Which accounting system is best for architecture studios? (2023)

Choosing an accounting software solution for your architecture firm can be an overwhelming process.

The central theses:

There are numerous products to choose from, and all offer different combinations of features and capabilities at different price points. When shopping, however, it's worth considering the fact that Intuit's QuickBooks accounting software solutions by far dominate the market in the accounting software industry, with approximately 80% of businesses using some form of QuickBooks[1] .

QuickBooks has achieved this level of success for a reason. The fact is, QuickBooks accounting software solutions are really solid products with a variety of versions designed to meet the unique needs of businesses of all stages and sizes.

Business growth in AE companies requires industry-specific reporting.

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Your architecture firm is no exception; QuickBooks can also benefit your business by helping you with day-to-day management and business strategy for growth.

Top 5 Reasons Your Architectural Firm Should Use QuickBooks

1. Simplified time tracking

time trackingit's one of the most challenging aspects of managing your finances – especially in a service business like an architecture firm. Your biggest expense is your employees, so it's important to accurately track their time on the clock to know your true costs.

Without accurate time tracking, it's impossible for a service-oriented organization to execute accurate labor costs, let alone establish a pricing structure that truly reflects the cost of doing business.

keep reading:Why Every Service Business Should Have Labor Costs

2. Easy reporting

QuickBooks automates data collection and categorization, simplifying financial reporting. With the click of a button, QuickBooks users can access a wide range of financial reports needed for compliance, tax returns, audits and business management.

3. Flexibility and scalability

Intuit offers a long list of QuickBooks accounting software suites and solutions. This means that companies of all sizes, types and stages of growth can find a product that works for their business and budget. Additionally, some of these solutions allow you to switch products or add features as your business needs change.

4. Powerful Integrations

As the leading provider of accounting software solutions, Intuit integrates seamlessly with a long list of useful applications that further enhance product usability and improve the management and operations of your business. For example, the following applications represent just a few of the more popular ones, designed to be easily integrated into your users' QuickBooks software:

5. Improve leadership with decisions based on reliable data

Simplify most of your organization's data collection and reporting with QuickBooks and its rich set of integrated applications. This means you always have timely and accurate financial reports you can rely on. As a result, QuickBooks has the opportunity to significantly improve the governance, strategy and leadership of your business, enabling you to make data-driven decisions to increase productivity, improve operations, reduce costs and maximize profits.

QuickBooks options to meet your architecture firm's financial management needs (on budget)

Choosing a QuickBooks version for your business can seem intimidating at first because there are so many options available. However, these options provide QuickBooks with flexibility and scalability. With the right version, you can meet all of your company's back-office needs while staying on budget.

Keep reading:The best QuickBooks® consultants for your business

When choosing a version of QuickBooks, consider your organization's needs, such as: For example, how many people might need access to the software at the same time, how many employees you have, how many vendors you work with, whether you need to track inventory, and whether access mobile is required.

The following options are available in QuickBooks, and which one is right for you depends largely on the size, type, and needs of your business.

Job Costing is helping Liberty Pipeline grow from break-even to $1 million in profit in just one year

After setting up time tracking integrations with QuickBooks, this service company now has activity-based labor costing to make data-driven decisions!

--->Read the whole story here!

QuickBooks Online (QBO)

The main selling point ofQuick Books Onlineis that you can access it from any device as long as you are connected to the internet. Another attractive feature of QBO is that it can be accessed with a monthly subscription-based payment, allowing you to start small and upgrade to more robust versions of the software as needed.

QuickBooks offers several versions of QBO, including:

  • Easy Start - This version is the cheapest and has the fewest features. While it might be tempting to skimp on this basic version, most businesses (at least those that aren't one-person operations) will need more features.
  • Essentials - Only slightly more expensive than Simple Start, Essentials offers the bare minimum features plus time tracking and more billing features. It also allows three users.
  • Plus - Plus includes everything in Essentials plus the ability to integrate 1099 contractors and inventory tools. Allows five users.
  • Advanced - The most robust version of QBO, Advanced includes everything Plus offers, plus a six-user entitlement and - this is the big differentiator - a US-based Intuit account manager and support team.


