As the building and trade services industry enters its second year of a boom; that looks like it will last for more years to come, having cloud software to systemise your business is crucial.

Cloud Accounting Software

Xero has been a major player in the Cloud accounting software market for more than a decade. Founded in New Zealand in 2006, the program was one of the first to introduce bank feeds and true “Cloud” storage. Cloud accounting for the building and trade industry

Two years later Xero entered the Australian market and has grown to over 1 million subscribers in Australia alone, and over 2.75 million worldwide.

Much like MYOB, QuickBooks, and other accounting software, Xero has been designed for use by a variety of small and medium-sized businesses.

Moving to Xero software brings with it many efficiencies such as bank feeds, paperless storage, and real-time data that can be accessed simultaneously by the owner, bookkeeper, and accountant.

What are add-ons, APPs, App Partners, and APIs?

  • Add-on: Additional features that fully integrate with the basic software program you are using. For example, Xero add-ons include payroll, auto super, multiple currencies, project tracking, and analytics.
  • App Partners: Third-party businesses that provide additional apps that connect to the accounting program. Xero currently has over 1,000 app partners and MYOB has hundreds of app partners also.
  • APP: An additional third-party program or application that connects to your accounting software. It provides additional functionality specific to your business and shares information between the two via API.
  • API: The acronym for Application Programming Interface, which in simple terms allows two applications to talk to each other.

Add-ons for building and trade services using Xero

Depending on your type of building and trade services business, and the sheer number of add-ons and apps available, you may find it difficult to find those that suit you best. Here are a number of recommendations to look at:

ProjectsBuilding and Trade Projects can be improved with cloud apps

  • Allows you to quickly estimate and quote on jobs
  • Track time, costs, or location-based tracking
  • View job profitability and monitor profit margins on a dashboard
  • Handles customer deposits and progress payments
  • Send customised invoices from quotes and get the online payment immediately


Hubdoc is a document collection and management software. It automates document collection and data entry.

It allows you to:

  • Use less paper
  • Collaborate with your bookkeeper and accountant easier
  • Automatically extract key data off receipts, invoices, and statements e.g. Bunnings PowerPass Accounts, fuel receipts
  • Link your documents to the bank statement line automatically
  • Code transactions for BAS automatically

Apps for Building and Trades


simPRO is an app for field service, trades & contractors who require a beginning-to-end operations manager. It is used by over 7,000 businesses and over 200,000 users globally.

Some features of the cloud-based app are:Cloud based apps for building and trade businesses

  • Schedule & dispatch staff
  • Equipment and contractors
  • Contractor licence & certification checking
  • Electronic forms
  • Estimating & quoting (multiple options and customisation for your business)
  • Invoicing & card payments
  • Reporting for jobs
  • Timesheets
  • Multi-company & asset management
  • Integrations to other apps Mobile apps for smartphones and iPads

SERVICEM8Cloud-based software is suitable for any kind of business that manages jobs and staff who work in the field.

ServiceM8 is a job management app for field service business owners to improve the efficiency of their business.

Its cloud-based software is suitable for any kind of business that manages jobs and staff who work in the field.

Contractors, trades, and home service businesses such as electricians, plumbers, locksmiths, and cleaners. Business sizes can range from sole operators to up to 30 staff, and ServiceM8 also has a powerful solution for franchises. ServiceM8 integrates with Xero, MYOB and QuickBooks.

BUILDXACTApps for building and trade businesses

BUILDXACT is an easy-to-use estimating and job management software for builders and trades. It is one system from take-offs through to invoicing.

It is an online estimating software designed to cut your time doing take-offs by up to 80% using built-in price lists directly from suppliers.

It helps you streamline the administration processes – reducing the double handling of information.

Features include:

  • You can create accurate and professional quotes five times faster
  • Scheduling software designed for small residential builders and trades
  • Track and manage profitability as you go, by category or by item
  • It synchronises invoices and purchase orders with Xero, QuickBooks or MYOB

If you have any questions regarding cloud accounting for your building and trade services business, contact your local RSM adviser.