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Construction Software

QuickBooks Online cannot really do progress invoicing or proper job cosing and budgeting. There are some affordable new apps for that!

Knowify is affordable and works well with QuickBooks Online (click on the icon above for their website, scroll down for pricing to appear in upper right).  You can get a 20% discount if you sign up through me.  I can help you get set up!


  • Full featured job costing and reporting

  • Bids and progress invoicing, including AIA style

  • Purchase orders

  • Change orders

  • Percent completion

  • Scheduling and basic time tracking

  • E-signatures 

  • Document templates fully customizable by Knowify staff

  • Job expenses can be entered into the Knowify dashboard, mobile app, or QuickBooks and attached to the proper job

  • Choice of job costing styles.  I strongly recommend fixed bid (see sidebar)



  • The mobile app isn't quite there yet.  You can check in/out of a job and record purchases (direct or reimbursable) but no calling or texting directly from the app although you do have the contact list.  

  • Very nice resource scheduling but it doesn't sync with outside calendars.

  • No lead tracking or email marketing





A more expensive alternative worth looking into.  Pricing is by project, so it will cost several hundred a month for most contractors.  It looks beautiful, and adds customer relationship management (lead tracking), customer account portals, and email integraton.  It has a full featured app.  You can upload pictures of a project and the customer can see them on their phone and make decisions.  

My Thoughts on Job Costing

I strongly recommend fixed price bids over cost plus or time and materials.  Cost plus and time and materials put the risk of overages on the customer.  They can cause the customer to micromanage you and nitpick your invoices.   I have seen disputes over line items eat up time and goodwill.  Customers see your markup, so you can’t make it very high.  If you are going to use them, cost plus and Time and Mateials are best left for small, simple contracts.

Fixed price bidding requires careful budgeting, and you need reasonably complete plans.  Use your knowledge to help potential customers make plans that fit within their budget and present alternatives.  Get price-range decisions on the major items (cabinets, windows) before you bid and write the quality details clearly in the bid.  Use allowances for smaller decisions like tile, plumbing fixtures, hardware.  Give your client a list of decisions they need to make and a schedule.  


Even though your customer doesn't see your budget, track your job progress against the budget and learn as you go so you can make the budget better next time.  Good software can make this easy!

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