QuickBooks-DesktopVersions offer much more powerful features and capabilities than the online versions of the software. Unlike QuickBooks Online, all desktop versions except Enterprise require a one-time purchase of the software system (which must be updated every three years) rather than a subscription-based software service.

Keep reading:What every architecture firm needs to know about accounting

Like QBO, QuickBooks Desktop comes in several versions with a variety of different features, capabilities and prices.

  • QuickBooks Pro- This version is deceptively simple because it's easy to use and surprisingly powerful. Features include basic timesheets, job costing, inventory and invoice payments, and accounts receivable and payable management. It also offers the possibility to create invoices and reports. It allows up to three simultaneous users and can track 14,500 employees, customers and suppliers combined. For your other categories (like Chart of Accounts or Fixed Assets), QuickBooks Pro includes up to 10,000 unique descriptors for each.
  • QuickBooks Premier- Premier is similar to Pro, but supports five concurrent users, plus features like quote-to-order conversion, per-item price leveling, up-to-date availability tracking, past reconciliation reports, and more.
  • QuickBooks Enterprise- The most robust desktop version of QuickBooks, Enterprise is an annual software subscription available in three packages (Silver, Gold and Platinum). Enterprise supports 30 simultaneous users and supports up to one million employees, customers and suppliers. The three Enterprise tiers offer increasingly compelling and powerful features and tools.

Robust cloud accounting to outsource your back office

If you're not sure which version of QuickBooks best supports your business, working with a reputable third-party accounting provider can help. By outsourcing your company's back office, you can leverage the wealth of experience of a team of financial management professionals while configuring the accounting system and tools your company needs to streamline operations and maximize profits.

With the wide range of features and capabilities that QuickBooks accounting software offers, outsourcing your back office is easy and it's easy to move your business towards a prosperous financial future.

[1] List of companies using QuickBooks, market share and customer list. InfoClutch. (2023). Retrieved March 29, 2023 fromhttps://www.infoclutch.com/installed-base/accounting-software/quickbooks/


Which accounting system is best for architecture studios? ›

NetSuite is highly comprehensive, making it one of the best architecture accounting software. It is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning software that allows architects to scale or merge their companies with others. Their integration system includes HR, PSA, ERP, CRM, inventory and supply management, and more.

Is QuickBooks good for architects? ›

QuickBooks is an essential tool for architects and engineers who want to streamline their financial management processes and stay organized. With QuickBooks, you can easily create invoices, track expenses, manage payroll, and generate financial reports.

Which software is mostly used by architects? ›

Top 10 Architecture Software
  • SketchUp.
  • Revit.
  • Archicad.
  • D5 Render.
  • Blender.
  • Enscape.
  • Lumion.
  • RoomSketcher.

What is accounting system architecture? ›

What is architecture accounting software? Architecture accounting software is accounting software that allows firms to track time spent working on multiple projects, manage expenses and budgets and accurately bill customers for their work.

What CAD do architects use? ›

Many architects use AutoCAD as a 2D drawing tool for creating floor plans, elevations, and sections. This architectural software speeds up the drawing process with pre-built objects like walls, doors, and windows, that behave like real-world objects.

Do CPAs like QuickBooks? ›

QuickBooks Hosting is the better option for all the CPAs and SBMs as it offers more appropriate business solutions than the Online version.

What do architects take into account? ›

Architecture involves planning and designing buildings and spaces. Since these structures have to meet safety standards and construction building regulations, architects are experts at finding a balance between aesthetics and functionality.

What app do professional architects use? ›

AutoCAD 360 and Autodesk FormIt 360 (iOS/Android)

What software architect needs to know? ›

Expertise in one or more common programming languages, such as Java, JavaScript, C, Ruby, Python, etc. Individuals should be deeply familiar with software architecture, AWS, applications development, database design, and DevOps practices to create a DevOps environment, to become a successful software architect.

What software is used by architects and engineers? ›

Construction engineers and architects have long relied on AutoCAD, thanks to creator Autodesk's inclusion of specific building design and architectural toolkits. Architecture professionals can expect to save time and money by using AutoCAD.

