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The Best Accounting Software Services for Contractors in 2023

Updated Oct 17, 2023
Best for Flexible Pricing Plans
  • Six pricing packages
  • Convert estimates to invoices
  • Accept check payments
  • Six pricing packages
  • Convert estimates to invoices
  • Accept check payments
Best for Invoicing
  • Single-screen invoice creation
  • Convert billable hours to invoices
  • Mobile client communication tools
  • Single-screen invoice creation
  • Convert billable hours to invoices
  • Mobile client communication tools
Best or Small Construction Firms
  • Mobile financial reporting
  • Intuitive quoting and time tracking
  • Feature-rich pricing packages
  • Mobile financial reporting
  • Intuitive quoting and time tracking
  • Feature-rich pricing packages
Best for Basic Features
sage company logo
  • Basic invoice and estimate tools
  • User-friendly interface
  • Highly competitive pricing
  • Basic invoice and estimate tools
  • User-friendly interface
  • Highly competitive pricing
Best for Inventory Management
ZarMoney company logo
  • Uniquely powerful inventory tools
  • Track billable hours
  • Generate invoices from estimates
  • Uniquely powerful inventory tools
  • Track billable hours
  • Generate invoices from estimates

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Construction firms have unique and dynamic accounting needs, managing the costs of materials and labor against the value of a project. That’s why contractors need the best accounting software with features tailor-made for the construction industry. These are features like inventory management, the ability to convert quotes and estimates to invoices and invoicing based on your team’s hours worked. We tested dozens of leading accounting platforms with an eye on these features and others that can help grow your construction business into a profitable success. Read on for our full analysis.

Compare Our Best Picks

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Our Top Picks for 2023
Zoho Books Accounting Software
FreshBooks Accounting Software
Intuit QuickBooks Online
Use Case

Flexible Pricing Plans


Small Construction Firms

Basic Features

Inventory Management

Starting Price

$15 per month

$8.50 per month, plus $11 per extra team member per month

$15 per month

$7.50 per month

$15 per month

Free Trial Period

14 days

30 days

30 days

30 days

15 days

Invoicing Features

Create quotes or estimates and convert to sales orders and invoices; automate and customize invoices; client payment via cash, check or web; automate payment reminders; request deposits

Create quotes or estimates and convert to invoices; single-
screen custom invoice creation;client payment via most cards, Apple Pay and ACH; automate payment reminders; request deposits; add billable
hours and expenses

Create quotes or estimatesand convert to invoices; customize, automate, and track invoices; add billable hours; send progress invoices and payment reminders; accept online payment

Create quotes or estimates and convert to invoices; automate and track invoices; payment via Stripe

Create quotes or estimates and convert to invoices; use invoice templates; automate and track invoices; client payment via card, PayPal
and Stripe

Time-Tracking Tools

Track billable hours and add to invoices; available with four highest-priced packages

Track billable hours and add to invoices; available with all pricing packages

Track billable hours and add to invoices; available with three highest-priced packages


Track billable hours

Mobile App

Generate and send quotes

Generate, send and track invoices; communicate with clients; track mileage

Generate and send estimates, invoices and reports; accept payments via mobile card reader

Create quotes and estimates; view invoices and add attachments; send payment reminders; manage stock counts


Review Link
Scroll Table

Zoho Books Accounting Software: Best Accounting Software for Flexible Pricing Plans

  • Zoho Books offers six pricing packages, making this software ideal for managing your costs as your construction business incorporates more accounting tools.
  • With almost all Zoho Books plans, you can convert your team’s billable labor hours to invoices.
  • You can generate at most 5,000 invoices per year through Zoho Books. This may impose needless limits on your construction businesses as it grows large enough to take on hundreds or thousands of clients.
Editor's Rating: 8.5/10
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Starting and growing a construction business can be expensive and although you need to spend money to earn money, minimizing costs is key. Zoho Books’ flexible pricing plans, which we found quite feature-rich for their price points, keep your costs low. We like that you can generate quotes or estimates and convert them to invoices no matter which Zoho Books pricing package you choose. We also like that Zoho Books offers more pricing packages that include billable hour tracking and conversion to invoices than nearly any other accounting platform.

