September 24, 2014


Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate, formerly Sage Timberline Office, has long been considered the leader in construction accounting software. But is it all it’s cracked up to be? Well, yes and no.

Sage has a long history of in-depth, industry-specific accounting software. According to their website <>, “For over four decades, Sage has been the industry leader in construction and real estate.” Although there are many other options available now <>, Sage is still considered the top choice.

Sage 300 does provide the deep functionality required by larger construction companies, meaning those with gross revenues of at least $5 million a year. In addition to traditional accounting modules such as payroll, accounts payable and receivable, general ledger and trial balance, Sage 300 is also an overall management system that offers construction specific functions, such as takeoff, cost estimating, project management, and service management. All of which are essential to successfully manage your business, and your profits.

Our major point of contention is that Sage sold us flexibility, but we actually found the software parameters to be constraining. You may find you have to alter the infrastructure of your business to meet the software limitations, which begs the question: is it worth it?

Sage 300 is a considerable investment. We would advise business owners to closely consider the cost of the software before buying, and whether or not it will provide an equal return. You can run some rough numbers yourself, based on your gross revenue and the number of projects you complete each year. How much will you need to save per job managed with this software, in order to get a good return on your investment? You know your business better than anyone. If it doesn’t seem realistic, maybe you should try a less expensive option, and figure out another way to implement the functionality you’re looking for. If you’re uncertain, talk to your accountant.

With the changing face of software and information technology across the board, the next 24 months from Sage will be key in determining if they will continue to lead the field of construction industry software. The upgrades to come are promising. Let’s hope they deliver.

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