QuickBooks is more versatile than most contractors realize.

Imagine you’re in the middle of a building project and you take a coffee break with one of your best drywall hangers. In the course of conversation, he mentions that he’s a master electrician. Now, this employee is  more valuable than you realized.

contractor using laptop in officeWhile you might not run into this kind of a superstar among your employees, you may have something similar installed on your hard drive. QuickBooks, a relatively low-cost accounting software, has several built-in forms that contractors can use for their businesses (especially if they have QuickBooks Premier Contractor version), and third-party developers have created hundreds of additional solutions. With a few add-ons, those who don’t have the resources to invest in software solutions that range in the tens of thousands of dollars can use QuickBooks for many management functions:

Payroll Reporting  for Government work
If you are involved in public projects, you must fill out the appropriate certified payroll reports according to the Davis-Bacon Act, a prevailing wage report, or even file the report electronically with a labor compliance program. 
These reporting requirements can be confusing. Forms differ from state to state, and some local agencies have their own unique forms, some of which differ from year to year. You have to enter job type, hours worked and other information to stay compliant, a process that is difficult, time-consuming and error-prone.

QuickBooks takes data you’ve already entered for payroll and asks a few additional questions, then completes a form that can be uploaded to the labor compliance software. Your report accuracy and efficiency will increase, allowing you to concentrate on growing your business.

Crew/Overtime Entry
Each state has a twist when it comes to overtime laws. Fortunately, QuickBooks add-ons can help make sorting through this easier. Programs are available to let you create crews, assign employees to crews and enter time cards for crews by job and day. You can enter time for hundreds of employees with a few mouse clicks and post the time to the QuickBooks Weekly Timesheet. At the end of the week, you can retrieve all your timesheets and calculate overtime, which makes processing payroll a lot easier.



Payroll Wage Management
With the right Quickbooks add-on, you can import and view your employees, payroll wage items and current pay rates. Then you can create new wage items and pay rates, modify existing wage items with new rates and remove obsolete wage items. This kind of solution also allows you to calculate shift differentials and fringe benefits—an all-in-one approach to wage management.

Field Services Management
As you know, there’s a lot of tracking that goes into any project. With an add-on, QuickBooks can help subcontractors be responsible for tracking their own time and for entering material costs, GPS location and any needed signatures. Meanwhile, you can dispatch work orders, track locations and edit time cards over the Internet. It’s all synchronized, so the data is at your fingertips later.

AIA Billing
While QuickBooks itself allows you to track estimates, progress invoice and retainage, you’ve got more to manage. If you need to fit in additional project information, architect information or retainage methods or perform percentage-of-completion calculations, you’ll need to go deeper. Plus, manually creating AIA draw requests can be time-consuming, and it’s easy to make mistakes when you’re filling out form after form.

These processes can be simplified with an add-on program that takes information from your QuickBooks company file and helps you create AIA G-702 Contractor Application for Payment, G-703 Continuation Sheet, G-702 CMa Construction Managers and Advisors documents and similar forms. This saves you time and greatly reduces the chance of error.

To get discover all the solutions that companies have developed to make QuickBooks more versatile, visit the software’s official Intuit Marketplace at http://marketplace.intuit.com.