We were impressed with how much Zoho Books streamlines invoicing, even for users paying the least possible amount for the platform. It was easy for us to automate recurring invoices and payment reminders, customize our invoices to include company branding and request deposits. We especially liked that Zoho Books provides infrastructure for accepting check payments. Although card and online payments may be more prevalent than checks, some construction clients may still prefer paper payments. With Zoho Books, you get that and so much more.

FreshBooks Accounting Software: Best Accounting Software for Invoicing

  • FreshBooks’ single-screen invoice creation tools make the platform our top pick for invoicing across all industries, not just construction.
  • With FreshBooks, you can track and invoice for billable hours no matter your pricing package.
  • Unlike our other picks for the best accounting software for contractors, FreshBooks charges an additional fee per user, per month. This add-on fee can make FreshBooks prohibitively expensive as your team grows.
Editor's Rating: 9/10
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When it comes to business invoicing, especially for smaller organizations, you just can’t beat FreshBooks. Time and again when we’ve reviewed accounting software, FreshBooks has led the pack in all things invoicing. We remain enthusiastic about the platform’s single-screen invoice creation interface. No contractor wants to jump among tabs and browser windows to create invoices, yet that’s common with most accounting software. However, FreshBooks isolates this all to one tab on your web browser.

FreshBooks also makes it especially hassle-free to convert estimates and quotes to invoices. We can say the same for how easily we converted billable hours to invoices via FreshBooks. Plus, the FreshBooks mobile app is as intuitive when it comes to generating, sending and tracking invoices. We also like that, unlike with other accounting software vendors, FreshBooks includes client communication tools in its mobile app. Whether you’re conducting a site visit or you’re at your desk, FreshBooks gives you everything you need to achieve client payment.

Intuit QuickBooks Online: Best Accounting Software for Small Construction Firms

  • QuickBooks has long been viewed as the gold-standard accounting platform. Its invoicing and time tracking tools parallel or outperform many competitors.
  • QuickBooks’ powerful mobile app includes reporting features unavailable in many competitor apps.
  • To obtain QuickBooks’ 30-day free trial, you must forgo the half-priced first three months that QuickBooks heavily advertises.
Editor's Rating: 9.5/10
Visit Site

QuickBooks is the accounting platform that every competitor strives to match. Invoicing, quotes, estimates and time tracking are all intuitive on this platform. QuickBooks is also comparatively feature-rich at all price points, with its reporting suite outperforming competitors at every tier. The platform’s breadth and depth across its packages make it the best choice for small construction firms.

We’re always impressed with the QuickBooks mobile app every year that we test accounting software; it might be the best accounting mobile app. You can use the app to generate profit and loss reports or pull up your balance sheets, features we didn’t see much with other apps. The app also made it easy to create and send estimates and invoices on the go, so financial management during site visits should be simple. For top-quality accounting software both at your desk and in your pocket, QuickBooks is an unbeatable pick.

Sage: Best Accounting Software for Basic Features

sage company logo
  • Sage Accounting includes primarily core accounting software features, such as quotes, estimates and invoicing.
  • With Sage’s highly competitive prices, you get only the financial tools your construction firm needs, all without breaking the bank.
  • Construction firms may find Sage Accounting’s lack of time tracking tools frustrating. The platform lacks any capacity to track billable hours and build invoices from them. However, Sage Intaact, a separate Sage product, does include this function.
Editor's Rating: 9/10

If your construction firm is in its early stages and needs the most value for the fewest dollars, choose Sage Accounting. We like that this platform never costs more than $25 per month for access to quotes, estimates, invoicing and other basic accounting features. We appreciate that the platform is highly user-friendly, with its narrow suite of features, intuitive interface and low costs affordably streamlining your accounting fundamentals. Although Sage Accounting lacks valuable contractor time tracking tools, upgrading to Sage’s separate, higher-end Intaact platform gives you tools for building invoices from labor hours.

