The Ultimate Guide to Construction Accounting

construction bookkeeping for dummies

Overbilling occurs when a contractor bills for contracted labor and materials prior to that work actually being completed. While construction accounting is similar to regular business accounting, there are some differences that have been adapted to the industry. Depending on the project, the application may require additional documentation, such as lien releases, a contractor’s sworn statement, or certified payroll reports. A job profitability report analyzes the difference between the estimated costs and actual costs.

Losing your bookkeeping records due to a natural disaster, a computer virus, or hardware failure can be devastating. Additionally, while a non-certified accountant could handle some of your bookkeeping needs, you should focus on certified and licensed accountants to stay on the safe side. Lastly, as Hubstaff records workers’ arrival and departure times, there is no need for them to note down this information manually.

Specialized Construction Billing

This may include service work, design services, consulting, engineering, sourcing materials, and more. Accounting is an essential part of running a successful construction business. However, managing your business finances correctly doesn’t always come naturally—especially if you’re not much of a numbers person. What’s more, accounting for construction company finances has some unique challenges compared to other types of businesses. With the installment method, you only record revenue once you’ve received payment from the client.

Last, a balance sheet is subject to several areas of professional judgement that may materially impact the report. For example, accounts receivable must be continually assessed for impairment and adjusted to reflect potential uncollectible accounts. Without knowing which receivables a company is likely to actually receive, a company must make estimates and reflect their best guess as part of the balance sheet. This financial statement lists everything a company owns and all of its debt.

Scattered custom projects

Now that we’ve covered the differences between regular accounting and construction accounting, it’s time to dive in and discuss the different construction accounting methods. Certain revenue recognition methods may be more suitable for your business depending on your company size, annual revenue, and project real estate bookkeeping lengths. This article will help you decide which method is best suited for your construction projects and simplify your construction accounting processes. Once your business bank account and credit card are set up, you’ll want to connect your accounts to reputable construction accounting software.

  • A work in progress report analyzes the progress on active projects by recognizing revenue as a percentage of the costs that have been accrued to date.
  • Procurement strategy refers to a long-term plan to cost-effectively acquire the necessary..
  • You’ll also need to account for contract retainers, usually 5-10 percent of the contract amount.
  • We also considered the availability of long-term discounts, contract-free plans, money-back guarantees, and whether or not there are any hidden fees or added costs.

Regardless of how you do it, your focus should be on finding a way to do it right. Doing it right means keeping the books for your business up to date no matter what. Your books should be accurate and in compliance with IRS requirements.

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