11 Best construction accounting jobs Hiring Now!

how to work for a construction company in accounting

You have to estimate your project timelines which will affect the costs of a project. First things first, construction accounting and regular accounting are not the same. While most industries, such as retail or manufacturing, can use typical accounting principles, construction accounting is an entirely different ball game. Most other businesses offer fixed products or services from a fixed location at a fixed price. But, unlike other industries, construction businesses offer customized work in variable locations.

How do you calculate construction in accounting?

  1. Percentage of Work Completed = Actual Costs till Date / Total Estimated Costs.
  2. Earned Revenue till Date = Percentage of Work Completed * Total Estimated Revenue.
  3. Over/Under Billed Revenue = Total Billings on Contract – Earned Revenue till Date.

On the other hand, if you prefer to defer your taxes, the next method may be a better option for you. Make sure to invoice clients regularly or ask for payment upfront for expensive materials and labour. The critical thing to know about construction accounting is that you have to do it regularly.

Revenue recognition

Construction accounting is different from other types of accounting because of the long-term nature of the contracts. In a typical business, revenues are recorded when earned, and expenses are recorded when incurred. However, with a long-term construction contract, an exchange may involve many performance obligations that span several months or years. If revenue is not recognized until all performance obligations are satisfied, this may result in misleading financial information. In order to present an accurate reflection of the company’s finances, construction companies must recognize revenues and costs equally throughout a project.

So compared with a conventional business, this is much more fluid and changeable. Keeping an accurate inventory of materials makes it easier to see where your resources are being used so that you can budget accordingly. It’s also important to categorize these expenses by service and individual job so that you can track how much money came in as well as how much you spent on expenses easily. You may want to use a digital expense tracker app to automate this process for you. The use of Change Orders to document changes to the original bid can avoid disputes with customers—and the original contract or bid should spell out exactly how to handle change orders. Contractors should also establish a standard change order process with full documentation of the work and cost required for each requested change.

Senior Project Accountant

Construction bookkeepers oversee the financial data and accounting practices of companies that work in the construction industry. Construction bookkeepers work with project managers or general contractors to ensure that accurate forecasts for timeline, budget, and costs are considered for new jobs. A construction bookkeeper generally works in an office environment and may work part-time or full-time for a construction company or general contractor. That leaves contractors and construction accountants with a choice of revenue recognition method. The method they choose will determine when income and expenses “count.” In some cases, they might use one method for their own bookkeeping and one for tax reporting, as long as they remain consistent over time. In construction accounting, the main options have traditionally included cash-basis, completed contract and percentage of completion.

  • There may be an upfront deposit required, the project could be paid in full, or take months before getting full payment.
  • My client is a large Contractor seeking a reliable, talented Controller to support financial responsibilities as they continue to expand their portfolio.
  • More commonly, the percentage of completion method is used, under which the contractor recognizes revenue by applying the estimated percentage of completion to the total anticipated profit.
  • As long as they’ve estimated the unit pricing correctly, the contractor may increase their revenue in this case.
  • Of course, the ASC 606 rule provides many other important standards for contractors to follow.

For example, if you’re an electrician, get to know a reliable plumber. Our guide to the best inventory management software offers detailed insights into the pricing, features, and overall platform usability of the leading providers. While purchase orders are not the same as an invoice, you can also consolidate PO information for a more streamlined ability to track payments and expenses.

Construction Purchase Orders

In addition to the fundamentals of general accounting, like debits, credits and financial statements, contractors have many additional aspects they have to manage and account for. Job costing helps stay on top of the numerous variables of running a project-centered, decentralized business. Revenue recognition and retainage practices track with long-term contracts paid over time. Use a journal, spreadsheets, or construction accounting software to record day-to-day transactions like accounts payable, accounts receivable, labor costs, and material costs incurred.

Effective and accurate accounting is a decisive key to success in the construction industry. Your software needs are dependent upon the accounting needs of your construction bookkeeping business. It depends on volume & type of projects, annual revenue, number of suppliers & subcontractors and several other factors you want to manage through it.

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