We were impressed that Sage Accounting’s mobile app somewhat holds a candle to competitor apps given the platform’s narrow set of features. You can use the Sage Accounting mobile app to generate quotes and estimates, attach files to your invoices and remind clients to pay. We were particularly happy that we could manage our inventory of construction materials through the app ― inventory features are rare with accounting mobile apps. For low-cost accounting basics alongside a surprisingly robust mobile app, go with Sage.

ZarMoney: Best Accounting Software for Inventory Management

ZarMoney company logo
  • ZarMoney offers by far the most inventory management tools of any accounting software platform.
  • Key construction-friendly inventory tools in ZarMoney include multisite management, custom items and product lines and purchase order optimization.
  • ZarMoney does not offer a mobile app.
Editor's Rating: 9/10

Your construction firm keeps all kinds of different materials on hand to take projects from start to finish over months or years. With ZarMoney, you can track and organize these materials from the same program you use to manage your finances. Every year that we test accounting software, we’re impressed with ZarMoney’s unparalleled breadth and depth of inventory features. You’d normally need dedicated inventory management software or an enterprise resource planning tool for these features, but ZarMoney includes them all.

ZarMoney offers these advanced inventory tools at relatively affordable prices too, starting at $15 per month for single-user accounts. Alongside these tools, you get contractor-friendly accounting features, such as billable hours and invoice generation from quotes and estimates. We also like that ZarMoney includes invoice templates so that you can jump-start your construction accounts receivable (AR) management easily. From your warehouse to your wallet, ZarMoney streamlines much of your construction firm’s needs.

Costs of Accounting Software for Contractors

You’ll pay a set subscription fee per month, with add-on fees per user for some platforms, for your accounting software. These costs are typically quite low compared to those of other types of construction business software.

Nondiscounted pricing for the best accounting software for contractors starts at $15 per month. Additionally, the accounting software vendors on this list don’t charge extra for setup or implementation, although other services may impose these additional fees.

Accounting software’s low starting prices reflect service packages that may serve your construction firm well at first but prove limiting over time. As your business grows, you’ll likely need to upgrade to your vendor’s highest-end plans, which may cost hundreds of dollars per month. However, you may also be able to make do with midrange accounting software packages that add some, but not all, possible tools. In that case, you’re typically looking at slightly less than $100 per month.

With some accounting software, the cost of credit card processing may also be a factor. Namely, if your construction firm accepts client payments online, you may need to pay 1.5% to 3.5% of each transaction’s dollar value. A small additional flat fee may apply ― for example, credit card transactions commonly incur fees of 2.9% plus 30 cents. For a $1,000 transaction, that’s 0.029 * $1,000 plus 30 cents = $29.30. If you set up client payments solely within your accounting software, not other platforms, you can avoid additional subscription charges and thus offset these fees.

Bottom LineBottom line
The starting price for the best accounting software for contractors, without discounts, is $15 per month. You may wind up paying slightly under, or significantly more than, $100 per month to add advanced features or more team members.

Features of Accounting Software for Contractors

The below features that are typically part of accounting software are especially useful for contractors.

Bank Feeds and Reconciliation

All businesses, including construction firms, should regularly review their incoming and outgoing cash to assess their financial health. This process goes hand in hand with aligning your bank records with your internal documentation, such as invoices and vendor bills. Accounting software bank feeds and reconciliation tools automatically accomplish both these goals, so your platform of choice should include both technologies.

Bill Pay and Expense Tracking

Paying your suppliers on time and tracking the money your employees spend on your company’s behalf is key to managing your cash outflows. Accounting software platforms include bill pay and expense tracking tools to streamline ― and, in some cases, automate ― these needs.

