Best Construction Bookkeeping 101

how to do bookkeeping for a construction company

Because production can be less predictable, contractors often aren’t able to retain large amounts of inventory. As a result, the cost and availability of production inputs can fluctuate and require special, careful tracking and planning. Your labor costs and who was on site can help you identify inefficiencies within your crews and how your labor is hitting certain benchmarks in terms of productivity. Perhaps you can introduce another crew member or piece of equipment to improve your efficiency on site. Perhaps you need to re-evaluate your production rates when estimating projects. Contract retainage is a portion of the final payment withheld until a later date to ensure the contractor has correctly and completely finished a construction project.

  • Since construction accounting is project-centric, you’ll need a way to track, categorize, and report transactions for each job.
  • These relationships can be beneficial between companies, but they complicate the financial accounts, as the primary company now has to track their own spending as well as the subcontractor’s.
  • Below are the key ways in which construction accounting differs from other types of accounting.
  • Prevailing wage legislation requires contractors to pay the rate of compensation that’s standard, or “prevails,” for each worker classification on similar jobs in the area.
  • There might also be different service models you can offer or ways to branch out your income.
  • The simplest way to account for retainage is to include two sets of information on your invoices.

It involves regularly checking your financial situation to ensure your accounts are in order, your records are up-to-date, and you’re spending within your budget. Maintaining tidy and accurate financial books in good records helps eliminate errors that can be costly to businesses. It also helps protect the company from potential accounting audits and checks to ensure sound financial practices are in place and followed. That means the company may improve its logistic services a lot as it will transfer equipment and machinery to more than one location and by more than one carrier. However, this means that a small mistake in the logistics transfers may cause a lot of money to be incurred and lost by the company.

Never chase timesheets again.

You’ll also need to account for contract retainers, usually 5-10 percent of the contract amount. The money that a client holds until the project has been completed satisfactorily is generally put into an asset account called a Accounts Receivable Retainage or Retainage Dues account. It’s not uncommon to require more materials than you originally planned for, or to have leftovers when a job is done. By keeping a detailed inventory of the materials your company owns, you can better see where your resources are being spent and cut down on wasted materials and expenses.

how to do bookkeeping for a construction company

As we mentioned earlier, contract retainage can account for 5 to 10 percent of your contract value. First, break down the project into phases, and then list all the tasks needed to complete each phase. A prevailing wage is the standard hourly rate for a worker in a particular state or locality determined by regulatory agencies and each state’s State Department of Labor. You also need to keep in mind that the construction industry is highly susceptible to political and economic fluctuations.

Contract Revenue Recognition

The bottom line is that costs will always rise long-term – at least with inflation. Not every bookkeeper is up on the latest tax and accounting rules, requirements and best practices for construction firms in Canada. It’s important that your bookkeeper, accountant and CFO are all on the same sheet of music so you can minimize your overall tax burden and maximize your company’s cash flow, net of taxes.

how to do bookkeeping for a construction company

In this article, we’ve shared details on some of the most common and widely-used platforms in the construction industry. Of course, the software or platform you use for your business will vary depending on your budget, the complexity real estate bookkeeping of your projects, the features you need, etc. Most of the platforms discussed above provide you with a free trial or free demo – in this way, you can determine which is the best bookkeeping platform for your business.

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