QuickBooks Contractor is a construction-specific edition of QuickBooks Premier desktop software. It contains unique features and data that assist in planning and accounting for the costs associated with significant jobs related to this field. 

QuickBooks is one of the most widely used accounting software applications by SMBs to track their financial transactions. An appropriate or an adequate software makes a big difference in keeping track of vast amounts of financial data QuickBooks clients not only receive the highest-quality software but they also get it at an affordable price.

While many businesses utilize this beneficial software, you may be wondering if it is helpful for construction companies. With so much unique data and details to track, does QuickBooks consider these when determining accounting efficiency?

QuickBooks Premier Contractor Edition offers a one-time purchase or an annual subscription that includes online backup, unlimited customer support, and version updates. After purchasing QuickBooks Premier plus 2023, you can select the Contractor Edition during the software’s download process. QuickBooks Premier Contractor Edition is the version of QuickBooks software that is most beneficial for you as a general contractor or subcontractor. This version is best suited for constructional projects as it offers initial estimates , professional quotes and tracking job costs. 

However, the Contractor Edition includes all of QuickBooks Premier’s advanced accounting features. QuickBooks Contractor Edition is one of the top construction accounting software alternatives because it is excellent for general contractors and subcontractors who struggle with managing job expenses or who spend an excessive amount of time tracking job costs. 

Moreover, the Contractor Edition is limited to computers on which the software has been installed.

QuickBooks Contractor Edition is Best for

QuickBooks Contractor Edition is Best for

1. Contractors Who Retain a Separate Record of Job Costs from Their Accounting

By merging the activities of job costing and basic bookkeeping with QuickBooks Premier Contractor Edition, you may streamline your work. 

As is the case with many small contractors, you may attempt to keep track of job costs using an Excel spreadsheet. Not only will the Contractor Edition save you time by merging duties, but it will also prevent you from missing charges, as job costs are related to total company expenses.

2. Contractors with Several Crews

Experienced owners are relatively good at forecasting profit on projects in which they are significantly involved, even if precise task costing is not completed. However, as your business grows and various crews’ forms, you lose daily engagement in each work, making job profitability estimation considerably more difficult. Therefore, it is critical to have exact task prices to review and aid your project managers in cost control with multiple crews.

3. Contractors Looking to Save Money

QuickBooks Contractor has the same inventory functionality as QuickBooks Premier’s base edition. Materials turned from a job site can be archived so that your project managers can plan to reuse them on subsequent jobs rather than ordering unnecessary materials.

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QuickBooks Contractor Edition is Not Fit for

QuickBooks Contractor Edition is Not Fit for

1. Cloud Accounting

Your business may require some accounting tasks to carry out on-site. For instance, a construction company may need to hire a repair technician, the sudden need to generate invoices on unpredictable expenditures whilste being on the job is a constant occurrence. If this is a top priority, QuickBooks Online is a better option.

2. Inexperienced Bookkeepers

Unlike with online software, your off-site certified public accountant (CPA) or bookkeeper will not be able to view your accounts from their office computer. 

Instead, you must create an Accountant’s Copy and email it to your CPA while using QuickBooks Contractor.

3. Accommodates More than Five Users

QuickBooks Contractor Edition has a maximum concurrent user limit of five. However, suppose your construction company has a more extensive accounting department that requires constant access. 

In that case, you’re better off with QuickBooks Enterprise, which supports up to 30 concurrent users and includes a contractor-specific edition.

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Core Features of QuickBooks Contractor

1. Estimate Jobs

You can develop and distribute job estimates to prospective customers. It is critical to include as much data as possible in the estimate because it will serve as the foundation for subsequent change orders, invoices, and budget analyses.

2. Make Changes to Estimate Orders

Large projects rarely go as planned. When a change is required, you can make changes to your original estimate, and QuickBooks will immediately generate a change order to deliver to your customer.

3. Create Purchase Orders

Purchase orders can be generated immediately from the estimate screen. This keeps your project managers from forgetting to order  essential materials, which results in costly  add-ons and lost time. Your project managers can also use purchase orders to identify required supplies but not included in the estimate.

4. Create Invoice

From the estimate, you can generate an invoice. You can create an in-progress invoice by choosing a predetermined percentage to bill for each item on the estimate, or you can invoice only specified items on the estimate. For example, you may choose to invoice only the materials stated on the invoice. When it’s time to invoice the outstanding estimate, return to the estimate, click Create an invoice, and QuickBooks will prompt you to invoice the remaining amount.

5. Allocate Employee Time to Each Job and Service Item

You can attach an employee’s pay cost to a specific work and a service item that corresponds to the service items specified on your estimate. When earnings are assigned to a particular task and service item, QuickBooks automatically gives any payroll taxes to that work.

6. Reporting

There are numerous reports available to assist you in managing and evaluating your construction projects:

  • Job Profitability:

Describes the actual revenue and costs of the job. Income and expenses for all selected tasks can be summed or displayed per service items for a specific project.

