Using Quickbooks for Construction

Quickbooks is, arguably, the most well-known accounting solution available today. Firms both small and large make use of the software to get organized and stay on top of accounting. But for construction companies, using Quickbooks isn’t always the right call. Larger firms often find themselves outgrowing the simplicity that limits the program.

That said, many smaller firms are in a great position to benefit from what Quickbooks does offer. If you find yourself fitting the following criteria, try utilizing Quickbooks as your construction accounting software.

Limited Ongoing Projects

Quickbooks has a great reputation for a reason – managing projects and keeping track of your budget makes a lot of sense here.

The problems start to arise as you attempt to work with multiple projects all at once.

There really isn’t a great system for integrating it all and keeping your numbers straight. That being said, these problems are definitely manageable for smaller firms that aren’t quite ready to invest in a more integrated solution.

If your firm is at the point where you’re managing somewhere between 1 to 3 projects at a time, then you may be able to manage all of your projects adequately by making use of a Quickbooks solution.

No Need for Job Costing

Softwares like Sage 100 C and other construction-specific solutions include the ability to job cost where Quickbooks does not. 

Sage 100 C goes beyond simply budgeting and has the capability to show the differences between budgeted expense and actual expenses.

Sage 100 C is even capable of showing these updates in real-time. With all of the integrations the software offers between its features, job costing is made easy.

That said, if your workload is more limited, it’s not entirely inconceivable to assume that you’ll be able to make due with manual job costing at first – at least until you grow into the need for a solution that offers further integration.

It may be best to base this decision on how your workday looks. Do you have the spare time to spend on job costing? Have you noticed any significant errors in the work that you’ve completed manually?

Your answers should help you to determine whether you can use QuickBooks for your construction company…or not.

Expandability is Unnecessary 

Another key thing about Quickbooks is knowing that what you see is what you get.

While Quickbooks does offer a couple of add-on features, the solution is mostly an out of the box software that sticks closely to what you invest in when you initially purchase it.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll need to avoid it – it just suggests that if you anticipate the need for expansion, you’ll struggle to find those kinds of options available in QuickBooks.

Softwares like Sage, on the other hand, are known for a wide variety of modules that can be added on to better suit your needs.


Before choosing any kind of solution for your construction company, research is key – and you’re off to a great start! To learn more about Sage, Quickbooks, and some of the other great solutions that are available to you, read on! Click here to take a look at the next article in our learning series about knowing when it’s time to upgrade to a higher end construction accounting solution.