What are the 4 types of accounting system? ›

The four main types of financial software systems include:
  • Single-entry systems.
  • Double-entry systems.
  • Manual accounting systems.
  • Computerized accounting systems.
Jan 13, 2020

What are the 3 accounting systems? ›

The 3 types of accounting include cost, managerial, and financial accounting. ​​ Although 3 methods of accounting are both vital to the healthy functioning of a business, they have different meanings and accomplish different goals. Let's dive into each of each below.

What are the three types of architecture systems? ›

Three types of system architectures are identified, integrated, distributed and mixed, (partly integrated and partly distributed). It is shown that the type of interfaces defines the type of architecture.

Do architecture firms still use AutoCAD? ›

Yet, even if everyone talks about Revit, Grasshopper, Rhino, and all the sorts of BIM or 3D modeling software, AutoCAD is still utilized in firms all across the world.

Do architects use CAD or Revit? ›

Revit is BIM software widely used by architects, engineers, and contractors to create a unified model that all disciplines and trades can use to complete their work.

Why do architects still use AutoCAD? ›

For architects, AutoCAD is a truly indispensable tool. It allows them to quickly create realistic 3D models of their designs using a combination of solid, surface, and mesh modeling tools. They can then use the 3D viewing and navigation tools to explore their project from different angles.

Why do CPAs not like QuickBooks online? ›

QBO doesn't offer the features you need.

This is its own number because this is such a common rejection of the software. As mentioned QBO is not built to handle everything. Construction accounting, job costing, and inventory management are several common limitations. The apps were designed for this purpose.

Do accountants prefer QuickBooks desktop or online? ›

QuickBooks Desktop is best for businesses that are comfortable with accounting and don't need real-time collaboration, and QuickBooks Online is best for businesses that need real-time collaboration and access to their QuickBooks file from any device.

How do architects bill their clients? ›

Architects have standard billing rates they state in their contracts. They then bill you for their services based on the number of hours they work on your project multiplied by their billing rates. Hourly rates can vary depending on the project, location, and experience level of the design personnel doing the work.

Are architects paid more than engineers? ›

Average salary

Architects earn an average of $86,897 per year . In contrast, civil engineers earn an average of $85,617 per year . Factors like geographical location, experience level and focus area impact the earning potential of both professionals.

How much debt do architects get into? ›

According to the American Institute of Architects, the average student loan debt among graduates with a five-year Bachelor's degree comes in at $42,000 while the average debt for those who earn a Master's in Architecture tops $72,000.

What consultants do architects use? ›

The following is by no means comprehensive, but the number and type of consultants needed depends on the scale, complexity and type of the project.
  • Building Surveyor. ...
  • Land Surveyor. ...
  • Quantity Surveyor. ...
  • Planning Consultant. ...
  • Geotechnical Engineer. ...
  • Structural Engineer. ...
  • Civil Engineer. ...
  • Landscape Architect.
Jan 7, 2020

How do you store architectural plans? ›

Blueprints/cyanotypes should be stored in alkaline-free paper products in order to prevent fading of the blue pigment. Buffered paper should be avoided. Prints are usually large; they should be stored horizontally in flat files or rolled if flat storage is not possible.

Do architects still use SketchUp? ›

SketchUp (formerly Google SketchUp) is a 3D modeling CAD software used by both professionals and amateurs alike. SketchUp allows the creation of a large number of 3D models, and is also suitable for large architectural projects (e.g., landscape design).

What is a software architect salary? ›

Software Architect salary in India ranges between ₹ 13.0 Lakhs to ₹ 50.0 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹ 27.0 Lakhs.

What do you call a person who does architecture? ›

architect. noun. ar·​chi·​tect ˈär-kə-ˌtekt. : a person who designs buildings and advises in their construction.

What tools do architects work with? ›

20 Tools Every Veteran Architect Has Used
  • Drafting Dots.
  • 2Model-Building Knife.
  • Drafting Table.
  • Tablet.
  • Magnifier.
  • Measuring Tape.
  • Storage Clipboard.
  • Architectural and Engineering Scale.
Mar 2, 2017

What is the most popular CAD program? ›

Autodesk AutoCAD software is the most widely used CAD solution in the world, allowing you to design in both 2D and 3D environments. With the AutoCAD design system, you can build 3D models, create and format drawings, and much more.

