or Xero IntegrationYes
Sage

Sage 100

Contact for quoteYesNo

Data as of 3/28/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*With annual commitment
**For the first three months

Construction-specific accounting software is usually just one component of a total ERP (enterprise resource planning) solution. ERP software for construction and contractors should help you with job costing, subcontractor management, project management, and other tasks unique to the construction industry. It should also offer at least the accounting basics, such as general ledger creation, estimating, and invoices.

Construction accounting software is crucial for big companies that work with general contractors—not for subcontractors themselves. (If you are a subcontractor, you likely don’t need a hefty ERP construction solution, and we have a few alternatives  that could work better for you.) To learn more about accounting and get more options, check out the following articles:

Jonas Premier: Best overall

Jonas Premier Logo
Jonas Premier
4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2

Starting price: $189.00/user/mo.

  • Built-in accounting features
  • Project management and scheduling
  • Extensive training and customer service

Data as of 3/28/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Along with the typical features you should expect from high-quality ERP construction software, like job costing and reporting, Jonas Premier includes a spectrum of unique perks:

  • Multi-company, multi-division, and inter-company accounting
  • Automation of repetitive, time-consuming tasks (like cost reversals)
  • Collaborative subcontractor pay applications

Where Jonas Premier really stands out is in its training. For six weeks, you’ll get thorough one-on-one software instruction, which continues with unlimited customer support and group training. Few software companies offer that level of product training or customer care.

The costs do add up, however. While Jonas Premier’s features are well worth the monthly price of $189 per user, its one-time implementation fee starts at $20,000. Instead of including built-in construction payroll, the company recommends integrating with ADP (which is also one of our favorite payroll solutions). But using a third-party payroll provider costs an additional monthly fee, and ADP is on the pricier end of outsourced payroll. And Premier also charges an extra $25 per user per month to use its mobile app. 

In other words, Jonas Premier likely won’t work for startups or contracting businesses with a revenue beneath $3 million.

Pros
Pro Bullet Comprehensive accounting features
Pro Bullet Comprehensive project management features
Pro Bullet Change orders and purchase orders
Cons
Con Bullet Limited built-in payroll
Con Bullet Higher upfront cost

CMiC: Best HR

CMiC Logo
CMiC
3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7

Starting price: Contact for quote

  • Built-in accounting and project management
  • Thorough human capital management system
  • Job costing and purchase orders

CMiC’s comprehensive HR features help set it apart from the rest of the contractor accounting software crowd. The software’s human capital management (HCM) system supports every stage of employee growth, from recruiting to onboarding, retirement, and more. While CMiC takes care of construction payroll for you, it also integrates with popular platforms like Workday that you may already be using.

However, CMiC has lower user reviews than both Jonas Premier and COINS. On the consumer review site Trustradius, CMiC users report poor customer service, problems with product updates, and difficulty with the invoicing feature.1

Pros
Pro Bullet Comprehensive human resource features
Pro Bullet Built-in accounting and payroll processing
Pro Bullet Budgeting, forecasting, and enterprise planning
Cons
Con Bullet Poor customer service

COINS: Most features

COINS logo
COINS
3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7

Starting price: Contact for quote

  • Built-in accounting and project management
  • Built-in payroll and other HR features
  • Job costing and sales orders

COINS is one of the most fully featured accounting software options for contractors and construction teams. Along with its thorough accounting and project management features, it offers a host of HR services—including payroll. COINS also supports supply chain management, opportunity management, assets management, and service management. 

While COINS clearly has a lot going for it, it’s not as user-friendly as some other software options (most notably Jonas Premier). While customers like its clear dashboard and straightforward financial statements, COINS struggled to get users up to speed during its last update. The learning curve seems a bit steeper than QuickBooks or Sage.

COINS’s software pricing isn’t listed online, so you’ll need to contact the company directly for a quote. We couldn’t find any third-party sources with estimated pricing, either, which likely means the starting cost is both highly individualized and quite high.

Pros
Pro Bullet Extensive accounting and management features
Pro Bullet Supply chain management
Pro Bullet HR features, including built-in payroll
Cons
Con Bullet Higher learning curve than some software options
Con Bullet High starting price

Buildertrend: Best customer management

Buildertrend Logo
Buildertrend
3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6

Starting price: $99.00/mo.

