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Electrical contractor software buyer’s guide: Find the perfect tool for your business

Abstract visual with plug and bolt icons | Ultimate buyer’s guide for electrical contractor software | Knowify

Success in the electrical trades requires a combination of intelligence and hard work, but this alone isn’t enough to thrive in a competitive market. To truly strengthen your business and maximize profits, it’s crucial to have the right digital tools in place.

In this guide, we’ll break down the best electrical contractor software for every stage of business and job type. We’ll also identify the key pieces of functionality you need at every level. 

Best electrical contractor software based on company size, job type, and functionality

Best for single owner/operators

QuickBooks Online

Best for midsize contractors
10 – 200 employees


Best for large contractors
100+ employees


Best for house calls
single-day service contracts

ServiceTitan / Jobber

Best for long-term contracts
multi-day contracts


Best for companies that do contract and service work


What to look for in electrical contractor software

6 must-have features

✓ Billing & invoicing
✓ Accounting tool integrations
✓ Scheduling & dispatch management

✓ Quotes / Estimates
✓ Job costing
✓ Client communication

Best software for single owner/operators | QuickBooks Online Plus or Advanced

PriceStarts at $90/month
Why it’s great● Affordable 
● Helps get you up to speed with financial bookkeeping and tracking
● Integrates with other software
● Can get started in minutes
Avoid ifYou have teams larger than 10 employees. If you’ve started to take on larger or more complex jobs you’ll need a dedicated software solution built specifically for electrical contracting jobs. 
Read more

If you’re a single owner/operator, getting your finances under control should be your first step, and you don’t really need dedicated electrical contractor software at this stage of your business to do that. 

While we always recommend getting set up with project management software, the dollars and cents of your business need to be cleaned up first. Frankly, you’ll be just fine getting by with QuickBooks Online at this stage. 

This will give you the basics for getting ahold of your finances: expense tracking, tax preparation, and financial reporting. It’s cost-effective and more than enough to get you started. Consider using other low cost tools like Google Sheets and consider connecting to tools like Zapier to improve workflows. 

What’s most important for you at this stage is a tool that handles both AP and AR in the same platform and integrates well with other tools. If you’re set up in QuickBooks you’ll be primed and ready to go should you decide to upgrade to a more robust system like Knowify. 

It’s all about getting organized and understanding your finances. QuickBooksOnline is an affordable and approachable option for doing so.

The software functionality you need at this level


You need software for accurate financial record keeping that includes tracking sales, expenses, and profits. This is crucial for more than just organizational purposes. When tax season hits you’ll need to have software that helps you prepare and file tax returns. QuickBooksOnline does all of this and more and is a great place to start your journey into bookkeeping and accounting. By having access to detailed financial reports and insights, you can make more informed decisions about budgeting, forecasting, and growth strategies for the business.


A contractor who is the single owner/operator of their business often has to juggle multiple tasks and responsibilities on a daily basis. With so much on your plate, it can become overwhelming and time-consuming to keep track of everything manually. This is where tools with robust organization functionality becomes essential. Tools like Google Calendar or are great tools to start with. These will help you automate scheduling to a degree and have multiple features for keeping track of tasks and jobs. 

Integration potential

As your business grows and you take on more and more jobs, you’ll eventually need to upgrade to a dedicated project management system. If you don’t have your bookkeeping in a system like QuickBooks that can integrate with other tools, your finances will be spread across multiple tools. This isn’t ideal and it can quickly convolute your numbers. Integrations into tools like QuickBooks relieve the added administrative burden that is caused by data spread across multiple tools that can’t talk to each other. 

Best software for large contractors | Sage Intacct / Custom Solution

If you’re on the other side of the spectrum and have a company of 200 or more employees, your best option is an enterprise resource planning software system–otherwise known as an ERP system. 

Why it’s great● Scalability
● Robust financial management
● Customized to fit your specific needs
Avoid ifYou don’t have teams large enough to warrant an ERP solution or don’t have the financial resources available to invest in such a tool.
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At this level of business, you’ll have hundreds of employees, and you’ll be handling several large contracts at once. At this size, it still depends on the type of work and contracts you handle. If you’re a service-based company that handles a ton of service contracts, you’ll need a tool that tracks and organizes a large number of service contracts.

Something like Jobber for instance might be enough to provide the level of functionality that you need to keep a lot of jobs organized. However, if you’ve grown to become a general contractor and you’re subbing out a lot of work, then a tool like Sage Intacct or similar enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems will be a better option. More than likely, you’ll need a custom stack of tools that meet the needs and type of work that you handle. 

Large general contractors typically work on a variety of projects that have different requirements. Therefore, you should avoid software with highly specialized features that cater to only a specific type of project or industry. This can limit the software’s versatility and may not be suitable for all projects.

