Construction firms face unique payroll challenges. A design and build company may have a mix of employed staff, from architects and independent contractors to electricians and plumbers. The nature of work also means that most construction staff are employed on a short-term contractual basis covering the duration of the project period.
In addition, employers in this industry have to grapple with the following:
- Tracking time: On a construction project, supervisors need to track their time and how it is allocated over multiple construction sites, as well as ensure accurate billing of the hours worked.
- Computing pay-as-you-go workers’ compensation: This requires construction firms to accurately track the hours worked by their employees and contractors, as well as calculate required periodic premiums for each state. Calculations done manually are subject to errors and can lead to overpayment or underpayment. Also, some companies try to solve this problem by making lump sum annual payments, which ends up compromising monthly cash flow.
- Tracking prevailing wages: The prevailing wage consists of an hourly rate plus a fringe benefit rate, which can either be given as cash or in the form of appropriate benefits. Adding these two amounts gives you the actual hourly cost for each employee on the job site. This rate must be paid to employees based on the area in which they work. The wage can vary from state to state and is usually determined by the state’s Department of Labor.
- Trade union matters: Construction firms often have to comply with specific regulations based on trade unions, such as those related to collective bargaining agreements.
- Certified payroll forms: Federal and military construction projects require extra paperwork, including certified payroll forms. These are used to confirm that the employees have been paid according to the prevailing wage rate.
- Lack of bank accounts: It isn’t uncommon for construction workers to lack bank accounts. Employers, therefore, have to consider other ways of paying wages, such as prepaid bank cards.
In order to effectively manage these complexities, reliable construction payroll software is essential. The right software can streamline the management of construction payroll.
- Feature comparison table
- Best construction payroll software of 2023
- How to choose the right construction payroll software
Feature comparison table
Below are our top seven picks for the best construction payroll software for 2023.
|Stand-alone contractor payroll package||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Pay-as-you-go workers’ compensation||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Certified payroll forms||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Prepaid bank cards or virtual wallets||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes|
Best construction payroll software of 2023
ADP: Best overall
ADP is a comprehensive construction payroll software that provides construction firms with an all-in-one solution for managing payroll. It offers features such as time tracking, pay-as-you-go workers’ compensation, certified payroll forms and self-service options. ADP also has a mobile app that allows contractors to access their payroll information from anywhere.
In addition, the software has a to-do list that shows operators all the critical tasks they need to resolve before they can run payroll, which includes approvals or missed punches. All pay data can be managed from a Worksheet tab that displays the name of the construction employee, payment status, the gross pay and the number of times the staff member has been paid.
From the payroll details screen, users can access payroll summary, employee summary, statistical earnings, labor cost, funding and the list of payroll preview reports.
Users can also create a G/L file and submit it to the bank or payroll file, as well as create custom reports that can be used for budgeting and financial planning.
- Multi-jurisdiction payroll processing: ADP construction payroll software assists companies in managing construction payroll in over 140 jurisdictions.
- Flexible pay delivery options: ADP provides construction firms with an array of flexible payment delivery options, including direct deposit, check delivery, printing your own checks, and the Wisely Pay Paycard.
- ADP SmartCompliance: This feature helps construction companies to remain compliant with local, state and federal tax requirements.
- Point and click reports: Generate insightful reports from hundreds of templates.
- Mobile app: ADP comes with a mobile app for contractors, so they can access their payroll information from anywhere.
- ADP Marketplace integrations: With the ADP Marketplace, you can connect with third-party apps via API to extend the software’s functionality.
- Full-service payroll outsourcing: ADP can provide full-service payroll outsourcing, allowing you to outsource confidential employee data and critical payroll processes.
- Flexible payment delivery options.
- Compliance assistance.
- Variety of reports and integrations.
- Full-service payroll outsourcing.
- Some features are only available to users on higher-priced plans.
ADP offers two main pricing tiers:
- Small Business Payroll: For companies with 1 to 49 employees. The vendor is currently running a promotional offer where buyers get three months of free payroll (subject to terms and conditions).