Do architectural engineers use CAD? ›

Architects and architectural drafters use computer-aided design (CAD) software to create drawings and blueprints for buildings. Architectural drafters often specialize in designing a specific type of structure. Proficiency in the use of computers and CAD software is key to working in the field.

How to choose architecture software? ›

The criteria to be observed in choosing a software architecture
  1. Security and performance requirements.
  2. Client and vendor expectations.
  3. The type of hosting.
  4. Operating systems.
  5. Technologies.

Which system of accounting is most widely used? ›

The double entry system is the one widely used and recognized in the accounting world. Some salient features of this system are, All three types of accounts are maintained in this system – real, nominal and personal.

What are the two most common accounting systems? ›

There are two primary methods of accounting— cash method and accrual method. The alternative bookkeeping method is a modified accrual method, which is a combination of the two primary methods. Cash method—income is recorded when it is received, and expenses are recorded when they are paid.

What type of system do all accountants use? ›

An accounting information system (AIS) is used by companies to collect, store, manage, process, retrieve, and report financial data. AIS can be used by accountants, consultants, business analysts, managers, chief financial officers, auditors, and regulators.

Is Excel an accounting system? ›

QuickBooks and Microsoft Excel are two of the most commonly used accounting programs, but they differ in how they operate, how much they cost, and how well they fit into your business structure.

What is the golden rule of accounting? ›

The 3 Golden Rules of accounting

Debit the receiver, credit the giver. Debit is what comes in, credit is what goes out. Debit all expenses and losses, and credit all incomes and gains.

What is an example of a SAP accounting system? ›

A few common examples of SAP modules include: SAP Controlling (CO) SAP Financial Accounting (FI) SAP Human Capital Management (HCM)

What are the 5 architectural systems? ›

There are five basic structure or framing types and an assortment of alternative structural systems: (1) wall-bearing, (2) reinforced concrete, (3) structural steel, (4) a combination of these types, and (5) tensile structures.

What are the systems in architecture? ›

In architecture, the term “system” usually refers to the architecture of the software itself, rather than the physical structure of the buildings or machinery. The architecture of a system reflects the way it is used, and therefore changes as the system is used.

Why Revit is more powerful than CAD? ›

Autocad focuses on the design and modifications of individual elements of a project, whereas, in Revit, the project is considered as indivisible. The modifications and last-minute changes are easily done in Revit as compared to Autocad, where the modifications are manual and time-consuming.

Why is Revit so difficult? ›

Many users find Revit to be more challenging to learn than AutoCAD, the company's popular computer-aided design software. One reason for this is that Revit is a parametric modeling program, meaning that elements such as walls and windows are created based on predefined parameters.

Is Revit or AutoCAD better for architecture? ›

If you are looking to power charge your architectural workflow, Revit is by far the best choice for understanding how a building works. AutoCAD makes project calculations, data reports, and project updates significantly more difficult by requiring many more working hours to manually update and recalculate everything.

Is Revit harder than CAD? ›

No, Revit is not easier to learn than AutoCAD. Revit is more advanced and capable software for complex designs compared to AutoCAD. While AutoCAD is a simpler, computer-based 2D drafting tool, Revit is a parametric modeling software which means features are created based on predefined parameters.

What percentage of architects use Revit? ›

People I've spoken with inside and outside Autodesk say that virtually every large practice in the U.S. uses Revit to produce BIM deliverables—with estimates as high as 90% of U.S. firms and upwards of 80% of U.K. firms.

Will Revit replace AutoCAD? ›

Can Revit Replace AutoCAD? It is a good practice to start with a pilot project, and then start each new project in Revit. Over time, Revit can replace AutoCAD.

Do architects use AutoCAD or Sketchup? ›

AutoCAD is used by civil engineers, architects, town planning companies, graphic designers etc. Sketchup is used by architects, interior designers, film-makers, 3D modelers etc.

Is AutoCAD being phased out? ›

The answer is no, AutoCAD is not being phased out. It is still being actively developed and maintained by its parent company, Autodesk.