  • Client collaboration portal
  • Project management and job costing
  • Three plans

Data as of 3/28/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

If simple client collaboration is one of your top priorities, consider making Buildertrend your top pick. With Buildertrend’s comprehensive client portal, your customers can access information about their project anytime, send messages, sign documents electronically, make project-related decisions online, and even fill out surveys that send you fast feedback.

Buildertrend also has the basic construction accounting software features you should expect, like job costing and project management. However, only the pricier Pro plan includes change orders and purchase orders. You also can’t track bids, warranties, or bills with the cheaper Core plan.

Unfortunately, Buildertrend also has limited accounting tools. You can create invoices, take payments online, and set a basic budget, but that’s it. The software integrates easily with QuickBooks Online or Xero (both of which are great accounting picks), but both add an additional monthly fee. Plus, Buildertrend starts at an affordable $99 a month—but for the first three months only. After that, your price goes up to $299 a month (or $499 a month if you started with the pricier plan).

Pros
Pro Bullet Collaborative client portal
Pro Bullet Multiple plans for scalability
Pro Bullet Mobile app to connect with employees in the field
Cons
Con Bullet Limited accounting features
Con Bullet Price doubles or triples after first three months
Con Bullet Change orders and purchase orders with more expensive plans only

Sage 100 Contractor: Best for contractors

Sage
Buildertrend
3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6

Starting price: Contact for quote

  • Built-in accounting and payroll features
  • Project management and scheduling
  • Change orders and purchase orders

Do the enterprise-centric solutions on our list offer more than you need? Sage 100 Contractor was built specifically for small to midsize contracting businesses. If you previously used spreadsheets to store your financial data, copying that data over takes just a few seconds. The program also includes built-in features like field management and employee time-tracking. (In contrast, software like QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise requires you to get these add-ons from a third party.)

Sage’s construction software isn’t flawless, of course. Most notably, according to user reviews on Trustpilot, Sage 100’s reports and equipment features are hard to customize or have a high learning curve.2 And while Sage 100 Contractor uses a program called Sage ToolOps to let off-site technicians log their hours and access updated information, it lacks a true mobile app like Jonas Premier’s.  

While Sage 100 Contractor doesn’t list its pricing online, user reviews indicate it starts at around $99 a month.

Pros
Pro Bullet Comprehensive accounting features
Pro Bullet Built-in payroll management
Pro Bullet Change orders and purchase orders
Cons
Con Bullet No true mobile app
Con Bullet Higher learning curve than some options
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Contractor accounting software honorable mentions

Dissatisfied with our top five picks above? The construction accounting software sea is wide—here are two more options for your consideration.

2021’s best construction accounting software: honorable mentions

  • QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise
  • Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate

Honorable mentions: Best accounting construction software

Brand
Starting price
Built-in accounting
Mobile app
Learn more
Sage

Sage 300

Contact for quoteNoNo
Quickbooks

QuickBooks Desktop

$1,655.00/yr.NoNo

Data as of 3/28/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*For an additional fee

Honorable mention: Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate (CRE)

Sage
Sage 300 CRE
3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2

Starting price: Contact for quote

  • Developer and property manager tools
  • 1,400+ reports
  • Customizable features

Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate (or simply Sage 300 CRE) was built for groups that oversee the entire development of a specific property—which means it works for general contractors, developers, real estate agents, and property managers. To serve the needs of each type of user, the software naturally goes heavy on reporting: on top of the 1,400 premade reports, you can create and customize your own. 

Like all Sage products, Sage 300 CRE is easy to use with solid customer support. It also integrates with CRM tools to support your business’s growth. However, Sage 300 CRE is fairly limited compared to other construction ERP software. It doesn’t integrate easily with payroll or inventory management. And its fairly broad audience means it doesn’t focus as specifically on contractors and construction companies.

QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise Contractor Edition

Quickbooks
QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise Contractor Edition
2.8 out of 5 stars
2.8

Starting price: $1,655.00/yr.

