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.
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.
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.
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.
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