- Mid and Large Business Payroll: For companies with more than 50 employees.
For each category, ADP offers four pricing plans. However, the company does not publish the actual costs to the public. To receive an individualized quote, prospective buyers must fill out a web form with their data or contact the sales team.
Customers can also sign up for a self-guided or customized demo to explore the tool’s features.
Gusto: Best for ease of use
Gusto is a complete payroll and HR software solution for small to medium-sized businesses. It provides businesses with an easy-to-use interface, so they can manage their payroll tasks without needing external help.
Gusto helps construction firms keep up with employee onboarding, time tracking, paychecks, compliance reporting and more. With Gusto, companies can create payrolls in minutes and issue employee paychecks via direct deposit, check delivery or debit card.
The software also offers a mobile app for contractors to access their payroll information from anywhere. There is a self-service option that enables employees to review their pay stubs, W2 and 1099 forms without having to contact the payroll department.
- Pay-as-you-go workers’ compensation: Streamline the process by setting up and signing your workers’ compensation policy online, then pay regularly instead of in one lump sum.
- 120 countries: Gusto can manage payroll and other tasks in 120 countries.
- Gusto debit card: Employees can access their paychecks through the Gusto Prepaid Visa Card, eliminating the need to wait for direct deposit or check delivery.
- e-Sign, e-file and e-fax forms: Streamline all of your paperwork with the help of digital signing, filing and faxing capabilities.
- Employee time tracking: Track employee hours for payroll accuracy.
- Integrations with third-party apps: Integrate Gusto with other software via the Gusto App Directory.
- Mobile app for employees and contractors: Contractors can access their pay information anywhere using the mobile app.
- Easy to use user interface.
- Automatic tax filing and compliance reporting.
- Secure data storage and encryption.
- Direct deposit and check delivery options.
- Simple plan is limited.
Gusto offers four pricing plans:
- Simple plan: Starts at $40 per month, plus $6 per month per employee.
- Plus plan: Starts at $80 per month, plus $12 per month per employee.
- Premium plan: Available upon request.
- Contractor Only plan: Starts at $35 per month, plus $6 per month per contractor (with the base monthly fee waived for six months).
Customers can also sign up for a free demo before purchasing the software.
Payroll4Construction: Best for complex construction payroll
As the name suggests, Payroll4Construction is a software solution designed specifically for the construction industry. It provides contractors with an easy-to-use interface to manage payroll tasks and employee information.
- Automated reporting: Create a variety of reports with just one click.
- Preformatted print and electronic reports: Generate a wide range of preformatted payroll, W-2 and 1099 forms.
- Automated pay rates and fringes: Automatically calculate the correct wages and fringes owed to employees.
- Integrations with popular accounting programs: Connect with popular accounting programs like QuickBooks and Foundation.
- Direct deposit and check delivery: Simplify the payment process by using direct deposit or sending checks via mail.
- Handles complex construction payroll issues: Payroll4Construction is designed to handle the complexities of the construction industry, from lien releases to prevailing wage requirements.
- Designed specifically for the construction industry.
- Accurate calculations and timely payments.
- Integrations with popular accounting programs.
- May be more expensive than other software for smaller companies.
Payroll4Construction does not publish its pricing online. Customers must contact the company for a quote.
eBacon: Best for managing prevailing wages
eBacon is specifically designed to handle all the common and time-consuming tasks that come with managing a construction workforce. From time and attendance to workers’ compensation, everything is included. You can even pick and choose which services you need, making it the perfect solution for any construction company looking to streamline its operations.
- Workers’ compensation: eBacon offers OSHA reporting, online claim submission and tracking, which allows employers to manage workers’ compensation claims quickly and easily.
- Advanced time and attendance: Track employee hours accurately with the help of advanced time-tracking features.
- Comprehensive payroll services: Process payroll quickly with various services, including tax filing, general ledger imports, state tax reciprocity calculations, unlimited direct deposit and deductions, certified payroll, and reporting support.