In addition, data-driven insights are more important than ever at this level of business. You’ll need a system that can handle analytics of every kind: financial reporting, productivity reporting, customizable dashboards, and more. You’ll also need a tool that integrates with other tools. Chances are, you’ll have a suite of tools at your disposal, and your project management software will need to interact with as many as possible. 

However, if you’re in the middle of the spectrum and your business has grown to include a second employee; a handful of employees; or 50 employees, you’ll need to ask yourself a few questions before finding the right tool. We break this down in the next section. 

The software functionality you need at this level

Project planning

A large electrical contracting business deals with a high volume of projects, both big and small. With the help of project planning software like Sage, you can easily manage project timelines, allocate resources, and track progress across large or complex contracts. 

Since you’re handling multiple projects at once, coordinating and managing the different teams and tasks becomes crucial. Sage provides a centralized platform for project communication, document management, and task scheduling, allowing teams to collaborate and stay updated in real-time.

Budget management

At this level of business you’ll need a full suite of cost management software, including integrations with accounting software. Sage provides a centralized platform for managing project data, enabling all stakeholders to access and update project budgets in real-time. This ensures accurate and up-to-date budget tracking across all projects. 

Sage is also scalable, meaning it can handle multiple complex projects simultaneously. This allows large electrical contracting businesses to manage their budgets effectively, even when dealing with a large number of projects.

Document management

You need a tool that can upload, share, and store thousands of documents, synced automatically in the cloud. Large electrical contracting businesses handle a significant amount of paperwork, such as contracts, blueprints, and permits. 

More than likely you’ll be handling an untold number of change orders as well. With Sage, project managers can quickly evaluate the impact of any changes on the project budget. This helps them make informed decisions and effectively manage change requests without causing delays or cost overruns. 

Reporting and analytics

At this scale of business data driven insights are at the center of every decision you make. You’ll need a system that can provide the wide range of custom and in-depth reports that your specific business needs. 

Sage provides customizable reports that enable project managers to track and analyze budget data in a format that suits their specific needs. This helps in identifying trends and potential risks that can impact the budget.

Job costing

Every electrical contracting project has unique requirements and costs. For this reason, job costing functionality is paramount to the success of every project. Sage software captures data from past projects, which allows project managers to analyze and forecast budget trends accurately. This helps in making proactive decisions to avoid budget overruns.

Best for midsize contractors (10 – 200 employees) | Knowify

Overall Knowify is the best choice for small to medium contractors of any trade who handle both long term and short term contracts (more on this later). However, there is a caveat here. If you’re a small to mid-sized business, the best software choice will come down to how long your jobs last: 

Best for house calls (single-day service contracts) | Jobber / ServiceTitan

If your jobs last less than a day:

PriceJobber — $102/mo
ServiceTitan — $398/mo
Why it’s great● Job tracking and scheduling: With features such as job tracking and scheduling, both software help small subcontractors efficiently manage and organize single-day service contracts, ensuring that no job is overlooked.
● Time tracking and invoicing: Jobber and ServiceTitan both have time tracking and invoicing features, which allow contractors to accurately invoice clients and monitor time spent on jobs.
● Affordable pricing: Jobber has affordable pricing plans for small subcontractors, with the option to upgrade as the business grows.
● Simplified features: Neither software delivers overcomplicated software with features your team won’t use.
Avoid if● You primarily handle long-term contracts 
● You require robust financial reporting & tracking
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If you exclusively handle jobs that last less than a day, such as service work, then your best bet is to go with a tool like ServiceTitan or Jobber. These tools will help you improve your scheduling with built-in dispatching capabilities. They also offer real-time tracking to help you check on job status and track time spent on ongoing jobs. 

However, if you handle contracts that last multiple days, these tools won’t be able to handle the complexity or level of organization needed for longer jobs. For this reason, you’ll need a tool that can handle the scalability and robustness that more complex jobs bring. 

The software functionality you need at this level

Estimating and quoting

A crucial feature for a contractor that only does single-day house calls is the ability to quickly and accurately estimate and quote on jobs. Jobber and ServiceTitan both allow for timely and accurate pricing for clients through their invoicing systems. 

In addition, a successful bid proposal needs a portfolio of supporting documents, so you’ll need a system that facilitates the organization and shareability of all these different documents. 

Scheduling and dispatching

Scheduling is a constant dance of timing and guesswork. Deciding which technician to send and when to send them can cause serious strain on your administrative process. For this, you’ll need software that allows you to optimize dispatch management or how you assign and handle service calls. 

