QuickBooks for Construction: How to Streamline your Construction Accounting

QuickBooks for Construction: How to Streamline your Construction Accounting

BuildBook Team
April 15, 2024
April 15, 2024

Okay, you own or manage a construction company and you’re dealing with the issue of whether to upgrade and improve your cost accounting. Can you? Should you? Then, a case study or some research might be helpful, right?

So, let’s follow the owner of "Sunrise Construction", a small, fictitious but also ambitious construction firm. Each day, the owner juggles multiple projects, from residential remodels to new construction builds. Despite the dedication to craftsmanship, the financial side—especially job costing and expense tracking—has become a thorny challenge. Sunrise could use some help. Sound familiar?

This scenario isn't unique to “Sunrise Construction”; it's a common storyline among small-to-medium construction companies. While QuickBooks has been a reliable tool for many in the industry, there's a growing realization that it could be leveraged even more effectively when used with your construction management software. Enter BuildBook: a revolutionary tool designed to work hand-in-hand with QuickBooks, specifically tailored for the construction industry's unique needs, be they job costing or the “everything else” bucket which also can use some help.

Understanding the Basics of QuickBooks for Construction

QuickBooks Online has long been the backbone for construction companies managing their accounting. If you Google the search term, “most popular cost-effective construction accounting software” you are almost guaranteed to see QuickBooks listed! And, if you check with your local community college for training readily available on any kind of accounting program, QuickBooks is right there. So it’s smart to go with this infrastructure already in place. 

The ability of QuickBooks to handle job costing, expense tracking, and even payroll management has made it indispensable, as well as readily available. However, the construction industry's intricacies often require more nuanced solutions. While QuickBooks lays a solid foundation, it's like having a fine, well-oiled machine, but one which could easily take advantage of some upgrades.

Construction management software, such as BuildBook, can be the ultimate QuickBooks companion. BuildBook fills those gaps and is designed with construction companies in mind. It integrates directly with QuickBooks, ensuring a seamless flow of financial data. BuildBook's dashboard offers a bird's-eye view of a project's financial health, updated in real-time and enriched with details that QuickBooks alone doesn't provide. It's the difference between navigating with a map versus doing so with a GPS that provides real-time traffic updates and turn-by-turn instructions!

The Benefits of Integrating QuickBooks with Construction Management Software

Enhanced Job Costing Accuracy.  With BuildBook, job costing becomes a dynamic process. For instance, imagine a project where unexpected foundation issues arise, necessitating additional expenses. BuildBook allows for these costs to be immediately recorded and reflected in QuickBooks, providing an up-to-date picture of the project's financial status. This level of precision ensures that profitability is monitored and maintained throughout the project’s lifecycle.

Streamlining Expense Management. Consider a subcontractor who submits an invoice for unexpected work. With BuildBook, this invoice can be photographed, uploaded, and automatically categorized and synced with QuickBooks. This eliminates the need for manual data entry, reducing errors and freeing up time for more critical tasks, like project management and client engagement.

The Cost of Streamlining your Construction Accounting

For "Sunrise Construction", the very small monthly investment in BuildBook was initially met with skepticism. How could anything so inexpensive possibly be effective enough to make a difference in its bottom line? And even at that, when broken down, the cost equates to less than $0.50 per hour over a standard month—minimal compared to the bookkeeping errors it could prevent and the efficiency it could drive. 

Many contractors have realized huge cost savings involved with online accounting systems. Basically, for just a tiny fraction of the hourly cost of one bookkeeper or accountant, you are effectively adding the productivity of a second person! The investment pays for itself by streamlining processes, enabling the company to handle more projects without additional administrative costs.

Unlimited Projects, Clients, and Subcontractors.” Unlimited" isn't just a buzzword. For a growing company like “Sunrise Construction”, the ability to scale without worrying about software limitations is invaluable. It means being able to take on more projects and expand the client base without a corresponding increase in overhead or complexity in managing subcontractor relationships. 

It’s at this point that many contractors begin to wonder why they took so long to make the switch! In fact, it is extremely rare for any company to ever revert back to a manual system. Add to it this fact: some projects may specify the use of QuickBooks or some similar computerized accounting be in place in order to do business with a particular company. For example, on some public works projects, when a changed condition occurs and extra work is going to result in a change order, tracking labor, equipment, and supplies becomes critical. BuildBook is helpful with that. 

Getting Started with QuickBooks for Construction

Transitioning to a new system can be daunting, but the process is straightforward with BuildBook plus QuickBooks team. Start by exporting existing financial data from any current system into QuickBooks, followed by integrating with BuildBook for a comprehensive view of project financials. 

Training the staff is crucial; however, the intuitive design of both platforms eases this process. BuildBook offers support resources, including online tutorials and customer service, to assist with any hurdles along the way.

Success Stories

"Sunrise Construction" is not alone. Numerous small and medium construction firms have seen remarkable improvements after integrating BuildBook with QuickBooks. One such company reduced its time spent on accounting tasks by 50%, allowing the owner to focus on business development and project management. Another reported a 20% increase in profit margins due to more accurate job costing and expense tracking. And don’t discount its use with QuickBooks for larger construction companies, as it scales nicely and easily supports accounting staffs of 6-8 users, offers unlimited projects, along with unlimited clients and subs.

Streamline your Construction Financials Today

The integration of BuildBook with QuickBooks is not just an upgrade—it's a revolution for small and medium-sized construction companies seeking to thrive in a competitive market. It represents a shift towards more efficient, accurate, and scalable financial management practices. 

For firms like Sunrise Construction”, the decision to integrate these tools has transformed the way they do business, paving the way for growth and profitability. Now is the time to explore what BuildBook and QuickBooks can do for your construction business. Take the first step towards financial clarity and operational efficiency by reaching out for a demo or signing up for a free trial today.


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