construction bookkeeping tips

Installment – In this bookkeeping method, revenue is recorded only when a client has made a payment. It involves comparing your bank statements to your bookkeeping records. Each transaction should match up between your books and your statements. It is usually done each month so that you can catch any errors quickly. If you don’t have a bookkeeper, you’ll be responsible for reconciling your bank accounts.

It provides a clear view of the cash flow and gives you the information you need to make informed decisions. Finally, reducing costs and improving profitability should be a priority to ensure long-term success. Accounting for construction companies comes with its challenges and requires a unique approach and a comprehensive understanding real estate bookkeeping of all the factors that go into the process. By following our suggested construction accounting best practices, you’ll ensure that your company will maintain accurate records and have a better handle on your financial situation. Your company may manage short- and long-term contracts, often with varying end dates.

Top 6 Construction Accounting Errors

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. Many contractors wait until a project is complete or almost done to start recording costs or incoming payments.

construction bookkeeping tips

But your books should always have « wet ink » — that is, recently updated figures and details to keep you apprised of what’s really going on. Financial reporting – It’s important that your bookkeeping solution allows you to track your business’ key performance metrics. It should include profit and loss statements, expense reports, and balance sheets. Bank account reconciliation – You’ll also want your bookkeeping software to help you reconcile your bank account with your financial records.

Bookkeeping services for construction companies & general contractors

In some cases, especially large-scale home renovation projects, a larger deposit might be required up front. In this case, a contractor might have to recognize that revenue over the course of several months, rather than a lumpsum payment in advance. There are many different accounting principles unique to the construction industry. Here are some of the biggest concepts you’ll need to understand to get your books in order.

So, what are some key things to keep in mind when managing accounts for a construction company? Use the following practices to make everyone’s life easier and keep records compliant. This communication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered at the time it was published. However, the general information herein is not intended to be nor should it be treated as tax, legal, or accounting advice. This information is not intended to be nor can it be used by any taxpayer for the purposes of avoiding tax penalties.

Scattered custom projects

By tagging every transaction with information from the job cost structure, contractors are able to see a whole new dimension to their costs. They can look at how much each aspect of operations costs on a particular job and across the company as a whole. Along with expenses, they can track progress according to specific budget items, detect patterns, and report profitability or overruns for different production activities as they’re underway. Importantly, they can also identify costs shared between multiple jobs, like equipment, and calculate a fair way to distribute those costs, which is called overhead allocation. We provide bookkeeping and accounting services for construction companies in Milwaukee, Madison, Brookfield, and the surrounding areas.

Job costing sounds complex, but there are accounting software tools to make it more manageable. For example, let’s say a $350,000 project contract calls for 10 payments throughout the timeline. These payments are subject to the builder meeting certain obligations, at which point the payment received would be recognized as revenue in each installment. Retainage occurs in construction when a portion of a payment is held back – or retained – from a payment until the project is complete.

Tip #2: Use job costs to determine project costs

This ensures payroll receives accurate data for the time workers spend on-site, as well as time spent traveling. Bookkeeping will keep all of this information organized so that it is easily accessible and up-to-date. Efficient and effective construction bookkeeping is more likely to lead to a more successful construction company, which means more money in your pocket.