Efficient scheduling and dispatching tools provided by both ServiceTitan and Jobber are essential for managing single-day house call contracts. This includes the ability to assign electricians to specific jobs, track their progress, and communicate with them in real-time.

Customer management

Effective customer management features are crucial for a business that only does single-day house call contracts. This includes the ability to store customer information, track customer history, and manage communication with clients.

Best for long-term contracts | Knowify

If your jobs last longer than a day.

Why it’s great● Scalability: Knowify can grow with a subcontracting business, making it a great long-term solution for small to midsize companies as they expand and take on larger projects.
● Streamlined estimating and bidding process: Knowify’s integrated estimating and bidding feature makes the process of creating and submitting accurate bids much more efficient, saving subcontractors time and hassle.
● Budget and cost management: With features like budget tracking and purchase order management, Knowify helps subcontractors stay on top of project costs and avoid going over budget.
● Integration with accounting software: Knowify seamlessly integrates with popular accounting software, such as QuickBooks, making it easier for subcontractors to manage their finances and maintain accurate financial records.
Avoid ifYou sub out all of your work, or you exclusively do jobs that last less than one day. In that case, you’ll need a dedicated ERP system that includes a custom-built system for your specific job types and needs. 
Read more

If your jobs last longer than a single day, your best option is a comprehensive project management solution like Knowify. Through powerful scheduling, budgeting, invoicing, and job costing, Knowify delivers an all-encompassing platform for specialty contractors to manage multiple projects simultaneously. 

Additionally, it integrates with QuickBooksOnline. In fact, Knowify is the official construction software partner of Intuit, which means that in just a few clicks, your financial reporting, operational reporting, and profit and loss information is perfectly psyched between the two systems.

The software functionality you need at this level

Project scheduling and management

Beyond basic scheduling capabilities, you need a tool that allows you to keep track of everything. Look for features that allow you to track time on-site, expenses, and bonus points for any software that gives geofencing capabilities. 

Knowify’s robust construction project management software delivers the ability to manage and track project schedules for multiple days, including creating and assigning tasks, monitoring progress, and setting deadlines.

Job cost reporting and analytics

Electrical contractors cannot afford to go without job costing features. Knowify’s real-time data and insights into project costs, profitability, and productivity. This information will help you make better business decisions and identify areas for improvement. 

Time tracking

You’ll need a time tracking feature to record hours worked by employees, subcontractors, and equipment on-site over several days to ensure accurate billing and payroll. Knowify ensures you can quickly view construction project schedules or dispatch work and assign jobs or tasks to the right individuals or crews from your team.

Billing & invoicing

You’ll need a system that streamlines invoicing and payment collection. Knowify does this by handling invoicing for all major contract types. This includes e-signable contract management for fixed-price, cost-plus, and American Institute of Architects (AIA) style contracts. 

In addition, change order management capabilities ensure you can create, send, and approve change orders in a workflow that factors those changes into your project plan in real-time while also invoicing clients.

Client communication

When picking software, ensure you find one that allows you to easily maintain direct contact with your clients–whether that be providing updates or sharing important documents. This can do wonders for dispute mitigation since document sharing can be done with just a click of a button. 
But it’s not just a one-way street—the best tools allow for two-way communication through a client portal, making it easy to stay connected whether in the office or in the field. With a customizable customer portal, contractors can create a centralized hub for their projects, making it easy to share updates, get quick approvals, and manage invoices and payments.

Best for companies that do contract and service work | Knowify

Why it’s great● Customizable reporting: Knowify offers customizable reporting options, allowing subcontractors to generate real-time reports on project progress, budgets, and other important metrics.
● Streamlines project management by centralizing all project information in one platform.
● Provides real-time updates and notifications for project progress, changes, and deadlines.
● Provides customizable templates and forms for creating professional proposals and contracts for both long-term and short-term projects.
Avoid ifYou’re a small or solo contractor who does not require detailed project management, scheduling, or project tracking. In that case, we recommend getting started with QuickBooksOnline to get finances in order. As you scale your business solutions like Knowify will become a natural progression forward in your project management needs. 
Read more

Knowify is the only platform that handles contract and service work in one platform. You need a tool that can scale with your business as you take on bigger and more complex jobs while at the same time, delivering on the smaller nuances needed for service work. 

Knowify saves you time by providing support at every step of a project, from creating proposals to budgeting to real-time job costing to streamlined payment and invoicing, Knowify is there to help every step of the way. 

I always felt like we were better electricians than businessmen – I was looking for a way to work smarter – not harder, and Knowify helped us get there. It probably saves me two hours in the office, every single day.

Michael Haff
Owner, Castle Electric

The software functionality you need at this level

Job cost reporting and analytics

Electrical contractors cannot afford to go without job costing features. What’s more, you’ll need a tool that can handle job costing and reporting specifically for electrical contracting jobs. This includes real-time cost tracking with the ability to track costs against project budgets. 

