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QuickBooks vs. Microsoft Dynamics for construction

In the construction industry, success depends on staying on schedule and on budget, no matter what surprises come your way. And that requires that you effectively manage a complex ecosystem of employees, contractors, subcontractors, material vendors, and more. With labor shortages reported in many areas and the cost of materials rising, it’s never been more important that you have a powerful and nimble accounting solution that gives you the visibility you need to optimize your financial management now, while offering the ability to scale as your business grows.

In this article we compare Intuit QuickBooks solutions (including QuickBooks Enterprise and QuickBooks Online Advanced), which serve growing construction businesses, with a popular full-scale enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, Microsoft Dynamics, to evaluate their viability for construction companies.

These comparisons are based on both verifiable vendor claims, third-party reviewers like G2 and Capterra (tech marketplaces where businesses can provide their unbiased opinions and review software solutions), and objective accounting software reviews from PCMag and Techradar.

Intuit QuickBooks Enterprise and Quickbooks Online Advanced: Background

QuickBooks solutions save time and effort by centralizing daily financial processes and functions in a streamlined, easy-to-use interface.

Quickbooks Online Advanced is a cloud-based solution that enables construction professionals to work from anywhere.

With optional cloud access added, QuickBooks Enterprise’s cloud-based data and dashboards help construction users manage everything from project costing and profitability to labor and material costs.

QuickBooks Enterprise Contractor Edition is an integrated solution designed for growing construction businesses that helps companies streamline business and financial operations management. It bundles key functionality and lets business owners add new tools and capabilities as they grow. QuickBooks Enterprise integrates with leading point solutions like Salesforce to create a customized, connected field service and back-office experience.

QuickBooks Online Advanced is a solution designed for growing small businesses that also helps users streamline business and financial operations management. It’s offered at a different price point than Enterprise, but it shares some of the same features, including integration with Salesforce and more than 600 powerful apps.*

Microsoft Dynamics: Background

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a cloud-based portfolio of Microsoft products that can be connected within the same ecosystem and augmented with customization to create something like an ERP solution. Microsoft Dynamics applications can be integrated with familiar and already entrenched Microsoft Office products, along with organization-specific applications built with Microsoft Azure. It can be further extended into the Internet of Things and augmented reality workflows.

Already configured modules in Microsoft Dynamics 365 include applications designed to streamline and automate sales, marketing, field service, customer service, commerce, operations, and finance. Additionally, Microsoft Dynamics modules can be connected to, and integrated with, existing systems.

At the highest level, there are two main Dynamics 365 solutions to choose from: Business Central and Finance & Operations.

Dynamics 365 Business Central is an ERP-like solution suited for most small and medium-sized businesses.

Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations is an ERP-like solution suited for large or diversified companies. It is often used by companies with multiple lines of business, diversified geographies, or complex product development needs.

These iterations have replaced older versions of Dynamics, namely Dynamics GP (Great Plains) and Dynamics NAV.


QuickBooks vs. Microsoft Dynamics for growing construction businesses

QuickBooks is a portfolio of scalable financial and business management solutions with an intuitive interface. With two core offerings, QuickBooks Online Advanced and QuickBooks Enterprise, and the ability for construction users to customize their software to meet their unique needs, QuickBooks can be configured to fit the needs of growing construction businesses.

Microsoft Dynamics is a suite of business-ready applications designed to work with the Microsoft 365 suite of Office applications and with unique business applicationsboth those created in Microsoft Azure and those produced by third parties. Customers can select which of the modules they want to create upfront and add more later as needed. Out of the various Microsoft Dynamics offerings, Dynamics 365 Business Central is the most appropriate for smaller or medium-sized businesses.

Deep Dive into QuickBooks vs. Microsoft Dynamics 365


For the purposes of this comparison table, we will define scalability as the ease with which new functionality and product iterations can be added or removed from a user’s bundle, along with the resultant impact on BAU (business as usual).

Time Tracking

Quickbooks Online Advanced offers basic time tracking capabilities. Both Quickbooks Online Advanced and QuickBooks Enterprise Contractor Edition can deliver robust time tracking with the addition of QuickBooks Time. Microsoft Dynamics also requires an additional module to deliver robust time tracking.*

Business Process Automation

Both QuickBooks Enterprise Contractor Edition and QuickBooks Online Advanced have automation capabilities associated with their core workflows.

Microsoft Dynamics has a fully customizable ecosystem in which data sources, applications, and task assignments can be automated within Microsoft applications.

Project Costing and Management

QuickBooks solutions have specific project costing and management features to help manage project progress time and costs. Microsoft Dynamics has two solutions specifically designed to help business owners track, manage, and bill for ongoing projects and engagements.

Reporting and Analytics

Microsoft Dynamics, QuickBooks Enterprise and QuickBooks Online Advanced provide reporting and analytics dashboards that increase the visibility into a company’s metrics and data to help improve decision making. However, there is much more flexibility and customizability offered with Microsoft Dynamics.


Microsoft Dynamics 365, QuickBooks Enterprise, and QuickBooks Online Advanced provide native solutions for integrating leading third-party business applications and enterprise platforms.

QuickBooks solutions offer pre-configured integrations with popular third-party systems and programs and can be used with third-party integrators to further extend the ecosystem. Microsoft Dynamics uses readily available APIs to create wide-reaching integrations with other business applications, but these still need some degree of coding skill, if not a dedicated developer resource.


Microsoft Dynamics and QuickBooks Enterprise Contractor Edition provide several support options with basic support included with the subscription and an option to pay for more hands-on assistance.


