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.