Knowify’s real-time data and insights into project costs, profitability, and productivity. This information will help you make better business decisions and identify areas for improvement. 

Estimating and quoting

Knowify enables fast and accurate estimate and quote creation for both single-day and contract work. Create professional, accurate proposals in one minute or less, no matter the job type.  A fully-fledged electrical contractor software like Knowify will allow you to create fast and efficient proposals. Customization plays another important role here.  

Knowify includes the ability to incorporate company details, pricing, and contract terms to make your proposal clear and to the point. Knowify also includes the ability to attach important files such as blueprints, design plans, work schedules, and payment schedules all in one place. 

Scheduling and dispatching

When handling both job types, you’ll need a tool that gives you a full view of project timelines. Knowify automatically updates project costs as your team logs time, material purchases, and any other expenses from the field. 

This level of functionality can be a game changer for getting your operations in order. This level of organization will also include scheduling capabilities for individuals or teams for both long-term and single-day dispatch jobs. 

Customer management

Effective customer management features are crucial for a business that only does single-day house call contracts. This includes the ability to store customer information, track customer history, and manage communication with clients. Other useful features include the ability to manage RFIs and submittals

This is made simpler by allowing for easy creation and storage of these documents, as well as capturing responses from clients. By keeping all project paperwork in one centralized location and providing customizable permissions, you can create a secure and organized system. If the software you’re considering doesn’t have this capability, scratch it from your list. 

Accounting integrations

Handling both job types requires a Bi-directional integration to accounting tools. Instead of having to enter accounting information into multiple tools, you’ll want software that allows you to enter each type of transaction only once. But you’ll need it in a way that the information is consistent in both tools. 

This is known as a bi-directional integration. This may seem complicated at first, but it all boils down to a system that eliminates double-entry. Knowify does just this as the official construction integration partner of Intuit. 

How to choose the best electrical contracting software

Identify the functionality you need based on the type of work you do

Before you start researching software options, it is important to clearly define your company’s specific needs and goals. This will help you narrow down your search and find the software that best aligns with your business objectives. 

Ask yourself questions such as: 

  • What specific tasks or processes do you want the software to help with? 
  • What challenges do you currently face in your day-to-day operations? 
  • What features and functionality are essential for your business? 
  • How much are you willing to invest in software? Creating a list of your needs and goals will serve as a starting point for your search and help you determine what you are looking for in a software solution. 

Again, identify the functionality your business needs most. Does scheduling give you headaches? Is your bookkeeping a mess? Is dispatching the bane of your existence? Think hard about the obstacles that hold you back from taking the next step with your business. Start your search with these priorities in mind and look for tools that will solve more than just one problem. 

If you’re looking to improve your system for sharing photos, then look for a tool like Company Cam. This tool offers unlimited photo storage, checklists, and PDF photo reports for improved communication with your crew and customers. 

If you just need a time-tracking tool, consider BusyBusy: a GPS time-tracking software that delivers real-time reporting with a mobile time-tracking app.  

If you mainly handle residential contracts, you’ll need something that fosters a better client experience through the entire life cycle of projects. Look for tools that offer client portals, photo sharing, and robust payment processing. You’ll also need a tool that handles anything client-facing, such as custom/branded proposals, and a robust sales pipeline to keep everything nice and organized. 

If you primarily tackle commercial work, you’ll need to prioritize tools that offer comprehensive progress billing systems. If you handle government work, you’ll need a system that can handle AIA billing formats. Additionally, with more complex jobs, you’ll need a robust job costing system that includes real-time reporting and WIP reporting that can break down costs in an actionable way.

The benefits of using electrical contractor software

  • Streamlined scheduling and dispatching 
  • Improved invoicing efficiency
  • Accurate reporting through real-time job costing
  • Streamlined project management 
  • Improved communication
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Advanced workflows

As we’ve learned some businesses will have a need for certain features over others. Some may need help in scheduling, while others desperately need help organizing their documents. Others need improvement everywhere. No matter your need if you’re a small to midsize contractor Knowify has you covered. 

As your business scales and you start to take on larger and more complex jobs, you’ll need a tool that can grow with you. Ideally, you’ll want software that combines all of the functionality we’ve covered into a single tool. Knowify does just that. 

Knowify delivers the complete package of functionality and usability needed to handle the nuances of electrical contracting work.

Knowify | Organized projects that stay on-budget

Take control of your electrical contracting business and optimize your workflow with Knowify. Book a demo with Knowify today and see how our all-in-one construction management software can streamline your business, increase productivity, and maximize profits. Schedule a 1-on-1 demo today