10 Expert-approved Construction Accounting Best Practices


how to do construction accounting

Mobile technology that enables workers to access and enter information in the field can help companies stay up to date on project progress and cost. Reporting requirements for a particular union may exist on a national or a local level. Contractors can typically determine their requirements, especially when entering another jurisdiction, by checking with their local union business manager. In comparison to other industries, like retail or manufacturing, construction contracting has several distinct traits from an accounting perspective. This can make it difficult to track expenses and effectively calculate the profit generated from each service category. Contact the ERP experts at The Answer Company, a top ERP consulting group committed to propelling businesses forward with customized ERP software solutions.

If you fall behind in your accounts, things can quickly get out of hand. Tracking business expenses can be tricky, as it includes tracking materials and labor too. If you’re paying for these expenses with a credit card, it’s imperative that you use one that’s only for business. You’ll https://time.news/how-can-retail-accounting-streamline-your-inventory-management/ need to track payroll, subcontractor fees, equipment, and material purchases, ensuring that the date, description, and payment made are indicated for each transaction. To help simplify the construction accounting processes, we present construction accounting tips and best practices.

Construction Document Management (Accounting & beyond)

After checking for any discrepancies, you may need to contact your bank to discuss any issues that come up. Construction companies can also face many payroll reporting requirements, even if they don’t have to file certified payroll. These can include union reports, workers’ compensation, new hire reporting, and equal employment opportunity minority compliance.

Choosing a construction bookkeeping program involves more than throwing a figurative dart at a search engine result page. The following are some of the most important considerations that construction management and ownership will want to consider before choosing the best software program for construction accounting. Companies looking to update their accounting systems to something new and streamlined will want to check out this guide to the best construction accounting software. The income statement shows your company’s revenue and expenses over a period of time, typically one year. You can issue invoices from Buildern or from your accounting software. In both cases, the invoices will be automatically synced, so that you have a complete overview of your receivables anytime.

Accounting & Payroll

As often as once a week is usually a good place to start, as this allows you to address urgent payments as well as keep current with necessary services such as utilities. See a cash flow statement summarizing transactions within a specific period for insights and informed decision-making. Seamlessly handle accounting tasks with automation—auto-schedule financial reports and run bookkeeping processes like recurring invoices and bills without breaking a sweat. With over 50 years of service to the construction industry, our accountants have specific knowledge to benefit your business. Clear, progressive reporting can help you plan tasks, identify overdue or over budget areas, and help you distribute labor more efficiently so your jobs are completed more efficiently.

how to do construction accounting

FreshBooks is a time-saving and professional-looking online accounting and invoicing service. It offers a robust set of core functionalities for the construction industry, including accounting, time tracking, invoicing, and reporting. Store all financial data with quotes, payables, paid and due payments- take care of your company’s financial health from start to finish. An issue entirely out of your control, such as changed site conditions or an employee injury, could add extra costs and time to the project. The client still gets a solid idea of costs, but you’re protected against unexpected disasters.


Power project success with Costpoint Time & Expense for Government Contractors. Power project success with Acumen Touchstone for Evaluating Schedules. Power project success with Deltek Vantagepoint for A&E and Consulting. Construction sites require strict adherence to safety protocols, as a single mistake can lead to major liability for property damage and potential injury to workers. We’ll send a consolidated invoice to keep your learning expenses organized.

In fixed-price contracts, contractors estimate the total cost of the project in advance and agree to complete the project for a fixed price . That necessitates accounting methods such as the completed contract or the POC method. It also means that the accounting and tax rules in place at the start of a contract may change by the time it ends. Though job costing takes more work, it’s the only way to accurately measure a contractor’s profitability by matching cost inputs with the related revenues. The cash method is typically easier to implement, but it’s better at tracking your cash flow than your actual business profits. Meanwhile, the accrual method takes more work, but it more accurately captures the strength of your financial position.


Here are some of the biggest concepts you’ll need to understand to get your books in order. Between overseeing multiple projects, client expectations and managing your team, even the most financially savvy contractors construction bookkeeping can struggle to balance their books. In many industries, billing takes place at the time of sale or on a fixed monthly schedule — think of buying office supplies or subscribing to a streaming service.

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It’s not a parallel universe, but it’s worth knowing some important differences between construction accounting and other types of business accounting. Time tracking software is another tool that can make your construction accounting easier. Labor is one of the primary cost inputs for construction projects, but manually tracking the hours of multiple workers across several jobs is difficult.