- Self-service administrative support: Manage all administrative tasks independently with built-in self-service support.
- Customizable plans that fit any budget.
- Certified payroll.
- Secure data storage and encryption.
- Android and iPhone Mobile apps.
- Lacks a contractor-only payroll plan.
The vendor does not list its pricing on its website. Customers must contact the company directly for a quote. A free demo is also available.
Papaya: Best for construction companies with international projects
Papaya is a global payroll platform powered by AI, featuring integrations, guaranteed compliance and embedded payments. It helps construction companies manage their international operations. From tracking employee time and attendance to managing taxes, the platform makes it possible for organizations to comply with global labor laws.
- Global payroll management: Manage payroll for international workforces with a single platform.
- AI-driven compliance engine: Use AI to ensure your organization is compliant with global labor laws.
- Time and attendance tracking: Track employee time and attendance accurately, in real-time.
- Powerful analytics and reports: Generate insightful reports so you can better understand your global payroll operations.
- Papaya Personal mobile app: Keep track of payroll data anytime, anywhere with the Papaya Personal mobile app.
- Embedded payments platform: Send payments directly from the platform using multiple payment methods. Like a global bank, the vendor is licensed to hold and transfer funds in multiple jurisdictions.
- AI-driven compliance engine ensures accuracy.
- Intuitive user interface makes it easy to use.
- Mobile app gives employees access to their payroll data.
- Virtual wallets for staff.
- Multi-currency support.
- The cost is not ideal for small and medium-sized construction firms.
Papaya Global offers several types of plans and products, including these:
- Contractor Management: $2 per month per contractor.
- Full-Service Payroll: $12 per month per employee.
- Employer of Record: $650 per month per employee.
- Payroll Platform License: $3 per month per employee.
QuickBooks: Best for construction companies already using QuickBooks accounting software
QuickBooks is a popular accounting software platform that helps construction companies manage their payroll and finances. The QuickBooks payroll feature allows businesses to calculate employee salaries, process payments, and track time and attendance.
- Multi-state payroll tax service: Calculate taxes for multiple states quickly and accurately.
- Employee self-service portal: Employees can access their payroll data anytime, anywhere via the secure self-service portal.
- Direct deposit of paychecks: Automatically direct deposit paychecks into employees’ bank accounts on payday.
- Tax penalty protection: The vendor pays up to $25,000 if you are penalized by regulators for a violation.
- Auto taxes and forms: Automatically generate payroll taxes and forms, so you never miss a filing date.
- Time tracking: Track employee time with ease.
- Integration with other QuickBooks products: Seamlessly integrate all your QuickBooks data for accurate reporting.
- 1099 E-File & Pay: File 1099s electronically with just a few clicks.
- Expert setup: Get personalized assistance from an expert to ensure everything is set up correctly the first time around.
- Seamless integration with other QuickBooks products.
- Comprehensive tax compliance services.
- Employee self-service portal. Tax penalty protection and auto taxes and forms.
It is not the best option for companies with multiple states or international operations.
QuickBooks runs regular promotions and discounts. Plus, customers get a complimentary 30-day trial period. Below are the current pricing packages:
- Payroll Core: $45 per month plus $5 per employee per month.
- Payroll Premium: $75 per month plus $8 per employee per month.
- Payroll Elite: $125 per month plus $10 per employee per month.
Choosing the right construction payroll software
As mentioned at the outset, construction firms are unlike most other companies. Their unique requirements mean that technology shoppers must consider the peculiar needs of their business, such as time tracking, contractor payroll packages, self-service options, mobile apps, pay-as-you-go workers’ compensation, certified payroll forms, and special payment methods such as prepaid bank cards and virtual wallets. In addition, you should also consider the vendor’s reputation, customer support options, and pricing.
We have considered all the aforementioned factors in developing this list of the top construction payroll software for 2023. We conducted thorough research on relevant databases to generate this review. Our sources include vendor websites and collected user feedback.