Intuit QuickBooks vs. Sage for construction
Midsize business

Intuit QuickBooks vs. Sage 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, to an accounting software competitor, Sage, to evaluate their viability for construction firms.

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.

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 (up to 100 employees) 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 cloud-based solution designed for growing small businesses that also helps users streamline business and financial operations management. It’s offered at a lower price point than Enterprise, but it shares many of the same features, including integration with Salesforce and more than 600 powerful apps.*

Sage: Background

Sage helps businesses manage their accounting needs, including operations, people, payroll, and payments, with solutions for construction businesses of different sizes. These solutions can be delivered wherever they’re needed—in the cloud, on-premises, or both.


QuickBooks vs. Sage 50cloud for growing construction businesses

For construction business management, Sage offers Sage 50cloud. Users can add Sage People and Sage HRMS to their package for enhanced HR and human capital management capabilities. 

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.

Deep Dive into Sage vs. QuickBooks


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. Sage also requires an additional module to deliver robust time tracking.*

Business Process Automation

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

Project Costing and Management

Both QuickBooks solutions and Sage offer specific project costing and management features to help manage project progress time and costs.

Reporting and Analytics

Sage 50cloud, 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.


Sage 50cloud, 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, applications** and programs, and can be used with third-party integrators to further extend the ecosystem.


Sage and QuickBooks provide several support options with basic support included with the subscription and an option to pay for more hands-on assistance.


Sage and QuickBooks solutions can be customized to provide value based on need and budget. Both QuickBooks solutions and Sage 50cloud can be paid for month to month, or annually (as of September 2021, the time this article was written).***

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Sage or QuickBooks offer specific solutions for construction?

QuickBooks Enterprise Contractor Edition is specifically designed to help construction firms track costs and improve profitability. Sage 50cloud, on the other hand, offers features that are appealing to the construction industry but is a more general offering that is used in many industries.

Does Sage integrate with QuickBooks?

No. When considering the appropriate technology stack for your construction firm, remember that Sage Intacct, Sage 50cloud, QuickBooks Online Advanced, and QuickBooks Enterprise have all been designed as comprehensive accounting and back-office solutions. QuickBooks can integrate with third-party point solutions—for example, QuickBooks Online Advanced and QuickBooks Enterprise both integrate with Salesforce. Sage features several proprietary add-ons and encourages users to upgrade within the ecosystem.

What if my Sage 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. Sage Intacct and Sage 50cloud can function offline, but the website notes that working offline will result in file inconsistencies if there are multiple users working online and offline at the same time.[1]

What security features do Sage 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. Sage Intacct, Sage 50, QuickBooks Online Advanced, and QuickBooks Enterprise are all regularly audited for security compliance certifications.

Sage security features include highly granular control over user access, two-step user verification every time a user signs in through an unrecognized device, enforced password changes, automatic session timeouts, and the option to set acceptable IP ranges from which users may log in. These solutions also include secure backups and recovery for minimized impact following a breach or ransomware attack.

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 Sage products?

Yes, it is possible to migrate historical data easily using both Sage Intacct and Sage 50 in “historical mode.”[2] QuickBooks also allows users to migrate historical data and offers two ways of doing this: chronologically or in batches to save time.


Construction firms face a unique set of challenges in maintaining effective financial management. While ERPs like Sage can help connect departments and bring your data to a single source of truth, most business owners don’t need all the features an ERP offers. 

Sage provides extensive functionality that helps you go deeper into your organization’s data, gaining valuable insights that can aid your organization’s decision making. However, as with other ERPs, this functionality comes with a hefty price tag, a long implementation cycle that could cause business disruption, and a steep learning curve that requires hands-on change management to ensure successful adoption.

QuickBooks Enterprise and QuickBooks Online Advanced are comparable options to Sage Cloud50 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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