Construction Bookkeeping Training Courses Lorman Education Services

construction bookkeeping

More specifically, construction bookkeeping will take into account all of the variables that are specific to the construction industry which will result in accurate bookkeeping and accurate financials. Efficient and effective construction bookkeeping is more likely to lead to a more successful construction company, which means more money in your pocket. With most, you can even link your business bank account to the accounting software so that it is keeping track of your daily transactions and they are automatically being recorded and updated. This is especially helpful when trying to stay on top of your financial records. Project based industries also need to account for potential dry spells in between projects or quick jobs in succession. That means construction companies need to take this into account when determining upfront payments or paying expenses.

It is why it is best to use software suited to job costing for construction projects. Many small business owners begin by tracking transactions through an Excel spreadsheet. Yet, as the business grows, they start to realize that this is not a scalable solution.

Percent Complete vs Completed Contract Income Recognition

You also need to keep in mind that the construction industry is highly susceptible to political and economic fluctuations. These expense categories have a direct impact on the overall project cost evaluation, so it is important to do them correctly.

When tracking your transactions, a double-entry bookkeeping system is the best way to ensure your records’ accuracy and reliability. It is the most common way that businesses and bookkeepers use to record revenues and expenses. Often business owners start by paying company costs from their own accounts. Unfortunately, this becomes so commonplace that even once the business is established and successful, expenses are still paid out of a personal bank account. Construction contracts can often take years, which is longer than many other businesses.

We Are QuickBooks Experts Specializing In Construction Bookkeeping Services

Because revenue is recognized after expenses and revenue have occurred, this method of income recognition is not GAAP-approved. Construction firms assume more liability than other businesses and operating without insurance can be both physically and legally dangerous. Establish the kind of insurance you need early on and account for the yearly or monthly cost as part of your business expenses.

This means meticulously tracking business expenses in each category in order to clear a reasonable profit margin. There are benefits to having well-kept financial books in addition to the basic paying of bills. Good records will help to eliminate mistakes that could be costly to the business; having established trends and expectations in spending will help pinpoint transactions that may be incorrect. It also helps protect the business against potential accounting audits, which check to make sure good financial practices are in place and being followed. Keeping good records helps protect against theft and embezzlement from within the company, because every dollar can be tracked back to a transaction. The more projects your construction company manages and the more workers you contract, the more important it is to have your accounts in order.

A Guide to Construction Bookkeeping (for Non-Accountants)

Based on the contract, schedule accounts payable as needed so that no accounts go overdue. Often, construction companies have several projects on the go in different areas. Businesses that work in other provinces or even in the U.S. have additional costs to consider, such as tax payments. However, the more projects you have on the go and the more people that work for you, the more you need to have a reliable bookkeeping process. Decisions based on inaccurate financial reporting can cost contractors far more than what they would have paid for a reliable and professional construction bookkeeper.

construction bookkeeping

Keeping all your company’s money in a single bank account makes it harder to understand how you’re doing financially because all the money in the bank account might not necessarily be yours. Manual job costing can be very time-intensive, especially when it comes to complex projects. However, construction projects can take months or even years to complete. Indirect costs are those which are essential to running your business across projects. Examples include repairs to equipment, insurance, transportation, and software. A small business that cannot afford this should consider outsourcing its bookkeeping, accounting, and financial management to third parties, such as Virtual Construction Assistants.

Bookkeeping Tips for Construction Businesses

Every Giersch Group client is assigned a controller as part of our unique approach to bookkeeping. Your controller will make sure your monthly financial reporting is focused on the areas you deem most important. The controller also works closely with the CFO assigned to your account to resolve complex issues and provide strategic business advice based on the numbers. The construction industry presents a particular challenge for bookkeepers due to highly complex accounting rules and tax regulations.

construction bookkeeping

Job costing is a process that helps you determine the costs of working on a project. Contract retainage, which is the amount of money that customers can withhold until they are satisfied with a project, is typically 5-10% of a contract’s value. According to the Construction Financial Management Association, pre-tax net profits average between just 1.4% and 3.5% for contractors and subcontractors. Project costs vary according to the weather and season in which work is due to take place, as do the cost of materials and strain on workers and equipment. The fees that can be charged by bookkeepers depend on their level of experience and the nature of the job that is required.

Contract retainage

For a company to be successful, the owners must have a good idea of the amount of labor, materials and time they spend on jobs, so they can create a successful bid and win jobs. If a company doesn’t have records to provide that kind of information, they can lose out on bids – or worse, win a bid only to find that the job is far more expensive than what they’re being paid. Unlock the keys to your success with financial projections and prepare for the future with cash flow management assistance from Rooks Bookkeeping.

  • Construction bookkeeping is a unique form of accounting and financial management.
  • The advantage of the accrual method is that it includes accounts receivables and account payables, as a result, provides a more accurate picture of the profitability of a company.
  • Indirect costs are any costs that are vital to your business, such as equipment repair, insurance, transportation, software, etc.
  • Our goal is to assist business owners with cost accounting needs, specializing in Construction Accounting with a focus on QuickBooks and Sage 100 Contractor.

These items are consumables, and most will be used up at the end of the project. Another challenge is that construction is an outdoor-based industry, which means unexpected variables can impact cost, including weather conditions and regulations that delay project completion. Economic and political decisions can have serious consequences on the construction industry. Factors like the price of equipment, labour and materials can change quickly. Construction jobs are invoiced periodically and it is vital to track the invoices when they are sent and received throughout the job. Especially since in the construction industry, there are multiple projects going on at once, it is important to track invoices so nothing gets lost.

If your business has any unique bookkeeping needs, you’ll want to look for a solution that caters to those needs as well. Hiring an accountant to take care of your bookkeeping can save you a significant amount of time, as well as eliminate bookkeeping and accounting errors. The installment method is usually used when your client makes payments over time. In these cases, there’s a risk that you won’t collect the full payment, so it’s wise to wait until you actually receive the payment to recognize it as income.

construction bookkeeping

In other words, payables aren’t recorded until a check is written to pay bills, and the revenue isn’t recorded until payment is received and deposited into the company’s account. Job costing is a process that helps construction companies determine how much to charge for each project. This is done by estimating such job costs as overhead costs, labor costs, and material costs. You need to create a list of tasks required for each phase of the project and then divide the tasks into the three expense categories. Construction companies either own their equipment or rent it for particular jobs. The costs of rental equipment will need to be factored in, as well as the invoicing due for obtaining it.


Armed with accurate financial information, you can make informed decisions about the potential value of each project and maximize your profits accordingly. Because every construction project is different, bookkeeping is not standardized in this industry. Giersch Group generates individual job reports that highlight the most profitable projects for your business. QuickBooks™ will handle all your accounting tasks and your data sync across all devices. This means less paperwork for you, and it is easily accessible from anywhere. You can have the ability to manage contractors through QuickBooks™ using features like sending W-9 and tax ID information directly to them.

  • As a construction company, you should be worrying more about projects and less about managing the day-to-day financial transactions.
  • It is crucial to track these different expenses to be a successful construction company.
  • Our virtual bookkeepers will ask about your business and financial challenges.
  • Job costing also helps you determine which types of projects are profitable and which ones to avoid.

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