In particular, look for platforms with mobile apps through which you can convert photos of receipts to expenses and bill them, when appropriate, to clients. This functionality ensures that you invoice accurately and get repaid for any costs you incur on your clients’ behalf.


When you log into a high-quality accounting software platform, you should see key financial data and clear links to key accounting tools. Don’t compromise on this when choosing accounting software.

Financial Reporting

Running reports such as profit and loss statements can help you assess your financial health and make key operational decisions. Look for accounting software that either auto-generates these reports or guides you through doing so in a few clicks. Analyze these reports’ trends to identify opportunities for operational changes that cut your costs and drive your revenue.


Accounting software serves your business best when you connect it with other financial platforms, such as point-of-sale (POS) systems and credit card processing platforms. The best accounting software providers offer hundreds of these integrations with leading-name vendors.

Browse integration listings or app stores on the websites of any vendors you’re considering for your accounting software. Prioritize platforms that offer integrations with your key business software or access to an application programming interface for developing custom integrations.

Don’t yet have a POS system or credit card processing platform? Learn why these tools are important ― and which vendors we like ― via our reviews of the best POS systems and best credit card processing platforms.

Inventory and Stock Management

Though not the most common accounting software inclusion, inventory and stock management tools are especially important for construction firms. With these tools, you’ll always know which construction materials you have on hand and in what quantities. You’ll also get alerts when you’re running low and it’s time to reorder. This way, you can continue serving your clients without the tedious work of manually checking your stock counts.

Look for inventory management features among the most expensive pricing packages that accounting software vendors offer. You’re most likely to find these tools in these higher-end packages. For proper construction business management, these features are typically well worth the extra money you’ll spend to obtain them.

Invoicing, Quotes and Estimates

Interconnected tools for invoicing, quotes and estimates may well be the single most important aspect of high-quality contractor accounting software. Your goal should be to find a vendor through which you can easily generate quotes and invoices and just as easily convert them to invoices. These tools save you invaluable time and effort in collecting payment from your clients.

You should also look for platforms through which you can add your branding to all these documents. This way, you achieve visual consistency across all your invoices, quotes and estimates while continuing to convey your values and story to your clients.

Mileage Tracking

As your employees travel between sites, they’ll use fuel and eventually need to buy more. Since this fuel powers your business activities, the money your team pays for it is tax-deductible.

With accounting software mobile apps’ mileage tracking, your team can track their trips and calculate corresponding gas payment deductions automatically. Look for software that uploads these expenses to your account automatically and categorizes them as tax-deductible. This makes claiming your deductions much easier come tax time.

Mobile Apps

As a contractor, you need a robust mobile app for your accounting software. These apps are how you track mileage properly, and you can create invoices during site visits from these apps too.

Better yet, if you’re in the passenger seat as you go between sites, you can oversee all your finances right from your phone. Prioritize a powerful mobile app so you can power your operations anytime, anywhere.

Time Tracking and Billable Hours

You likely bill your clients per hour of work that your team performs on your projects. This makes time tracking tools within your accounting software especially important. You can use your software to track your team’s hours worked, assign hourly rates and add this information to your invoices. Streamlined calculations, payments and organization across your

Choosing Accounting Software for Contractors

Accounting software is one of the most important technologies for your construction firm to implement, so it’s worth taking time to find your ideal platform. Follow these steps to make the right choice for your business.

1. Decide what you need from accounting software.

You certainly need interconnected estimating and quoting tools, invoicing features and time tracking software. Do you also need a solution for improving and organizing your vendor payments and inventory management? Consider only accounting software platforms that check all your boxes.

2. Look at customer reviews and compare your possible platforms.

It’s easiest to meet nearly every need on your list when you consider several potential accounting platforms instead of only one. Review pricing pages to determine what features you get at which prices and how this compares across vendors. You’ll get a strong sense of how much value you get for each dollar you spend per vendor, empowering you to make smart spending decisions.