Microsoft Dynamics and QuickBooks solutions can be customized to provide value based on need and budget. Both QuickBooks and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central can be paid for month to month, or annually (as of September 2021, the time this article was written).***

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Microsoft Dynamics or QuickBooks offer specific solutions for construction?

QuickBooks Enterprise Contractor Edition is specifically designed to help construction firms track costs and improve profitability. On the other hand, Microsoft Dynamics offers features that are appealing to the construction industry but is a more general offering that is used in many industries.

Does Microsoft Dynamics integrate with QuickBooks?

Yes. Microsoft Dynamics is able to integrate with QuickBooks through one of its available APIs.

QuickBooks also offers a bidirectional pre-built, no-code template to integrate Microsoft Dynamics 365/CRM accounts, products, and invoices to better consolidate and manage revenue across the two applications.

What if my Microsoft Dynamics or QuickBooks solution is unable to connect to the internet?

QuickBooks Online Advanced, and QuickBooks Enterprise installations with optional cloud hosting, will not work if they are not connected to the internet. Desktop-based Microsoft Dynamics applications can be used offline and information synced/uploaded when online.

What security features do Microsoft Dynamics and QuickBooks include, and how do they compare?

Given factors such as a highly mobile workforce and the need to share data outside your organization, security should be top of mind for every construction company.

Microsoft Dynamics applications, QuickBooks Online Advanced, and QuickBooks Enterprise are all regularly audited for security compliance certifications.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides multiple levels of security across physical, infrastructure, and operational security with Microsoft Azure and role-based security. These security roles define how different users across the business control access to data. All instances of Dynamics 365 use Microsoft SQL Server Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) to perform real-time encryption of data when written to disk.

QuickBooks Online Advanced is a VeriSign Secured™ product. VeriSign is a leading Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate Authority. It features password-protected login, firewall-protected servers, and the same encryption technology (128-bit SSL) used by the world’s top banks. Intuit is a licensee of the TRUSTe Privacy Program, an independent third-party organization whose mission is to accelerate online trust among consumers and organizations globally through its leading privacy trustmark and innovative trust solutions.

Support for QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise with cloud access is provided by Right Networks. A valid QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise license code must be provided to Right Networks to receive support. Right Networks performs backups of all cloud access data on a nightly basis and retains the back-ups for a rolling 90-day period in a protected offsite facility as an additional level of protection. There is no limitation to the size of a customer’s back-up. Customers are responsible for verifying the integrity of the hosted data at least every 90 days. Right Networks employs Snapshot technology to backup customer data. Snapshots are taken daily and then replicated to another physical Right Networks facility for Disaster Recovery.

Right Networks uses top-tier data centers and multiple layers of redundancy within its infrastructure to provide 24×7 availability. However, availability can vary, is subject to occasional downtime and may change without notice. Right Networks encrypts all backup files and backup tapes. Virtual desktop connections are protected via TLS with a minimum of 128 bit encryption and authentication. Each customer has a unique Right Networks virtual desktop. Access to each QuickBooks company file is controlled at multiple layers including file access permissions. Access is locked out after multiple failed login attempts for the same user. Security features, functionality and access are subject to change without notice as deemed necessary by Right Networks. Availability can vary and are subject to occasional downtime and may change without notice. Right Networks may offer third party software, separate terms and fees may apply.

Can I migrate my historical data into Intuit QuickBooks or Microsoft Dynamics products?

Yes, historical data migration and data source integration is considered during implementation. Since Microsoft Dynamics 365 is less of an application and more of an enterprise collaboration and automation platform, it is intended to consolidate many forms of data from multiple sources into single dashboard views.

QuickBooks also allows users to migrate historical data and offers two ways of accomplishing this: chronologically or in batches from existing Excel sheets to save time. 


Construction firms face a unique set of challenges in maintaining effective financial management. Microsoft Dynamics provides a wealth of on-premises functionality. Its automated custom workflows, advanced reporting, and interconnected business processes and technology ecosystem have much to offer. It can help streamline processes and provide visibility into performance under a single vendor.

QuickBooks Enterprise and QuickBooks Online Advanced are comparable options to Microsoft Dynamics for growing small businesses looking for something that is more than just an “accounting system.” Their easy integration paths to powerful third-party partners help expand their ecosystem, providing a faster time to value and a strong foundation for future growth. QuickBooks solutions provide a robust and flexible financial management hub with automated workflows that can help small to medium-sized businesses break out of their “SMB” shell to take the next step.

Get in touch with QuickBooks for more information

We can help you determine which QuickBooks solution best fits your needs and desire for business growth and can offer migration support to ensure your journey to QuickBooks is smooth.

Set up a QuickBooks demo at your convenience. 

*Additional terms, conditions and fees apply.

**Apps are subject to change without notice.

***Products, features, pricing, discounts and offerings are subject to change without notice.

© 2021 Intuit. Trademarks available at

This content is for information purposes only and information provided should not be considered legal, accounting or tax advice or a substitute for obtaining such advice specific to your business. Additional information and exceptions may apply. Applicable laws may vary by state or locality. No assurance is given that the information is comprehensive in its coverage or that it is suitable in dealing with a customer’s particular situation. Intuit Inc. does not have any responsibility for updating or revising any information presented herein. Accordingly, the information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research. Intuit Inc. cannot warrant that the material contained herein will continue to be accurate, nor that it is completely free of errors when published. Readers should verify statements before relying on them.

Additional terms and conditions apply with certain features and functionality. Eligibility criteria may apply. Terms, conditions, pricing, discounts, special features and service and support offerings subject to change without notice.

Third-party links as a convenience and for informational purposes only. Intuit does not endorse or approve these products and services, or the opinions of these corporations or organizations or individuals. Intuit accepts no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content on these sites.

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