The Best Tools and Software for California Contractors

As a contractor in California, managing jobs, finances, and client communication can be difficult. Luckily, there are a variety of applications and tools available to make your work more efficient and manageable. 

Applications and tools are available to make your work more efficient and manageable. By embracing these tools and learning to use them to their maximum potential, you can establish a huge advantage over your tech-averse competitors.

Project Management Tools

Effective project management is an essential element of any successful construction company. If you can’t manage people, timelines, and material well, you will miss your bids, end up costing the client more, and ultimately lose work as your reputation tanks.

There are a number of easy-to-learn apps that can help you keep track of deadlines, schedules, budgets, and team members in a way that puts you ahead of your peers.

Trello, Asana, and Monday are three of the most popular and user-friendly project management apps. They all function similarly — using boards, lists, and cards to organize tasks and projects. You can generate task cards and task boards for each project, along with milestones and timelines to track the project’s progress. 

As you grow, you can integrate new team members, adding new tasks and new employees into your pipeline seamlessly. By establishing one of these programs as your established project management software, you can set a precedent for handling projects going forward.

Accounting Software

Strict management of your financial health is essential to the operation of a successful contracting business, whether you’re a sole proprietor or in charge of dozens of employees. 

Accounting software can help you monitor your expenditures, invoices, and payments. Here are the best accounting tools for contractors in California.


QuickBooks is probably the most popular piece of accounting software out there. If you’re a small contractor, QuickBooks is a cheap and accessible app for billing, expenditure tracking, and payment administration. As an added bonus, QuickBooks integrates with other applications such as Trello and Asana, making it easy to manage your accounts and projects from a single location. Score!


An alternative to Quickbooks, Xero is another popular accounting tool among small contractors. Like QuickBooks, Xero can help you manage your finances effectively, allowing you to track spending, generate invoices, and manage payments in one place. It also integrates with Stripe and PayPal, making it easy to manage your finances if you use either of those for payment.

Communication Apps

Effective communication is essential to maintaining timelines and costs as you work through your project. Using communication tools, you can maintain contact with your team members, clients, and vendors as things change in real time. Here are some of the most effective methods of communication for California contractors.


Slack is a well-known app for communicating with team members that helps everyone stay on the same page in real-time. In addition to simple text communication, you can share images, video and files via Slack. You can also create channels for distinct projects, departments, and teams using Slack. 

Like Quickbooks, Slack also integrates with Trello and Asana, making it easy to organize your projects and communication in one place.

Zoom/Google Meet/Microsoft Teams

Thanks to the pandemic, everybody is using video conferencing now, and chances are, you’ve used one of these services at some point already. 

While video conferencing is an excellent tool for simple meetings with clients or coworkers, It can also be used for doing walkthroughs, examining construction materials, or providing an overall sense of project progress.

Which platform you use really depends on your clients. A lot of corporate clients use Microsoft Teams, while clients like homeowners use a free service like Google Meet. 

What matters is that you meet your client where they need to be met. Knowing all of these communication technologies can give you a significant advantage over other contractors.

Estimation Tools

A contracting business needs to be able to accurately estimate the cost of a project, period.  These tools can assist you in generating precise estimates, tracking expenditures, and managing bids. 

Here are some of the best estimating tools for contractors in California. 


STACK is another estimation tool that can help contractors quickly generate accurate quotes for projects. It includes takeoffs, annotations, and bid management capabilities. STACK works with other apps like PlanGrid and Procore, so project and estimate management can be done in one place. This is hugely helpful for construction projects.


ProEst is a tool for estimating that allows contractors to quickly generate reliable estimates. It has cost-effective database capabilities, pre-built templates, and digital takeoffs. ProEst also interacts with other applications such as QuickBooks, allowing you to handle your money and estimates in a single location.


PlanSwift is a software program for estimating that helps contractors make accurate estimates by using digital designs. It includes features like takeoffs, annotations, and digital measurements. Like ProEst, PlanSwift also integrates with QuickBooks.


As a contractor in California, managing projects, finances, communication, and estimates can be overwhelming. But, with the proper tools and applications, you may streamline and improve the efficiency of your work. 

Whether you’re building a skyscraper in downtown Los Angeles or pouring concrete for your neighbor’s steps, these tools will assist you in staying organized, communicating effectively, and managing your budget and estimates with precision, so you can build your network and make more money.

This entry was posted in Contractor Business on by .

About CSLS

Contractors State License Service (CSLS) is the largest school in California devoted to the Construction professional. For over 23 years, CSLS has helped its students pass the exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California, licensing more students than any other school. From our main offices in Southern California, CSLS operates over 25 locations with full-service support and classrooms. We have grown to this extent by providing quality, professional services. In comparison, this provides 7 times the number of convenient locations than the second largest contractor school. Contractors State License Services is one of the only contractor schools in the state that is run by educators, not lawyers or people mostly interested in the bonding and insurance business. Contractors State License Services formerly operated under the oversight of the State of California's Bureau for Private Post Secondary and Vocational Education. As of January 1 2010, the new Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) came into existence replacing the BPPVE. CSLS now operates under the provisions of the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (CPPEA), Article 4 Section 94874(f). Our Mission is simple; We can help you pass your California Contractors License Exam. Celebrating our 25th year, CSLS has helped over 120,000 students pass the California contractor licensing exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California. Additionally, we offer complete home study and online contractor’s license programs to help you pass your California contractors license exam. CSLS offers licensing classes for all types of contractor licenses, including General Engineering Contractor, General Building Contractor, Specialty Contractor, Insulation and Acoustical Contractor, Framing and Rough Carpentry Contractor, Cabinet, Millwork and Finish Carpentry Contractor, Concrete Contractor, Drywall Contractor, Electrical Contractor, Elevator Contractor, Landscaping Contractor, Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning Contractor, and many others. For a complete list of contractor licenses, visit and tuned for more informative posts.