However, pricing tables only tell part of the story. Consider customer reviews too, especially those on Trustpilot (usually positive) and the Better Business Bureau website (sometimes negative). You’ll see the true pros and cons of each platform you’re considering from actual business owners who have used the software. Although one negative review shouldn’t sink the ship for any vendor you’re considering, all feedback is worth keeping in mind.

3. Sign up for the free trial.

All our picks for the best accounting software for contractors offer free trials of at least 14 days. Sign up for these trials to test your potential platforms for yourself before committing. This way, you get a hands-on sense of whether the platform is right for your business.

Occasionally, you may encounter accounting software vendors that offer a short period of discounted monthly subscription prices if you skip the free trial. This offer isn’t worth taking unless you’re deeply short on cash. After you’ve narrowed your search down to a few options, we always recommend free trials to determine which platforms truly serve your needs.

4. Go over the prices, features and user experience one last time.

Compare your notes, whether mental or physical. Ask yourself: Which platform offers the most balanced combination of reasonable costs, helpful features and hassle-free navigation and use? The platform you give as your answer is the one to choose.

FYIDid you know
If your construction firm is large enough that you’re looking exclusively for custom-priced plans such as FreshBooks Select, you can negotiate prices. Namely, you can ― with care and tact ― tell one potential vendor that another service is offering you lower prices. This vendor may then come back with even lower prices that ultimately make it your clear top pick.

Advantages of Accounting Software for Contractors

Manually handling your accounting and related processes simply isn’t advisable. Here’s why using software is the better choice:

  • Incomparably efficient quoting and invoicing: You can generate quotes in just a few clicks with accounting software, saving you time and minimizing tedious tasks. Similarly, you can convert quotes to invoices in a few clicks, tremendously streamlining your AR management.
  • Little to no error: Manual quoting, invoicing and accounting are inherently error-prone processes subject to human error.  Accounting software can tally numbers faster and more accurately, and it can share that information with your other business software so you don’t have to enter it manually.
  • Unparalleled tracking of labor hours: With accounting software, you can track your team’s labor hours from the very same platform for which you bill for them. You’ll know exactly how much to charge your clients and generate the corresponding invoices in one fell swoop. There’s simply no manual way to handle this as efficiently.
  • Highly organized records: Especially as your construction firm grows and takes on more projects, your paper invoices, quotes and timesheets could start to get disorganized. Creating these documents digitally solves this problem. You can easily tag your digital documents to store them in a highly organized, easily navigable manner. Plus, with accounting platforms’ cloud-based storage, your records will always be accessible.

Accounting Software for Contractor FAQs

Contractors should separate business and personal finances, ensure proper job costing and record all day-to-day cash inflows and outflows. Accounting software can streamline ― and, in many cases, fully automate ― these key tasks.

When choosing between cash and accrual accounting, go with the latter. In particular, a type of accrual accounting known as the percentage of completion method may be best. Through this approach to accounting, you’ll estimate a project’s end date and calculate your revenue based on how much work your team has done.

Your construction firm should set a budget and assign a team member to expense management and approvals. Generating reports on these expenses is key too. Accounting software makes this task easy, as it does with all other expense capture and organizing needs.

Writing a business plan and conducting market research are your core first steps to establishing a construction. After that comes savvy rate-setting and in-depth expense analysis. Ultimately, implementing accounting software to streamline your job costing, client invoicing and the relationship between these two needs is key to successful financial management.

It’s smart to always have three to six months’ worth of your average monthly revenue on hand. For example, if you typically bring in $500,000 per month in contracting work, keep $1.5 million to $3 million available in cash. This way, if your firm experiences dry spells or emergencies, you can continue to power the business you’ve spent so much time and labor creating.

Max Freedman
Contributing Writer at
Max Freedman is a content writer who has written hundreds of articles about small business strategy and operations, with a focus on finance and HR topics. He's also published articles on payroll, small business funding, and content marketing. In addition to covering these business fundamentals, Max also writes about improving company culture, optimizing business social media pages, and choosing appropriate organizational structures for small businesses.
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