  • Job costing
  • Contractor-specific chart of accounts
  • Change order management

Data as of 3/28/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise is a good compromise between hefty software plans like Jonas Premier and generic cloud-based accounting software like FreshBooks or Xero. Along with basic accounting tools, QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise’s contractor-specific software includes construction job costing, a contractor-specific chart of accounts, cash flow management, and change order management.

However, QuickBooks Enterprise isn’t a full featured ERP solution. It mainly sticks to basic invoicing, billing, and job costing. You can add on a few features, like payroll, inventory management, and mobile access, but they all cost an additional fee or require you to upgrade to a pricier plan.

In other words, QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise’s contractor-specific plan will work for solopreneurs. But once your construction company starts to grow, you’ll definitely want to upgrade to a thorough ERP solution.

Construction accounting software FAQ

What is the best accounting software for construction?

Jonas Premier is a fully featured accounting system for midsize and enterprise-level construction companies. Its mobile app keeps you connected to workers in the field. With its thorough one-on-one software training and dedicated account managers, it’s easy to get customer support exactly when you need it.

But Jonas Premier isn’t the only contractor accounting software solution, which means it might not be the best contractor software for you. For instance, if you need an affordable, collaborative ERP solution, Buildertrend might be a better fit. Or if you’ve just started subcontracting, you might be fine with bookkeeping software like QuickBooks Online or Xero.

What is the best accounting software for small construction businesses or subcontractors?

Sage 100 Contractor focuses on accounting and budgeting tools that help you grow your business. It also leaves off features that not all small construction businesses need, like extensive human resources management. (That also means it better fits the budgets of small construction businesses.)

Sage 100 Contractor isn’t the only accounting choice for small construction companies, though. Depending on how small your business is, a mid-tier FreshBooks or QuickBooks plan might be enough to maintain and grow your business’s profitability.

And if you’re a subcontractor, we recommend looking at general accounting software that includes job costing features. Learn more in our best self-employed accounting software article.

Is QuickBooks good for construction businesses?

QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise Contractor Edition is . . . fine. It focuses mainly on accounting instead of on HR, customer relationship management, or other construction-specific features—so if construction bookkeeping is your primary need, then yes, we’d say QuickBooks Desktop could be a good fit.

But if you run a midsize, large, or enterprise-level business, you’ll need more features than QuickBooks can provide. We recommend Jonas Premier, CMiC, or another construction ERP software instead.

The takeaway

Accounting software for construction companies and contractors does more than help you pay bills on time and send batch invoices. Ideally, its features help you keep employees and subcontractors happy, track builds from start to finish, and proactively collaborate with your clients to produce an end result you’re all thrilled with.

Jonas Premier can help you tackle all three of those tasks—and many more—but construction accounting isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation. If you’re looking for a complete HR system to support your growing employee base, CMiC could be a better option. There’s also COINS for extensive construction bookkeeping features, Buildertrend for great customer management, and Sage 100 Contractor for smaller contracting companies just getting underway.

Whichever construction accounting software you settle on, we recommend requesting a demo, grilling your customer service rep, and signing up for a free trial whenever possible. You deserve the best construction bookkeeping and ERP software for your business—and those steps will go a long way towards helping you find it.

Related content

Methodology

To find the best accounting software for contractors and construction companies, we weighed four different factors: pricing, ease of use, accounting-specific features, and construction- and contractor-specific features.

Disclaimer

At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don't guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.

Sources

  1. Trustradius, “CMiC Construction Platform Reviews.” Accessed March 28, 2021.
  2. Trustradius, “Sage 100 Contractor Reviews.” Accessed March 28, 2021.
Kylie McQuarrie
Written by
Kylie McQuarrie
Kylie is an accounting writer for Business.org. Kylie spent two of the last four years writing for and with small-business owners—from dentists in Australia to plumbers in the Midwest. She spent the other two writing in depth about internet and security. She’s passionate about reading, hiking, and dedicating every spare second to writing for fun (at lunch, between meetings, on the train, before breakfast . . . ). Her content helps small-business owners tackle the logistics of running a business so they can focus more on their passions too.
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