BuilderTREND + QBO vs. QuickBooks Premier Contractor Edition

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Karine Woodman

You own a construction business. You build houses and work on remodeling projects. All things you feel comfortable with. Have you asked yourself what software you should use to manage projects, customers and financials? As per popular belief, the best option available is Intuit’s QuickBooks Premier Contractor Edition. This option is great, but there’s an even better one out there – BuilderTREND + QuickBooks Online. QuickBooks Premier Contractor Edition focuses more on the financial piece of your business, with a few additional reports and features related to the construction field. BuilderTREND with QuickBooks Online integration gives you full financial capabilities, including anytime/anywhere online access, fully loaded mobile apps, great client communication features, and construction management tools that really simplify the process.


My intention was to provide a basic table showing the comparison between the two but that’s just not that easy when you are comparing apples to oranges. Though I did put one together, the features speak for themselves. In my research of BuilderTREND + QBO, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not a fair comparison since BuilderTREND dominates with useful features that allow you to manage all your projects, subcontractors and customers under one roof. QuickBooks Online is the financial piece of this equation and together you have a strong blended solution. QuickBooks Premier Contractor Edition can’t be considered a construction management solution because it isn’t one; it’s a financial solution.

The chart below compares the construction management features between BuilderTREND and QuickBooks Premier Contractor Edition.

BuilderTREND + QBO vs. QuickBooks Premier Contractor Edition

 BuilderTREND + QBOQuickBooks Premier Contractor Edition
DashboardCalled the ‘Summary Grid’. Allows you to view activity status on all aspects of the project and get a summary view by project.

There is a home page, which is more for financial use, rather than a project snapshot.

RemindersYou set reminders that are related to each project.

Reminders are related to financials, not projects.

Employee TimeThe time clock feature allows employees to punch in and out and manage time per project. Does not process payroll.

Process through payroll subscription. Record time by job and timesheets allow for job costing. Also can produce Certified Payroll reports.

Lead ManagementEnter and search leads by multiple criteria such as salesperson, age, source, job status, keyword, project type, proposal status and tags.

Lead Center: Enter name, status of lead and can convert to customer.

Project NotesLog notes by job, add pictures and files. Can give permission to subs and/or customers. Allows for weather related notes.

Comments can be made in the ‘notes’ under the customer account details.

PicturesPictures can be added in multiple activity fields such as the log notes and to-do details. Manage picture folders by jobs.

Not available
BidsInvite subs to bid, view bid status and see all bids at a glance. Communication with the subs can be completely managed through this feature. Manage RFPs also. Filter by bids also makes for easy finding.

Not available
BudgetsBudget features are very detailed. Manage every single process/work type by code. Manage purchase orders within the budget feature. Easy to see the direct costs total vs. contract price and easily identify your gross profit. This is where purchase orders are synced to QBO to create bills and subcontractor payments can also be recorded and synced.
Can create a budget and view by customer. Must use GL accounts.

CalendarSchedule work to be done and view the calendar for all or one job. Share viewing access to customers and subs. Create notes, tags and record phases. Can attach files to the calendar.

Can view a calendar and see financial transaction due dates. Can also view to-do items.

Document StoarageChoose a job and add related documents.

Can attach PDF and spreadsheets to invoices and sales receipts.

Customer CommunicationGive the owners access to job related activities and calendars. Can control items viewed and notification preferences. Beautiful client site – easy to navigate.

Can email invoices and sales receipts. Can create letters with the letter wizard.

SubcontractorsCan give access to contractors to bid and view activities and information related to the project.

Can give access to contractors to bid and view activities and information related to the project.

Change OrdersCreate change orders, add files, manage paid and approval status. Sync change orders to create invoices in QBO.Can create change orders with a workaround via the estimate function.
UsersCreate unlimited access for customers, subcontractors and company users.One (1) user per paid subscription.
ReportsConstruction reports are available in PDF and excel format. Reports look professional.Many construction related reports. Can print in both PDF and excel format. Reports can also be emailed and also look professional.
Mobile AppFree download of mobile application.

Not Available
Financial ManagementUse and connect QuickBooks Online. Anytime access, multiple users, no backups needed and no downloading software updates.Full financial management.

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