  • Job Estimates vs. Actual:

Compares real revenue and expenses to estimates. The report can be summarized by job or divided into service items for a specific work.

  • Estimates vs. Job Progress Invoices:

Compares the total amount of progress invoices to the estimate by job to detect any jobs that have not been fully invoiced.

  • Item Profitability:

Displays actual revenue and expense for each service item across all jobs. This assists you in determining which service products are the most and least profitable.

  • Item Estimates vs Actual:

A comparison of substantial vs. expected revenue and expenses by service item across all jobs provided. This assists you in determining which service items are overestimated.

  • Unpaid Bills by Job:

Displays a list of outstanding bills broken down by job. This is critical to correctly wrap up jobs and avoid any errors resulting in a customer warned with a claim from your vendor.

  • Expenses Not Assigned to Jobs:

Provides a list of costs that should be checked to ensure that they do not contain direct materials or other charges that can invoice to work.

8. Job Costing Center

The job costing center displays the top and bottom three jobs in profitability during the last three months. It also includes some highlights of your recent performance as well as links to important job costing reports:

What’s New in QuickBooks Contractor 2023?

QuickBooks Contractor 2023 edition has certainly presented itself as a step-up from its predecessor QuickBooks premier contractor edition 2021.

Below we’ve mentioned the new and improved this contracting software has to offer:  

1. Separating Job Costs from Bookkeeping

Job costing and general bookkeeping are combined in QuickBooks Premier Contractor Edition. You may track job costs in Excel like many small contractors. The Contractor Edition reduces effort by consolidating duties and prevents missing costs by tying job charges to corporate expenses.

2. Untrained Bookkeepers

Your off-site CPA or bookkeeper can’t access your QuickBooks Contractor books from their work pc. You must submit your CPA with an Accountant’s Copy of QuickBooks Contractor. Not a great method, but not something you want to use everyday or monthly.

3. Limitless Security Patches and Feature Updates

The new subscription-based plan for QuickBooks Premier Contractor edition lets you get as many security patches and feature updates as you want as long as you’re subscribed.

4. New and Improved Performance

The new 64-bit operating system will address the slowdown of earlier versions that were just 32 bits in size.

Pros and Cons of QuickBooks Contractor

Pros  Cons 
Direct costs can be assigned to jobs with ease. Automatic allocation of indirect costs is not possible.
Compare the estimated expenses of the work with the actual costs. Certain construction management tools and features are missing.
Prepares job estimations. The number of users is limited.
Order changes is easily trackable. External sharing of books is quite an arduous task.
Unpaid vendor segregation.  Still needs a bit of update to make it a wholesome construction bookkeeping software. 

Pricing Plans for QuickBooks Premier Contractor Edition 2022 or QuickBooks Contractor Edition 2023

Below we’ve mentioned the pricing plans of QuickBooks contractor edition:

Number of users  QuickBooks Premier Plus QuickBooks Premier Plus + Payroll
Annual Price  Annual Price 
One user $549.99 $1,049.99
Two users  $849.99 $1,349.99
Three user $1,149.99 $1,649.99
Four users $1,449.99 $1,949.99
Five users $1,749.99 $2,249

Alternatives to QuickBooks Contractor

Some high performing alternatives to QuickBooks Contractor edition have been mentioned below:

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QuickBooks Premier Contractor Edition combines QuickBooks Premier’s powerful bookkeeping features with solutions that allow general and contractors better track expenses, evaluate performance, and reduce errors. 

The software is comprehensive and sophisticated, and it will almost certainly necessitate the hiring of a full-time bookkeeper, but that is the nature of cost accounting for massive projects.

You must first purchase QuickBooks Premier before you can purchase QuickBooks Premier Contractor Edition. Before downloading the software, you will ask if you want a free industry-specific edition. 

Choose Contractor Edition, and you’ll be on your way to more accurate work costing.


Is QuickBooks Good for General Contractors?

For contractors who are just getting started, QuickBooks Contractor Edition is one of the best accounting systems on the market. A broad spectrum of companies can benefit from it.

What QuickBooks is Best for Contractors?

General contractors and subcontractors who find it difficult or time-consuming to keep track of job expenditures will find QuickBooks Contractor Edition to be a great alternative to their current accounting software.

Is QuickBooks Desktop Being Phased Out?

As per numerous reports, Intuit had stated that it would stop making older versions of QuickBooks Desktop after May 31, 2021.

How much does QuickBooks contractors cost?

The cost of QuickBooks Contractors depends on the number of contractors you need to pay. There are three plans available:

  • Basic: $15 per month for up to 20 contractors.
  • Plus: $45 per month for up to 100 contractors.
  • Advanced: $75 per month for up to 500 contractors.

You can sign up for a free trial of QuickBooks Contractors to see if it is right for your business.