Who uses AutoCAD the most? ›

Architects and Drafters use AutoCAD to design blueprints for building, bridges, and roads.

Which version of QuickBooks is best for construction? ›

QuickBooks Premier Contractor Edition is the version of QuickBooks software that is most beneficial for you as a general contractor or subcontractor. This version is best suited for constructional projects as it offers initial estimates , professional quotes and tracking job costs.

Do I need CPA with QuickBooks? ›

Yes, you do need a bookkeeper even if you have Quickbooks. We understand that you're a small business owner, and you want to save money where you can. But relying on software alone may cost you more in the long run. Accountants and bookkeepers can offer so much more than Quickbooks.

Do you need to be a CPA to use QuickBooks? ›

No need to be a certified accountant to become a QuickBooks ProAdvisor. As long as you complete and pass the ProAdvisor training, then you'll be qualified as one.

Why do Cpas not like QuickBooks online? ›

QBO doesn't offer the features you need.

This is its own number because this is such a common rejection of the software. As mentioned QBO is not built to handle everything. Construction accounting, job costing, and inventory management are several common limitations. The apps were designed for this purpose.

When should you stop using QuickBooks? ›

Here are the top nine telltale signs it's time to take the leap off of QuickBooks.
  1. You have difficulty managing and consolidating data from multiple entities. ...
  2. You need a more well-documented audit trail. ...
  3. You are about to reach the maximum number of users. ...
  4. You do not have a built-in CRM system.
Jul 21, 2020

Is QuickBooks becoming obsolete? ›

The long answer: Intuit are sunsetting some versions of QuickBooks Desktop (QBD), and it might be possible for some users to keep accessing it —though it is not recommended. From May 31st, 2023, Intuit will stop supporting these QuickBooks Desktop 2020 versions: QuickBooks Desktop Pro 2020.

Is there QuickBooks for construction companies? ›

QuickBooks for construction has four plan options based on your company's size and needs. The cloud-based program works with you when you're on the job or in the office and easily connects with your existing construction apps. Some of our favorite features are the ready-to-use templates and the time tracking software.

Does Square work like QuickBooks? ›

Square and QuickBooks are some of the biggest payment processing software providers though they are different in their features and services. Given that, QuickBooks offers payment processor software for small business owners and Square offers payment processors for large and established business owners.

How do I use QuickBooks for construction company? ›

How to Use QuickBooks for Construction Companies
  1. Estimating a Project. ...
  2. Tracking Your Budget for the Project. ...
  3. Use All of the QuickBooks Lists with a Purpose. ...
  4. Keep the Items List Updated. ...
  5. Customize the Customer and Job Settings. ...
  6. Estimate and Track Costs. ...
  7. Invoice Workflow. ...
  8. Submit Reports Timely and Accurately.

Do real accountants use QuickBooks? ›

Accountants use QuickBooks. CPAs use QuickBooks. Payroll managers use QuickBooks. The software is trusted by millions because it's powerful and versatile, but it's only as good as the person pulling the strings.

How much does it cost to get QuickBooks certified? ›

The National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB) offers a QuickBooks Online certification that costs $449 for nonmembers and $369 for members. The fee includes the course and exam costs. For those ready to take the exam, it costs $156.

How much time does it take to learn QuickBooks? ›

QuickBooks Desktop,” where you can learn both versions of the software in about 50 hours.

Is accounting worth it without CPA? ›

It depends on where you want to work. Most small businesses may never need to file SEC-audited or reviewed financial statements, so your job prospects in small business environments can still be excellent even without the CPA credential.

Can you call yourself an accountant if you are not a CPA? ›

Accounting is basically the recording and reporting of business and financial transactions. Anyone who does that function can call themselves an accountant, even without a degree in accounting, although typically an accountant does have an accounting-related degree.

What is the difference between QuickBooks accounting and bookkeeping? ›

While the terms bookkeeping and accounting are often used interchangeably, bookkeeping is, in essence, the foundation on which accounting is built. Bookkeeping refers specifically to the tasks and practices involved in recording the financial activities, while accounting is more analytical in nature.


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